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Novara Gotham Bike compatible with Free Radical?

I'm wondering if this bike http://www.rei.com/product/825377/nov... would be easily compatible with Extracycle Free Radical. Also, how is the Leap different from Free Radical?
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  • The Gotham is a really neat bike, however it does not lend itself to easy xtracycle conversion.

    The most immediate issue is that the Gotham uses a belt drive, which requires a split in the frame to install on the bike. Neither the FreeRadical nor the Leep has a provision for working with a belt drive. It is possible to replace the belt with a conventional chain, but this requires a few new parts. If you want I can go into greater detail on the parts needed, but they are pretty widely available, and any REI can order them.

    If you are a dedicated tinkerer you could certainly get a FreeRad to work with the Gotham, or you could have a local shop do it for you. It's not a particularly plug-and-play combination, but it can be made to work with some additional parts.

    To answer your second question, the Leap works with the same accessories as the FreeRadical, but comes in two sizes to accommodate 26" and 29" wheels. It is stiffer/stronger and has an entirely different design from the FreeRadical, so it's a bit of a Leap forward for the bolt-on longtail concept. More details will be published on our site as we get closer to the product launch and release, so stay tuned!
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  • Also worth noting, Gates does not make a belt long enough for this application either.

    Although there are ways to get round, but they would be expensive:
    http://www.ridingthespine.com/Journey...

    The design would need to also allow for the frame split Nate spoke of for the belts.
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  • Nate (Happy Helper) October 11, 2012 15:46
    Leap is due out next Spring/Summer.

    Jackie! You might consider checking out our newest bike - EdgeRunner, now in our showroom. It is a real game changer - lower center of gravity, easy handling, truly the perfect bike for 2 kids.

    We'll be showing it off at the Biketoberfest event this Saturday in Fairfax, and in our showroom the following Saturday, October 20th.

    http://www.biketoberfestmarin.com/

    -Nate!
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  • Thanks for all the answers. So, is it possible to order an Edgerunner with a Nuvinci? Also, is the Edgerunner Electric identical to Edgerunner in terms of specs, with the former being Electric powered?

    Jackie
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  • It should be possible to use a Nuvinci. There are two issues I can think of which may come into play:
    Adjusting Chain Tension - Single cog drive trains like the Nuvinci require another way to keep the chain tensioned. This is usually done with horizontal dropouts, and bolting the real wheel in at the correct chain tension. The Edgerunner uses vertical dropouts, a derailleur drive train to tension the chain, and has no way to adjust the chain tension on a single cog drive train. It is possible a chain tensioner may be used with the Nuvinci, but I cannot find any references to this setup on the Nuvinci website, although I know someone who has run an Xtracycle with a Nuvinci and a chain tensioner. So it can be done, but you are likely into undocumented territory from a support standpoint.
    Cables and Cable Routing - The Nuvinci uses a pull-pull system to actuate the hub for adjusting drive ratios. The Edgerunner requires much longer cables than a normal bicycles. Unlike some other internal gear hubs (IGH), the Nuvinci uses normal gear cables, so this is not a factor. There will need to be two cables routed from the shifter to the rear hub. The Edgerunner does not have dual cable stops to allow for this, but this is not an insurmountable problem. Just be aware it may not be very aesthetically appealing without having additional cable stops brazed on (probably voiding the warranty) and having the frame refinished.
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  • Nate (Happy Helper) October 15, 2012 16:24
    Jackie -

    We are finalizing the pre-order program for EdgeRunner - stay tuned!

    -Nate
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  • Val Kleitz would have approved. He is the person who mentioned having the Nuvinci on the Dreadnought.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrsh/29...
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