Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Shithauler 800

I'm in the Seattle area for work. When I'm here, my buddy Alex lets me borrow a bike. This cargo bike is his latest creation. Man it rules. That's the coffee table from my hotel room on there, just for illustrative purposes. I should take it for a spin....

Today we were able to get away for a long-ish lunch and took a ride.
In true Alex style, he suggested a dirt path amongst the cul de sacs and suburban roadways of Redmond that got us to lunch at a local strip mall.

It's moments like this -- where you can bust out of your workday for just a slice of the day to ride through some cool forested trails with a friend-- that make bikes such an essential luxury to me, regardless of where I am.

Speaking of which, I haven't ridden through Spokane in about 2 weeks and I miss it. It will be good to get back into the routine next week.

This bike is just so cool. I call it the Shithauler 800 because it's made from an old Trek 800 frame, so the "800" is still on the frame. And this thing can haul some serious shit. You can see the silly little load that I had on there. I'd love to try moving a dorm fridge on there. Or Liza and Maddie. Or a stack of bike frames. Or a set of tools for a P2P free bike tuneup.

Since Alex hacked the front end off the frame he was able to dial in the headtube geometry. I think he said it was 72.5 or 73 degrees. The load sits over the wheel but it's not on the steering axis, which is weird at first. The load seems to float from side to side over the front wheel, but you get used to it quickly and the handling generally is nice and quick. I was able to do super tight radius slow turning -- easily within the bounds of a parking space.
On the dirt trail it climbed well, since the back end is mountain bike. It's a smart bike that could easily be a daily driver. This would be great for overnighters. Alex also designed it so that it can go on a standard bus rack. What's not to like.

The build is smart too: Origin-8 bars (cheap version of the On-one Mary bars); indexed shifting with (get this) Suntour XC Expert thumbshifters hooked up to a rear XT derailleur on a SRAM 8 speed cassette. Shifts amazingly well considering it's indexed. Drum brake on the front; v-brake on the rear. The bike feels solid.

Of course I want one.


John Speare said...

turns out the HTA is 73.5.

Anonymous said...

When it comes time to "paint" (it'll look much the same) I'm turn between:
* Shit Hauler 80.0
* Crud Hauler 80.0
* S#!t Hauler 80.0

80.0 lbs is hopefully the type of load that it handles well with.

Apertome said...

I did a double take when I first looked at this post, having seen photos of that bike on Alex's blog. What an awesome bike.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alex, what's it gonna cost to have my old MB6 converted? Really.

Anonymous said...

I need to figure out the insurance issue before I can really build anything for anyone else. Plus do a some more bikes for myself.

A more likely scenario is that David Wilson will move forward with having the James Black Cycle Truck (which I heavily copied from) made as a production bike in Taiwan.


Some information David Wilson authorized me to share, received early 2008: he is working within the industry on getting a bike based on this design produced for sale as an off-the-shelf model under a well-known American brand, but nothing is certain yet. Retail price for a custom version like that below, including the parts (Nuvinci hub, etc.), would be $3000. A production version would likely come in at half that price or a bit less. David says to feel free to contact him with questions or comments by email, david at

$1200-$1500 isn't cheap, but it pretty realistic for a full bike. I probably have 25-30 hours into this conversion plus $100 in materials.

Jacque Hendrix said...

Oh Man! Think of how much stuff one could get on a yard sale ride.

Michael said...

I did a pretty fun ride in Seattle today.

The Shit Hauler looks really fun.