Sunday, April 08, 2007


I am pleased to introduce to you the Chupacabra, a staggering creation from Traffic Cycle Design, LLC.

Designed in coordination with Goat (David Yost) of the Riding the Spine tour, this beast has been tailored for long-distance mountain riding. It sports a stout, stiff geometry, 26" x 4" tires (with an actual diameter of 29") , disc brakes, and an internally geared rear hub. It is also compatible with the rack system made by Xtracycle, allowing its rider to carry loads in the hundreds of pounds.

It's not your everyday bike, but my opinions of it have improved significantly since I started the project. Not only would I insist on a similar steed if I were embarking on a long mountain ride, but a slimmed-down version would be excellent for doing errands around town. It could carry all the groceries you'd need for a week, and could also be outfitted with a child (or spouse) seat.

What's with the name, you say? Wikipedia has a decent article on the chupacabra, a little creature known in the Americas for killing and drinking the blood of farm animals, especially goats. With the size and mass of this vehicle, I expect it to have a similar (although more invigorating) effect on my friend Goat.

You can see more photos at my personal website, where you can also look at some of my other creations .


nollij said...

Wow... I've been following the story of the riding the spine guys since November last year and I was so inspired I sent them some scratch to help them along their way, but I got behind on the travelogue, and am just now catching up. This is one of the crazier longtail designs that I've seen, and I'm curious to hear more about it. Is that a Rohloff in the rear? What's that front chainring setup?

spencer said...

The rear hub is a Sturmey-Archer xrk8, which is an 8-speed disc hub. Goat (of ridingthespine) couldn't afford a rolhoff speedhub, unfortunately. The s/a isn't all that smooth, but it cost about $800 less than a speedhub, so... I imagine it'll last for a little while, and then goat will get sick of it and invest in a rolhoff.

In order to get the gear range right, Goat designed a drivetrain with two parts, which brings the gear range up quite a bit. The crankset is the mountain set by Profile, and it has a Primo chainwheel with an integrated bash guard. The whole thing is mounted in a Bushnell eccentric.