The Skinny on the Xtra Rockabilly Boogie

Some folks have been asking about the sweet ride with the red rims.

Said bike is my converted Electra Rockabilly Boogie. It has a lot going for it, including being the crusiest cruiser yet to roll out of our shop. If you are a cruising Xtracyclist, this is a baddass longbike. If you are a Rockabilly fan, the FreeRadical makes it twice the ride. After all, what good’s a cruiser that you can’t throw your sweetie on?

The 3-speed hub works fine and is adequate for the flats. It was a little outgunned with my mom on back in San Francisco, but we handled it.

I roll it with the green (envy) down low glow to coax out every last bit of sweetness.

The wheels are 24″, with the benefit being that you have room for 3″ tires, which are oh-so nifty. The tires just barely clear the FreeRadical stays, and I had to chop off the brake posts and indent the tubes just a tad for the fit. Also, because of the narrow overlocknut dimension with the 3-speed hub, I chose to squeeze the FreeRadical dropouts together (rather than replace the axle). This is accomplished with a bar clamp.

The main concern with the bike right now is that it only has a coaster brake, which is a lot to ask of a cargo bike! When I was cruising with my mom and the gang down a ten-block downhill in SF, I was putting positive thoughts into not throwing the chain! If you lose the chain, you lose the brakes and have to go reverse Flintstone style. I want to get a drum hub from SRAM for the front wheel. Since there’s no brake posts or disc mounts on the front, this is really the best option, short of replacing the forks AND the hub to go disc.

If the Rockabilly seems over the top (it is, a bit), Electra makes a couple other similar bikes that are dressed a little more conservatively, albeit barely.

The rockabilly has extremely stable geometry, and a real fat seat. So you can:

    • cruise with no hands AND no feet
    • stand on the footsies with no hands
    • more easily surf the deck with no driver (the most dangerous thing conceivable to do on your Xtracycle, and not recommended)
    • and, something I love is to lower the seat so that your feet touch the ground and Flintstone forward. Hard to get how fun this is until you try it. The Townie geometry makes it possible.

    By the way, for those who say the Rockabilly won’t fit on bus racks, I beg to differ. It just takes a little coaxing. When I was down in L.A., I even fit my Xtracycled Rockabilly onto the front of the bus for the ride up to Malibu. It’s the same as fitting any Xtracycle onto a bus rack, except the Rockabilly tires are so fat that you have to deflate the rear one a bit. Carry a nice pump and you’re set. I guess it’d be a hassle if you did it twice a day, but every once in a while it’s fine. And it fits on roof racks, too; you just need a strap to hold the wheel since the rack’s included strap won’t be long enough.

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