Are You Ready For RFA FAQs?
This post is chock full of juicy new bike goodness, including:
1. RFA Basics
2. RFA Sport / Utility Geometry Chart
3. RFA Sport / Utility Spec Sheet
4. RFA Q&A (with answers to ALL of your questions)
So let’s dive on in!
1. RFA basics
- Pre-orders will begin May 7th.
- The RFA can be configured in one of two modes with the DynamicDrops: The RFA is one bike that can either be configured as a regular eBike (Sport mode) or mid-tail cargo bike (Utility mode) thanks to our newest innovation, the Xtracycle DynamicDrops. This means the RFA can grow and change with your individual needs.
- The RFA comes with two 24″ x 2.5″ Maxxis Hookworm tires: the RFA was designed with two 24” wheels, sporting cushy 2.5” wide Maxxis Hookworm tires. This helps keep your center of gravity low for carrying cargo or passengers and ensures your ride is smooth and comfortable.
- Compact utility: when in Sport mode, the RFA is the same length as a standard e-bike. It will fit on a bus rack, in an elevator, on a hitch mounted car rack, and other compact spaces. While 7″ longer, the Utility mode offers a compact mid-tail cargo bike that can also fit into smaller spaces than a traditional long-tail cargo bike.
- Heavy duty Chromoly frame and fork: we chose heavy duty 4130 Chromoly for the RFA frame for its perfect combination of lightweight strength and long-lasting durability. Combined with the smooth ride quality, you and your passengers will be comfortable on any commute.
- Carry all you need on your commute: the rear MultiRack can carry standard panniers, kiddos in and out of Yepp seats, an adult passenger (when in Utility mode). Add even more cargo capacity up front with the PorterRack system.
- Easy on and off: the low step-over height (22.375″) makes getting on and off a fully loaded RFA a breeze.
- Shareable sizing: paired with our simple sizing kit, the RFA is share-able among multiple riders of varying heights. A quick release seat post clamp makes adjusting the seat height between riders quick and easy.
- Xtracycle Signature Safety Features: the Xtracycle Signature Safety Fork uses a thru axle connection between the front wheel and fork, allowing for more steering stability and control. Hydraulic disc brakes give you responsive and reliable braking abilities in all riding conditions. Load and unload passengers and cargo with confidence using the ultra stable dual leg kickstand.
- Customizable Bosch options: the RFA can be built for your unique needs with the Bosch drive unit and a single or dual battery option of your choosing.
2. RFA Sport / Utility Geometry Chart
Link to zoom-able RFA Geometry Chart PDF here.
3. RFA Sport / Utility Spec Sheet
4. RFA Q&A
We cover a lot in the section below. If you have an additional question, please mention it in a comment on this post and we will add it here with an answer!
These are the sections covered in this Q&A
1. Frame + Geometry
3. Yepp seats
4. Wheels + Tires
5. Bosch options
6. Comparisons to other Xtracycle models
7. Ordering Info
1. FRAME + Geometry
Is the RFA two bikes or one bike?
The RFA is one bike frame that can be configured into one of two modes thanks to the adjustable DynamicDrops. The two available RFA modes are:
The shorter RFA Sport mode has a wheelbase of 44.125″ (1120mm) and an actual length of 69″ (1755mm). It is the same length as a traditional eBike.
The longer RFA Utility mode has a wheelbase of 49.5″ (1257mm) and an actual length of 76″ (1930mm). It is the length of a mid-tail cargo bike.
What is the difference between the two RFA modes and what can they carry?
The RFA Sport is the same length as a standard eBike. The rear Sport MultiRack has a deck length of 18″ and it can carry two standard panniers and one child in a Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi seat. A PorterRack can be installed on the front and paired with a PorterPack for front cargo carrying.
The RFA Utility is a mid-tail cargo bike. The rear Utility MultiRack has a deck length of 25″ and it can carry 4 standard panniers, two children in or out of Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi seats or one adult passenger. A PorterRack can be installed on the front and paired with a PorterPack for front cargo carrying.
If I buy an RFA in Sport mode does it have to stay in Sport mode forever? If I buy an RFA in Utility mode does it have to stay in Utility mode forever?
The mode that the bike is configured in at purchase can be changed when needed (with help from a professional bike mechanic) by adjusting the DynamicDrops and swapping out the rear MultiRack. So you can buy an RFA in Sport mode and lengthen it into Utility mode later, or you can buy an RFA in Utility mode and shorter it into Sport mode later. Read on for more details on what it takes to switch an RFA’s mode.
Tell me more about these DynamicDrops.
The rear drop-out on a traditional bike frame is the spot on a frame where the rear wheel installs onto the bike. Historically, bikes have a fixed, welded-into-place rear drop-out, meaning your rear wheel can only ever be installed in that position. The DynamicDrops make it so the rear wheel can be installed in two different positions. The shorter Sport position means your bike will be the same length as a regular eBike. The longer Utility position will move your rear drop-out further back meaning your RFA can become a mid-tail cargo bike.
Is changing my RFA between Sport and Utility mode a quick job that I can do in a few minutes?
Because of how solid and secure the DynamicDrops connection is, switching between modes isn’t something you can do in a few minutes. That said, it is something a seasoned mechanic at your local bike shop could likely tackle in an afternoon. Because of the time and attention needed to safely adjust the DynamicDrops into an alternate mode, it is best to initially go with the RFA setting that will meet your needs at the moment, knowing that if your needs change, you can reconfigure your bike in the alternate mode to meet those changing needs.
Aside from adjusting the DynamicDrops, what else is required to switch an RFA from Sport to Utility or Utility to Sport?
Because of the different lengths of the RFA when in Sport and Utility mode, a few other things would have to be taken into consideration when switching between modes.
- You need the custom MultiRack made for the chosen installation mode of the RFA. The RFA Sport has a smaller SportRack and the RFA Utility has a longer UtilityRack. If you buy your RFA in Sport mode, your RFA will come stock with the SportRack. If you decide to move your RFA into Utility mode down the road, you will need to purchased the longer UtilityRack. If you buy your RFA in Utility mode, your RFA will come stock with the UtilityRack. If you decide to move your RFA into Sport mode down the road, you will need to purchased the shorter SportRack.
- Accessories. Because of the different deck lengths, the RFA Utility accessories do not fit on the RFA Sport. If you start out with an RFA Sport and move up to an RFA Utility, you might want to add some of the accessories compatible with that model. If you start off with and RFA Utility, some of your accessories will not be compatible with the new Sport position. Keep reading for more details on accessory compatibility.
What is the length and height of the RFA deck?
The deck on both the RFA Sport and RFA Utility is 27″ (686mm) from the ground.
The RFA Sport MultiRack deck is 18″ long.
The RFA Utility MultiRack deck is 25″ long.
Comparatively, the LT2 FlightDeck on the EdgeRunner/Stoker is 27″ long. As for deck heights, the EdgeRunner Swoop deck is 23.5″ (597mm) from the ground, the EdgeRunner Classic deck is 24″ (610mm) from the ground, and the Stoker deck is 28″ (711mm) from the ground.
Can I use a Sport MultiRack when in Utility mode or a Utility MultiRack when in SportMode?
We advise only using the rack for the mode your RFA is set in. If your RFA is in Sport mode, only use the Sport MultiRack. If your RFA is in Utility mode, only use the Utility MultiRack.
Using a Utility MultiRack while in Sport mode would cause the weight distribution to be significantly unbalanced, leading to an unstable ride. Significant passenger weight carried behind the rear wheel on a cargo bike is not ideal and not recommended. While using the Sport MultiRack when in Utility mode would not cause this weight distribution issue, it would negate the benefits of having your bike in Utility mode since the shorter Sport MultiRack would not allow you to enjoy the benefits of a mid-tail cargo bike.
What is the difference between the RFA MultiRack and the EdgeRunner/Stoker LT2 V-rack and FlightDeck system?
The RFA MultiRacks (the longer Utility MultiRack is shown above) consists of one component – an all-in-one rear rack – plus the installation hardware. We have taken all of the elements of the EdgeRunner/Stoker rear rack set up and made one solid, welded piece. The RFA MultiRack includes two vertical rails that hold up the welded on metal deck, as well as integrated pannier rails. With the RFA MultiRack, all of these parts are welded together and cannot be separated from one another (for example, you cannot remove the deck from the rails). The MultiRack comes ready for Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi seats to be installed so no additional adapters are needed. The single MultiRack piece is bolted directly onto the RFA frame.
The rear deck on the EdgeRunner/Stoker on the other hand consists of 5 components that can be separated: two black LT2 V-racks (a left rail and a right rail) that hold up the LT2 FlightDeck, the plastic LT2 FlightDeck that bolts onto these V-racks, two silver WeddingRings that help stabilize the V-racks on the bike frame. A set of 4 red RackLocks that lock the LT2 V-racks into the frame serve as the installation hardware. If Thule Yepp Maxi seats are to be installed, additional Yepp adapters would be needed. If the pannier rail is desired, it must be purchased separately.
What frame sizes are available?
The RFA frame is available in one frame size. Paired with our simple sizing kit – available in small, medium and large – you can customize the RFA frame to fit you perfectly. This also makes sharing the bike among multi-riders, like partners or roommates, easier.
The simple sizing kits include a stem and seat post. The sizes of these kits are:
Small: 60mm stem, 300mm seat post
Medium: 90mm stem, 400mm seat post
Large: 120mm stem, 450mm seat post
What colors are available for the RFA?
How challenging would it be to custom powder coat an RFA frame?
While we have not tried this ourselves, some of our trusted dealers – like G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle or Bike Shop Girl in Denver – have had success in custom powder-coating an Xtracycle. If you would like to inquire about custom powder coating an Xtracycle, we recommend reaching out to your nearest authorized Xtracycle or Bosch Certified dealer.
What accessories come stock on each RFA?
When purchased in Sport mode, the RFA Sport comes stock with: Herrmans H-Black head light, Herrmans H-Trace Dynamo taillight, a dual leg kickstand, 24″ x 2.5″ Maxxis Hookworm tires, Sport MultiRack and X3 LockPocket.
When purchased in Utility mode, the RFA Utility comes stock with: Herrmans H-Black head light, Herrmans H-Trace Dynamo taillight, a dual leg kickstand, 24″ x 2.5″ Maxxis Hookworm tires, Utility MultiRack, RFA WheelSkirts, RFA SlingSet, PorterRack, PorterPack, X3 LockPocket and fenders.
What EdgeRunner/Stoker accessories will fit on the RFA?
The EdgeRunner/Stoker accessories that will fit on the RFA are: SnackBars (paired with the RFA Hooptie Brackets), horizontal Hooptie rails (in Utility mode only, when paired with the RFA Hooptie Brackets), Mini MagicCarpet (Sport & Utility), full size MagicCarpet (Utility only), PorterRack, PorterPack, LockPocket, CarryHandle.
These EdgeRunner/Stoker accessories will not fit on an RFA in either mode: EdgeRunner/Stoker Hooptie brackets, LT1/LT2 U-tubes, KickBack 1/2/3, X3 CargoBays, X3 SlingSet, X3 Hi-Viz lid, PannierRail, EdgeRunner WheelSkirts, Leap WheelSkirts, X2 bags, V-racks, RackLocks, WideLoaders, LongLoaders, SideCar.
What other accessories are available for the RFA Utility?
These are the new accessories that have been made custom for the length of the RFA in Utility mode. Please note that these will not work on the RFA while in Sport mode (see section below).
- Utility X3 CargoBays
- Utility X3 SlingSet
- Utility X3 WheelSkirts
- RFA Hooptie brackets: Since the RFA deck is shorter than the EdgeRunner/Stoker deck, new brackets are required. The horizontal Hooptie rails are the same rails as those that fit on the EdgeRunner/Stoker.
- Utility foot rests: These are custom to the RFA and will only fit on the RFA in Utility mode.
The reason custom accessories are needed is that the Utility MultiRack is shorter than the EdgeRunner/Stoker rear rack and it has different attachment points. Because of this, some EdgeRunner/Stoker rear rack accessories do not fit on the RFA Utility.
What accessories are available for the RFA Sport?
Since the RFA Sport is the same length as a standard bike, it does not require the same amount of custom accessories as the RFA Utility. The RFA Sport is compatible with the RFA Hooptie brackets and SnackBars, Mini MagicCarpet, PorterRack, PorterPack, LockPocket and CarryHandle. When it comes to bags, the RFA Sport is best paired with a set of standard panniers. No additional RFA Sport specific accessories are available for the RFA Sport at this time. Keep reading for more details on why no additional accessories are available for the RFA Sport.
What hand rail options are available for the RFA?
When paired with RFA Hooptie brackets, the Hooptie rails will work on the RFA in Utility mode. The Hooptie rails are too long for the shorter RFA Sport so a full Hooptie is not compatible with the RFA in Sport mode. That said, the SnackBars, a shorter, open handrail, are a great fit for either the RFA Sport or Utility. When in Sport mode, two sets of SnackBars can be used with RFA Hooptie brackets to create an open handrail. When riding with a child out of a Yepp seat in Sport mode, panniers are required to keep the passenger’s legs from getting injured by the rear wheel.
What are the dimensions of the Hooptie on the RFA?
The dimensions of the Hooptie on the RFA are the same as the Hooptie on the EdgeRunner / Stoker. Those dimensions are:
Length (front to back): 29.75″
Width (side to side): 20.5″ wide at the narrowest setting / 23.5″ wide at the widest setting (required when used with a Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi seat)
Height (from top of deck to horizontal rails): 7.5″ in height from the top of the deck
What foot rail options are available for the RFA Utility?
Since the rear rack area on the RFA is different from previous Xtracycle models, the LT U-tubes will not fit on an RFA Utility. The RFA Utility requires custom RFA footrests.
The RFA Utility footrests will not fit on the shorter RFA Sport. There are no footrests available for the RFA Sport.
Why are no footrests, CargoBay, SlingSet or WheelSkirt options available for the RFA in Sport mode?
The RFA Sport is ideal for younger rear passengers in Yepp seats. A child in a Yepp seat would not need a place to rest their feet, like U-tubes, thanks to the Yepp seat leg holds. These built-in leg holds also protect little feet from rear wheels, meaning WheelSkirts are not needed for the RFA Sport. By the time a child is out of their Yepp seat and ready to ride on the rear deck, we recommend the RFA be converted into the Utility mode since this mode is ideal for carrying passengers in or out of Yepp seats, including adult passengers.
That said, a child 4 years old and older could ride out of their Yepp seat on the rear deck of an RFA Sport using the SnackBars and only when panniers are being used. The panniers install easily on the RFA MultiRack and will protect a little passenger’s feet from the rear wheel. Never carry a child on the rear deck of any Xtracycle without having WheelSkirts or panniers installed.
Because the RFA Sport is compatible with standard panniers and there are so many amazing panniers already on the market, we found that custom RFA Sport bags were not necessary to optimize the Sport’s utility.
3. YEPP SEATS
What Thule Yepp seat will fit the RFA?
The Thule Nexxt Maxi is the only rear deck Yepp seat that will fit on the RFA MultiRack. The design of the RFA MultiRack is made as one solid piece to optimize frame strength and the Thule Nexxt Maxi was the best match for this new rack. Due to the solid deck and lack of a mounting hole in the deck, the Thule Yepp Maxi will not fit on an RFA MultiRack.
The RFA is the only Xtracycle bike that is compatible with the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi. All other Xtracycle models will continue to require the Thule Yepp Maxi, including the EdgeRunner Swoop, Classic, Stoker and Leap.
Will I need a Yepp seat adapter for the RFA MultiRack?
No, you will not need a Yepp adapter with the RFA. The Yepp Nexxt Maxi installs directly onto the RFA RearRack so no adapter is required.
What other child seats will fit on an RFA MultiRack?
4. WHEELS + TIRES
Why two 24″ wheels? Why not two 20″ or two 27.5″?
We built the RFA to ride as much like a traditional bike as possible. For this reason, we avoided two 20″ wheels since two small wheels can cause some bikes to feel squirrely or unruly when riding. There are also fewer high volume off-road or winter riding tire options for 20″ wheels. Once you start to go above 26″ size tires, the rear deck is much higher making the center of gravity higher as well. This can make the bike harder to balance when riding.
That said, the RFA frame was made to be compatible with 26″ wheels and tires. While Xtracycle does not offer 26″ wheels, these can be found through your local bike shop. The front would require a 15mm thru axle, 100mm width. The rear wheel would require a 135mm width QR.
What is the minimum/maxium tire size for 24″ wheels and 26″ wheels?
We are currently field testing this and will update this doc once we have more solid data on the ideal tire min and max.
5. BOSCH E-BIKE OPTIONS
What electric options are available for the RFA?
When building up your RFA, you have the option of three Bosch motors: the Bosch Performance (with a 20mph assist max), the Bosch Performance CX (with a 20mph assist max) and the Bosch Performance Speed (with a 28mph assist max).
You also have three battery options: a single 400wH battery, a single 500wH battery or a dual 500wH battery set-up, totalling 1000wH. There is no option for a dual 400wH battery set-up and no option to combine a 400wH battery and a 500wH battery dual set-up.
You can find more details about the Bosch options here.
Can I buy one battery now but have two battery mounts installed?
Each battery needs a cradle installed on the bike frame to hold the battery. We can only install two cradles when two batteries are purchased. If you decide on a single battery set up now but want to add a second battery later, you can go to your nearest Bosch dealer to have a Certified Bosch Mechanic install a second battery cradle.
Another option is to purchase a second battery that you would carry on your bike. When your first battery drains, you can swap it out for the fully charge second battery. Having a cradle is ideal though since it gives you a place to carry and store the battery, thus not taking up valuable cargo space in your bags.
Is there a non-electric option for the RFA?
The RFA is only available as a Bosch all-in-one eBike. If you are not in the market for an eBike, the mechanical Stoker might be the ideal cargo bike for your needs.
6. COMPARISONS TO OTHER XTRACYCLE MODELS
How is the RFA Utility different from the EdgeRunner?
- The RFA has DynamicDrops that can be set to short (Sport) or long (Utility) mode. The EdgeRunner has a fixed rear drop-out that cannot be moved.
- The RFA uses the MultiRack. The EdgeRunner uses the LT2 RackSystem.
- The RFA has two 24″ x 2.5″ Maxxis Hookworm tires. The EdgeRunner has a 26″ x 2.15″ Schwalbe Big Ben tire in the front and a 20″ x 2.15″ Schwalbe Big Ben tire in the back.
- The RFA deck height is 27″. The EdgeRunner deck height is 23.5″ (Swoop) / 24″ (Classic)
- The RFA deck is 18″ (Sport) / 25″ (Utility) long. The EdgeRunner deck is 27″ long meaning the EdgeRunner has a bigger rear rack area ideal for carrying long cargo or lots of cargo.
- The RFA wheelbase is 44.125″ (Sport) / 49.5″ (Utility). The EdgeRunner wheelbase is 56.3″ (Swoop) / 56.7″ (Classic)
- The RFA actual length (front of front wheel to end of bike) is 69″ (Sport) / 76″ (Utility). The EdgeRunner actual length is 83.5″ (both Swoop and Classic).
- The RFA step over height is 22.375″. The EdgeRunner step over height is 18″ (Swoop) / 24.5″ (Classic).
- The RFA can fit into more compact spaces like elevators and bus racks. The EdgeRunner is too long to fit in elevators or on bus racks.
- The RFA is only compatible with the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi and requires no adapter. The EdgeRunner is only compatible with the Thule Yepp Maxi and requires an adapter.
- The RFA MultiRack has built-in pannier rails. The EdgeRunner does not include built-in pannier rails but they can be purchased separately and installed on the V-racks.
- The RFA is only available as a Bosch eBike. The EdgeRunner is available as a Bosch eBike or a mechanical bike.
- The RFA uses RFA CargoBays, RFA SlingSet and RFA WheelSkirts. The EdgeRunner uses X3 CargoBays, X3 SlingSet and X3 WheelSkirts.
How is the RFA Utility different from the Stoker?
- The RFA has DynamicDrops that can be set to short (Sport) or long (Utility) mode. The Stoker has a fixed rear drop-out that cannot be moved.
- The RFA uses the MultiRack. The Stoker uses the LT2 RackSystem.
- The RFA has two 24″ x 2.5″ Maxxis Hookworm tires. The Stoker has two 24″ x 2.35″ Schwalbe Crazy Bob.
- The RFA deck height is 27″. The Stoker deck height is 28″.
- The RFA deck is 18″ (Sport) / 25″ (Utility) long. The Stoker deck is 27″ long meaning the Stoker has a bigger rear rack area ideal for carrying long cargo or lots of cargo.
- The RFA wheelbase is 44.125″ (Sport) / 49.5″ (Utility). The Stoker wheelbase is 54.75″.
- The RFA actual length (front of front wheel to end of bike) is 69″ (Sport) / 76″ (Utility). The Stoker actual length is 83″.
- The RFA step over height is 22.375″. The Stoker step over height is 29.5″.
- The RFA can fit into more compact spaces like elevators and bus racks. The Stoker has a similar actual length to the EdgeRunner and is too long to fit in elevators or on bus racks.
- The RFA is only compatible with the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi and requires no adapter. The Stoker is only compatible with the Thule Yepp Maxi and requires an adapter.
- The RFA MultiRack has built-in pannier rails. The Stoker does not include built-in pannier rails but they can be purchased separately and installed on the V-racks.
- The RFA is only available as a Bosch eBike. The Stoker is available as a Bosch eBike or mechanical bike.
- The RFA uses RFA CargoBays, RFA SlingSet and RFA WheelSkirts. The Stoker uses X3 CargoBays, X3 SlingSet and X3 WheelSkirts.
How does the RFA geometry compare to the EdgeRunner/Stoker?
The easiest way to see how the RFA compares to the geometry of the other Xtracycle models is to take a look at the Geometry Comparison chart. You can also find a zoom-able Geometry Comparison chart PDF here.
7. Ordering information
How can I order an RFA?
You can pre-order your RFA through your local Xtracycle dealer or through our website.
Do I pay now or later?
Payment for your RFA is due at the time of pre-order.
Can I finance my pre-order?
Yes, financing through Klarna is an option for your RFA pre-order!
What will happen after I place my order?
After placing your order, you will be added to the build queue. We will email you with an updated build date. Leading up to the shipment of your RFA, we will be available my phone or email for questions. We will also keep in touch with you with weekly RFA specific emails and our weekly newsletter.
When will RFAs begin to ship?
RFAs will begin to ship to dealers and direct to customers the first week of July. The RFA is made in small, limited batches so your line in the shipping queue will depend on when you place your pre-order.
How much is shipping if I don’t live near an Xtracycle dealer?
Shipping through our Big Box of Happiness program is $400. This fee includes $200 for the assembly fee + $200 for the freight shipping. For BBOH shipments, your bike will be shipped completely built and ready to ride out of the box.
What if I order an RFA now but change my mind and want to cancel my order?
No problem! You are welcome to cancel your order prior to shipment. You will be issued a refund minus a 5% restocking fee.