Please note: The FreeRadical is retired and no longer in production. For more information, including tips on how to find one used, see here.
This article goes over commonly asked questions in regards to Xtracycle’s first ever bolt-on conversion kit, the FreeRadical. To easily search this article, we recommend using your keyboard’s “find” function to search for keywords that pertain to the question you have. FAQ questions covered are:
- What current accessories are compatible with my FreeRadical?
- What retired accessories are compatible with my FreeRadical?
- What accessories will not work on my FreeRadical?
- What bags are best for my FreeRadical?
- How can I prevent my bags from bumping my rear wheel?
- What set up is best for carrying children on my FreeRadical?
- Can I install a Hooptie on my FreeRadical?
- Can I install a Yepp Seat and Hooptie to be used together on my FreeRad?
- What do I need to install a Yepp seat / child seat on my FreeRadical?
- What are RackLocks and do I need them?
- Is the FreeRadical still commercially available?
- What is the best way to find a used FreeRad if I really want one?
- Do you have an updated version of the FreeRadical?
- My FreeRad broke! What can I do?
- I bought my FreeRad used. Is it still covered my the original warranty?
- If I buy a Leap frame, can I transfer my FreeRad accessories to it?
- I have a Radish. Is this the same thing as a FreeRad?
- I am installing a FreeRadical on my bike and I am missing parts. Do you have these available?
- Will a FreeRadical work on my bike?
- What wheel size is best for a FreeRad conversion?
- Do I need heavy duty rims/wheels for my FreeRad conversion?
- Can I put the FreeRad on a small wheel bike?
- Can I put the FreeRad on a recumbent bike?
- Can I put the FreeRad on a tandem bike?
- Can I use the FreeRadical to make an EdgeRunner (26″ front, 20″ rear)?
- What is the best frame material for a bike I would like to convert?
- What kind of chainstay bridge is needed?
- Will the FreeRad work with my bike’s dropouts?
- Is the rear dropout spacing on my bike enough for a FreeRad conversion?
- What kind of brakes does my bike need to be converted with a FreeRad?
- Can I use disc brakes on my FreeRad?
- Can I used an internal geared hub with my FreeRad?
- Can I convert my FreeRad bike with an e-bike conversion kit?
- Where can I find a FreeRad manual?
- Do you have a FreeRad anatomy chart?
- What gauge steel is the FreeRad made from?
- Did Xtracycle use to offer a 700c only wheel kit? If so, can this kit be adapter work with other wheel sizes?
If your question is not answered here, send us an email to email@example.com and we’ll help to answer your questions the best we can!
1. What current accessories are compatible with my FreeRadical? Accessories that will work on the FreeRadical are: X3 CargoBay, X3 HiViz Lid (when used with the CargoBay), X3 LockPocket, LT2 Hooptie (modifications needed – see FAQ #7), Snackbars for longtails (modifications needed – see FAQ #7), mini MagicCarpet, LT2 MagicCarpet, CinchStraps, LT1 version 2 FlightDeck, SuperHooks, LT2 U-tubes with retrofit kit, KickBack 3 with KB3 Radaptor.
2. What retired accessories are compatible with my FreeRadical? WideLoaders, RunningBoards, Footsies, Hoodie, LT1 U-Tubes, LT1 MagicCarpet, X2 bags, FreeRadical X1 bags, FreeLoader bags, X3 SlingSet, Leap WheelSkirts, LT1 KickBack, Yepp Easy Fit Adapter (non-Xtracycle brand), SideCar, LT1 V-racks, Leap WheelSkirts.
3. What accessories will NOT work on my FreeRadical? Accessories that are not FreeRad compatible are: RFA WheelSkirts, RFA CargoBays, RFA SlingSet, RFA SnackBars, CarryAll bags, EdgeRunner WheelSkirts, handlebar stabilizer, LT2 Leap U-tubes, front and rear LT2 Xtracycle brand Yepp seat adapters, SuperNova light set, Yepp Nexxt Maxi, RFA Footsies, RFA FootPegs, SpaceCowboy, PorterRack, PorterPack, EdgeRunner fenders, RFA fenders, Stoker fenders, KickBack 2, PannierRail (unless you have Leap V-racks installed instead of the original FreeRad LT1 V-racks).
4. What bags are best for my FreeRadical? FreeRad owners have a few options for bags. The X3 bag system will work on a FreeRad kit and includes: X3 CargoBay, X3 HiViz Lid (to be used with the CargoBay), X3 SlingSet, X3 LockPocket. More info on this bag system and its features can be found here. Other bags that will work are X2 bags (retired), X1 FreeRad Bags (retired), and FreeLoaders (retired).
5. My bags are hitting the rear wheel on my FreeRadical. How can I prevent that from happening? This issue typically can occur when the bags aren’t tensioned enough, the bags are heavily loaded with gear or children riding on the bag bump the bag into the rear wheel. There is a super easy fix! You can either tighten your bag tension, use a generic lash or CinchStrap to create a barrier. Check out the how-to article on preventing rear wheel bag bump on bolt-on kits here.
6. What set up is best for carrying children on my FreeRadical? For children under 4 years old, a Yepp seat will keep them secure on the back. Refer to FAQ #9 for more details on installing a Yepp seat. For children over 4 years old, a Hooptie (hand rails – modifications needed, refer to FAQ #7), MagicCarpet (seat pad) and LT2 U-tubes (foot rests) with retrofit kit will make for a comfortable ride. A Yepp seat and Hooptie can be used together for children of varying ages. Attaching handlebars with a tandem stoker to the rider’s saddle is another low cost option but requires a child to hold onto the bars at all times during the ride. Stoker bars are not something Xtracycle makes but can be easily supplied by your local bike shop or an online parts vendor.
7. Can I install a Hooptie or SnackBars on my FreeRadical? You sure can! If you have a wooden SnapDeck you will need to replace that deck with an LT1 version 2 plastic FlightDeck and Superhooks. The wooden SnapDeck literally snaps onto the V-racks and while this is not an issue when children are simply riding on top of the deck, this becomes unsafe when you bolt a Hooptie, SnackBars or a Yepp seat to the deck. This is because a simple push on the Hooptie, SnackBars or seat can cause the SnapDeck to become unsnapped from the FreeRad frame. This is solved by replacing the SnapDeck with a plastic FlightDeck attached with Superhooks. Not sure what deck you have? Check out the Deck ID Guide. To install a Hooptie, you will need an LT2 Hooptie and Hooptie retro fit kit. To install SnackBars, you will the SnackBars (with brackets) and a Hooptie retro fit kit. When installing a Hooptie or SnackBars, always make sure your V-racks are locked to your FreeRad frame with RackLocks. If you have an LT1 Hooptie (retired – it used spring pins to adjust the rails) you will still need to have a plastic deck and Superhooks, but you will not need a Hooptie retro fit kit. For more details on installing a Hooptie on a FreeRadical kit, please refer to the article on this subject “What do I need to install a Hooptie on my bike?”
8. Can I install a Yepp Seat and Hooptie to be used together on my FreeRad? Yep! When installing just a Hooptie, you will need 4 Superhooks. When installing a Hooptie and Yepp seat or just a Yepp seat, you will need 8 Superhooks. For more info on installing a Yepp seat, refer to FAQ #9 below.
9. What do I need to install a Yepp seat seat on my FreeRadical? When installing a Yepp seat, you need to make sure you have a plastic FlightDeck secured with 8 Superhooks. Yepp seats cannot be installed on a wooden SnapDeck. The wooden SnapDeck literally snaps onto the V-racks and while this is not an issue when children are simply riding on top of the deck, this becomes unsafe when you bolt a Hooptie or Yepp seat to the deck. This is because a simple push on the Hooptie or seat can cause the SnapDeck to become unsnapped from the FreeRad frame. This is solved by replacing the SnapDeck with a plastic FlightDeck attached with Superhooks. Not sure what deck you have? Check out the Deck ID Guide. For both the LT1 version 1 and 2 FlightDeck, you will need to make sure your deck is secured to the V-racks with 8 Superhooks. If you have the LT1 version 1 FlightDeck, you will need a Yepp Maxi Easy Fit Adapter (not sold by Xtracycle) This bolts onto the LT1 version 1 FlightDeck and the seat attaches to the adapter. To install a Yepp seat on an LT1 version 2 FlightDeck, you will not need a special adapter. Holes can be cut in the Flight Deck and the seat installs in these holes the same way they would an Easy Fit Adapter. Instructions on installing a Yepp seat on an LT1 version 2 FlightDeck can be found here. Cutting holes in the deck is not an option on the LT1 version 1 FlightDeck because of its increased thickness. When installing a Yepp seat, always make sure your V-racks are locked to your FreeRad frame with RackLocks.
10. What are RackLocks and do I need them? RackLocks are clamping collars that “lock” your V-racks to the FreeRad frame. They are required if children or adults will be riding on the back deck. They are highly recommended for all FreeRad kits to prevent V-racks from becoming detached from the FreeRad frame.
11. Is the FreeRadical still commercially available? It is not and we have no plans of re-releasing it.
12. What is the best way to find a used FreeRad if I really want one? If you have your heart set on a FreeRad, they pop up on eBay and Craigslist often, especially CLs for big cities like NYC and San Francisco. Once in a blue moon, a shop might have one new-in-box available in their stock but we have no way to know the inventory of these shops. Keep in mind that if buying a FreeRad used, the warranty will not transfer to you and will be voided.
13. Do you have an update version of the FreeRadical? The FreeRadical Leap was an updated version of the FreeRadical but this product has since been retired and there are no plans to produce them in the future.
14. My FreeRad broke! What can I do? Broke bikes are such a bummer! If your frame has broken or snapped, some riders have had success in re-welding the brakes. If you believe this is a warranty issue, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can start the warranty process. If your frame is not covered under warranty and is beyond repair, most of your FreeRad kit items can be installed on a Leap frame. Please refer to FAQ #16 below.
15. I bought my FreeRad used. Is it still covered my the original warranty? Xtracycle warranties only apply to the original owner. If you bought your FreeRad kit second hand or used, the warranty will be voided and your kit and any accessories will not be covered.
16. If I buy a Leap frame, can I transfer my FreeRad accessories to it? The vertical racks on a FreeRad kit will transfer over to the Leap frame. So anything that attaches to the V-racks will work as long as the LT1 V-racks are installed on the Leap. Be sure to secure the V-racks with RackLocks if you don’t already have them on your FreeRad kit. FreeRad items that will not work on a Leap frame are: LT1 KickBack, LT1 U-tubes, WideLoaders, RunningBoards, Footsies.
17. I have a Radish. Is this the same thing as a FreeRad? Sort of. Before Xtracycle started producing a complete cargo bike (the EdgeRunner), we made a custom bike frame that a FreeRad kit was mounted onto. This is the Radish. So the Radish is a FreeRad installed on a bike frame designed specifically by Xtracycle for a FreeRad conversion. The Radish is retired and no longer in production.
18. I am installing a FreeRadical on my bike and I am missing parts. Do you have these available? Because the FreeRad is no longer in production, the availability of parts is very limited. We do have some Free Rad hardware available for sale. Contact us at email@example.com to let us know what you are looking for. If you need a more generic part (like a specific bolt), we recommend trying your local bike shop or hardware store.
19. Will a FreeRadical work on my bike? The FreeRad kit is highly adaptable and can fit on many bikes. The best way to find out is to review the FreeRadical compatibility guide here: https://www.xtracycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Xtracycle-FreeRadical-Compatibility-Guide.pdf If you are unsure about how to see if your bike will be a good fit, we recommend taking your bike and the compatibility guide to your favorite Local Bike Shop. They will be able to help you see if your bike is a good fit for a FreeRad conversion.
20. What wheel size is best for a FreeRad conversion? Most FreeRadical were designed for 26″ and 700c wheel size bicycles. 26″ wheels are recommended! 26″ wheels give you most tire size flexibility with the FreeRadical and are inherently stronger than the larger 700c standard. When running 26″ wheels you can fit a tire up to 2.35″ wide. The FreeRadical is not compatible with fat tires or with 29″ MTB tires. 700c wheels will work, but will limit you to 35mm tires (in rare cases up to 38mm), and you will need a 700c Brake Adapter (which is no longer in production) to use v-brakes (linear-pull brakes). Disc brakes will not require that adapter.
Please note that there are a handful of FreeRads out in the world that work with 700c wheels ONLY.
21. Do I need heavy duty rims/wheels for my FreeRad conversion? Number of spokes/ultra strong rim only applies when you are doing extremely heavy load carrying or long distance touring. We do recommend that you get your rear wheel properly tensioned and trued by a professional mechanic: this will greatly improve the longevity of the wheel.
22. Can I put the FreeRad on a small wheel bike? The main reason a FreeRadical cannot be used on smaller than 26″ wheel bikes is that the length of the FreeRadical frame that inserts into your existing bike frame, and bolts near your bottom bracket, is too large for 20″ or 24″ wheel bikes. However, in rare cases, it may work. See the dimensions in the FreeRad compatibility guide to check for yourself if the FreeRadical tongue will fit in your smaller wheel bike frame.
23. Can I put the FreeRad on a recumbent bike? In general, no. The chain stays on most recumbents are in the wrong position for the FreeRadical. We recommend the CargoMonster made by TerraCycles as the best option for recumbent riders. Contact them for compatibility.
24. Can I put the FreeRad on a tandem bike? We have seen some converted tandems so we know it’s possible! As long as the tandem meets the compatibility requirements and you are able to get a long enough chain, it should work.
25. Can I use the FreeRadical to make an EdgeRunner (26″ front, 20″ rear)? No. The FreeRadical and your bike were designed to work with a specific wheel size, using too small of a wheel in the rear can cause the tail of the frame to drag, the bike’s handling to be unpredictable, and your position on the bike to be very weird. Doing this voids your warranty.
26. What is the best frame material for a bike I would like to convert? Different people have different perspectives on material, but some like the pairing of the stiff aluminum bike frame with the more forgiving Chromoly Xtracycle FreeRadical. Chromoly bike frames paired with FreeRadicals are very popular. Generally, we advise folks to stay away from carbon fiber, and butted, superlight, aluminum or steel road bike frames. Simply put, these frames may not be ready for the added stress of a longer wheelbase and heavier loads. That said, bike frame failure due to Xtracycle installation is exceedingly rare.
27. What kind of chainstay bridge is needed? Ideally, your bike has a kickstand bridge (sometimes called a chainstay bridge). The FreeRad can be installed on this bridge using one Front Attachment Plate and a bolt. Ideally, the chainstay bridge center is between 13.5″ and 15″ from the center of the rear dropout/rear axle of your bike frame. If it doesn’t, never fear, just get an additional Front Attachment Plate and use it and the included longer bolt to sandwich the chainstays. Using two Front Attachment plates is an option for bikes without chainstay bridges.
28. Will the FreeRad work with my bike’s dropouts? The FreeRad has flat profile dropouts that can pose installation problems for bikes with sculpted/recessed dropouts (found on Moots, some older Breezers, and other bikes as well). Remedying sculpted dropout issues often requires removing material from the bike dropout or FreeRadical to get the two to match. This can void the warranty of one or both items, and is only recommended if you feel confident about assessing the strength of your modified bike frame/Xtracycle FreeRadical. For some bikes, this issue can be a showstopper, sad to say. Some touring/trekking bikes are coming with longer derailleur hangers than standard. The horizontal tube of the FreeRad runs within a few millimeters of the derailleur hanger on a stander bike, so this added length can interfere with attaching the FreeRadical. If the distance between the center of the derailleur mounting hole and the center of the dropout is greater than 30mm you will likely have fit issues. The best option is to remove the hanger and replace it with a shorter one if it is available. This maintains the dropouts width and avoids voiding the frame’s warranty.
29. Is the rear dropout spacing on my bike enough for a FreeRad conversion? FreeRad is designed for bikes with an OLD of 135 mm (which is common in modern mountain bikes). OLD stands for over locknut dimension - basically it’s the width of the wheel (not including the axle). FreeRads can work with narrower OLD bikes (like older 10 speeds, some road bikes, or bikes set up for internally geared hubs). Sometimes this requires stretching the rear stays of your bike to reach around the Xtracycle which is less of a concern on a forgiving steel frame than for a less bend friendly aluminum frame. If you are facing this, consider contacting your nearest dealer, or call us.
30. What kind of brakes does my bike need to be converted with a FreeRad? The FreeRadical is designed to work for V-Brakes or linear pull brakes. Disc Brakes work great, though they require a special setup. Cantilever brakes (also called center-pull) are not suitable for the FreeRadical since the FreeRadical doesn’t have a cable housing stop required for use with cantilever brakes. Roadstyle calliper brakes are not suitable for the FreeRadical since there is no mounting point for calliper style brakes. 700c wheels require a 700c Brake Adapter (out of production but can sometimes be found on eBay) or Paul Components Motolite (found here) to use V-brakes (linear-pull brakes).
31. Can I use disc brakes on my FreeRad? Disc brakes require a special arrangement of calliper adapter and disc brake rotor. Why is this the case? Disc brakes were adapted to the FreeRadical after its initial design. Because of the unusual nature of the FreeRadical stays, using the ISO standard disc brake mount wasn’t possible. The only placement of the disc brake mounting tab required the following arrangement: use a 160mm Rear Disc Calliper Adapter with a 203 mm rotor. Avid made some minor changes to rotor sizes (203 mm rotor became a 200 mm rotor for instance). For best results, we recommend following the recommendations above exactly - don’t use the new Avid rotor standards, for risk of misaligned disc brakes.
32. Can I used an internal geared hub with my FreeRad? The FreeRadical can be used with 135mm spaced internally geared hubs, single speed hubs, and fixie hubs. In the case of internally geared hubs a tensioner (or old derailleur) should be used to maintain chain tension and allow clearance for the KickBack. Without this the KickBack (if used) will rub on the chain. If you’re converting a fixie, chain tension can be adjusted by sliding the FreeRadical attachment back in your (presumably horizontal) dropouts to achieve proper tension: do not use a chain tensioner on fixies.
33. Can I convert my FreeRad bike with an e-bike conversion kit? When converting an electric bike, it is important to make sure the front attachment plates will work with the chain stays. Due to the placement of the battery behind the seat tube, many electric bikes’ chain stays will be too wide for the front attachment plate to bridge they must be 2.25″ apart or less where the front attachment plate will cross them. Another important part to check is the OLD as mentioned before and the axle size many ebike hubs use axles that are larger than the 10mmx1 standard rear axle the FreeRadical is designed to work with. If you’re converting a FreeRad to be electric, keep in mind that you’re limited to 135mm hubs, and always use a torque arm unless it’s a BionX hub. Since ebikes travel at higher speeds than a regular cargo bike expect more wear and fatigue. Keep the French Nuts and front attachment plate bolt tight, and inspect the frame regularly for signs of fatigue or overload.
34. Where can I find a FreeRadical manual? You can find a PDF of the FreeRad manual here: https://www.xtracycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Xtracycle-FreeRadical-Assembly-Guide.pdf
35. Do you have a FreeRad anatomy chart? We do! You can find that PDF here: https://www.xtracycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Xtracycle-FreeRadical-Anatomy.pdf
36. What gauge steel is the FreeRad made from? 4130 Chromoly steel.
37. Did Xtracycle use to offer a 700c only wheel kit? If so, can this kit be adapter work with other wheel sizes? Yes, the original FreeRadical was for 700c wheels only. These original kits cannot be adapted to hold any other wheel size.
Still have questions about the Xtracycle FreeRadical kit? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help to answer your questions the best we can!