Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

Oregon Manifest/Cargo Bikes – Part Two

Dan Boxer makes Boxer Bicycles. For the 2011 Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Challenge he came up with this “cycle truck” He told me it’s a departure from his normal bike, but he has a pretty new addition to the family (congrat’s Dan) and he wanted a utility bike that he could ride to the store and bring his son along.

Boxer Bicycles

160mm steel stem

Custom made 160 mm steel stem

Typically a cycle truck's front carrier is an extension of the frame, the steering is independent of the front rack.

One feature that does seem to recur with Boxers (I remember the same thing on his 2009 entry) is the chain catcher on the rear dropout. Instead of a cog, the 9th position on the 9 speed cassette body is a steel ring which is part of the frame. the last position of the 9 speed shift lever will drop the chain onto this ring where it stays while the rear wheel is removed in the event of a flat tire. I expressed my concern that I personally would continuously inadvertently shift onto the steel ring, but Dan said it’s a pretty short learning curve and it doesn’t happen that often.

Boxer Bicycles steel ring

The chain drops onto the small steel ring for easy, grease free removal of the rear wheel.

Folk Engineered / Discovery Charter School

The FE/DCS entry at the first checkpoint, where each rider was given two parcels to carry.

This was a tough course for a straight up "utility bike". Some riders expressed frustration with the length and number of hills.

“An industrial designer collaborating with a shipbuilder” is the description Art+Industry gives their working relationship. My initial reaction to a plywood bike is to wonder how durable it would be. But then boats and high performance aircraft have been made from wood for a long time.

Watching this bike being ridden up hill and out of the saddle I could see no flexing of the body. The designer, Michael Downs, was riding the bike and he was lamenting not having an easier gear. Another entrant who maybe was a little surprised by the difficulty of this ride for a full on, robust utility bike.

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