Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big Dummy Nick

A smiling Nick getting the full suburban cargo bike experience.
Over the past weekend, I helped my friend Nick put together his new bike. Following a plan to purge some of his lesser ridden bikes, he got himself a swanky new Big Dummy. I'll admit, this strategy of trading out a few old bikes for one new bike is something I have been heavily contemplating as of late.
Excited about all the tools and stuff in the bike barn.
Nick bought the complete bike version, so instead of building it up from a bare frame, a good deal of the parts were installed already. However, being a guy with definite ideas about what a bike should be, he brought along a few parts to swap out from the stock build. Notably, Nick selected a Brooks B-17, a Surly Open Bar, Ergon grips, and Silver friction bar-end shifters on Paul's Thumbie adapters instead of the stock components. We took a leisurely approach to installing and adjusting parts, and the process took a little longer than expected. But, in the end, we had fun and enjoyed a little side trip to the LBS along the way.
Over the course of a few hours the gigantic Big Dummy box was reborn as the fuselage of an aircraft.
The intrepid pilot flew this imaginary airplane on many exciting trips, including to Africa and San Diego.
Once the build was finished, we had a side-by-side comparison of old versus new. I bought my bare frameset several years ago when a complete bike was not an option. I was impressed with the quality and selection of parts on the complete bike, especially the beefy wheels. I noted a few minor changes in the frame as compared to my first generation Dummy. The different top tube design is the most obvious, but the newer version has a couple of additional braze-ons on the rear end to better accommodate the Xtracycle parts. I quite like the design of the new Tekdeck, with its connection hooks that have a superior grasp on the v racks as compared to the old wooden Snapdeck. I may have to look into getting one.
My 22" 2008 Surly Big Dummy next to Nick's 20" 2012.
Bent as opposed to sloping top tubes are the most obvious design difference.
Tekdeck on the left; homebuilt wooden deck on the right.
Girls like new and shiny things. The old Dummy is a little forlorn at the shift in attention.
Clouds began to grow menacing in the late afternoon, so we had to get Nick on his way to the ride back downtown. We escorted him on our Big Dummy to the Platte River trail access point for his route home.
Good-natured Nick graciously endured rampant little girl admiration.
An urban dweller bravely negotiating the wilds of suburbia on the way to the trail.
Co-pilot enjoying a snack on the ride home.


  1. I foresee a night ride to Morrison with Big Dummy Daddy, Bigger Dummy Nick and Biggest Dummy Josh. Nice post.

  2. You're on! Congrats on your new acquisition. The night ride may well last into the following morning, considering the quantity of refreshments we could haul on three Big Dummies.

  3. I'm more than a little late to the game, but what an entertaining post and what great pics.

  4. Thanks, Pat. You're generous with your praise for my pics, mostly taken with a low quality phone camera. I'll have to up my game to match what you've been producing.