The rear deck on an Xtracycle longtail cargo bike is key to its passenger carrying ability. It's the back seat that most vehicles have, but your bike has been lacking. Most rear decks made by Xtracycle are strong enough for carrying a full size adult without a problem. However, not all decks are compatible with kid carrying accessories like the Hooptie and Yepp Maxi Easy Fit child seat. Here's how to identify which deck you have and what you can do with it.
The most common types of decks are SnapDecks, FlightDeck LT1's (Versions 1 and 2), and FlightDeck LT2's.
The SnapDeck was the original Xtracycle deck that came with our early bolt-on kits and complete bikes. Clean and simple, it was easy to attach and used natural materials. However, when we started carrying kids on our bikes, we needed something more solid. If you have a SnapDeck equipped bike and would like to mount a Hooptie (to safely carry children 4+) or Yepp Maxi EasyFit kids seat (for carrying passengers 1-4) to your bike, you'll need to replace it with a FlightDeck and Superhooks.
FlightDeck LT1, Version 1 (originally known as "FlightDeck")
The FlightDeck LT1 was our original kid carrying deck, and is still a well-built and versatile system for mounting many of our accessories, old and new. You can still mount a Hooptie LT2 with our Hooptie Retrofit Kit, although you will need to drill new holes and find longer bolts than those that come with the Retrofit Kit. While it is not set up for direct mounting of the Yepp Maxi EasyFit kid seat like our later FlightDecks, you can bolt on a Yepp-made EasyFit adapter and mount the seat that way.
Note: Even though we cut handles into it, it's not recommended that you use the FlightDeck handles for lifting the bicycle.
FlightDeck LT1, Version 2 (originally known as "FlightDeck 2.0")
The second-generation FlightDeck LT1 is an improvement on the original, offering the same strength and accessory compatibility in a lighter, thinner package. It also allows for the direct mounting of Yepp Maxi EasyFit kid seats (installation instructions here), once you cut out the pre-formed windows and installed additional SuperHooks at the seat mounting points. Aside from saving the weight of the adapter, this allows the seat to be mounted lower, for a lower center of gravity, and thus better handling with a load.
The FlightDeck LT1 2.0 is still available and is a great upgrade for those with older Xtracycles who are looking to mount some of our newer kid-carrying accessories, including the Hooptie LT2 with the Hooptie Retrofit Kit. New FlightDeck LT1 2.0's have the holes pre-drilled for the Hooptie Retrofit Kit, whereas pre-2016 FlightDeck LT1 2.0's may need to have holes drilled to mount the Hooptie Retrofit Kit.
The newest FlightDeck, the LT2 builds on the improvements of the FlightDeck 2.0 and achieves even lighter weight, lower center of gravity, and more secure attachment through integration with our new LT2 system. It does away with the SuperHooks and mounts directly to the LT2 V-Racks; for this reason it is only compatible with model year 2015 and newer bikes, and should not be retrofitted to older bikes. In order to mount the Yepp Maxi EasyFit kid seat, cut out the pre-formed window and mount front, rear, or both Xtracycle-made Seat Adapters. The FlightDeck LT2 is the new standard deck and will come stock on all Xtracycle bicycles and bolt-on kits going forward.
The decks listed above are by far the most common types of deck, and only the decks listed above should be considered appropriate for carrying passengers. However, there are other decks that have been made by Xtracycle and other companies, and that you may have. Here are a couple:
Surly Big Dummy Deck
Surly now makes their own rack for the Big Dummy, and it is great for strapping on big cargo loads. However, it is not compatible with any of our kid carrying accessories unless you replace the deck with an Xtracycle deck at Surly's recommendation. For more information on mounting Xtracycle Accessories to your Big Dummy, see this article.
TekDeck and TekDeck2.0
This was our most minimalist deck ever, intended mainly for those wanting light weight and mainly using their Xtracycle for cargo carrying, not passengers. If you have a TekDeck-equipped bike and are looking to carry passengers, best to upgrade to a FlightDeck.
Not even a deck, the Hoodie was a one-piece bag system that slipped over the top of the V-racks in place of the normal deck and bags, only intended for cargo carrying. If you have Hoodie and want to carry passengers, best to upgrade to a FlightDeck and X2 Bags.
Still have questions about what deck you might have or what you need to get set up to ride? Drop us an email at email@example.com and we'll make sure you're all set!