Setups: Leland Nightingale

This is not so much a typical bike check but a look at an interesting bike setup employed by Leland Nightingale to get to and from the skatepark. The trouble when the nearest or best skatepark is a great distance away from your home is the pain it is to ride all the way there on your BMX bike, which many people will agree is not a very efficient bike to travel long distances. Not everyone has a car to get around, and for those that do, the current price of gas might have you rethinking that afternoon session. Leland decided to mount his BMX to the back of his touring bike as an ingenious solution to this problem and I asked him some questions about it. Click below to read what he had to say and a few more photos of his setup.

How long have you been using this setup?

I put this setup together sometime last spring but then immediately started working and didn’t have much time to really use it. This was kind of a version 1.0 that I made from a Campagnolo hub scrounged out of my local bike shops recycle bin and a strange bit of hardware from the hardware store that fit pretty nicely with the hub and it all seems to be working pretty good so far. Easy and simple with the quick release. A good rack definitely helps too.

What sort of distances have you taken your BMX with it?

I guess Ashbridges skatepark is the farthest place I have gone on it. I did a quick Google Maps and it shows nearly 13km each way, not too bad. I would like do a trip to my farm and back (roughly 200 km) on it just to see what it’s like to ride it in a real touring setting. It’s two good days of riding with an overnight each way.

Campagnolo quick release front hub mounted to a rear rack attaches the BMX to the big bike. Egg salad sandwich not included.

Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Well when me and my good friend Patrick started talking about and doing some bike camping (or cycle touring), it was always in the back of my mind that if I was going to all these new places I would sure like to have my BMX along too. I thought about ways of how something like this could work then I was told our friend Dave McCaig from Ottawa had already done this when he was traveling around Australia so I looked for some photos of his setup and took it from there (editor’s note: you can get a glimpse of this setup in the background in this photo).

Any problems you encountered with it so far?

Well this setup is pretty good for short trips like to a skatepark on the outskirts of town but I am not totally convinced anymore that I would bring my BMX on a long haul like the cross Canada trip I would love to do sometime. Because you carry all your own gear on the bike like tent, food etc. you really try and limit your gear and minimize weight. The thought of having an extra 22 or so pounds dragging behind me on a BC mountain climb just so I could BMX when I am in a city doesn’t seem worth it right now. Ideally I would be in beautiful rural settings most of the time anyways. No big problems. I try to use a new 20″ tube to strap the front wheel to the frame so I have a spare when I am BMXing but sometimes with rough bumps or near bails on streetcar tracks it doesn’t hold up so well. Oh yeah and BMX hubs are way louder than road hubs so that can kind of detract from a nice quiet ride on a country road.

What sort of looks or comments have you gotten from passersby when you ride it?

Yeah people are definitely confused when they see you riding by with a kids bike trying to hump your road bike. I am not sure what people really make of it or if they can reason whats going on. I am just a lazy guy that wants to go ride some fake street at a skatepark! I heard one mother explain to her kid the other day “He’s just trying to ride with four wheels honey”. Close enough.

Stop and go traffic in the city.

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