Nice Rack? But how do I get it on my bike?
June 3, 2010 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Bike/Cycling: Modern features + classic styling = fit problems. I want this rack to fit on this bike. Help me ponder modifications necessary to make it fit - or sadden me greatly and tell me I'm going to have to settle for something uglier.

I bought a steel framed bike with disc brakes and I love it. Wouldn't trade it for the world. It's somewhat classically styled with an unpainted / gloss coating, a goodly (but not overwhelming) amount of chrome, and brown drop wraps and saddle. It fits me better than anything I've ever ridden before and I love it.

Ideally, I want a constructeur rack like this one from Velo Orange on the back.

I know it's going to need modifications if I want it to fit. My first thought was just spreading the support legs wider and then spacing out the tang to mounting spot with a piece of metal and a longer screw. Would the weight transfer along that extra difference be a problem, though? Is there any other way to make it fit around the disc caliper?

Uses for rack: Putting a small, handbuilt wooden crate on it. It's 14x21 and weighs only a couple pounds. Not planning on carrying anything heavier than a bag full of groceries.
posted by brandoniain to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you verified that the rack legs will not clear the disk as-is? And have you tried contacting Velo Orange to ask for their advice?
posted by adamrice at 11:31 AM on June 3, 2010

From the photos, you have one rack boss on the rear axle mount of the bike, but no second set of rack bosses near the saddle. Is this true?

If so, I'm uncertain how any rack (let alone the VO) would be held stable along the single mount point — it would simply rotate in one direction or another, along the axis of the mount point.

That said, it's unclear how the VO rack, as pictured, would be held stable even if the bike had two sets of bosses, since the rack appears to have only one mount point on the tangs. It's almost like a mounting bracket is left out of the photo.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:42 AM on June 3, 2010

Ok, that rack looks like it is supposed to attach via 1) eyelets in your rear dropouts/track ends and 2) to two holes you drill in your rear fender/mudguard. Does your bike have any provisions for mounting traditional (metal, so you can drill holes in them) fenders, like those made by VO or Honjo?

What is the "mounting spot?" Is there an eyelet somewhere down there by the rear brake? Can you post a photo of the dropouts?

You might take a look at the various fittings made by Tubus (a German company that makes very nice but not retro-construecteur-stylish). You might be able to work out something, but, and this is a big but, the only thing that keeps that rack from swinging around (as far as I can tell) is the connection to the fenders.

"Normal" racks mount to the brake bridge between the seatstays (which will still be there on your bike, though it won't have a brake installed and may not even have a hole) or to eyelets brazed a little above there, and you might have better luck installing a model that does that. Nitto makes some nice ones.
posted by pullayup at 11:44 AM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and good luck! I'm sure you can work something out. It's not exactly what you're after, but I put one of these on a bike with no eyelets, no fenders and no brake-bridge hole, and it worked fine for the kind of stuff you want to do. Doesn't look exactly like it was made by, say, french trade-unionists in 1959, but it's very nicely hand-brazed and has a beautiful satin nickel-plate finish. Nitto makes some great stuff.
posted by pullayup at 11:49 AM on June 3, 2010

So there an installation page for the Veo rack here. It looks like it requires a fender/mudguard in order to installed properly. Without a metal fender I'm not sure if it's possible to mount at all.
posted by GuyZero at 11:53 AM on June 3, 2010

Response by poster: The bike has every braze on imaginable, as well as a brake bridge. It can accommodate full fenders and it has rack bosses a couple inches above the brake bridge on the seat stay.

The rack linked at Velo Orange has an optional metal strap/bracket that ties the rack into the brake bridge. That would be an obvious necessity for the rotating reason mentioned.

The mounting spot I referenced in the original question is the eyelet down by the brake/dropout.
posted by brandoniain at 12:01 PM on June 3, 2010

I think this rack would fit your bike just fine with the optional metal bracket to the brake bridge, provided your brake bridge is drilled (from the pictures, it appears that it is not). If it is not, your LBS should be able to drill it for you -- mine frequently drills out old brake bridges on steel bikes to fit newer caliper brakes, so I can't see that this would be any different.

I helped a friend attach a similar, but larger rack to a small colnago using the brake bridge strap (no bosses on the seat stays for a rack on that bike) and it has worked very well for him through commuting and touring.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 12:15 PM on June 3, 2010

a rack on a colnago? what?!?
posted by gijsvs at 12:44 PM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

The "Curry" frame looks drilled for rear caliper.
posted by supercres at 1:08 PM on June 3, 2010

I'm with M.C. Lo-Carb!, I don't see a huge problem here. At worst case you mught have to get a strap fabricated to reach to in the mounting pount on the rear-brake bridge, given that only the inside hole is drilled out. That should be a fairly simple thing to do though. The part Velo Orange supplies may even be long enough. A drill, pliers, a file and a free hour should do the job.
posted by bonehead at 1:19 PM on June 3, 2010

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