Cycling: Fitting a Rack

The trail riding experience turned out to be fun at first, but the shine wore off quickly. Then I realized that I really did need to prepare the bike for commuter/tour riding. So I put the hybrid tires (flat-free!) back on along with the front fender. I sought out a bigger handlebar bag to carry my road-repair kit and the cable and lock. I also decided I didn’t want the seatpost mounted rack; I prefer frame mounted for that purpose.

I did the research. There are racks made to fit over disk brakes like mine, but the mountings were part plastic, which meant large surfaces to mount onto the frame and I doubted the side plates on my rear forks could accommodate that. But I knew it was possible to find other ways to fit the lower end of the leg on the brake side. So I ordered an Ibera PakRak (IB-RA16) for about $28 (US) on eBay and waited for it to arrive. I noticed it was one of the lightest of its type and the legs were adjustable for different wheel sizes.

Keep in mind that I use the local Ace Hardware store to supply the odd bits and pieces I knew I would need for this. All of the parts are based on 5mm normal threaded (i.e., not fine-threaded) bolts; this is common with bicycles. There are several threaded mount points in most frames. Mine offered two different sets of holes for the rack legs. I knew I could get metal sleeves to stand off the one of the brake side. When I checked, the end of the leg was just about 1/2 inch away from the threaded hole, but I also needed just a bit more clearance to keep from rubbing the break caliper. Ace offered a nice aluminum sleeve 3/4 inch long, which was too much, but nothing in between that and 1/2 inch. I took the longer one, gripped it lightly in a vise-grips and shaved it off 1/8 inch with a hacksaw. That gave me the perfect length. All it needed now as a longer bolt (30mm) to get a proper grip.

The other issue is that my bike frame has no threaded bosses on the seat brace tubes. The stay that comes with the rack was designed with a nicely curved hardened rod with a slight offset outward and either up or down as needed. I grabbed some 5/16-inch clear plastic water tubing and cut it to cover the ends of the stay so as not to mar the paint on the bike. Then I got a 50mm long bolt and matching lock-nut (nylon lock). I had to squeeze the ends together very tightly to get it all to fit, but it grips the seat tube very tightly.

I’ve already ordered a set of saddle bags (pannier) for those times I need baggage for a shopping trip or such. I’m also waiting to see if someone local can get me a proper fitting taillight. Several times I nearly lost the one I had rigged up on the other rack because it never did fit right. Who says being a mystic has to make you impractical?

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
This entry was posted in cycling. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cycling: Fitting a Rack

  1. Iain says:

    I like it!!


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