Bicycle Mechanics - Pannier Rack/ Trailer attaching question.
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03-20-09, 03:54 PM
So here it is in a nutshell. I am planning a long distance tour this summer. I was planning on using my dads old, but nice quality road bike to ride this trip. But the guys at my LBS said that it could not support a rack system because of something to do about the axle, perhaps its length is the problem. So after resigning to get a new bike, I'm low on cash, my dad suggested why don't I simply purchase a different and longer axle that could support either racks or a trailer, so I can worry about a new bike for next years trip when I have time and a job. Do racks and trailers attach to the inside or outside of the rear forks? And is there a reason that might not work.
Thanks, and please respond in the least technical manner, I'm still learning all the jargon.
03-20-09, 05:44 PM
I'm not too sure what you would mean about the axle being too short for a rack- usually racks attach to eyelets on the rear dropouts- little screw holes near where the axle goes into the slots (the dropouts). If you don't have any eyelets, people often attach racks using p-clamps to their seat stays (the two thin tubes that go from the seat to the dropout) near the dropout. But p-clamps can wear the paint on the frame, so many people prefer to use a trailer to haul their gear. That might be where the bike shop got the idea that your axle is too short- trailers often attach using a special skewer through the axle to hold the coupling, and older bikes have 120 or 126 mm between the dropouts, where newer bikes have 130 mm between the dropouts. I bet you could get a shorter skewer from the trailer manufacturer rather than a longer axle.
03-20-09, 05:52 PM
O yeah, I meant skewers. By axle, I meant the quick release mechanism put through the wheel. See, told you I was still learning. Don't you mean longer skewer though?
03-20-09, 06:12 PM
Your axle is not the attachment point for a rack... the frame is. Possibly the problem your bike shop was alluding to was that the old bike has a "Freewheel" equipped hub in the rear wheel. With this type of hub, the bearings that support the weight of the bike are close to the middle of the axle and this makes the axle prone to bending or breaking. Newer bikes fo not have freewheels - they have 'freehubs' in which the bearings are closer to the ends of the axle. Freehubs can support much more weight than a freewheel - equipped hub.
Do racks and trailers attach to the inside or outside of the rear forks?
Does the frame have rack attachment points on the seat-stays and the fork-ends/drop-outs?
Your axle is not the attachment point for a rack... the frame is.
While the majority of racks are made to be attached to the frame, there's a couple of 'Old Man Mountain' (http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/RackPages/RearRacks.html) racks that attach to the axle if there's no mounting points on the drop-outs/fork-ends :
P-Clamps are often used to attach racks to seat stays if there's no mounting points on them:
'Bob Trailers' (http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/trailer_specs.php?product_id=10) are attached to the bike with a special skewer or axle nuts which the trailer forks are clamped onto:
03-20-09, 09:05 PM
Some trailers attach between the outside of the left dropout and the quick-release skewer's cam. If your quick-release skewer is too short for this, just get a new quick-release skewer, not a whole new bike.
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