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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lord Chambers's Avatar
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    Racks mounted without eyelets and the catastrophic failures which love them.

    I've been looking at a lot of bikes and have settled on the Tricross over other models which suit my needs because it has front fork eyelets and I have touring in my foreseeable future. However I have been reading about Old Man Mountain racks which mount on the brake bosses, as well as people using rubber adaptors to mount racks on bikes without eyelets on the front or the rear.

    After looking far and wide for a deal on a used Tricross and coming up short I've been pondering whether eyelets should be such a selling point for me. Mechanically speaking, does the frame actually bare the weight more robustly when attached via eyelet screws? Should rubber adaptors and brake bosses be considered compromises? Should eyelets be preferred to these other options, or are they all viable and interchangeable? I've assumed that since eyelets are "built in" to the frame they are a superior option for loaded touring but without any real experience or knowledge of why this would be true or false.

    Specific to the Tricross, it has a carbon fork with eyelets. Carbon sometimes gives people catastrophic failure anxiety. Does that enhance the need to use a rack which mounts on the fork eyelets or diminish the need?

  2. #2
    cab horn
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    If you're going touring with racks and panniers a specialized tricross is 100% the *wrong* machine to do it on. You *really* want to reconsider this purchase for touring.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  3. #3
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    It probably depends on whether the eyelet is brazed on or is an integral part of the frame (such you see on some rear dropout eyelets which are just a hole tapped through an enlarged part of the dropout, or front fork mounts which pass entirely through the fork blades). And I'm sure the quality of frame construction plays into is as well. I could see an argument for a sturdy clamp band (like the ones Tubus sells) being stronger than a braze-on eyelet, but those are usually used for the rear seatstay supports which don't take much weight anyway (not sure what the load distribution is like on front racks). I don't know if eyelet failure is considered a common problem in loaded touring circles.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Chambers View Post
    I've been looking at a lot of bikes and have settled on the Tricross over other models which suit my needs because it has front fork eyelets and I have touring in my foreseeable future. However I have been reading about Old Man Mountain racks which mount on the brake bosses, as well as people using rubber adaptors to mount racks on bikes without eyelets on the front or the rear.

    After looking far and wide for a deal on a used Tricross and coming up short I've been pondering whether eyelets should be such a selling point for me. Mechanically speaking, does the frame actually bare the weight more robustly when attached via eyelet screws? Should rubber adaptors and brake bosses be considered compromises? Should eyelets be preferred to these other options, or are they all viable and interchangeable? I've assumed that since eyelets are "built in" to the frame they are a superior option for loaded touring but without any real experience or knowledge of why this would be true or false.

    Specific to the Tricross, it has a carbon fork with eyelets. Carbon sometimes gives people catastrophic failure anxiety. Does that enhance the need to use a rack which mounts on the fork eyelets or diminish the need?
    It's all about design. A touring bike needs to be long and have neutral handling to provide comfort and stability. A quick handling bike like a road race bike is too difficult to handle when you've loaded the frame with an extra 50 lbs of gear. With the extra load, the steering becomes even quicker and you have to work harder just to keep the bike under control. After a long day that gets very old. After a week, you'll be here



    Frames with the eyelet already attached have them at the optimal place for keeping the load low (better center of gravity) and further back (less heel clipping issues). Try loading 30 lbs on a seat post rack and you'll immediately see the reason why you want the load low. Racks that have to be mounted with P-clips are often too high for carrying a reasonable load without compromising handling and, I'd suspect, be prone to twisting especially on the lower part of the seat stay. Even a flexy rack mounted to eyelets can effect handling while riding. A rack that twists would make matters even worse.

    The carbon fork issues are probably overblown. Tourists tend to be the most retro of retrogrouches. They are very slow to embrace change. Heck, they don't like that new fangled metal call aluminum There are some issues with carbon fiber and quality...I've had some carbon parts fail but, then, I've had steel and aluminum parts fail. The Specialized fork does concern me for use with touring, however. Not knowing how they put it together, the zertz insert seems like something that could compromise the strength of the fork, especially with a load.

    Finally, I'll agree in part with operator...but only in part. The Tricross isn't really a touring machine. It can be used that way and you probably would notice the difference until you threw your leg over a loaded touring specific bike. The geometry is not optimal for loaded touring. The gearing is high but then it's high on some 'good' touring bike. For the price, you'd get a better touring bike in a Cannondale T2 without sacrificing too much in the way of zippiness. The LHT Complete is much less expensive but it is a little heavier than the T2.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Lord Chambers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    For the price, you'd get a better touring bike in a Cannondale T2 without sacrificing too much in the way of zippiness.
    I'll check it out.

    While we're early in the thread I'd like to point out my plans and use of the Tricross aren't part of my question. We're in the Mechanics forum talking about whether eyelets are mandatory, useful, optional, or worthless.

  6. #6
    Just for fun... coldass's Avatar
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    I think eyelet mounts are more elegant, but bands are just as functional because...... If you need to carry a lot of weight on a tour, trailers are a better alternative to racks (the case if you need front mounts).

    Therefore I have concluded if you want a rack for utility - like commuting - get a frame with mounts. If you use a rack for 'light' tours or 'events' that need minimal gear, boss, hub and band mounts are sufficient and in the case of boss and hub mount perhaps superior. But as soon as weight is needed to be managed, then tow your load.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Eyelets are preferable over no eyelets. Your bike won't explode into a million pieces if you use clamps instead.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  8. #8
    Senior Member jchabalk's Avatar
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    Lord Chambers - long shot here - but where are you located and what size TriCross are you looking for? PM me (i'm located in the san francisco bay area)

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