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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-02-06, 06:53 PM   #1
fillthecup
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Rack-mounted 'trunk'

With all the talk of mounting things to racks, either permanent or otherwise, I thought I'd post my own approach. Here's my commuter in all its dusty glory. Cost $10 at a garage sale, and over two years I have eventually put on new rims, tires, seat, cables/housing, freewheel, chain, and front/rear derailleur. Total cost has been a bit over $200, but I've learned a lot (which was my point).

As you can see, the height of the toolbox made mounting a rear blinkie difficult. I bolted a hand-rail holder to the box, wrapped and epoxied inner tubing (epoxy is wonderful) around the end of that (to create a platform to mount my light), and mounted my Trek Disco Inferno onto that. Works fine, but I've struggled with vibration loosening the screws. Eventually solved with locktight, but now it points a little downward.
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Old 07-02-06, 07:00 PM   #2
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I'm a pack-rat by nature, so it allows me to bring my bike tools along. The toolbox itself is surprisingly light, but the weight of the tools adds up quickly, so it wouldn't be for everyone, but I see it as better exercise/training. The toolbox has a spot for a small lock, so I put my blinkies and etc inside and lock it when I run inside stores. Of course, any thief with even a small boltcutter would make short work of it, but it keeps honest folks honest.

The box is waterproof, so it's nice when I get caught in thunderstorms to stow my phone and wallet inside and enjoy the shower. I can also transport more delicate groceries (eggs, bread loaves) inside this when shopping, there's room.

Even though the plastic of the toolbox is sturdy, I reinforced the back of where I mounted the blinkie with a piece of basswood.
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Old 07-02-06, 07:07 PM   #3
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Last pics. To allow me to still use my rack to attach panniers, or in my case perma-mounted grocery crates, I put spacers under the toolbox using two pieces of basswood. I went overkill on the bolt lengths because my girlfriend was starting to pace and sigh heavily while I was perusing bolts at the hardware store. Just used the first ones I saw of the right size.

I put it on in January, after the cold weather caused my prototype effort (tupperware storage box) to shatter under vibration. The toolbox has since stood up to a full winter of commuting without problems.
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Old 07-02-06, 07:27 PM   #4
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nice work
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Old 07-02-06, 08:31 PM   #5
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I have thought about doing the same with a .50 cal ammo box. They are cheap at a surplus store, waterproof, and super durable. Only problem would be the weight though.

http://www.omahas.com/catalog/produc...3e5c496aaecb0b

5.5 lbs, ouch. Maybe not. Lol.
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Old 07-03-06, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fillthecup
Here's my commuter in all its dusty glory.
--- Thanks for the pictures of the innovative trunk for your real-world commuter. I especially like the spacers to accomodate panniers.
When the oil peaks out, the survivors will depend upon your kind of inventive resoucefulness. (Tell THAT to your GF)
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Old 07-03-06, 05:53 PM   #7
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I still like the soft pack idea. There used to be cartridge bags in olive drab canvas at surplus stores, the size of the .50 cal boxes, but web and canvas, so lighter. I have never been able to find one when I have gone looking recently. I think you could adapt one easily, though.
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Old 07-03-06, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHenry
I still like the soft pack idea. There used to be cartridge bags in olive drab canvas at surplus stores, the size of the .50 cal boxes, but web and canvas, so lighter. I have never been able to find one when I have gone looking recently. I think you could adapt one easily, though.
I went crusing through the bags section on that site.

http://www.omahas.com/catalog/produc...3e5c496aaecb0b

Hmm.

Though you can get the basic Nashbar rack trunck plus a rack for only a few bucks more though.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=
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Old 07-04-06, 10:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Univega
When the oil peaks out, the survivors will depend upon your kind of inventive resoucefulness. (Tell THAT to your GF)
Thanks, though I've seen much cooler home projects on this site. When the oil peaks out and society goes to pot, I don't know if my GF will do too well in my nomadic bicycle-commuting gang, though occasionally I do sound her out on it. There's still time though.

My trouble with the soft rack-trunks is 1) storage capacity, and 2) my worry about the ease of petty theft, and 3) cost. I imagine they're designed to be removed easily, and they can also be zipped open, or cut open, in moments.

The toolbox alone weighs maybe as much as one, maybe 1.5 lbs, and cost me $7 at Lowes. It could still be forced open, but it would take more than a casual effort, and it transports certain grocery items really well (soft fruits, eggs, bread etc.).
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Old 07-04-06, 11:21 AM   #10
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Great work. I really like the idea of a hard case on the back. It can't weigh too much more, it's bolted on, and fairly waterproof. For a dedicated commuter bike, seems like a good permanent sollution.

I would add some nylon or bungee netting strung across the inside top as a suspended hammock for carrying eggs. I have the hardest time getting eggs home from the grocery.
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Old 07-04-06, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fillthecup
My trouble with the soft rack-trunks is 1) storage capacity, and 2) my worry about the ease of petty theft, and 3) cost. I imagine they're designed to be removed easily, and they can also be zipped open, or cut open, in moments.
True. It seems that if you want security, a hard case is the only way to go. Or a kevlar lined bag. Haha.
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Old 07-04-06, 11:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I would add some nylon or bungee netting strung across the inside top as a suspended hammock for carrying eggs. I have the hardest time getting eggs home from the grocery.
That's a great idea. A hammock dealie inside the toolbox itself. Normally I put eggs in the box on top of something soft, but a net would make for a really cushy ride as long as it's cargo didn't swing too much. Thanks a bunch, that's exactly why I come to this forum.
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Old 07-05-06, 09:33 AM   #13
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Looks good! I'd like to do that to one of my beater bikes, and already have a rack and plastic toolbox not doing anything...

The extra-long bolts aren't a bad thing. You may someday want to install a boom off the rear of the bike for some purpose (trailer?) and you could mount it with a couple of nuts and lockwashers to the existing bolts.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:09 AM   #14
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Looks great! All of your work mounting the Disco Inferno may come to naught if the thin attachment point of that blinkie breaks off. That's what happened to me (seatpost mounted).

With the amount of time it sounds like you're carrying around eggs, though, you might not be abusing your blinkie as much as I did.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fillthecup
That's a great idea. A hammock dealie inside the toolbox itself. Normally I put eggs in the box on top of something soft, but a net would make for a really cushy ride as long as it's cargo didn't swing too much. Thanks a bunch, that's exactly why I come to this forum.
Of course -- follow up pictures.
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Old 07-05-06, 10:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mchaz
Though you can get the basic Nashbar rack trunck plus a rack for only a few bucks more though.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=
Can anyone comment on the quality of the FREE rack that come with this trunk? Is it sturdy enough to hold panniers?

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Old 07-10-06, 10:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fillthecup
That's a great idea. A hammock dealie inside the toolbox itself. Normally I put eggs in the box on top of something soft, but a net would make for a really cushy ride as long as it's cargo didn't swing too much. Thanks a bunch, that's exactly why I come to this forum.
Or maybe you could rig up a rubber band harness, kind of like the ones used for hard drives:




put two bolts/screws on each side, wrap the bands around them and you have yourself a pretty good egg crate harness. Just a thought.
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Old 07-10-06, 10:43 AM   #18
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Can anyone comment on the quality of the FREE rack that come with this trunk? Is it sturdy enough to hold panniers?

FYI, though the web site states this trunk bag comes with a rack as a free gift, the rack is discontinued and will not be shipped. I found this out *after* I placed my order. Thirty minutes after I placed my order, I checked the order status online and it was too late to change the order. I'll be returning the trunk rack up it's arrival. WTG, Nashbar.
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Old 07-10-06, 11:19 AM   #19
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have much rattling? All that hardware looks like something waiting to loosen & jiggle...
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Old 07-10-06, 11:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I have the hardest time getting eggs home from the grocery.
For eggs, I have a little army-surplus backpack, and put the breakable stuff in that and the rest on the bike.
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Old 07-10-06, 04:24 PM   #21
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Good work.

Next time you're at the hardware store, grab some lock washers. That'll put centexwoody's concerns to rest.

James
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Old 07-10-06, 05:15 PM   #22
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Good work.

Next time you're at the hardware store, grab some lock washers. That'll put centexwoody's concerns to rest.

James
Better yet, use locknuts that have a nylon insert crimped into the end (sometimes referred to as prevailing torque locknuts). Even if you forget to tighten them down all the way they won't vibrate loose.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:56 AM   #23
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In the seven months since I installed it, only my blinkie screw has come loose, but a lock-washer and a dab of Locktight solved that issue. When the toolbox is empty it's a quiet ride, but when my tools are in there they slide around and I can imagine that bothering some people. I've thought about putting some foam in the bottom with depressions to hold the tools in place and keep things from rattling.
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Old 07-11-06, 11:00 AM   #24
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Rattling Tools

If there's enough room in there for your tools to rattle, then you don't have enough tools.
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Old 10-23-06, 12:27 PM   #25
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Just saw this thread! Awesome.
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