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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 07-08-06, 05:02 PM   #1
chungaroo
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I just bought a rack, but...

I just bought a new seatpost rack (http://www.performancebike.com/produ...20_1981BLK.jpg) and I guess I thought it would be a cinch to use, but I'm stumped now on how to get any utility out of it. I can't seem to get stuff to stay on it, and the cargo net I got with it seems too tight. Seems like a silly post now that I think about it, but how do you guys use your racks? Should I buy panniers or a trunk? Or should I just find a crate and strap it on.. Anyways, happy commuting!
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Old 07-08-06, 05:21 PM   #2
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You could use a rack trunk, a dry bag bungeed on, a small day pack bungeed on, a milk crate strapped on....anything along that vein.
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Old 07-08-06, 06:30 PM   #3
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If I had one of those seat post clamp-on rear racks, I would use a trunk bag. Trust me. I know all about bags.

Actually, a trunk bag is the only type of bag I lack. Hmm.
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Old 07-08-06, 06:35 PM   #4
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Yep, trunk bag. If you decide you want panniers see my post in the trade thread, otherwise the trunk should serve you fine.
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Old 07-08-06, 07:11 PM   #5
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I have a trunk bag... but you definitely need some sort of bag/box/crate/etc. Stuff doesn't stay well on a rack by itself.. the only stuff I've had that stayed on was like medium-sized cardboard boxes or whatever.

Also bungee-type stretchy things are only useful for holding light items. In order to hold a heavy item, you wind up having to stretch 'em so tight you can't get 'em on.

In fact, the heaviest thing I've ever carried was a car battery... probably 50 lbs or so... I had no way to keep it on securely, so I went into a store and bought a roll of packing tape. Half a roll of tape later, it was nice and secure . WARNING: I do NOT recommend carrying a car battery on a seat-tube-clamp-style rack! I especially don't recommend barrelling down a hill at 30 mph and hitting a pothole with a car battery on your rack. My bike and rack and everything survived, but it wasn't a good feeling.
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Old 07-08-06, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
WARNING: I do NOT recommend carrying a car battery on a seat-tube-clamp-style rack! I especially don't recommend barrelling down a hill at 30 mph and hitting a pothole with a car battery on your rack. My bike and rack and everything survived, but it wasn't a good feeling.

Ah HAH! Now I know why your bike makes that 'whump whump whump' sound when you're passing me at high speed! It's the flat spot on your rim from that pothole!
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Old 07-10-06, 05:52 PM   #7
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I put lots of stuff on my Blackburn rack (bolt-on variety) and I usually don't have a box or crate or bag. Bungie cords, not skinny cheezy ones, work great, but you have to get creative with the bungies to hold some things securely. Used to strap a huge bag of our laundry in a military duffel (my dad's old duffel) on the rear rack and ride across town to the laundramat. No problem.

Would do it still today, but the wife doesn't let me ride across the carpet in the living room to the laundry room!

I do have a small trunk that I use for little stuff.
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Old 07-11-06, 04:53 AM   #8
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That rack lacks side supports so you cant really fix a pannier. A racktop is the only solution.
If your bike has threaded eyelets I would throw out the clamp-on and fix a proper Blackburn style fully triangulated rear rack.

The full top-plate is to protect you from road spray if you lack fenders. If you have fenders it is unneccesary and limits your fixing points. With a few simple cross-members you can use bungie chords and also fix bags so that thery dont shift about.
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Old 07-11-06, 07:39 AM   #9
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Ive had this bag for a few years and I love it. It has several pockets, and it expands bigger if you need it. It stays on very secure. Even when I flipped over the handlebars, the bag did not even come loose a little.. I use a bungie or two, when I have something heavier in it, just to make sure. I think its a Trek brand, not sure though. I tried to get a picture of it expanded, but since the bag was empty, it wouldnt stay expanded very well.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:03 AM   #10
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I'm not really a fan of seatpost racks. I use an Axiom rear rack that attaches down by the dropouts as well. Do you have all the attach points necessary for that? If not, then a seatpost rack will need to work.

Panniers are just about the best thing that ever happened to my commute. However, to use them on a seatpost rack you will need to get one that has the side pieces to prevent your panniers from leaning into your wheels, resulting in at least an annoyance...at worst a catastrophe.

A trunkbag like mudskipper depicted will be a way to get some great utility from that seatpost rack as well.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:14 AM   #11
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I have a Topeak seatpost rack that has rails for the accompanying Topeak trunk bag. it stays pretty secure. However, I originally bought it for my dual-suspension MTB (which has no seat stays) for the occasional picnic run with my wife and am careful not to load more than 15 lbs. on it. It has a claimed capacity of 20 lbs. And I'm careful not to ride with it on rough terrain. It's not a good idea to have something heavy with that amount of a moment arm oscillating up and down because you're bouncing around on a rocky singletrack. I'll occasionally use it on my roadbike too because the roadbike doesn't have any eyelets.

If you're looking for more flexibility and capacity, I would suggest trying to return the rack and getting a frame-mounted one... assuming your frame has eyelets.
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Old 07-11-06, 11:46 AM   #12
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I had that same rack on my MTB. I used bungie at first but they never got the stuff tight enough to stay on. I ended up buying a velcro strap from Home Depot. It worked great and is cheap. As for the bag, I was too cheap to buy the propper trunk and used one of those unsulated fabric type lunch boxes. It also worked awesome. Kept both my lunch and clothes fresh! And its lighter than a trunk.
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