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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 07-27-06, 12:43 PM   #1
JerseyBoy
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Looking for Bike Lights & Racks. Help.

Am looking for a rack for my 10-mile r/t commute. I have been using a combination of backpack (including laptop) and bungee-cording a bag of clothes to the top of a child-seat mount rack (minus the child seat, of course). With a new bike, I wanted to look a little "professional" as I make my way to work in sweaty gym clothes. Also need to consider the need to have a safety light attach to whatever rack I get. I sometimes ride home after dusk (with a reflective vest) and wanted extra safety of a light.

Ideal Criteria for the rack and the light:
1) not too pricey
2) look good
3) light mounts easily on back of rack
4) not too heavy

any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 07-27-06, 01:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyBoy
Am looking for a rack for my 10-mile r/t commute. I have been using a combination of backpack (including laptop) and bungee-cording a bag of clothes to the top of a child-seat mount rack (minus the child seat, of course). With a new bike, I wanted to look a little "professional" as I make my way to work in sweaty gym clothes. Also need to consider the need to have a safety light attach to whatever rack I get. I sometimes ride home after dusk (with a reflective vest) and wanted extra safety of a light.

Ideal Criteria for the rack and the light:
1) not too pricey
2) look good
3) light mounts easily on back of rack
4) not too heavy

any ideas?

Thanks
Most anything will work. Mounting a rear light can be problematic but if the light can fit on a reflector bracket all of the racks come with one. My personal preference is a Delta Universal or Delta Mega Rack.
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Old 07-27-06, 01:17 PM   #3
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+1 on the Delta Mega rack.

There are lots of mounting options for rear lights. If you don't plan to use panniers, you might consider the left rear seat stay. If you do use panniers, the seatpost works well. I wasn't able to find any decent (i.e. more than 3 led) blinkies that mounted like a reflector.

Don't forget your front light. Anything is better than nothing when you're trying to be seen. A 3 led flasher or better on your handlebars is important at dusk or overcast/rainy days, and can be found cheap.
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Old 07-28-06, 02:34 AM   #4
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Some racks such as Tubus come with a metal plate welded onto the rear for mounting a reflector or LED lamp. This is by far the best place for a lamp, it is clearly visible, never obscured and protected form damage. You can leave bolt-on lamps permanently.
You can make any lamp fit anywhere if you are prepared to bend enough metal and make your own brackets and clamps but the rear rack welded bracket is so much better that you would be daft to buy a rack without one.

Bush and Muller make rear lamps for racks.
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Old 07-28-06, 09:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MichaelW
Some racks such as Tubus come with a metal plate welded onto the rear for mounting a reflector or LED lamp. This is by far the best place for a lamp, it is clearly visible, never obscured and protected form damage. You can leave bolt-on lamps permanently.
You can make any lamp fit anywhere if you are prepared to bend enough metal and make your own brackets and clamps but the rear rack welded bracket is so much better that you would be daft to buy a rack without one.

Bush and Muller make rear lamps for racks.
Some lights will mount to the reflector bracket. I think the Cateye TD-LD1000 is one but I'm not sure. The old Vistalite tail lights will fit on a reflector bracket. The problem with the Bush and Muller is that the mounting system is different from the standard bracket available in the US. I think it's a great product but I don't think you could mount it on just anything. It has to have the kind of bracket you see on the Tubus racks.

Look at the back of the lights and if they have a screw hole and a nub for placing them in a reflector bracket you can mount them on the rack (which is the best place to put them). Otherwise you have to be 'creative' about how you get them on.
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Old 07-28-06, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyBoy

Ideal Criteria for the rack and the light:
1) not too pricey
2) look good
3) light mounts easily on back of rack
4) not too heavy

any ideas?

Thanks
Tubus racks may break the requirement of "not too pricey" but they are definitely a rack you'll only buy once. The mounting spot for rear reflector/light is nice. My wife uses a Cargo rack with the 4D Toplight (takes 2AA). It's a big red reflector and light, stays attached permanent, and looks "clean."

I've also attached the Cateye LD1000 to the back of the rack on our Tandem.. with creative use of a couple zip ties. This is a great, bright LED taillight.
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Old 07-28-06, 02:54 PM   #7
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For the headlight, Check out the Nite Hawk Nomad Headlight 6v 4 D-Cell 5 watt light at Nashbar. Ihave one and for 19.99 it's not a bad light at all. I well be replacing the Bulb with the 10 watt 6 V bulb before to long. It well run for 9 hours on 4 D-cell batteries.
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Old 07-28-06, 03:31 PM   #8
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"not too pricy" kept me within LBS, REI, and Nashbar type findings. My second bike came equipped like a Breezer, and the rear mounted light on the rack is the way to go. I also found some very good lighting options at Peter White Cycles.
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Old 07-28-06, 03:35 PM   #9
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I'm not sure if the design changed, but my brand-spanking new Cateye LD1000 attaches to the reflector bracket on the back of my Topeak MTX rack. This is my recommendation:

Topeak MTX explorer rack
YOUR choice of MTX bag (I have the DXP, but I carry ALOT of stuff with me)
Cateye LD1000 tail (worth the money, THANKS BF!)

Kerry
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