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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 05-12-08, 01:21 PM   #1
caseyclan
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newbie has a rack question

Greetings,
I have been reading the posts on this site for several days, and I am very impressed - great site! I am currently planning to start bike commuting to my place of employment, which is approximately 7 miles one way with decent hills but nice scenery. Anyway, I am slowly outfitting my bike - a 2006 specialized sirrus, and recently added fenders. However, when i began pursuing the option of adding a rack for panniers, I noticed that my fenders used the only spot (threaded hole) for adding accessories. Is there another option for using a rack? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:25 PM   #2
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You could ditch the rear fender you have and get the type that fastens to the seatpost instead.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:30 PM   #3
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use longer mounting bolts and use both on the same hole
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Old 05-12-08, 02:36 PM   #4
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use longer mounting bolts and use both on the same hole
What I did.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:45 PM   #5
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use longer mounting bolts and use both on the same hole
+1
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Old 05-12-08, 03:00 PM   #6
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use longer mounting bolts and use both on the same hole
If you can, put the rack strut on first and the fender strut outside that. The rack carries the load so it needs to be right next to the frame.

On my bike the rack and fender struts cross each other and squeak, but oiling the crossover point helped.
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Old 05-12-08, 06:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions, however, when I took the old rack I had and tried placing it in position, it wouldn't work correctly - doesn't seem to be enough clearance for the fender underneath it. Are there various "heights" of racks?
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Old 05-12-08, 06:40 PM   #8
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Don't do what I did after I bought a new Rack and Pannier set for my bike.

I went into class and announced to the students that they should see my new $300,00 Rack and panniers.

Before I got to the panniers part they erupted into gales of laughter and told me I got a better deal than "Suzie Q", she paid thousands for hers.

Yeah, I turned red.

Steven
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Old 05-12-08, 08:06 PM   #9
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My rack has threaded holes for mounting fenders. And it's a cheapie.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:24 PM   #10
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I noticed that my rack I tried to recycle from an old bike has a smaller threaded hole above the larger one normally used for mounting to bike frame. Perhaps it is intended to mount fenders at that point. My concern is that the fender stays are at an odd location on the fender that one must come out through the opening in the rack to mount at the threaded hole, thereby making it a potential problem for using a pannier. Additionally, the fender seems too high to use under the rack. Do racks come in different height sizes for different bikes? Or, are they one size fits all?
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Old 05-12-08, 08:53 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions, however, when I took the old rack I had and tried placing it in position, it wouldn't work correctly - doesn't seem to be enough clearance for the fender underneath it. Are there various "heights" of racks?
I'm surprised the rack is too short for adding fenders under it. Usually racks are tall enough for that. Check if the one you have has feet that can be screwed out to lengthen them.

Any pictures?
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Old 05-13-08, 06:40 AM   #12
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It does not have an extendable leg. I bought the rack back in 2000 (?) I think. Its a performance Trans it - great rack, and very solid. At the time, I was attending Georgetown University, and commuted to classes via the bike routes in Arlington. Got a great deal on the trans it pro panniers ( a mistake on pricing by Performance, but they willingly gave me the panniers at the price listed). Only commuted less than a year, and never really used the panniers again. They are still in great shape, so I thought I would use them once I got started. Just have to find a rack that fits. I will post a picture of the rack once I get home.
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Old 05-13-08, 06:52 AM   #13
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My fenders (SKS) have adjustable length struts, so the fender can be positioned wherever I want. There is a second mounting hole on my rack, where I could have attached the fender struts, but I used a longer bolt and mounted both the fender and rack through the same eyelet on the frame.
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Old 05-13-08, 06:54 AM   #14
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Sigh.

As I previously mentioned...thirteen whole dollars and you're done.
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Old 05-13-08, 11:44 AM   #15
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Seatpost fenders only keep spray off your back,and the rack would do this anyway.

caseyclan: Try going to a shop and see what they have that will work. You could also modify your rear fender. You could chop the fender off at the seatstay bridge,since the rack covers that part anyway,and leave the front of the fender between the seat and chainstay bridges. Then you could just add a mudflap to the rear of the rack.
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Old 05-13-08, 08:00 PM   #16
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Yes, there are different sizes of rack. I currently use a slightly undersized one, as my LBS didn't carry the larger ones. In my case, I attached a rack extender (by Apex fenders) to keep the spray off my back.
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Old 05-14-08, 10:31 AM   #17
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Ngchen,
What exactly is a rack extender?
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Old 05-14-08, 10:55 AM   #18
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A rack extender is simply a piece of plastic that's bolted to the rear of the rack, in order to extend the coverage provided by the rack from the road spray. Incredibly simple, yet surprisingly hard to find (google it for images). I got my latest extender online.
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Old 05-14-08, 11:56 AM   #19
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The Specialized Sirrus is totally compatable with full-sized bolt-on fender and luggage rack. Dont use any of the hack solutions above such as clamp-on MTB fender of top-plate extenders. You resort to these if your bike is not designed for commuting.
It sounds like the vertical stays of your rack are too short. You should get another rack with longer legs. My rack sits about 5mm above my fenders which is enough clearance.
If you get another rack, you dont need a top plate (you have a fender) ; the skeleton style are more versatile for attatching bunjie chords. Look for a rear light bracket for a bolt-on lamp or reflector.
Some racks have adjustable height legs. This may be useful if you switch the rack between diffferent bikes but generally you want a rack to be as simple as possible, the fewer bolts the better.

When you have only one eyelet at the bottom, the rack stays should next to the frame with the fender stays next, then a washer. Use a 5mm stainless steel allen bolt of suitable length with a greased thread. The bolt should emerge on the inside of the eyelet with a few theads visible.
Single eyelets fittings are fine even for heavy loads. The only issue may be some bending of the fender stays required to fit around the rack.
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Old 05-14-08, 01:15 PM   #20
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[quote=sauerwald;6685188]My fenders (SKS) have adjustable length struts, so the fender can be positioned wherever I want. There is a second mounting hole on my rack, where I could have attached the fender struts, but I used a longer bolt and mounted both the fender and rack through the same eyelet on the frame.
sorry wrong post
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Old 05-14-08, 01:16 PM   #21
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Sigh.

As I previously mentioned...thirteen whole dollars and you're done.
Very very Fugly
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Old 05-15-08, 07:00 AM   #22
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MICHEALW,
Thanks for the clear and concise reply! I suspect my current rack is of the smaller variety - the top of the fender pushes against it when I try placing the rack in position. Yes, I could adjust the fender stays to drop the fender down more, but it is a perfect distance from the tire now, and if I bring it down any more, I think it may increase the risk of rubbing against the tire. As much as I would like to recycle my rack, I may be better served getting a larger one. Too bad there isn't an aftermarket device that serves as an extension for racks that need to be heightened "just a bit". Thanks again for your suggestion, and to all other members who provided suggestions as well. This is a great site!
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