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  1. #1
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    Another Question About Racks With No Braze-Ons

    I recently picked up a beat up 1989 Trek 1200 road bike to take to college with me. I've fixed it up and now I'm trying to go about getting a rear rack installed (I've got a milk crate lying around, so I'll probably end up just using that on top for now). The basket/crate will be used mostly to just tote books and a few groceries and such. I will admit, I am a pretty novice rider and have had to google maintenence and order parts up to now as the local bike shop near campus is closed for a couple of weeks, so there's really nobody around here that I know to ask.

    My bike does not have braze-ons and after searching through several pages of threads, basically I've discovered that I should probably get a Tubus adapter kit. I see that the adapters should "work with most Tubus racks" but I don't have the money for a $100-200 Tubus rack. Will the adapter work for a cheaper rack from another brand? Am I missing a different viable option here? I know there's thread after thread on the topic of racks for bikes with no braze-ons, but it's been hard to wade through thus far.

    Thank you for any replies to help this beginner learn more about biking.

  2. #2
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    I've been wondering the same thing, as I'm interested in a Surly Pacer except that it doesn't have rear braze-ons for a rack. Surly's response was that if they added them they'd basically have a Cross Check...not really, but it's theirs to design as they like.
    2003 Specialized Crossroads Comp
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  3. #3
    Intrepid Bicycle Commuter AlmostGreenGuy's Avatar
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    P-clamps from the electrical section at Home Depot worked fine for me.


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    Do the p-clamps give enough support for the entire rack? There's no braze-ons for the top or the bottom part of the rack to attach.

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Axiom Streamliners are relatively inexpensive and designed for bikes without braze-ons.

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    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    +1 on the p-clamps. If you're on a budget and want to save a bundle, then go with the p-clamps.
    Simple to install. They will give you all of the strength you need. Mount them to the top and bottom. Shop around
    for a cheap rack. Ebay has some nice ones.

  7. #7
    Intrepid Bicycle Commuter AlmostGreenGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilcha View Post
    Do the p-clamps give enough support for the entire rack? There's no braze-ons for the top or the bottom part of the rack to attach.
    I don't know. I just use them for the top of the rack. My rear dropout has mounting holes for a rack.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tubus racks have 2 bolt holes at the bottom, the triangle thing , what you attach it to that bolt makes 3 ..
    that's where the stability comes from..

    lacking mechanical cleverness,
    You may have to live with using a Backpack...

  9. #9
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Another option is to get a rack that mounts to the seat post.

    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Another option is to get a rack that mounts to the seat post.
    [/IMG]
    I've tried:

    The Topeak RX rack. It cleared by thighs but was not stiff enough to keep a 10 pound pannier out of the spokes.

    An Axiom rack. I had to cut-off the front to clear the seat, and the huge clamp did not clear my thighs. It worked fine with panniers though.

    The Delta Post Porter (quick release). Did not clear my thighs. Worked fine with panniers.

    Transit. Almost cleared my thighs but wasn't usable. I didn't bother to try hanging anything on it but it seemed steady.

    A quick-release mount for the rack bottom or hiring a local frame builder to add eyelets is probably a better idea.

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Tubus racks have 2 bolt holes at the bottom, the triangle thing , what you attach it to that bolt makes 3 ..
    that's where the stability comes from..

    lacking mechanical cleverness,
    You may have to live with using a Backpack...
    I was just looking at racks... and saw the prices on the Tubus racks... what the heck are they made of, Unobtanium?

    I use a Blackburn rack right now... and am pretty satisfied with it, but sometimes the pannier hits the rear tire... and Topeak seems to make the only rack that has a longer frame aft. Everyone seems to price their racks at between 25 and 35 dollars US.... Tubus start about 120 dollars US... I just don't see why.

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    I'll go +2 on the p-clamps, with qualifications: they should be small enough to tighten them down for a firm grip on the seatstay.

    The 3-point rack mentioned earlier is another valid option. 4-point mounting is a little sturdier, but you aren't doing a major tour here - although, given the size and weight of textbooks, you can easily overload any pannier! The 3-point mount uses the brake bolt.

    None of these rack options are as good as a 4-point mount to braze-on fittings.

    For the bottom, steel frame dropouts used to always have a triangular cutout, and if they didn't have braze-on fittings, you could buy a rubber plug with a bolt through it that formed a compression fit in that cutout. That bolt would also fasten the lower end of the racks.

    For low mileage (imo < 5 miles each way), a courier bag is a good option as well, and I prefer it. Get a real courier bag, tho, not an imitation. The cut of the bag contributes to its stability when riding.

  13. #13
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    P clamps rock for the top attachment to the seat stays. But if you don't have eyelets on the dropouts for the bottom attachment, things can get pretty dicey with any weight in your load. Something that attaches to the axles is the next best, the Axiom link earlier is looking pretty solid.

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilcha View Post
    I recently picked up a beat up 1989 Trek 1200 road bike to take to college with me. I've fixed it up and now I'm trying to go about getting a rear rack installed (I've got a milk crate lying around, so I'll probably end up just using that on top for now). The basket/crate will be used mostly to just tote books and a few groceries and such. I will admit, I am a pretty novice rider and have had to google maintenence and order parts up to now as the local bike shop near campus is closed for a couple of weeks, so there's really nobody around here that I know to ask.

    My bike does not have braze-ons and after searching through several pages of threads, basically I've discovered that I should probably get a Tubus adapter kit. I see that the adapters should "work with most Tubus racks" but I don't have the money for a $100-200 Tubus rack. Will the adapter work for a cheaper rack from another brand? Am I missing a different viable option here? I know there's thread after thread on the topic of racks for bikes with no braze-ons, but it's been hard to wade through thus far.

    Thank you for any replies to help this beginner learn more about biking.
    The Tubus adapters work on other racks just fine. I have 2 bikes with two different racks using Tubus adapters on both the top and bottom of the racks. I also have the Tubus adapter on the top rack stays of a Tubus rack. There really isn't much difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
    I don't know. I just use them for the top of the rack. My rear dropout has mounting holes for a rack.
    P-clamps work for the top rack stays just fine. The top rack stays don't carry much load and they really don't need much more than relatively light p-clamps like the kind in your picture. However, if you are going to use p-clamps for the lower mount, the kind you used are too light for the job. There are some heavier duty ones out there which are cheaper than the Tubus but the Tubus would carry a heavier load then even those.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilcha View Post
    Do the p-clamps give enough support for the entire rack? There's no braze-ons for the top or the bottom part of the rack to attach.
    See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
    P clamps rock for the top attachment to the seat stays. But if you don't have eyelets on the dropouts for the bottom attachment, things can get pretty dicey with any weight in your load. Something that attaches to the axles is the next best, the Axiom link earlier is looking pretty solid.
    One of the advantages of the Tubus adapters is their ease of use over p-clamps. Since they have a separate bolt holding the clamp on to the seatstay (in either the rack stay or lower rack mount), they are easier to clamp the rack to than p-clamps. The rack can also be removed...leaving the adapters in place...if you don't want the rack for some reason.

    Racks that mount to the quick release are the least convenient mounts to use. When...not if...you have to change a tire, it's just more stuff you have to fiddle with.

    The rack is hard on the quick release skewer too. I have an Old Man Mountain rack that has a bent quick release. I never put more on the rack than a winter commuting load (maybe 15 lbs). The Old Man Mountain skewer is really long so you can get some serious leverage on the ends but any bicycle quick release skewer is still pretty light for putting much load on it.
    Stuart Black
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  15. #15
    bored of "Senior Member"
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    ^^ My bad. I was flashing back to an old rack that I had that attached to the AXLE for a bolt-on wheel where the axle extends past the drop out. Very sturdy. I support your skepticism of the weight bearing abilities of the normal quick release. I see the Axiom rack is a QR thing.

    Even with the stronger-than-normal QRs sold in the Tubus kit, you have a pretty limited load. They say 25kg -- a lot better than the performance some of the Amazon commenters reported for the Axiom, but a lot less than it's "110 lbs" some cited as spec'd.

    I do note that Tubus seems to target their seat stay adapter only to the TOP mount. Yes, it looks sturdy and better than the average P clamp. But, cycocommute, I can't tell -- are you suggesting using those for the bottom of the rack?
    Last edited by slcbob; 09-10-10 at 05:52 AM.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcbob View Post

    I do note that Tubus seems to target their seat stay adapter only to the TOP mount. Yes, it looks sturdy and better than the average P clamp. But, cycocommute, I can't tell -- are you suggesting using those for the bottom of the rack?
    Yes. I've got them on 2 mountain bikes that don't have rack mounts. I don't carry a lot of load on either but the Tubus adapters are much stronger than any p-clip. You do have to have the proper size, however.
    Stuart Black
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