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Old 05-22-13, 07:08 PM   #1
LiteraryChic
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A Rant & Some Advice

Okay, let me start off by saying that I apologize, but I need to vent about something that happened tonight when I was at Performance Bicycle. I am NOT in anyway bashing them, as my local PB has been very helpful (sans the exception of one person), however, I am little irked at them at the moment. I went with my Dad (I needed to use my parent's truck, as I do not yet have a bicycle rack for my Ford 500) to PB for them to put the rack on Lola (for those of you unfamiliar with her, she is a 2012 Schwinn Voyageur 7 - my first bicycle since I was a child & my first commuter). Anyway, long story short, they ended up semi-sorta showing my Dad, and I how to put it on and we are going to work on it in a few days. My worry is that the rack itself (a Transit TS-1 Rear Rack) does not look as though it will fit on Lola. I am also worried, because I want to put fenders on in the near future, and it looks like it might be a tight squeeze back there, and the rack states it can hold up to 40 lbs, but I am very unsure of this.

Anyway, I am venting, because when I purchased Lola (well, she was a b-day gift) last March/April, I was told from PB that she would make a good commuter, and a rack with panniers, lights, fenders, and a handbar bag (which are the only add-ons I want/need for her - as of right now I have the rack (ugh, what a mess) and the panniers/handlebar bag) would be nice additions and no problem for her to handle. Well, as much as I love Lola, and I do, she is lightweight, comfy, and aesthetically-pleasing, I am afraid I have been screwed. I bought her, because I fell in love with her vintage/modern feel, but also because she was a good price and I was/am on a tight budget, especially since this is all new to me. I truly do not want to have to exhange her, but I am afraid it may come down to that.

On another note, sorry I am rambling, I went into PB, and asked to talk to the guy about fenders. Well, he took me over and we were chatting about Planet Bike's SKS Plastic Fenders when I asked how fenders in general handle roadspray, are they truly necessary for commuting etc. He just kind of looked at me, as though I was from another planet, and asked what roadspray was. Now, I understand that I am a newbie to the whole world of bicycles, but I try to do my homework, pay attention, learn etc. Now, wouldn't you think that if you worked in a bicycle shop that you would at least know the basis of what you are talking about?

On another note, PB is great with returns/exhanges. Last week, I took my Nutcase helmet in Hula Lounge in there to see if they woudl exchange it, because for some reason the helmet felt as thought it had shifted and did not feel right on me anymore, and true to their word they did! I know own the Nutcase helmet in Moonbeam. My dream helmet is a Yakkay, but that will have to wait a little while.

Oh, on a side note, even with my panniers, and handlebar bag (mainly, because I am not sure if they work yet due to the fact that I can't get the damn rack on and have not yet placed the handlebar mount on Lola to try the bag) does anyone have any thoughts on the Koki TukTuk? I was thinking a small one for under my seat with stuff for fixing a flat etc.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Any advice?

Thanks for "listening"!
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Old 05-22-13, 07:51 PM   #2
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I don't have experience with this particular bike or rack, but just from looking at the pictures, you should be able to get a rack and fenders on that bike. I don't think they screwed you.

It may take some tinkering to make it work. It usually takes some tinkering to fit both rack and fenders at the same time. Some racks will work better on certain bikes than others, so don't be afraid to take that one back if you can't make it work. Try installing it. If you get stuck, post pictures and we'll try to help.

Once you do get the rack installed, if it's not clear if a fender will fit or not, take pics and measure the space between the rack and rear tire. Some racks have longer legs than others, and there is a good chance that something will work.
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Old 05-22-13, 08:26 PM   #3
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Racks always take some fooling around. You usually have to modify the strut that connects to either the seat stays or the brake bolts. Modify = bend. Ask around and get some advice. It's not hard but you need to take your time and do a good job.

J.
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Old 05-22-13, 08:33 PM   #4
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Racks and fenders are designed so that they can be used on a variety of bikes. However, because bikes can be so different from one another, getting them on right can require a bit of fiddling. You may be correct that this combination of bike, rack, and fender won't play well together, but I'm guessing it can be done though there may not be much space between the rear fender and the rack when it's all together.

As to the lack of knowledge regarding "road spray", some bike shop staff are more comfortable dealing with recreational riders and their needs vs commuters. It's too bad but i think it's getting better.
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Old 05-22-13, 08:36 PM   #5
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Like Spld Cyclist said, looking at the pictures I could find online rack and fenders should fit. I usually find it easier to mount the fenders before the rack.
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Old 05-22-13, 08:37 PM   #6
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As for the roadspray comment. Some people won't take their bikes out if the roads are damp so they have no familiarity with roadspray and skunk stripes.
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Old 05-22-13, 08:47 PM   #7
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I think I only see one set of eyelets for racks/fenders on the model of your bike, so what I'd do personally is use the eyelets for the rack and get some "P-Clamps" when you get the fenders and use those to hold the fender struts. It's possible to put both rack and fenders into the same eyelet using screws that are the correct length to fit both together, but I like to have the rack have top priority on sturdyness. Plus the fenders don't support weight, so "P-Clamps" are ideal in this situation, if not the most pretty...

As long as the rack sits about 2 inches or so over the wheel you should have plenty of room for the fender.

Also, 40 lbs is a lot of weight, it's unlikely you're going to ever want to load it up that much I have a touring bike made to handle a load and I don't think I've ever ridden with that much weight on the rear rack alone...
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Old 05-22-13, 08:51 PM   #8
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I have gone to different shops around here and some of them really don't get the whole commuter thing, so I'm not that surprised about the roadspray comment. The place I bought my Sirrus from seem shocked that I wanted fenders, even though I live in a place that has a lot of rainy days. They did, however, put them on :-).

I'd be very surprised if you couldn't get a rack and fenders on your bike though judging from photos I just found online, including one of a 2011 model with a rear rack and fender: http://ridewithgps.com/gears/21813
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Old 05-22-13, 09:19 PM   #9
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I agree. That bike will take fenders and rack, and probably that particular rack will fit, with some work. I would use long bolts to mount both rack and fender struts to the eyelet, as P-clamps can mar paint.

You didn't say how mechanically inclined you are. If you are not at all (mechanical), then have a bike shop install the rack and fenders. Maybe Performance Bike, maybe someone else. If you are somewhat (mechanical), with tools and a hardware store to buy longer stainless steel Allen head bolts, then you can do it yourself.
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Old 05-22-13, 09:25 PM   #10
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I sort of feel for you. Without experience, you wouldn't know that the Schwinn Voyageur 7 and all modern hybrids with funky sloping top tubes have challenges with rack mounts, especially with 700c tire clearance. Why? Because if they have a braze on mount, it's too damn low for a 700/27 inch wheel clearance rack. Yes, you can jury rig it to fit, but that involves maximum cantilevered support tabs resulting in weak front end rack stability. Hate it. So if you're lucky, go with a 26 inch mtb rack. Might fit, but then it's just barely clears the tire on a 700x35c tire, with possibly insufficient room for fenders. Starting to visualize this?

So my daughters Schwinn frame is a Sierra GS for 26 inch tires and the mtb rack, although a little over stretched to reach the super-low braze ons, is still okay. She's not doing fully loaded touring and descending down the switchbacks of the French Alps. But I can see immediately, where my install with std hardware would fail on a 700c bike. My wife's hybrid is 700c, and she has no rack installed yet for this reason. I do have a fall back and that is to attach at the seat stay bridge using a single, central strut. But instead of the standard hardware, I find myself jury-rigging a far stiffer piece of flat steel and drilling it and machining it to make the tab stiff. But that's the only way to preserve stability of the rack and allow for fenders still.

But you don't find a lot of commuter-type Scattante's at PB, do you? They're more into selling bikes to the fast/recreation crowd. I have friends and colleagues that wander into those shops, blow like $1000 on a bike and accessories and then it collects dust. Commuting is a journey into utilitarianism. It's about a lifestyle choice that dictates the major mode of your transportation, which is huge. And PB may not get it, although I'm sure quite a few employees do commute there by bike. They just may not be working the sales floor, which is a shame. Sounds like you need to talk to an employee that eats his shop's own dog food... or umm, rides his shop's own bikes.
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Old 05-23-13, 10:09 PM   #11
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As for the roadspray comment. Some people won't take their bikes out if the roads are damp so they have no familiarity with roadspray and skunk stripes.
I know, I just thought it was funny. Now, that I think about it, I hope he didn't think I was too rude! Oops! I certainly did not mean to come off that way.
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Old 05-23-13, 10:12 PM   #12
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Thanks terrapin44. Seeing that pic made me feel a lot better!
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Old 05-23-13, 10:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
I sort of feel for you. Without experience, you wouldn't know that the Schwinn Voyageur 7 and all modern hybrids with funky sloping top tubes have challenges with rack mounts, especially with 700c tire clearance. Why? Because if they have a braze on mount, it's too damn low for a 700/27 inch wheel clearance rack. Yes, you can jury rig it to fit, but that involves maximum cantilevered support tabs resulting in weak front end rack stability. Hate it. So if you're lucky, go with a 26 inch mtb rack. Might fit, but then it's just barely clears the tire on a 700x35c tire, with possibly insufficient room for fenders. Starting to visualize this?

So my daughters Schwinn frame is a Sierra GS for 26 inch tires and the mtb rack, although a little over stretched to reach the super-low braze ons, is still okay. She's not doing fully loaded touring and descending down the switchbacks of the French Alps. But I can see immediately, where my install with std hardware would fail on a 700c bike. My wife's hybrid is 700c, and she has no rack installed yet for this reason. I do have a fall back and that is to attach at the seat stay bridge using a single, central strut. But instead of the standard hardware, I find myself jury-rigging a far stiffer piece of flat steel and drilling it and machining it to make the tab stiff. But that's the only way to preserve stability of the rack and allow for fenders still.

But you don't find a lot of commuter-type Scattante's at PB, do you? They're more into selling bikes to the fast/recreation crowd. I have friends and colleagues that wander into those shops, blow like $1000 on a bike and accessories and then it collects dust. Commuting is a journey into utilitarianism. It's about a lifestyle choice that dictates the major mode of your transportation, which is huge. And PB may not get it, although I'm sure quite a few employees do commute there by bike. They just may not be working the sales floor, which is a shame. Sounds like you need to talk to an employee that eats his shop's own dog food... or umm, rides his shop's own bikes.
Thanks. I have found a few bike shop in Ann Arbor, but unfortunately, I am not in the area for the summer, so I cannot go there until about August. I agree that PB tends to sell more to racers, recreation etc.

I'm afraid to say that I tend to be one of those people who falls into something quick and fast! I get obsessed with things, learn all I can, then lose interest. However, since I began taking up cycling/commuting last Spring, my interest has not waned, even though I was unable to ride during the Winter (I'm not quite sure about Winter riding/commuting yet).

Thanks!

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Old 05-23-13, 10:16 PM   #14
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I agree. That bike will take fenders and rack, and probably that particular rack will fit, with some work. I would use long bolts to mount both rack and fender struts to the eyelet, as P-clamps can mar paint.

You didn't say how mechanically inclined you are. If you are not at all (mechanical), then have a bike shop install the rack and fenders. Maybe Performance Bike, maybe someone else. If you are somewhat (mechanical), with tools and a hardware store to buy longer stainless steel Allen head bolts, then you can do it yourself.
I am not too mechanically inclined. My Dad is a little, so even I was surprised when he had trouble trying to put it on (he's an electrician). But, I am looking to learn a litte, the basics, so that I can take care of Lola and not have too pay for maintenance (well, too much anyway),
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Old 05-23-13, 10:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by J.C. Koto View Post
I think I only see one set of eyelets for racks/fenders on the model of your bike, so what I'd do personally is use the eyelets for the rack and get some "P-Clamps" when you get the fenders and use those to hold the fender struts. It's possible to put both rack and fenders into the same eyelet using screws that are the correct length to fit both together, but I like to have the rack have top priority on sturdyness. Plus the fenders don't support weight, so "P-Clamps" are ideal in this situation, if not the most pretty...

As long as the rack sits about 2 inches or so over the wheel you should have plenty of room for the fender.

Also, 40 lbs is a lot of weight, it's unlikely you're going to ever want to load it up that much I have a touring bike made to handle a load and I don't think I've ever ridden with that much weight on the rear rack alone...
Thank you for the advice. I was worried about the weight capacity for the rack, because my panniers can hold up to 15 lbs each with up to 5 lbs on the handlbar bag. I don't think that I'll load up to max capacity on any of them. I am a little worried about riding with one pannier that has my MacBook, and then not having any weight on the other side (it's a balance thing, especially with my physical disability).
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Old 05-23-13, 10:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
I don't have experience with this particular bike or rack, but just from looking at the pictures, you should be able to get a rack and fenders on that bike. I don't think they screwed you.

It may take some tinkering to make it work. It usually takes some tinkering to fit both rack and fenders at the same time. Some racks will work better on certain bikes than others, so don't be afraid to take that one back if you can't make it work. Try installing it. If you get stuck, post pictures and we'll try to help.

Once you do get the rack installed, if it's not clear if a fender will fit or not, take pics and measure the space between the rack and rear tire. Some racks have longer legs than others, and there is a good chance that something will work.
Once we install it (hopefully) I will post pics! Thanks!
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Old 05-24-13, 08:16 AM   #17
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Thank you for the advice. I was worried about the weight capacity for the rack, because my panniers can hold up to 15 lbs each with up to 5 lbs on the handlbar bag. I don't think that I'll load up to max capacity on any of them. I am a little worried about riding with one pannier that has my MacBook, and then not having any weight on the other side (it's a balance thing, especially with my physical disability).
You'll barely notice the weight "imbalance" when you're riding, it's not worth stressing about.
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Old 05-24-13, 08:33 AM   #18
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I just bought a bike for my wife with a frame design more extreme than what you bought. I knew I would have that issue with the TS-1 rack that was on her old bike. Here's what I have done to get it mounted for the time being:


I also found that I can buy longer mounting struts for the rack that will reach the mounting bosses. They are between $5 and $10. I have those on order from Niagara Cycle.

Perfrormance does make another rack (TS-2, I think?) with a wider stance and longer mounting struts. I have one of those on my tandem. It might fit your bike. I looked at the bike you have on their site, and didn't see any braze on fittings for a rack, however.
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Old 05-24-13, 08:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.C. Koto View Post
I think I only see one set of eyelets for racks/fenders on the model of your bike, so what I'd do personally is use the eyelets for the rack and get some "P-Clamps" when you get the fenders and use those to hold the fender struts. It's possible to put both rack and fenders into the same eyelet using screws that are the correct length to fit both together, but I like to have the rack have top priority on sturdyness.
I've had a couple of bikes where I mounted racks and fenders on the same eyelet using slightly longer bolts. As you say, the rack has to have priority, so it goes on the inside next to the bike frame and the fender strut goes on the outside. Usually they are at a quite a different angle so they don't interfere with each other.
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Old 05-24-13, 09:19 AM   #20
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When we bought a rack for my wife's Spec Vita, the shop put on an add-on strut to make it fit. Having done that it all looks and works fine. On my own older Trek 7000 mtb I attached the struts to my seat post binder and clamped it all down with the quick release.

You usually do have to improvise with these things.
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