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  1. #1
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    InStep trailer hitch v. rear rack

    So I harnessed the power of craigslist and got a trailer for when our son (currently 8 months) turns 1. It's a slightly old but totally unused InStep Quick N Easy.

    When the time comes, I would much prefer to haul it with my commuter and not my road machine. My commuter has a rack. After looking at the hitch parts (the coupler plate and the thing that fits in the dropout) and looking at my bike (and reading this previous ancient thread), I am beginning to think I am doomed.

    Am I doomed? Is there a way for the InStep and the rack to coexist? I'm not above a little metalworking, and am seriously considering cutting a notch in the hitch to fit the rack.

    Also, admins, if this really belongs in Bicycle Mechanics, that's cool, too. Move it at will.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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  2. #2
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    could you use a set-back rack like this axiom?
    http://www.axiomgear.com/products/gear/racks/

    note: you don't have to attach the set-back rack to the axle; you can attach it to the rack eyelets in order to leave the axle more open to hitches. I did this on my disc-brake/Chariot mount (but i don't know if this will work for your InStep). as far as the rack is concerned, it's more than tough enough for most daily commutes.

    you can see some pictures of my rack (similar to the one i posted above, but not the same) here. unfortunately, i don't have any photos of the rack+trailer mount, but it does work, if still a somewhat tight fit:
    http://www.pwdeegan.org/20080929/080928/
    Last edited by pwdeegan; 10-12-10 at 09:47 AM. Reason: added photo link
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  3. #3
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    A setback rack might work... if the rack legs are thin enough. It looks like they might be in the case of the Streamliner Disc DLX. It is also possible that remounting the rack on good old-fashioned P-clamps on the seat stays would move the rack far enough from the QR axle to make it work (but I don't really want to sacrifice load capacity... I do go shopping with this thing). Otherwise, it's out with the Dremel for me!

    By the way, the hitch looks like this:



    But I think that is upside-down or rotated 90 degrees from where it should be.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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  4. #4
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    It also occurs to me that if I had an aluminum frame, this would not be an issue because there is a derailleur hanger bolt just above the QR axle. The hitch would then fit. Drat. Foiled by my own Nashbar steel frame.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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  5. #5
    Intrepid Bicycle Commuter AlmostGreenGuy's Avatar
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    I ran into this exact same problem a few weeks ago. I installed a Topeak Explorer rack and Planet Bike fenders onto my bike, and then proceeded to try to install an InStep trailer hitch. I had to grind down the top of the hitch on my bench grinder to make things fit. Works perfectly now.


  6. #6
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
    I ran into this exact same problem a few weeks ago. I installed a Topeak Explorer rack and Planet Bike fenders onto my bike, and then proceeded to try to install an InStep trailer hitch. I had to grind down the top of the hitch on my bench grinder to make things fit. Works perfectly now.
    Glorious! Exactly what I had in mind.

    ... man, I love BF.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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  7. #7
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    yup. that looks like it's a much better solution, just as long as you grind away as little as possible to get the components to fit together nicely. i imagine if too much were ground away, then *snap*.

    as for the racks and weight, i haul 50#s of groceries without problem. you just don't want to rely on them for your world tour through the middle of the Gobi desert. then again, you wouldn't be using your InStep there, either.
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  8. #8
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
    yup. that looks like it's a much better solution, just as long as you grind away as little as possible to get the components to fit together nicely. i imagine if too much were ground away, then *snap*.

    as for the racks and weight, i haul 50#s of groceries without problem. you just don't want to rely on them for your world tour through the middle of the Gobi desert. then again, you wouldn't be using your InStep there, either.
    Yeah, it's "only" my firstborn son back there.

    After looking at it for the very third time, it's also possible that my rack eyelet and axle are even closer together than illustrated in the picture above, so I'd likely take too much off. So I will likely go to town with the P-clamps.
    Last edited by bigbenaugust; 10-13-10 at 11:16 AM.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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  9. #9
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    If you want something with a little more engineered strength, try The Touring Store Rack solutions. I was thinking the Quick Release or the Stay Mounting (Made of stainless steel, they are much better quality than the old steel "P" clamps.) options could work but take a look at what they offer. These are Tubus rack designed solutions but are universal for most applications.

  10. #10
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Just to continue the drama, none of the p-clamps I have are the right size for my skinny steel seatstays. So I guess I will cut.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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  11. #11
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    go for it. let us know how it goes, and post pictures if you feel brave enough; i for one would love to see how it goes.
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  12. #12
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    So for an update, I have a piece of angle iron that I am going to cut to about 6" long and then cut two holes in. One at one end for the QR axle and one at the other for a bolt for the trailer hitch, maybe 4" apart. Then I am going to cover it all in rust-oleum and hope for the best. Of course, with an almost-toddler in the house, I don't have much time for metalworking right now. Maybe by January, I will be able to finish this.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011)
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