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  1. #1
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    Rear rack/V-brake problem on our Co-Mo

    Help!

    My wife and I are leaving in 1 1/2 weeks for our much anticipated tour of Vermont's foliage on our new '04 Co-Motion Speedster Co-Pilot. The Arkel GT52's are on the way, and I've been doing a lot of reading about rear rack options. I was planning on the Tubus Logo but came across Peter White's web page (www.peterwhitecycles.com) and read that many rear racks can be problematic with tandem rear V-brakes (especially with Travel Agents). I checked our bike, and it does appear that it will be a problem as the Travel agent appears to block access to the non-drive side eyelet. This is just speculation as I don't have the rack in front of me.

    Can anyone confirm this problem? Peter White's page recommends a different brake ("Strange brake") for Tubus-compatibility or a Santana rack that attaches to the cantilever studs allowing use of current set-up. I came across some mounting hardware on Tubus' site that seems to allow the rack to attach to the seatstay (for bikes without eyelets) but I'm not sure that the connecting rods will reach a different position....

    What do you all recommend??? I'd like to get the Tubus as I've read many good things about it...but I don't want to change the rear brake; is the extra mounting hardware my only option? I'm going to talk to the tandem dealer I bought the bike from for his suggestions as well (Tandem's East).

    Thanks,
    Abe

  2. #2
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    Did some more research and found some options. Looks like this is a common problem with many rear racks and a lot of tandems. Old Man Mountain offers a rear rack (Red Rocks) that attaches to the rear brake bosses which seems to be an easy solution to my problem. Looking at the Tubus logo/cargo racks, I wonder if the struts can some how be advanced forward more to offer the additional length that may be needed to attach to a seatstay (with fasteners), but our frame does not have much space available above the rear eyelets anyway so this is an unlikely option.

    Any other thoughts? I'll probably put in an order for an Old Man Mountain Red Rocks in the next day or two?

  3. #3
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    As a matter of fact, I was going to suggest to you the Old Man Mountain rack last night. In fact I'm going to be outfitting one of my Mtb with the Red Rock rack in the coming week. I already have their Sherpa rack on another Mtb and am very happy with it. The Sherpa rack is rock solid and I know the Red Rock is even stronger. The Red Rock only comes in one height, I believe. Check to make sure it is tall enough for your wheel. Would it also be able to spread across your wider tandem dropouts?
    Last edited by roadfix; 09-20-04 at 10:25 AM.
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    Fixer,

    Thanks for the reply. Do you know if there is a place on the OMM racks for fender struts to attach?

    Thanks
    Abe

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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    OMM racks do not have eyelets for fender struts, if that's what you're asking.
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  6. #6
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    What's the frame size? I have v-brakes with DiaCompe 287-V levers, so no travel agent for me. My rear rack is the Burley Moose Rack (the one that goes with the Piccolo trailercycle), but the chainstay struts are basically in the same position as they would be on the Tubus.

    My Co-Motion tandem is a 23"/18" frame, and my Trek 520 is a 25" frame, so I litterally have seen both ends of the issue.

    Here are a few solutions I'm thinking of. You might need to combine a few of them:

    1. Open the brake arms wider (especially the left one) and change the order of washers accordingly. That way, the top of the v-brake will be further out and the Travel Agent should clear the left strut more easily.

    2. Bolt the struts inside the braze-ons. I can't do it on the 18" Co-Motion, but there is plenty of space between the stays to do that on the 25" Trek 520. That way, the left (and right) struts clear the brake arms more easily. In theory, there is a very slight loss of stability, but unless you overload it with 80 kg, I doubt it would be a problem.

    3. Re-shape the left strut to curve it a bit, or make it longer and attach it to the right side. It wouldn't be worst than old rack designs with only 2 legs and a single strut. In fact, it would be almost as good as the "approved" method.

    4. Use a P-clamp higher on the chainstay and attach the strut there. Not as nice as the "approved" method, but still nicer than the Old Mountain Man rack, I think.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Michael,

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    We have a 21/18 Speedster which offers little to no room on the seatstay above the eyelets. However, can the struts of a Tubus Cargo or Logo be lengthened so they can attach to clamps on the seatstay BELOW the eyelets? Would this still be stable? How does adjustment of the struts work? Can they be moved fore and aft to adjust to length? Can longer struts be purchased?

    I'll go to my LBS and see if they can help me with adjusting the travel agent to allow more room; I can't quite see how it would work but the LBS can be a magician.

    Thanks,
    Abe

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    An Old Man Mountain rack would solve the problem with the Travel Agent interference.
    Have a custom built c/f rack, built to attach like OMM to V-brake studs on our tandem and Travel Agent was not an issue.
    Alternate solution: get rid of Travel Agent and use V-287 brake lever, but operated by the stoker; that way you can keep your Co-Mo STI shifting, but rear brake would be handled by stoker, not you up front.

  9. #9
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    I'm interested in this thread as well since I plan on putting a Burley Piccolo behind my Speedster. I was thinking of an adapter that would clamp to the seat post and hold the rack stays. Something like this:



    I found it here http://tinyurl.com/6xuua

    -murray
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  10. #10
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  11. #11
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    OOUHH.. I've seen monostay clamp/adapters before but I really like that seatpost thingy as with a smallish frame my seatpost is more inline with the upper portion of the rack.

    EDIT: Wait a minute.....upon visiting that site (first photo), that adapter is described as a monostay adapter, not for the seatpost. Wonder if it'll still work...
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    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    EDIT: Wait a minute.....upon visiting that site (first photo), that adapter is described as a monostay adapter, not for the seatpost. Wonder if it'll still work...
    Yeah, it looks like the clamp diameter may be too large for a seat post, but the Blackburn unit (second photo) should work fine with the smaller diameter. If not, we should be able to use a spacer (slit rubber hose, for example).

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  13. #13
    Ride em all Gtscottie's Avatar
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    I have this rack made by old man mountain. However I also have a Santana and I am not sure of the fit on your bike.on a
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbluedevil
    Michael,

    ...Can the struts of a Tubus Cargo or Logo be lengthened so they can attach to clamps on the seatstay BELOW the eyelets? Would this still be stable? How does adjustment of the struts work? Can they be moved fore and aft to adjust to length? Can longer struts be purchased?
    As I said, I don't have the Tubus, so I don't know how long and adjustable the struts are. You could buy longer ones at the bike shop, but if yours is like mine, it will be the flimsy Blackburn struts.
    If they don't have rigod ones, one option would be to visit your local hardware and a 1" x 1/8" aluminium bar that you cut and drill to suit.

    You could attach the left strut on the seatstay below the brake, but I think I would prefer to bend it and attach it to the right side (it would be shorter, I think, therefore stronger).


    There is also another gizmo, the v-daptor, which might work and the QBP Problem solver which is installed inline and should work, because you would then have a regular noodle on the v-brake. Both are illustrated on Alex Wetmore's bike page at http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes (look for v-brakes with drop bars).
    I have seen the v-daptor once on a parked bike and I think it might work if you squeeze the brake arms as close as possible (i.e. opposite of what I suggested for the Travel Agent). I have never seen the QBP Problem Solver so I don't know how it would look along the bike frame. The problem is that either of these solution is likely to cost $30-50 in parts. At such a price, you might as well get a cantilever brake; if it is installed with a flexible straddle link (the old way) and a u-bridge, it's fairly easy to play with bridge height to get the brake almost as easy to operate as a v-brake.

    Looking at the geometry of my tandem, there won't be any conflict between panniers and the brake and I don't think there would be between your feet and the brake. Double check to make sure.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  15. #15
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Peter sells longer Tubus struts and a variety of other Tubus clamps and adapters.
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  16. #16
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Has anyone asked Co-Mo directly? I'm sure this is a problem with nearly all of the 21/18 models with V brakes sold. Certainly, they've come across this before.

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  17. #17
    Cat 6 Steve Katzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbluedevil
    Help!

    What do you all recommend??? I'd like to get the Tubus as I've read many good things about it...but I don't want to change the rear brake; is the extra mounting hardware my only option? I'm going to talk to the tandem dealer I bought the bike from for his suggestions as well (Tandem's East).

    Thanks,
    Abe
    Sorry it took a while to reply, but if it is still relevant, I have a Tubus rack on a size Small Speedster. The way the rack is mounted is quite simple. The right side brace attaches to the boss on the right seatstay. The left side brace angles through the middle of the V brake and attaches to a boss on what looks like it would be the rear brake bridge. This "brake bridge" differs from a true brake bridge in that the boss faces downward and is pre-threaded for a standard mounting screws. There is not a thru hole as would typically be needed to mount rear caliper brakes.

    I can't be sure if your '04 Speedster is similarly equipped, but mine is an '03 so I wouldn't imagine that they would be that much different. I hope this information arrives in time to be of some value to you.

    Steve

  18. #18
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    I mounted a rack on my 21/18 Speedster recently and thought I would bring up this old thread with photos to try to help others here. Basically, I bent the right strut around the Travel Agent. It seems to work pretty well (see the photos).

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

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