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Old 01-22-08, 07:09 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Home-brewed Racks?

I've seen some of the plans on the web.

Not all of them are traditional. Some are Burning Man hacks. Others are more conventional.

Some are heavier than most of the readymade commercial racks. Others are only slightly heavier, or comparable in weight.

Some are made by cutting and splicing old bike frames. Stays and dropouts from old racing bikes have been used.

Third-world designs are possible.

Some people enjoy doing these sorts of things, for one reason or another, in one way or another. Others want or need to save the money -- racks can be expensive.

If anyone has any ideas or links, please feel free to post them.

*****
The recumbent world is full of things like "one-cent bents" that are made by modifying and splicing old bike frames -- there are all sorts of possibilities. Racks haven't gotten quite the same attention, but there is probably quite a bit of room for these kinds of variations and inventive creations.

Last edited by Niles H.; 01-22-08 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 01-22-08, 09:18 PM   #2
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The main objective isn't even to build racks, or to carry panniers, it is to carry your stuff on a bike. If you go back to that basic requirement, you have stuff like the plastic paniers made from food containers. Indeed racks and bags are out of date, more streamlined integrated structures are easier to make and conceptually better both as regards weight and air drag. I like racks, but if one wants to not build good racks, and paniers, because it is pretty difficult, and to come up with some superior kluges, then I would recomend getting to the root of the problem.

If I can find my wooden carrier pics, I will post them.
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Old 01-23-08, 12:33 AM   #3
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I STOLE this link from some other websight.
http://sweetnourishingbikes.blogspot...teur-rack.html
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Old 01-23-08, 05:21 AM   #4
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http://www3.utsidan.se/corax-e/smallhelppages/essay.htm

And

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/HowTo/HeavyDutyRacks.htm

are two versions of Paul's DIY racks..
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Old 01-23-08, 12:25 PM   #5
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I brazed this one together for the front of a mountain bike using steel rod and flatbar from the hardware store. Nashbar used to have a similar one available but it was smaller.
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Old 01-23-08, 04:17 PM   #6
rodar y rodar
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I`ve made three.

The first one was for my mtb and really isn`t very strong, though it only weighs 650g. I designed to carry my favorite water bottles (big mouth 1 liter from Aquafina or Schwepps) but the bottle rings and rear stop can be easily removed with a 4mm Allen wrench. Aluminum rails with 10mm hydraulic tubing for legs.

The front and rear racks for my frankenbike are very sturdy and weren`t particularly dificult to build. They`re both made mostly from 8mm and 10mm hyd tubing and a little bit of 1/8 X what-ever flat steel. The hydraulic tubes are probably pretty much the same as the brake lines used for the rack in one of the links above and are easy to work with. Cromolly tubing is probably a good bit stronger and easier to braze or weld, but I would guess it`s harder to bend smoothly. Next time I make a rack I`ll probably order cromo instead of the hydraulic stuff (the hydr tubing was what I had on hand). Mine are all TIG welded because that`s what I knew how to do- brazing is probably easier and just as strong and now that I`ve done a litte I`ll most likely go that route in the future. The rear rack here weighs in at 1270g, didn`t weigh the front one. I used a hand bender just like the kind they sell in auto parts stores (except mine is metric) and built the basket/platform first then held them on the bike with Vice Grips and blocks and tacked the legs in place.

brucewiley- how did you mount your rack to the fork arch? I like the idea.
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Last edited by rodar y rodar; 01-23-08 at 04:21 PM. Reason: forgot a question
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Old 01-23-08, 04:33 PM   #7
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Check out this article from K3PGP.
http://www.k3pgp.org/bikerack.htm
Considering the time of year I especially like this photo!

My local Wal-mart has SUN washing machine detergent in plastic buckets perfect as recycled hard panniers.
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Old 01-23-08, 05:01 PM   #8
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Chromo being stronger is harder to bend. A prefered tool seems to be the Ridgid (believe it or not) Plumber's bender. The best one you probably need to look for on ebay. The various aircraft suppliers also sell good ones. I use a heavier one that allows me to bend up to half inch and the thicker wall thicknesses. The one I use is made by princess auto, and is a general metal strap and bar bender. I make tube dies for it on my lathe. You can see how simple the bender needs to be from Gordon's site where there are pictures on the shop tour, last time I looked. His is a production set-up as the bender is integrated into the jig. That would speed up indentical builds but is not desireable for custom work, let alone necesarry. While I take pride when I come around the fourth side and the return nails the starting point, if you are a fraction out you can somewhat tweak yourself back on line. It never seems to be tragic.
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Old 01-23-08, 06:22 PM   #9
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Gordons' site, thats www.bgcycles.com Eh? Consider making some mock-ups out of something cheap and easy like copper and aluminum to get the shape right then use something better like Chrome/moly for the final. I cut to the chase and had one of Bruce's rear racks installed on my BLT when I got it. Building you own can save hundreds.
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Old 01-23-08, 06:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
brucewiley- how did you mount your rack to the fork arch? I like the idea.
That old RST Fork arch had a hole already in the middle of it, not sure what the actual purpose was for the hole but I just ran that flatbar back and down to the hole and bolted it there. Sorry it isn't clear in the pic.
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Old 01-23-08, 08:45 PM   #11
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So far I haven't bothered with mock-ups. I use tape to index the tube off the bender. Say the bend is 90 degrees, after the first one is made, I would place the bend next to a square, and read the distance from the tape to the far side of the bend. With that info, I can judge exactly where to insert the tube to complete the next 90 (or whatever) in order to get a given side length. It might be off 1/16" but that doesn't mater as long as the other side is the same.

Another thing that is important is to level (or whatever) the bender in a vise, then level the tubes (or angle then) for the next bends. That is all there is to ensuring the bends come out on the same plane. I guess that's obvious, but if you haven't tried it it may be less obvious that it works easily.

Getting the bends perfectly angled is probably the easiest part since you can nudge them to the perfect location.
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Old 01-24-08, 08:49 AM   #12
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Rack Building Basics - Alex Wetmore is always busy with something...
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Old 01-24-08, 10:39 AM   #13
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I made this one to accommodate my "custom" panniers. This was my dog's backpack from about 15 years ago. I cut off the straps to use it on my bike. However, the area between the bags is narrower than most racks. A Dremel tool, rivet puller and about $6 in supplies from Home Depot got me rolling.

The rack is built with supports and brackets from a cheap rack that I pulled from an LBS dumpster. I used aluminum angles for everything else.
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