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  1. #1
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    Continental divide trail racks ?

    For CAMPING equipment. BOMBPROOF. Will bolt to custom brazed on blocks. Suggestions ?

    Fronts are NOT ground grinders but higher. With a platform rack over front wheel.

    I was over to Universal Cycles looking at racks. My road racks are recycled '58 countertop plywood over a Nbar or Blackburn. Capable of 70 pounds easy.

    The plethora at UC leaves me dizzy.

  2. #2
    40 yrs bike touring
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    My rack bias is toward Bruce Gordon racks after a thirty year trial experiment including the Divide Ride.

    rack_mtn.jpg extensionbw.jpg

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    I'm impressed that the BG rack doesn't have that stupid lip on the front that interferes with a rack pack. First one I've seen without it. I cut it off my Topeak Explorer rack which has served me well for years. 'Course, I've never done the Continental Divide.

    Carry extra attach bolts in case you lose one. They will vibrate out.
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  4. #4
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    BG's rear rack is simply done. Compared to more bridge like racks with multiple struts, triangulations....

    what was on the BG rack riding dirt ?

    I cut hoops off for plywood topping extending to under saddle. Hoops stiffen the end rack at front seat stays.

    I assume BG's rack is strong enough without hoops or triangulations otherwise I'd hear complaints.

    I should try a materials comparison with a complex Tubus rack.

  5. #5
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    Are you high? Please specify bike and load.

  6. #6
    40 yrs bike touring
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    In my experience the BG racks become an immovable extension of the bike. They and the panniers do not move at all no matter the load even on single track trails. The chrome moly tubing used is very strong and durable. I have the same model BG racks on my touring bike and mountain tandem. A long lasting one time higher expense is cheap over the long haul.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Another owner of Bruces racks for about 30 years.. Tubus is # 2.. IMO.

  8. #8
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    well, merry xmass to BG and family...

    spec bike and load.

    Bike is easy...a steel Redline monocog cyclocrosser fitted with a 3/8 driveline.

    No, I haven't quantified the loads yet and thanks for reminding me as I'm approaching moving stuff around. I'll make 5 cardboard boxes for simulated bags n jam the equipment in.

    I am subjective from experience with HD intercity touring. There are weenie racks and touring racks.

    Comments for trail tested racks is primo here.

    On the BG rack, does the rack not 'look' to be a road rack ?

    Then the Tubus, I am told not German but Chinese or Asian, backed by photo content, 'looks' more trail worthy....'golly gee lookit all that tubing'

    Tubus et al added tubing until we got the idea n began buying Tubus for Mitty Expeditions ?

    Could be...Schwalbe design suggests this ?

    ......


    your bolts should be cleaned then coated with blue Loctite.

  9. #9
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    I just used a cheep rack and went ultra light .nashbar mtb bags Had no trouble . Next time frame bag for me . Glad all my sleep stuff was in a dry bag and dry tent . Lots of rain and snow . I need all my gears . Have fun it was great .

    Thom

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyou View Post
    I just used a cheep rack and went ultra light .nashbar mtb bags Had no trouble . Next time frame bag for me . Glad all my sleep stuff was in a dry bag and dry tent . Lots of rain and snow . I need all my gears . Have fun it was great .

    Thom
    The Redline cyclocrosser intended for the CTD has a 3 strut Blackburn with a plywood top bolted on.

    The rack wags then rubs strut on a 2.1 Vapor. Barely adequate for grocery runs at 4 miles RT more of a bookbag or lunch carrier. The 3 strut model may be most often seen in Nashbar et al as the standard top end cheep rack.

    Could use side plywoods running from seat stays to an angle along the ply top. The good for 25-30 pounds. Need to cure the wag with solid seat post connectors.

  11. #11
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    Scrape the rack and go rackless for the CDT. Use a handbar bag, seat bag, and frame bag. Search these forums or mountain biking forums for more information than you could ever read on soft bags.

    If you are really going to attempt the CDT with plywood supports & boxes of gear, I think you need far more research into the trail/conditions.


    Your questions and writings present the image of someone who's way over their head.
    1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander

  12. #12
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    What ever you choose, I recommend running the lower mounting bolts from the inside of the frame to the outside and snugging the button heads up to the frame, then put the rack on the threaded stud sticking outside of the frame and using a nylock nut to secure. This way there is no way you can strip the threads out of your frame (which is not uncommon on really bouncy rides with heavy weight). This is also the most secure you can make it, I promise! Be sure to use a button head on the rear drive side especially to be sure you have enough chain clearance for shifting into smallest cog.

  13. #13
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    I have photos of today's racks. Maybe later.

    The ply bracing is directed at the 'cheap' rack proposal. Cheep is the $11 Special of 10 years ago but here 'cheep' is naborhood racking similar to the commonly available Blackburn line. These racks wag and rub or are there suggestions for nayborhood racks NOT wagging and rubbing.

    A collateral question is what specific design features prevent wagging and rubbing ? Rack tubing strength or strut triangulation...and if triangulation exactly what geometry are you writing of ?

    I should look at BG's racks again...BOLT ON and strong tubing would eliminate wag an rub fersure yet retain simplicity which the top Tubus does not.

    The ply method is more monocoque. Nothing wrong with a thin aircraft ply panel....out of the wind. But the bags are on it so what wind ?

    The main rack here is old recycled firstcut ply, '58 countertop, on aluminum...I forget which rack but cheep with U-bolt connectors to the seat tube.

    Rack's dropout bottom bolts are grade 6 6mm. I first thought a hardened bushing was necessary but no wear there after 10 years. The bolts need replacement t maybe 5000 miles, after 5 the bolts will break on down the road somewhere. Bolts are redlocked so no jiggle wear to the frame. The red comes apart by wrench after lube and vibration.

    VT, would you expand on your thoughts using ply panels for the CDT ? I am onto the NM section. Not as a gungho thru or be damned rider but going over the terrain to see what. Looping is acceptable. I can 'turn back'...looks different that way









  14. #14
    Big, Fat, Texan WalksOn2Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
    Scrape the rack and go rackless for the CDT. Use a handbar bag, seat bag, and frame bag. Search these forums or mountain biking forums for more information than you could ever read on soft bags.

    If you are really going to attempt the CDT with plywood supports & boxes of gear, I think you need far more research into the trail/conditions.


    Your questions and writings present the image of someone who's way over their head.
    I don't think he is in way over his head so much as his interpretation of offroad touring is completely different. I'm an advocate of rackless riding, but it depends on the intended load. He didn't mention how long he wanted to go without resupply, or if he even intended to resupply at all.

    However, all this talk of super strong racks and plywood, etc. does seem overkill. Most of the CDT is basically gravel road riding with lots of climbing, depending on the section. I have a good friend that finished the Tour Divide race earlier this year. The most technical stuff in that race was a bit of single track somewhere up north, but the majority of the terrain is really pretty easy going, at a touring pace anyway. And as someone else mentioned, even if you use a cheap rack, you may find if you go even relatively light on the camping gear, the rack will do just fine for the trip. Except maybe the cheap one will last a few years where a BG rack will take several years of beatings.

    The reason I prefer bags over racks is because even with the "light" offerings, you're generally adding 3 pounds of crap for a rear rack and panniers before you can even add the gear you actually need. So think for a minute how much weight you're adding by going for heavy duty racks front and rear AND attaching plywood to it and then throwing bags on it, all before you even add the stuff you actually need. I'm thinking ten pounds minimum. I'm not saying no to racks, I'm just saying you may want to reevaluate the requirements of the ride before you over build your bike unnecessarily. EDIT: Just reread and realized the plywood approach was intended for the cheap rack. If you want to go with a rack, the BG route would be infinitely better than putting wood on a cheap rack.

    If you're curious about rackless offroad touring, check out www.bikepacking.net to check out other people's setups and rigs.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLYTZPK View Post
    For CAMPING equipment. BOMBPROOF. Will bolt to custom brazed on blocks. Suggestions ?

    Fronts are NOT ground grinders but higher. With a platform rack over front wheel.

    I was over to Universal Cycles looking at racks. My road racks are recycled '58 countertop plywood over a Nbar or Blackburn. Capable of 70 pounds easy.

    The plethora at UC leaves me dizzy.
    Are you wanting to ride the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) or the Great Divide Mountain Bike (GDMB) route? They are two entirely different trails. The "Continental Divide Trail" is a very rugged hiking trail that has lots of hike-a-bike bits that crosses several wilderness areas where you can't ride a bike. It would require some serious mountain bike skills to ride on an unloaded bike and even more serious skills to ride as a bikepacking trip. It would also require a mountain bike, preferably something with dual suspension. And I would suggest carrying your stuff like VT_Speed_TR suggest.

    The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, on the other hand, follows mostly roads that parallel the Continental Divide. It's more "off-highway" than "off-road". While there are sections that require moderate mountain biking skills, it's not as difficult as the CDT would be. You don't, however, want to use plywood anything on the GDMB route. It's just too heavy and does nothing for you. Bruce Gordon racks or Old Man Mountain would be good choices for a high mount rack on the front. Tubus doesn't make a good high mount front rack.
    Stuart Black
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  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
    Most of the CDT is basically gravel road riding with lots of climbing, depending on the section.
    Again, the Continental Divide Trail is different from the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The CDT is a hiking trail that follows the ridge lines. The GCMB route does not.
    Stuart Black
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  17. #17
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    yes, we get it, I'm sure they are talking about the mtb route and not the trail except if they happen to overlap

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
    The reason I prefer bags over racks is because even with the "light" offerings, you're generally adding 3 pounds of crap for a rear rack and panniers before you can even add the gear you actually need.
    True but what does the large custom frame bag, seat bag, backpack, "gas tank," feed bag, harnesses, etc weigh? I've always been curious.

  19. #19
    Big, Fat, Texan WalksOn2Wheels's Avatar
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    I have the Revelate Designs Viscacha tail bag that holds quite a bit. That plus the large Revelate Tangle frame bag size large and the Revelate Sweet Roll handlebar bag would weigh a whopping 2.15 pounds according to their website. I made a real simple harness to hold any size waterproof stuff sack on the handlebar, and I think that weighs something like maybe 4 ounces on the high side. I weighed it once, but I forget. DIY ones are usually lighter because the mass market ones are overbuilt for durability. A gas tank would be an additional 4-ish ounces.

  20. #20
    40 yrs bike touring
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    WO2W: So far using a Revelate or similar rackless system has remained an unattained fantasy for me unless I used a backpack as well. I have accumulated bikepacking bags since 2007 from CDW(Carousel Design Works), Revelate Designs and Bedrock Designs. All are first rate quality designs except that even at my lightest equipment incarnation they limit the number of days between resupply on a long trip too much unless I use a dry bag stuffer on top of my rear rack or add a backpack for more carrying capacity. I find most photos of rackless bikepacking setups fail to include the needed extra backpack capacity to be viable for any lengthy tour. Do you regularly use a backpack in addition to the Revelate bags you mentioned? (My base weight on the Divide Ride was 18 pounds.)

    Looking back almost 40 years to a long tour in the Andes I used two small front panniers and a medium sized 40L backpack mounted on the rear rack top. The equipment base weight carried then was greater than today but mainly because of ten pounds of camera equipment which today could be reduced to one pound.
    Riding and camping at 5000 meters/16500 feet in the snow made some equipment marginal at best. Today I happily can remain warmer and drier for less weight and a much reduced volume for the basic gear. Yet carrying food and water for weeks at a time required a means to carry it effectively. There were too many unknowns to trust to luck for finding food and water sources. The digital age has solved some of these problems but not all of them. I still travel expecting the best but prepare for the worst as best I can judge it.

  21. #21
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    GDMBR… have photos of the gates at Fleecer’s Ridge…this weekend not on hand. Was to wet for entry.
    Appreciate the ultra light posts…moves my brain into balancing the light weight vs the camping approach. I’ll work on that with trials when I get out there at Senators Wash.
    I’m more camper than rider but the rider light approach supports the camping or lack of riding.
    Is ultra light your raison de etrah ? how light for how long ?
    Added thornproof Spec tubes this week and itsa dog relatively to the Raleigh. A few grams here and a few there and pretty soon you’re bogged down. But not flat.
    No thorn proofs in the Andes ? any flats ? Having seen some photos I’d like to go. That was years ago.
    You had canvas or nylon. ?
    Here’s plyrack photo’s
    https://picasaweb.google.com/102234459580640424681/BIKERACK#
    Thanks for the Tubus mention. No Tubus relatives online ?
    Last edited by unterhausen; 01-01-14 at 11:58 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mm718 View Post
    True but what does the large custom frame bag, seat bag, backpack, "gas tank," feed bag, harnesses, etc weigh? I've always been curious.

    I just tied a dry bag to the bars with parachute cord. I glued on fabric in the areas of wear. All my sleeping gear inside . Used a car sun shade for a sleep pad .Dry bags don't weigh much and are cheep.

    A frame bag is nice it keeps the weight low and centered.

    Thom

  23. #23
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLYTZPK View Post
    No thorn proofs in the Andes ? any flats ? Having seen some photos I’d like to go. That was years ago.
    You had canvas or nylon. ?
    Even with lengthy volcanic pumice based roads or small boulders imbedded in mud as road surfacing there were no flats mainly I think because I was never below 10K feet. Encountered few thorny plants.
    Used nylon Kangaroo Bags Panniers. No experience with you toast question. Cooked most everything myself.

  24. #24
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    Super ! I was at Bikepacking before but didn't get thru figuring the area had died then clicking your link
    www.bikepacking.net last night we connected. A world of information. Thanks.

    Great blog on the Sierra Epic Trailride and more info.

    The ultra light approach scores. Extra points for setting fires.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels View Post
    I have the Revelate Designs Viscacha tail bag that holds quite a bit. That plus the large Revelate Tangle frame bag size large and the Revelate Sweet Roll handlebar bag would weigh a whopping 2.15 pounds according to their website. I made a real simple harness to hold any size waterproof stuff sack on the handlebar, and I think that weighs something like maybe 4 ounces on the high side. I weighed it once, but I forget. DIY ones are usually lighter because the mass market ones are overbuilt for durability. A gas tank would be an additional 4-ish ounces.
    Thanks for this. Can you get by on just the tail bag and tangle or do most people have a full sized custom frame bag? Seems that most have a backpack too? BTW, I am sure the bike packing set-up is lighter, as rear panniers and rack are closer to 4-5 lbs I'm just curious how much of a difference.

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