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  1. #1
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    Home made steel racks - Build Thread

    I am putting together my steel order for my home made racks. I had another thread going for some ideas (here is a link).

    I would still be curious for design ideas. Please post them in the other thread linked above as I'd like to keep this one on topic with the layout and assembly.

    The plan right now is to use 3/8" steel tubing. I am working with a supplier right now to detail the specs.

    The design I am working on uses minimal bends. For the tops I will have square welded edges and at the structural joints (dropouts and uprights where they attach to the tops) will be reinforced with plate steel so it isn't just the tubes welded together.

    Drawings and specs to come...
    Last edited by KC8QVO; 05-02-14 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    is it possible to buy small front rack for road bike that doesnt hinder or interfear with the steering.
    just curious.


    anto

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the now shut down Joe Waugh * shop in Newcastle Northumbria whipped out a solid rod steel front Mini-rack in 72 hours
    for me as I was passing thru town.. 91 (then I booked passage on a Ferry to Norway.)

    U shaped flat-bar piece let it bolt to the fork crown , and 2 struts went down to be secured by the 6mm bolts that hold the cantilever brakes on .

    * shop is still selling bikes , but not using frames they make, themselves ..

    For Anto the fitment would be such that the sidepull brake bolt would also hold the top rear of the rack on ..

    interfere with the steering? you put weight on the fork and it will feel different ... it's mass .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-03-14 at 11:14 AM.

  4. #4
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
    I am putting together my steel order ...
    My Tubus rack worked fine right out of the box.

  5. #5
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    My Tubus rack worked fine right out of the box.
    +1 If you haven't tried a Tubus rack I'd recommend you do before designing yours.

    Why "minimal bends"? Sharp, pointy corners don't sound like a positive to me.

    The concept that you mentioned in the earlier post was the lower mounting point. That makes sense me.

  6. #6
    Touring Enthusiast
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    I'm also designing and planning on fabricating a pair of CroMoly racks. I know there are some available in the market at varying price points/design. For example, the Rivendell Nitto Big Front Rack is very nice, but is also quite spendy.

    I'm wondering who the best material source is? I've been looking at McMaster-Carr.com for 4130 tubing with 1/2" OD on the main-tube to ensure strength and a better attachment point for Ortleib Roller Classic panniers.
    Last edited by PolarBear007; 05-03-14 at 09:06 AM.
    I'm planning on de-branding my 23" Schwinn High Plains updating components and powder-coating the frame - metamorphosizing it into the ULTIMATE TOURING MACHINE!!!

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    3/8" thin wall 4130 would be a good choice , perhaps you can make a bender , and not have to miter all the corners.

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    One suggestion thanks to a rack redesign I just prototype completed yesterday. If you don't want you rack on all the time, you want to have a regular bike to ride/race(yes, I use one bike for everything...Specialized Allez Comp), how easy is the rack to put on/take off the bike. The rack mount that I have the idea for that works great...I need the rest of the rack to go with it...I don't need any tools to put it on/take it off and I can put it on/take it off in a matter of a few seconds. Yes, I'm not looking to attach panniers to it so I have the desire to try my darnedest to avoid side arms coming down from the top of the rack. I've been designing around wood thus far, hence I need a better rack that doesn't have quite the flex that wood does. I'm also building a wide rack since I normally carry my 15 inch laptop on the rack and I don't want any part of the rack overhanging the rack itself. I kinda prefer to keep my laptop in one piece so I want it sitting flat.

  9. #9
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    On other thing I will add. Make sure your taillight has a good mounting system. I've lost two taillights over the past couple of years. They fell off. One had a seatpost mount to it and it fell off during a group ride a couple of years ago. A second light got toasted thanks to rain/mixed precip getting up inside of it. A third taillight, with a clip attachment, came off the bike rack this past winter. I guess I must have went over a bump or something and it popped off. Anymore I only want a taillight that has a hoop/belt loop fastener on it so I can't lose the light unless I lose what I a have it attached to.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    the now shut down Joe Waugh * shop in Newcastle Northumbria whipped out a solid rod steel front Mini-rack in 72 hours
    for me as I was passing thru town.. 91 (then I booked passage on a Ferry to Norway.)

    U shaped flat-bar piece let it bolt to the fork crown , and 2 struts went down to be secured by the 6mm bolts that hold the cantilever brakes on .

    * shop is still selling bikes , but not using frames they make, themselves ..

    For Anto the fitment would be such that the sidepull brake bolt would also hold the top rear of the rack on ..

    interfere with the steering? you put weight on the fork and it will feel different ... it's mass .
    bob don't want to use the front forks for mounting or handlebars and my brakes are caliber.so this would i reckon take some working out.the rack wouldnt have to be big as it would only be carrying maybe stuff sack for cloths
    it would free up space in rear panniers.i have sen small racks but tey seem to be fitted to canti brakes i dont want that.
    anto.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    some Types brace to a P clip around the Fork blades .. and there was the early Blackburn front rack solution the top rail of the rack
    was made so as to wrap around behind the fork and si it used the nut on the back of the brake caliper ..


    just cannot help with Concierge like remote professional shopping .. from world wide sources

    some people are still custom rack makers ..

  12. #12
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    Blackurn have the patent on fully triangulated legs so tubus can't use it. I'm sure if they could, they would.
    Cant the rear legs inboard at the top.

  13. #13
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Blackurn have the patent on fully triangulated legs so tubus can't use it. I'm sure if they could, they would.
    Cant the rear legs inboard at the top.
    They (Tubus) can, and they do, for many years:

    http://www.tubus.com/documents/13365...Classic_BM.pdf

    TubusCargoEvo-TireSize.png

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Patents are not permanent they expire with time . Copyrights are different ..

    there are a lot of blackburn clones made in china , so the copyright is not being defended if it is valid.

    I think it's lapsed , but Check with your Patent Lawyer to be certain.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-04-14 at 02:21 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Patents are not permanent they expire with time . Copyrights are different ..
    They're different in the types of work or intellectual property they protect. Patents protect inventions; copyright protects works of authorship like writings or music. Both patents and copyrights do expire.

    Well, copyrights are supposed to expire, but it seems every time Mickey Mouse's copyright comes up, the term gets prolonged. Copyright protection in the U.S. was originally 28 years. Today, a work can be covered under copyright protection for more than 100 years.

  16. #16
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    I made some of flat steel bar that were intended to last me the rest of my life and wouldve... I carried 15 litres of water sometimes on those across the australian outback... it is much easier to work with as you just drill holes and put bolts through, after long distances the bolts would need tightening but i didnt use the right kind of bolts to begin with, they were inspired by the ones in india that carry about 100kg, with the twists in them, if i ever rode a full size bike again id without doubt use them, wish i could upload photos, they add character and get a lot of comments too.... Steel bar is the way to go, anything breaks just bend n drill another piece of steel bar but they would never break in a million years.

  17. #17
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    I am not saying don't try it, you might get lucky and find the next greatest rack design. But there are so many good companies with sharp engineers with their computer aided design tools, that I can't imagine much improvement possible unless you try something that is completely non-mainstream. My point is if you want a rack to do what most other racks do, it is likely that someone else already did it. But if you want a rack to be really different, it has to perform tasks that differ from the norm or attach to the frame in a different manner or exhibit a new way to improve structural integrity, etc.

    My panniers on my Logo EVO form a platform, I do not need a platform on my rack. See photo, the duffel sits about an inch or two above my platform. I have considered designing and having a local shop weld up a rack that has no platform, just the sides for pannier hanging. It would have the panniers sit a few inches lower than on my Tubus Logo EVO. And I would design it to disassemble or fold so I can put it in the case with my S&S coupled bike. This is an example of my point - this rack, if I build it will serve a completely different purpose than most other touring bike racks that have platforms.

    20IMGP3535.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Blackurn have the patent on fully triangulated legs so tubus can't use it. I'm sure if they could, they would.
    Cant the rear legs inboard at the top.
    The first Blackburn I saw like that was in the 1980s, thus that patent expired years ago.

  18. #18
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    I picked up my steel this morning for the project. We'll see how it goes for the fab process/time. It may take me a while - I will have to pick at it as I get time. I am excited about it though, I'd like to have the racks done and in-use now. I still have to get my pannier set. I am going on a ride in a couple days with my buddy that has a full Ortleib set so I will get a few more measurements on his racks with the panniers hanging. What I want to do is have a couple levels of adjustment for the height of the panniers. That way I have options for the center of gravity vs. clearance. If the bags sit lower the rig will be less top-heavy. Having one fixed position doesn't allow for any adjusting.

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