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Old 06-12-14, 06:26 PM   #1
bobframe
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Tubus front rack fitment on a Co-Motion Americano

I just picked up a slightly used two year old (58cm) Co-Motion Americano. It has a Tubus Tara front rack and the PO had difficulty making the front rack fit correctly. In fact, he had to remove the quick release hub and replace it with a screw in hub. I want the bike to have a quick release hub AND a Tubus Tara front rack.

The problem he found (and in fact the way the bike sits today) is that there's not adequate clearance around the Tubus rack for the quick release skewer.

Anyone help me figure out how to make this work? Was the rack incorrectly installed? Can you look at your Americano/Tubus/Quick Release setup and tell me how yours differs from mine?

Many thanks,

Bob

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Old 06-12-14, 08:11 PM   #2
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I was thinking of putting a Tubus Tara on my wife's Co-Motion Nor’Wester Tour, which I believe has the same drop outs as the Americano. However, her's is an older model with rim brakes.

My Tubus Tara rack is off my bike so I thought I'd see if/how it would fit on her bike. I see your problem, but I think I could mount it on her bike. I used the front mounting point on the rack with 1/2" spacers. The spacers allow the rack to clear the fork blades. I also used the forward eyelet on the fork dropout. That arrangement moved the rack far enough aft and up so that the quick release lever could fit just in front of the rack strut when closed.

I'm not sure how/if the disc brakes change the configuration. It is easy enough to try.
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Old 06-12-14, 08:12 PM   #3
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This is how my Tubus Tara is now fitted on my Surly Long Haul Trucker ... looks maybe different to your setup?



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Old 06-12-14, 08:26 PM   #4
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My Tubus was also set up on a LHT. I think Andrew's setup might also work on your bike. He used the rear eyelet on the fork dropout, and the front mounting point on the rack. He then used the rear mounting point on the rack to mount his fenders. Pretty slick! The only thing you'd need to do is use large enough spacers so the rack clears the fork blades. It might take a little larger spacer than the 5 mm that comes with the rack. Using my wife's fork a guide, I'd estimate a 8-10 mm would work.

Take a look at this for ideas: http://www.tubus.com/documents/1321272002_Tara.pdf
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Old 06-12-14, 09:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
I just picked up a slightly used two year old (58cm) Co-Motion Americano. It has a Tubus Tara front rack and the PO had difficulty making the front rack fit correctly. In fact, he had to remove the quick release hub and replace it with a screw in hub. I want the bike to have a quick release hub AND a Tubus Tara front rack.

The problem he found (and in fact the way the bike sits today) is that there's not adequate clearance around the Tubus rack for the quick release skewer.

Anyone help me figure out how to make this work? Was the rack incorrectly installed? Can you look at your Americano/Tubus/Quick Release setup and tell me how yours differs from mine?

Many thanks,

Bob
Take a look at the pdf that Doug64 linked to. You are using the wrong hole on the rack. Use the tab on the opposite side of the rack from what you are using now. You need a spacer to get the rack away from the fork leg as well. The tab you are using now should be used as your fender mount.
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Old 06-12-14, 09:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
+1

Amazing what you can learn when you RTFOM.

OP, you may have to spread the rack slightly wider and use the Tubus standoffs (or similar) to achieve proper fit (pretty much just like it's pictured in the Tubus diagram).
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Old 06-12-14, 11:01 PM   #7
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Here's the only pic I have of the Tara fitted on my Americano. Hopefully you can make out enough to be able to tell what went where. I definitely used spacers to bring the bottom rack mount point out a bit from the forks, otherwise the rack would foul the thick fork legs. The uploaded attachment here has been resized, you can get a larger version on the original thread over on crazyguyonabike:

crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: Forums: Bikes (page 33)

Unfortunately I don't have the bike any more (I traded up for a 29er Divide), so this is all I have, sorry. I use Tubus Nova and Cosmo racks now.

Neil
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Old 06-13-14, 01:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Here's the only pic I have of the Tara fitted on my Americano. Hopefully you can make out enough to be able to tell what went where. I definitely used spacers to bring the bottom rack mount point out a bit from the forks, otherwise the rack would foul the thick fork legs. The uploaded attachment here has been resized, you can get a larger version on the original thread over on crazyguyonabike:

crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: Forums: Bikes (page 33)

Unfortunately I don't have the bike any more (I traded up for a 29er Divide), so this is all I have, sorry. I use Tubus Nova and Cosmo racks now.

Neil
Neil, Your Tara rack and fenders appear to be mounted like mine. Did your quick release hubs function properly?
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Old 06-13-14, 01:46 AM   #9
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Neil, Your Tara rack and fenders appear to be mounted like mine. Did your quick release hubs function properly?
Actually, I just found another (later) post where I mention that the Tara makes it impossible to remove the front wheel without first removing the quick release skewers:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...ested=0#167916

So yes, apparently there was an issue with the Tara, at least in my case. Sorry for the confusion. I fixed it by moving to the Tubus Nova, which doesn't have the same issue. Hope that helps!

Actually the Nova is better than the Tara in other respects too (in my opinion): Nova has a better shape down below for panniers - both Ortlieb and Arkel. For Ortlieb, the oval shaped diagonal piece is much better for engaging the lower hook on the Ortliebs (the Tara has a really thick tube down there, which is thicker than the hook, and you really have to jam the hook on there to make it work - not good). Also, the bottom of the Nova is more straight, and friendly for the panniers that have bungee hooks (e.g. my Arkel). With the Tara, the curvature of the bottom makes the hook want to slide off.

Nova has more flexible options for fitting to make the top level - not so the Tara.

The Nova is stainless steel! Looks awesome, especially with the Champagne color on my Co-Motion. Also, no rust.

The pic below of the bike with the Tubus Nova doesn't look level, but that's only because the bike was up on the two legged kickstand, which tipped the bike forward or back. In this case it was tipped forward. The rack was actually very level.

Neil
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Old 06-13-14, 07:06 AM   #10
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What I find odd about this is that this is my second Americano/Tubus Tara combo and I don't recall any fitment issues first time around. Co-Mo sells the Tara rack, though a call to Co-Mo about my issue wasn't particularly helpful...but neither did I hear "Dude, it won't work".

Having to remove the skewer to change a tube/tire isn't a total deal breaker for me. But it does add the risk of losing a critical part on the side of the road (its been a long tough day, its getting dark, raining, the wind is blowing, traffic is awful, etc.) and that seems completely unacceptable. This is a premium bike/rack and I expect better than this.

So, it's off to my shop to see if I can make these pieces play well together.

EDIT: I called Ortlieb/Tubus and found a very helpful fellow who talked me through the "correct" mounting procedures. As was shown in the PDF diagram above, the larger triangular tab (the forward facing tab) at the bottom of the Tara rack should have been mounted to the rear braze on the Americano's fork...the PO had it reversed. This took a bit of finessing, but ultimately it seems to have worked. Still not sure that the quick release will allow the wheel to drop out of the forks like a "normal" bike, but at least I have done away with the proprietary bolt/tool combination that the bike's front axle came with.

This solution resulted in the fender stays being mounted onto the Tara rack...through the same tab that is used to mount the rack to the forks. So, those bolts are now anchoring both the bottom of the rack and the fender stays. The result is a pretty busy intersection of forks, disc brakes, front rack and front fender. I don't know if this is a good stable long term solution...but I think it may work. Will drop it by my LBS and ask for his thoughts.

One concern I have about this is whether the bolts that are used to mount both the bottom of the rack and the fender stays are long enough to do so safely. Seemed to have plenty of thread engaged, but not sure is it is long enough to provide adequate support for a loaded rack on a bumpy road.

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Old 06-13-14, 07:27 AM   #11
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With my 2006 disc braked Americano I recall that the Tubus mounting was trial and error with the skewer causing me a fit. I managed to be able to get it on without having to remove the skewer, however. I've also sold the frame of this bike (for $1500 after riding it 47,000 miles) so can't get you a picture. Try the Nova as Neil suggests.

My Americano wheels were horrible. Before you take them anywhere true them up.
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Old 06-13-14, 07:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
Actually, I just found another (later) post where I mention that the Tara makes it impossible to remove the front wheel without first removing the quick release skewers:

Bicycle Touring: Forum: Bikes: #5111: "Next touring bike for Neil... Co-Motion Americano Co-Pilot", posted by Neil Gunton*(admin) on Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:30 (US/Pacific)

So yes, apparently there was an issue with the Tara, at least in my case. Sorry for the confusion. I fixed it by moving to the Tubus Nova, which doesn't have the same issue. Hope that helps!

Actually the Nova is better than the Tara in other respects too (in my opinion): Nova has a better shape down below for panniers - both Ortlieb and Arkel. For Ortlieb, the oval shaped diagonal piece is much better for engaging the lower hook on the Ortliebs (the Tara has a really thick tube down there, which is thicker than the hook, and you really have to jam the hook on there to make it work - not good). Also, the bottom of the Nova is more straight, and friendly for the panniers that have bungee hooks (e.g. my Arkel). With the Tara, the curvature of the bottom makes the hook want to slide off.

Nova has more flexible options for fitting to make the top level - not so the Tara.

The Nova is stainless steel! Looks awesome, especially with the Champagne color on my Co-Motion. Also, no rust.

The pic below of the bike with the Tubus Nova doesn't look level, but that's only because the bike was up on the two legged kickstand, which tipped the bike forward or back. In this case it was tipped forward. The rack was actually very level.

Neil

The Nova uses the same standoff that the Tara does. In the picture above the Nova is mounted on the front mounting tab as the Tara should be. One thing to note on your picture is that the fender stays don't need to be mounted behind the rack. That's what the mounting tab opposite the frame tab is for. I don't have a picture of my Tara rack with a fender but all Tubus racks have this kind of tab for fender mounts. Here's what the rear one looks like



It makes mounting the fenders much easier
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Old 06-13-14, 08:31 AM   #13
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RE top picture . front tab on rack > rear tab on fork tip,, rear tab on rack, is where the mudguard strut affixed .

Adding spacers get you clearance.
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Old 06-13-14, 11:14 AM   #14
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Adding spacers get you clearance.
That's a bingo!.

Upon further review, I find the Tubus mounting instructions to be essentially correct. What they seem to be missing is any suggestion of replacing the spacers, and maybe the bolts, with something just a tad longer. The rack will fit (along with a set of Velo Orange fenders) as shown, but they do impinge a bit on the bottom of the forks and are very close to doing so with a caliper mounting bolt. If the spacers were 1/8'" longer the fit would be fine. And the Tubus rep advised me that this might be necessary. That's next.

Thanks for your help...
Bob

Edit: I added a simple washer behind the OEM spacers and this gave me the clearance between the Tara rack and the front forks that I wanted. However, the bolts were barely long enough to reach...so, I will source a couple of longer M5 bolts. The added washer now allows the Tara rack to mount without touching the forks...so that problem is solved. Additionally, the quick release system works flawlessly...plenty of clearance. Couple longer bolts and I'm done.

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Old 06-13-14, 03:33 PM   #15
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I have both the Tubus Tara and Duo front racks. If your fork has through-the-fork braze-ons, I suggest checking out the Duo. (My Nor'wester has single-sided braze-ons, so I had to get the Tara.) It's a very simple design, basically just an S shape, and does not have a front hoop. I like it for my S&S bikes as it makes packing really easy without the hoop. In fact, I just put it back on my bike this afternoon as we're leaving for a bike tour in Europe next week.

Spacers definitely help on the front racks. You can find a variety of cheap plastic ones and longer M5 bolts at most Lowes and Home Depot stores in the loose hardware section.
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Old 06-17-14, 01:50 AM   #16
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Update: I sourced a couple M5 x 30mm bolts and 1/2" spacers from Lowes. These bolts were really a bit too long, so I took up some of the excess with washers. But in the end, the longer bolts (originals were 20mm) and longer spacers (from 8mm to 1/2") have solved my problem...rack is securely held and no longer impinges on the forks.

Ideally, I need a pair of 25mm bolts...guess I'll keep looking.

In any event, the big problem is solved.

Edit: The OEM spacers were quoted as 8mm. The 1/2" spacers I used are 12.7mm. There was no trouble spreading the rack an extra 4.7mm to accommodate the new spacers.

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Old 06-17-14, 09:01 AM   #17
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Update: I sourced a couple M5 x 30mm bolts and 1/2" spacers from Lowes. These bolts were really a bit too long, so I took up some of the excess with washers. But in the end, the longer bolts (originals were 20mm) and longer spacers (from 8mm to 1/2") have solved my problem...rack is securely held and no longer impinges on the forks.

Ideally, I need a pair of 25mm bolts...guess I'll keep looking.

In any event, the big problem is solved.
Cut 5 mm off of the bolt. Use a Dremel tool cut-off wheel if you have one, or a hacksaw. Dress the cut with a file , and you are ready to go.
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Old 06-17-14, 10:45 AM   #18
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Good suggestion. And now I can move onto other setup issues.

Thanks guys. A couple of shots to document what the changes were....

Before...as the bike was initially. Note the screw-in axle blocked by rack...........:

After...Note the "Salsa" QR in place, rack mounted to rear braze-on of fork:

And one more glamour shot:
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