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Rear rack -- Talk me into keeping it?

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Rear rack -- Talk me into keeping it?

Old 05-13-18, 07:05 AM
  #1  
belacqua
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Rear rack -- Talk me into keeping it?

I am building up this '84 620 for longer rides but not touring. (I like @Six jours ' phrase "contemplative randonneuring.") I feel a strong impulse to remove the rear rack--it feels like needless weight and bulk. A small saddle bag and handlebar bag will carry everything this build needs (tools and snacks).

Does anyone like to leave the rack on a build like this, and what are your reasons?

before pic:
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Old 05-13-18, 07:21 AM
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I'd get a rack that matches for the front.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:29 AM
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You can send me the rack. I find moving saddle bags between bikes to be time consuming. If my bike has a rack, it is simple enough to fasten 2 velco straps to mount my Novara rear bag with fold down cereal box sized panniers.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
I'd get a rack that matches for the front.
I actually had the same thought--but I don't foresee using any rack at all. So why would I be doing it? Because it looks right? Btw I don't consider that a trivial reason.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:30 AM
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Big racks are for big bags and if you're not using a big bag, yank the rack.

However, I am thinking of asking @gugie to build me a half length or mini rack for my Cannondale ST. Would be nice to have one for longer multi day CC touring type rides where there's a possibility of rain or the temp changes a lot from morning to dinner time.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
You can send me the rack. I find moving saddle bags between bikes to be time consuming. If my bike has a rack, it is simple enough to fasten 2 velco straps to mount my Novara rear bag with fold down cereal box sized panniers.
This is interesting--I do the same with a Topeak bag on my commuters. But it seems unnecessarily bulky and (psychologically, at least) slow for this build.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:59 AM
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It is only 4 bolts. Take it off ab$ then put it back on when you need it.
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Old 05-13-18, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
This is interesting--I do the same with a Topeak bag on my commuters. But it seems unnecessarily bulky and (psychologically, at least) slow for this build.
That speaks volumes right there. The perception of "fastness" is diminished considerably with such utilitarian devices attached, visually speaking, of course. By all means if you can carry the stuff you want to carry without the rack, then take it off and save it or move it along.

​​​​​
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Old 05-13-18, 09:44 AM
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Your rear rack has the stigma of low price - it's already paid for.

;-)

Racks are handy things. Rear racks can hold a lot. The problem with weighting down the rear has been discussed ad nauseum with the rando crowd. It significantly affects the handling of the bike (tail wagging the dog), especially if you like to stand and pedal occassionally on uphills. Rear wheels already hold ~60% of the bike's weight, and dishing the wheel makes if weaker than the front, so why add more weight to it?

Go find pictures of randonneuring rides. Search images for Bicycle Quarterly's un-meeting, or just @rhm or @n_lerner's flicker sites (Rudi and Neal, respectively), you'll find almost all of them are riding with a handlebar bag. This puts the weight over the front wheel, which alleviates all of the issues above.

It can get expensive, however. You can easily spend $4-500 on a front rack and handlebar bag. You can also get by on the cheap with a bag that attaches to the handlebars. On a "taller" bike like yours, that might put some weight a bit higher than optimum, a small rack that sits right above the tire is more optimal.

Or just ride with your rear rack and a small rack top bag. It all depends on how much you want/need to carry.
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Old 05-13-18, 10:07 AM
  #10  
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I rest my case.


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Old 05-13-18, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bianchigirll View Post
it is only 4 bolts. Take it off ab$ then put it back on when you need it.
+1
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Old 05-13-18, 02:36 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by bianchigirll View Post
it is only 4 bolts. Take it off ab$ then put it back on when you need it.
+2
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Old 05-13-18, 02:50 PM
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Get rid of it, it's an eyesore! Unless you're planning to carry a pillion passenger (great pic btw @thinktubes!) you'll be better served by a saddlebag or backpack. This is not an arbitrary point of view but is actually backed up by science

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Old 05-13-18, 04:28 PM
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Keep it. When you need it you won't have the time or inclination to reinstall it and you won't be able to find the bolts.
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Old 05-13-18, 04:55 PM
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My bikes all have rear racks. For awhile I kept my lightest bike unencumbered for faster club rides. But then I'd sometimes be on a ride that passed near our grocery store on the way back and I'd think that it would have been nice to have the rack along. So I ended up putting a rack on that bike as well. Can't say I really notice the extra weight (less than a water bottle).
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Old 05-13-18, 05:05 PM
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Take it off, keep it and keep the bolts on the bike. Use when necessary, but you never know when you might need it and when you need it it may not be mounted. I use a similar rack on the Wintermule. I've actually overloaded it to a point where I've bent the one dropout mount to about 30 degrees. What you've got there is a touring bike though, no? I'd love to try one of those. If a specimen showed up locally for low cost I'd be on top of it and then on top of it. Those seat stay struts on that rack look fixed in place. Probably made for that bike.
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Old 05-13-18, 05:10 PM
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It's much funnier when you pass someone on a carbon bike if you are riding a steel bike with a rack.

But seriously, like other say, just take it off and put it in a closet. It's 4 bolts. Like 1 minute of work. Put it on again if you want to do a weekend camping trip or something. That's what I do.

FWIW that looks like an original flavor Blackburn rack with fixed stays. In a way, a kind of cool item.

Topic drift: Blackburn touring racks originally came in a standard fixed stay version, and single adjustable stay version. They did make some custom fixed stay types for specific Trek bikes as well. Hard to know what that one is. We were quibbling about this a few months back.

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Old 05-13-18, 11:38 PM
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I'd leave it on. I find my rectangular racktop Jandd box a lot handier than any saddlebag I've used. Yeah, it's kinda dory looking; but it's also insulated. Couple of cold beers and an ice pack in back, take the long way home after work on a nice day
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Old 05-14-18, 07:08 AM
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belacqua, Remove the rack if desired, but keep the screws on the bike should you change your mind and need to reinstall quickly.

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Old 05-14-18, 07:33 AM
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I would keep it. I have rear racks on all my bikes, because i like to put my backpack there. Much more comfortable for long rides than wearing it. In my opinion every bike should have a rear rack and fenders, except they are for niche use like racing or something like that
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Old 05-14-18, 11:24 AM
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I also have racks on all but one of my bikes. Something about a bike with rack braze ons and no rack just looks odd to me. That being said, I have a few bikes set up with handle bar bags and tend to use them rather than anything on the rack for most of my trips. Just more convenient I guess.
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Old 05-14-18, 12:08 PM
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With the seat post that far in, you got a bigger frame than best fit didnt you?
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Old 05-14-18, 12:19 PM
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I put a similar rack on most of my vintage bikes. I have it to carry my library book and anything else I come across needing to haul. I look for used ones but I usually have to buy new. The Planet Bike one is inexpensive and works well. I use nice insulated tube clamps on the ones without braze ons.
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Old 05-14-18, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
With the seat post that far in, you got a bigger frame than best fit didnt you?
Here's what it looks like now that I'm building it up. Waiting for fenders and some brake pads and I think I'll be done. Rack and bolts are stashed within reach. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-14-18, 01:38 PM
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Decent touring bike,
I'm in a place where mudguards are part of proper touring bike build, on a bike I don't have on a hook but for a few days a year..
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