Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Explain to me, this mousetrap rack thing.

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Explain to me, this mousetrap rack thing.

Old 04-26-07, 12:50 PM
  #1  
10ch
I <3 my bike.
Thread Starter
 
10ch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 104

Bikes: '00 Gary Fisher Big Sur // '02 Giant Boulder // Couple of '81 no-name 10 speeds

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Explain to me, this mousetrap rack thing.

I have a (new to me, but old) bike that has a Pletscher mousetrap-style rear rack. Is the "trap" just for small cushy things? A hoodie, for example stays put, but I'm not sure a briefcase or a book would. Is it supposed to hook onto other components like certain styles of baskets?

What's the story behind these racks? They're obviously solid and good quality, since so many are still around. But I gather that some don't like them -- what gives?
10ch is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 01:02 PM
  #2  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,415
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 440 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
I hate them because they tear up seat stays. The spring clamp is pretty useless. There are very few things that they will carry securely. Books will end up on the ground. That has happened to me. A jacket sleeve can end up in the spokes. That has also happened to me. Blackburn came out with a much better rack in the '70's that attached to the brake bolt. I own four of them.
Grand Bois is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 02:47 PM
  #3  
mastershake916
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nor~Cal
Posts: 1,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Use an adjustable bungee cord with it.
mastershake916 is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 03:05 PM
  #4  
tolfan
Novist senior member
 
tolfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Amish Country
Posts: 1,537

Bikes: have about 30 bikes right now

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
every old order menonite bike rider in lancaster has one. the local shop in farmersville has a large stock of them. Most of the riders use them with bungie cords and cardboard boxes. Most amish dont ride bikes but the ones that do have them also and some even put them on scooters.
tolfan is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 03:19 PM
  #5  
braingel
one word, not two
 
braingel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: se portland
Posts: 825
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
They hold a 12 pack on it's side absolutely perfectly, no bungee needed.
braingel is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 03:35 PM
  #6  
TimJ
Senior Member
 
TimJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
They hold whatever they will hold...

Seriously, they're not meant to hook onto or into anything specific. I thought that might be the case at first too, they just sort of look like they ought to.
__________________
fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
"Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."
TimJ is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 05:07 PM
  #7  
FlatTop
holyrollin'
 
FlatTop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: L.B.N.J.U.S.A.
Posts: 1,324

Bikes: Raleigh, Rudge, James 3spds., and a cast of many

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I like to use it on my library runs. Flip up the front bar and wedge the bag of books between the bar and mousetrap. Everything stays put unless you ride off some sweet jumps.
FlatTop is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 05:46 PM
  #8  
Joe Dog
One Hep Cat
 
Joe Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: N 44.91577 W093.25327
Posts: 748

Bikes: Surly Cross-Check (commuter), Lemond Sarthe (sports car), Schwinn fixed gear conversion (for fun)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had one of these years ago. It was a Pletcher as well. It holds a basketball well. Everything else pretty much ended scattered all over the road for me. I replaced it with a Blackburn after over-loading it and twisting the stays on the rack into an interesting modern sculture while bike camping and I have never looked back.
__________________
BikeLove

Website
Joe Dog is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 08:25 PM
  #9  
CardiacKid
SNARKY MEMBER
 
CardiacKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South Austin
Posts: 2,829
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
The one on my Schwinn Varsity held my baseball glove quite securely. We didn't have bungee cords back then, or backpacks for that matter.
CardiacKid is offline  
Old 04-26-07, 08:46 PM
  #10  
Pompiere
Senior Member
 
Pompiere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 2,903

Bikes: 1984 Miyata 310, 1986 Schwinn Sierra, 2011 Jamis Quest, 1980 Peugeot TH8 Tandem, 1992 Performance Parabola, 1987 Ross Mt. Hood, 1988 Schwinn LeTour, 1988 Trek 400T, 1981 Fuji S12-S LTD

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 333 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 182 Posts
A box of misc. hardware that I bought from a gone out of business bike shop had some "T" shaped brackets that are made to keep the rack from sliding down the seat stays. They are about 1" wide at the top, and 2" long. The top holes line up with the Pletscher rack, and the brake bolt goes in one of the bottom holes. With the bracket, you don't have to overtighten the clamp bolts, just enough to not wobble side-to-side.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
rack support.jpg (13.3 KB, 114 views)

Last edited by Pompiere; 04-27-07 at 05:20 AM. Reason: here's a picture
Pompiere is online now  
Old 04-27-07, 03:53 AM
  #11  
joe v
Senior Member
 
joe v's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Belgium
Posts: 664

Bikes: ca.1975 Gitane Interclub - 90's Colnago Master Competition- ca.'84 Merckx Corsa - '77 Groene Leeuw - ca. '78 Guerciotti - ca.1984 L'Express - 1974 Gitane 'Super Olympic' - Peugeot 1981 PXN10 - 1975 Peugeot PR10 -1974 Norta -1974 Peugeot PX10 LE

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by braingel
They hold a 12 pack on it's side absolutely perfectly, no bungee needed.
See, now that's a bit of practical info!
joe v is offline  
Old 04-27-07, 05:39 AM
  #12  
Pompiere
Senior Member
 
Pompiere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 2,903

Bikes: 1984 Miyata 310, 1986 Schwinn Sierra, 2011 Jamis Quest, 1980 Peugeot TH8 Tandem, 1992 Performance Parabola, 1987 Ross Mt. Hood, 1988 Schwinn LeTour, 1988 Trek 400T, 1981 Fuji S12-S LTD

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 333 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 182 Posts
Originally Posted by joe v
See, now that's a bit of practical info!
Car and Driver magazine started that a few years ago for trunk capacity. They list how many cases of beer, largest sheet of plywood, and longest 2x4. Cubic Feet doesn't mean much if you can't fit real stuff in all the odd shaped nooks and crannies.
Pompiere is online now  
Old 04-27-07, 05:50 AM
  #13  
miamijim
Senior Member
 
miamijim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 14,056
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 63 Times in 51 Posts
They were designed to hold a bottle of wine. Lift the big mouse trap up, flip up the little piece, insert bottle with neck facing the rear and lower mouse trap. No joke.
miamijim is offline  
Old 04-27-07, 06:50 AM
  #14  
top506
Death fork? Naaaah!!
 
top506's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: The other Maine, north of RT 2
Posts: 5,127

Bikes: Seriously downsizing.

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 502 Post(s)
Liked 366 Times in 185 Posts
I thought it was designed to hold the center section of a set of panniers.
Back in the dark ages I used to keep 25 feet of 550 cord wound around the rack.
FWIW, my early issue Blackburn rack uses a 'T' bracket like that.
Top
__________________
You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

(looking for a picture and not seeing it? Thank the Photobucket fiasco.PM me and I'll link it up.)
top506 is online now  
Old 04-27-07, 08:19 AM
  #15  
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Soviet of Oregon or the NW Florida Redoubt
Posts: 5,180

Bikes: Still have a few left!

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 160 Posts
Things successfully carried on a Pletscher with spring trap:
Baseball glove, pair of track shoes, daily paper, rain gear, 3 pound trout, Colt Combat Commander, carburetor, diesel injector pump.

Failed attempts:
Books, dozen eggs!

P.S. None of my current bikes have a Pletscher rack
ollo_ollo is offline  
Old 04-27-07, 08:39 AM
  #16  
10ch
I <3 my bike.
Thread Starter
 
10ch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 104

Bikes: '00 Gary Fisher Big Sur // '02 Giant Boulder // Couple of '81 no-name 10 speeds

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks to all -- So far it's handled a change of clothes well (I also wrapped some wrenches and a leatherman in the sleeve of a button down and rolled it up). Glad to know about ollo_ollo's failed attempts and miamijim, I can imagine a bottle of wine fitting quite nicely.
10ch is offline  
Old 04-27-07, 08:51 AM
  #17  
Snordalisk
Senior Member
 
Snordalisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Worcester, MA
Posts: 129

Bikes: 1977 Raleigh Professional, 1997 Milano 3v, 2004 Surly Karate Monkey, 2007 Surly Crosscheck, 1984 Hutch Pro Racer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It holds a large pizza quite nicely up against the bottom of the saddle on our shop 3 speed, but I think that has to do more with the particular positioning of the saddle than the rack itself. A pair of folding Wald baskets on either side does wonders for versatility, just make sure not to flex the outer portion out enough to lose the bottom on a big bump. I call it the "rattlebike" behind its back.

I'll definitely give the wine bottle a try.
Snordalisk is offline  
Old 04-27-07, 08:54 AM
  #18  
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Soviet of Oregon or the NW Florida Redoubt
Posts: 5,180

Bikes: Still have a few left!

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 160 Posts
I think liberal use of bungie cords is the key as that is how I carried the pistol case & engine parts. Don
ollo_ollo is offline  
Old 04-27-07, 09:26 AM
  #19  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 21,008

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1164 Post(s)
Liked 704 Times in 495 Posts
The Pletscher mousetrap is still my all-time favorite rack, although I do admit that I prefer the Blackburn Mtn. Rack's method of attachment to the seat binder bolt over the Pletscher's stay clamps. However, when I use other racks, I really miss the mousetrap, which helps stabilize the load, and which can always be left in its down position for crushable loads.

One stay-saving trick with the Pletscher is to run a flat piece of aluminum or steel (a flattened-out reflector mount works well) from one of the Pletscher clamp bolts to the rear brake mounting bolt, to keep the rack from sliding down the stays.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Old 12-12-10, 09:41 AM
  #20  
gear freak
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: hyde park,ma
Posts: 47

Bikes: i still have 5 road bikes that i can't get my leg over the top tube, so in 1999 i bought a greenspeed gto trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
mouse trap on swiss rack

i telt it was good for making you shaped sandwiches.
gear freak is offline  
Old 12-12-10, 10:07 AM
  #21  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,677
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 76 Posts
I want to see some pictures of these feats! Like Grand Bois I've only ever found them to be a source of frustration... and I imagined that the mousetrap was for a set of saddlebags that were joined across the top by a piece of canvas that was clamped under the mousetrap so they'd hang down like panniers.
clasher is offline  
Old 12-12-10, 10:20 AM
  #22  
jet sanchEz
Senior Member
 
jet sanchEz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,804
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 880 Post(s)
Liked 658 Times in 303 Posts
A small pizza box fits in mine perfectly
jet sanchEz is offline  
Old 12-12-10, 10:22 AM
  #23  
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,987
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 404 Post(s)
Liked 211 Times in 134 Posts
Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
I hate them because they tear up seat stays.
When I used one (don't now, but still have it), I simply put two layers of fabric electrical tape on the two pieces that contact the seat stays. Never slipped, and didn't mar the stays either. Used bungee cords whenever I wanted to hold anything down -- I found the mousetrap essentially useless for the stuff I wanted to carry on a daily commute.

Last edited by Charles Wahl; 12-12-10 at 10:25 AM.
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 12-12-10, 10:32 AM
  #24  
old's'cool
curmudgineer
 
old's'cool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago SW burbs
Posts: 4,417

Bikes: 2 many 2 fit here

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 259 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 62 Posts
Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Failed attempts:
Books, dozen eggs!
Carton of milk...

This was a Canadian style 3L carton of milk, in the 70's. My mom had sent me to get it on my 10-speed. I was able to salvage about 1/2 the milk in the remains of the carton after it fell off!
old's'cool is offline  
Old 12-12-10, 10:52 AM
  #25  
Roll-Monroe-Co
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,308
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
A six of bottled beer fits mightily well.
Roll-Monroe-Co is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.