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Mount Front Rack to Non-Brazed-On Centerpulls?

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Mount Front Rack to Non-Brazed-On Centerpulls?

Old 11-18-13, 04:24 PM
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wintermute
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Mount Front Rack to Non-Brazed-On Centerpulls?

I'm slowly adding optional bits and pieces to my Moto GJ, and although I'm not ready yet, I'm contemplating adding a French-style small front rack (and decalleur). The bike has centerpull brakes which are not attached to the fork by braze-ons, instead, there's a backing plate that is then bolted to the fork crown...



A) Is it smart to bolt a front rack to the brakes? I feel like since these brakes are only attached to the fork by one central bolt, there might be too much downward torque on the whole set-up. Also, there will technically only be one mounting point (the fork crown) to the bike - possible stability issues? What rack would everyone recommend, if this is acceptable?

B) Should I look for a rack that mounts with P-clamps? (Not a big fan of P-clamps)

C) I have a single set of dropout eyelets for fenders - possibly have these do double duty?

D) Just get a saddlebag? Eezy-peezy lemon-squeezy.

I know that this is technically a Mechanics question, but I think more C&V people have dealt with this problem.

Last edited by wintermute; 11-18-13 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 11-18-13, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
I'm slowly adding optional bits and pieces to my Moto GJ, and although I'm not ready yet, I'm contemplating adding a French-style small front rack (and decalleur).

A) Is it smart to bolt a front rack to the brakes? I feel like since these brakes are only attached to the fork by one central bolt, there might be too much downward torque on the whole set-up. What rack would everyone recommend, if this is acceptable?

B) Should I look for a rack that mounts with P-clamps? (Not a big fan of P-clamps)

C) I have a single set of dropout eyelets for fenders - possibly have these do double duty?

D) Just get a saddlebag? Eezy-peezy lemon-squeezy.
No problem mounting a front rack to the center pull brake mounting bolt if it's like the original Blackburn design. Make sure you have full thread engagement and use a New nylock acorn nut.
The rack goes on 1st on single eyelets, then the mudguards. A dab of blue locktite is a good idea.
Velo Orange & Nitto offer quality contemporary front racks for use with decaleur/HB bags but P-clamps will be in order. Fit may be fiddly, ask the vendor for your application.

Saddlebags are more of a Brit-thing but are less expensive that the whole rack/decalleur/HB bag French style. Both work fine.
Style points for French/French.
I just installed a Carradice/Bagman set-up on my Rando-ish build for way less $ than comparable traditional HB set-ups w/ decaleur.
Style can be costly.

-Bandera
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Last edited by Bandera; 11-18-13 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-18-13, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
No problem mounting a front rack to the center pull brake mounting bolt if it's like the original Blackburn design. Make sure you have full thread engagement and use a New nylock acorn nut.
The rack goes on 1st on single eyelets, then the mudguards. A dab of blue locktite is a good idea.
Velo Orange & Nitto offer quality contemporary front racks for use with decaleur/HB bags but P-clamps will be in order. Fit may be fiddly, ask the vendor for your application.

Saddlebags are more of a Brit-thing but are less expensive that the whole rack/decalleur/HB bag French style. Both work fine.
Style points for French/French.
I just installed a Carradice/Bagman set-up on my Rando-ish build for way less $ than comparable traditional HB set-ups w/ decaleur.
Style can be costly.

-Bandera
Bandera,

I'm sorry, do you mean that it would be okay to mount a rack such as the Gran-Compe ENE Mini Rack that VO sells, to the crown and the pivot bolts of the brakes? Or do you just mean typical fork crown/dropout eyelet installation?

Yeah, the style thing. This is the only classy, pretty bike I own and I feel obligated to keep it Francified. If I had a nice Raleigh I'd be all over the Carradice saddlebag.
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Old 11-18-13, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
Bandera,

I'm sorry, do you mean that it would be okay to mount a rack such as the Gran-Compe ENE Mini Rack that VO sells, to the crown and the pivot bolts of the brakes? Or do you just mean typical fork crown/dropout eyelet installation?
Either/Or, depends on the application.

The ENE looks clean & doesn't require p-clamps but looks a bit wispy, an original Blackburn would be way-hell sturdy and rare, the Rando rack w/ integrated decaleur uses p-clamps but has the decaleur you'll need if you go French traditional. Lots of options......ask VO about your requirements.

When that bike was new here in the US HB bags used a simple effective wire bar/stem hanger that was on/off and adjustable cords to the fork eyelets.
I still use a Kirtland on my town bike for farmer's mkt runs decades on.
The traditional French designs looked like a lot of messing about, hardware & expense but now they are Classic & seeing a sort of resurgence.

Have fun and don't forget a good bell.

-Bandera
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Old 11-18-13, 08:23 PM
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There's 2 kinds (as far as I can tell) of front rack attachment for Blackburn- the telescopic strut and the wrap around.

I'm using a wrap around, and I don't have good pics yet, so I'm stealing AZORCH's. (more or less because it's a beautiful bike)




And then this one:





This style is almost like a washer on the back of the fork crown, where as the telescopic strut is almost like a washer on the front of the fork crown. In any case, most of the weight is borne by the dropouts, not by the fork crown attachment; it more or less just holds the rack up.

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Old 11-18-13, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
There's 2 kinds (as far as I can tell) of front rack attachment for Blackburn- the telescopic strut and the wrap around.
Actually either are quite nice, solid reliable and unpretentious. If one can find them snap them up and proceed, Blackburn had it right "back when".

The whole "how tall is your decaleur equipped HB bag & where does your front rack reside" thing I find a bit fiddly, tedious and archaic.
Perhaps that's the charm?

-Bandera
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Old 11-18-13, 08:50 PM
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Don't just get a French-style rack, get a French rack: This one's a TA:



Sturdier (& heavier) than it looks. It's solid steel rod. Would bolt right up to your Weinmanns. They come up on Ebay all the time - here's one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/used-vintage...item25857fcb14
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Old 11-20-13, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post

The whole "how tall is your decaleur equipped HB bag & where does your front rack reside" thing I find a bit fiddly, tedious and archaic.
Perhaps that's the charm?
What do you mean by that? It seems like an honest question with a legitimate intent. I've decided I don't like handlebar bags- most of my bikes have Command Shifters- so the bags between the bars are in the way of my shifters- and my light is behind the height of the bag. So a "frontbag" or "rackbag" looks to be the best solution- as long as it isn't too tall to interfere with the shifters or the light beam.

I'm realizing I really like the look of racks on bikes- both front and back. I think I'm going to put one on my "racing" bike.
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Old 11-20-13, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
What do you mean by that? It seems like an honest question with a legitimate intent. "
G_B,

Yes, no snark intended.
It seems that designs that were state of the art "in their day" but superseded by "modern" designs are enjoying a niche resurgence in cycling.

I'm the guy riding a lugged steel frame w/ DT controls, Carradice seatbag, leather saddle, full mudguards, frame pump and a bell.
It may look like 1972 but it's all modern kit built up in the last year, works a treat and gets more use than my CF wunder-bike.
I can certainly appreciate fitting period correct kit to a Classic or a modern build with new versions hence the question.

Archaic & fiddly is OK with me as long as it works well and is pleasing. I'm the guy who cooks with well seasoned cast iron and sharpens kitchen cutlery by hand on water-stones......

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Old 11-20-13, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
G_B,

Yes, no snark intended.
It seems that designs that were state of the art "in their day" but superseded by "modern" designs are enjoying a niche resurgence in cycling.

I'm the guy riding a lugged steel frame w/ DT controls, Carradice seatbag, leather saddle, full mudguards, frame pump and a bell.
It may look like 1972 but it's all modern kit built up in the last year, works a treat and gets more use than my CF wunder-bike.
I can certainly appreciate fitting period correct kit to a Classic or a modern build with new versions hence the question.

-Bandera
I didn't take that as snark from you- especially in the context in which you posted it.

I think there's a matter of "modern classic" thing going on- which has been around, but is more prevalent. For me- I started out C&V because I was broke and that's what I had. I developed attraction for things based on that and my needs and where and how I wanted to ride.
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Old 11-20-13, 10:17 AM
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Why does the word decaleur sound risqué to me?
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Old 11-20-13, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Why does the word decaleur sound risqué to me?
Rowr.
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Old 11-20-13, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Why does the word decaleur sound risqué to me?
Because you're a bike perv.
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Old 11-20-13, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
G_B,

Yes, no snark intended.
It seems that designs that were state of the art "in their day" but superseded by "modern" designs are enjoying a niche resurgence in cycling.

I'm the guy riding a lugged steel frame w/ DT controls, Carradice seatbag, leather saddle, full mudguards, frame pump and a bell.
It may look like 1972 but it's all modern kit built up in the last year, works a treat and gets more use than my CF wunder-bike.
I can certainly appreciate fitting period correct kit to a Classic or a modern build with new versions hence the question.

Archaic & fiddly is OK with me as long as it works well and is pleasing. I'm the guy who cooks with well seasoned cast iron and sharpens kitchen cutlery by hand on water-stones......

-Bandera
It's not that it's period-correct, archaic, charming, or fiddly. If you want to put a bag on the front and have good handling, the solution is essentially mount the bag low, with the bag center of gravity behind the front axle, and so that the bag is not taller than the handlebar but tall enough that you can open the bag while on the move. It's ancient in that the solution was divided in the '30s or so, and it's modern in that no better strategy for a convenient front bag has been found. And, it's not done on every bike because it IS tricky, fiddly, and finicky, hence not cheap. A lot of riders have found it works well and find it looks pleasing. Once it's made, installed, and aligned, you don't have to fiddle with it more (and don't want to because it is a lengthy job, at least with a Mark's.

Is the TA-style brake-mount rack the best? I don't know but it is small and light compared to a Mark's Rack. Can you go lighter with a similar design in Al? Probably, but there isn't one on the market. Stability and handling seem to be improved with the rack-top as close to the fender as possible (actually it secures the front end of a Honjo or similar), so not all front racks or adapted rear racks will have the correct geometry.
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Old 11-20-13, 01:00 PM
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I got a smallish front rack from Soma that fits the bill for a French project. As far as rack and fenders, I recall a one piece bolt with a nut in the middle and threaded studs either side. One side went into the fork and was tightened down, leaving the other to add the fender and a nut.
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Old 11-20-13, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperLJ View Post
Don't just get a French-style rack, get a French rack: This one's a TA:



Sturdier (& heavier) than it looks. It's solid steel rod. Would bolt right up to your Weinmanns. They come up on Ebay all the time - here's one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/used-vintage...item25857fcb14
I'll second that!



I have this rack on my Jack Taylor and it's fine for a small front bag with no more than a couple of pounds of stuff. More than that and you should use a decaleur. Also make sure the crown bolt uses a grooved, beveled anti-rotation washer because the loaded rack can act as a lever arm to rotate the entire caliper assembly.
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Old 11-20-13, 03:11 PM
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wintermute

I'll third Super LJ's and southpawboston's remarks. The TA is very good for front loads. I've carried a couple of filled water bottles, a camera, a hoodie and a lunch with no problem in a Velo Orange Campagne bag. Just be sure the bag you get has a stiffened base and an attachment point on the bottom to clip or Velcro the bag to the TA. It is not necessary to use a decaleur. I use the supplied straps to attach the bag to the handlebar. Different length ones can be obtained from Acorn as well.

Finally, the TA is made from steel rod, not tubing. Consequently, you can judiciously bend it to level or adjust it or to angle the upright tombstone so it perfectly parallels your brake cable run. It's a really good solution. Unlike French bikes, the chrome seems really good too!
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Old 11-20-13, 04:08 PM
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Sorry for thread hijacking, but I have been thinking about using this TA rack with braze-on MAFAC brakes on a Jack Taylor. The problem is that the fork crown is drilled and tapped on the back (for fender bolt), but not at the front. I have been paralyzed by indecision - do I drill the fork crown, manufacture some kind of adapter that bolts on to the back, or give up on this type of rack?
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Old 11-20-13, 04:39 PM
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MetinUz-

My 1960s Bertin C 37 now has braze-on pivots. On my bike, the TA rack mounts with one of the original alloy, curved spacers an the original mounting bolt. The crown is drilled front to back as would be expected and the mounting bolt passes through the hole in the TA cage back plate, goes through the crown (and the draw bolt that holds up the front fender) and out the back of the crown where the original MAFAC shaped alloy washer provides a bed for a nyloc nut that firmly holds the fender and the TA cage. No slippage, rotation or loosening. Mike Barry at Bicycle Specialties really knew his stuff.

Attached you will find photos which may help with visualization. The first photo show the shaped washer protruding above and behind the TA mounting plate. The second clearly shows the bolt head which holds the rack solidly to the crown.

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Old 11-20-13, 04:47 PM
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I have a Soma Mini Rack and it works fine and mounts easy. Loads of around 20+ lbs with panniers and it's plenty rigid!
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Old 11-20-13, 06:01 PM
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There are also vintage (non-TA) front racks out there that are similar to the TA and mount the same way, but with a slightly larger and rectangular platform. I have one of those, but the chrome isn't up to TA standards.

I use an Acorn Rando bag with it that doesn't require a decaleur. Works well for me.
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Old 11-20-13, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
I have been paralyzed by indecision - do I drill the fork crown, manufacture some kind of adapter that bolts on to the back, or give up on this type of rack?
I'm Happy for your temporary paralysis.
I have an inordinate fondness for Jack Taylors, I built several for a single family "back when".
They were the most solid, honest and well prepared British frames that I ever worked with, as well as being beautiful and handling like thoroughbreds.

Please do anything to meet your requirements short of drilling the fork crown.

-Bandera
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Old 11-20-13, 06:15 PM
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by looking at the picture in the OP i am reminded of the funny difference :
in english fork blades are called fork blades
in french they are fork sheaths (« fourreaux »)
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Old 11-20-13, 06:40 PM
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I really don't want to drill the fork crown, but I also feel like Taylor brothers should have anticipated someone wanting to use a TA front rack, especially with the MAFAC braze-ons. Maybe I will take some pictures and start a thread, see if anyone has a bright idea.


Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
I'm Happy for your temporary paralysis.
I have an inordinate fondness for Jack Taylors, I built several for a single family "back when".
They were the most solid, honest and well prepared British frames that I ever worked with, as well as being beautiful and handling like thoroughbreds.

Please do anything to meet your requirements short of drilling the fork crown.

-Bandera
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Old 11-20-13, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
There's 2 kinds (as far as I can tell) of front rack attachment for Blackburn- the telescopic strut and the wrap around.

I'm using a wrap around, and I don't have good pics yet, so I'm stealing AZORCH's. (more or less because it's a beautiful bike)




And then this one:




Where can I find something like this?
jet sanchEz is offline  

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