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fork damage from bus rack

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fork damage from bus rack

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Old 10-26-08, 01:23 PM
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lcayton
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fork damage from bus rack

Hi folks,

I commute on a cyclocross bike with disc brakes and take it on the bus sometimes. The bus racks here are mounted on the front of the bus and have an arm that goes over the front wheel of your bike. Unfortunately, the arm digs into the fork of my bike -- before I realized it, I wasted a good carbon fork.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to protect the fork from the rack arms?
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Old 10-26-08, 01:26 PM
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The snide reply would say skip the bus and ride.

Is it possible to turn the bike around and place the clamp over the rear wheel?
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Old 10-26-08, 01:30 PM
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what are you doing riding a bus with a bike....You should only consider doing that if you have a mechanical.

Hate to say it, but it's the commuting gods telling you that you should've just ridden your bike the entire way.
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Old 10-26-08, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
what are you doing riding a bus with a bike....You should only consider doing that if you have a mechanical.

Hate to say it, but it's the commuting gods telling you that you should've just ridden your bike the entire way.
I see the foot in mouth brigade has spoken.

Did you consider maybe his commute is 30-40 miles. Or perhaps he has an impassable object such as a bridge.

Would your opinion be different if he cycled 30 miles and bused 10 miles.

Oh wait, here's a key word.........sometimes. Maybe he takes the bus when it rains. Or he has an appointment that's to far to ride to.


As for the OP's question, consider wrapping the fork with an inner tube?
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Old 10-26-08, 01:47 PM
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Ouch, sorry to hear about your fork. The rear wheel idea sounds good, if it will work. Do you think the rack would damage a steel fork?

When I built up a bike specifically for commuting I made a conscious decision that it would have no carbon parts. Since the bike is designed to be utilitarian, reliability and durability take priority over weight.
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Old 10-26-08, 02:26 PM
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Unfortunately, the racks aren't designed for the bike to be turned around (so that the arm could go over the rear wheel). Even it would provide enough support, the arm would dig into the rear stays and scratch up the frame (instead of the fork).

The inner tube idea is interesting, but I fear the rubber would be a little too thin; maybe doubling it over would work, or carrying a small piece of car tire.

I have a steel fork on there now, which has a couple of deep scratches from the arm. It's fine structurally, but I'd prefer to avoid the damage altogether.

I agree that carbon is not ideal for a commuter bike, but I also race cyclocross on the bike..
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Old 10-26-08, 03:03 PM
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You may be able to cover your fork with something like a Lizard Skin Chainstay protector (the super jumbo or swing arm might be big enough) or the Fork boots they sell. They're made of neoprene and should be thick enough to prevent the rubbing on the rack from doing damage.
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Old 10-26-08, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by The Paper Boy View Post
I see the foot in mouth brigade has spoken.

Did you consider maybe his commute is 30-40 miles. Or perhaps he has an impassable object such as a bridge.

Would your opinion be different if he cycled 30 miles and bused 10 miles.

Oh wait, here's a key word.........sometimes. Maybe he takes the bus when it rains. Or he has an appointment that's to far to ride to.


As for the OP's question, consider wrapping the fork with an inner tube?
since when is a bridge an impassable object? Is there some law that I'm unaware of saying that cyclists cannot be on bridges?
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Old 10-26-08, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by lcayton View Post
Unfortunately, the racks aren't designed for the bike to be turned around (so that the arm could go over the rear wheel). Even it would provide enough support, the arm would dig into the rear stays and scratch up the frame (instead of the fork).

The inner tube idea is interesting, but I fear the rubber would be a little too thin; maybe doubling it over would work, or carrying a small piece of car tire.

I have a steel fork on there now, which has a couple of deep scratches from the arm. It's fine structurally, but I'd prefer to avoid the damage altogether.

I agree that carbon is not ideal for a commuter bike, but I also race cyclocross on the bike..
I see your a newb. Dont let mouthy inter-dopes who dont know you or your situation bother you.
For the rack, maybe think about two 20" pieces of pipe insulation that is slit up the center you
can squeeze on the bus rack tubes after you have the bike loaded in the rack ? Its carrying
extra stuff but its only a few oz and might also cushion the bike from bouncing around with the
bonus of not having to be attached to the bike. Velcro ties to keep it on ????
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Old 10-26-08, 03:55 PM
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The racks also do not work for bikes with fenders.
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Old 10-26-08, 07:35 PM
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I bike-bus because I have to go through East St Louis to get to work. Anyone care to contest that? Ha. Anyway, I would try the pipe insulation or something like that. Ive got an MTB with city tires that I use and it doesnt even get close to the shox fork. Perhaps think about getting an alternate commuting bike?
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Old 10-26-08, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
what are you doing riding a bus with a bike....You should only consider doing that if you have a mechanical.
That's a poorly thought out response...

I carry my bikes on the bus all the time. It's a great way to get into town and still be looking cool and professional. Then I can ride home, when sweating won't be objectionable.

I'm sorry for the O.P. s loss. It may be that CF forks are too fragile for the bus. I have fenders on my bike and when neccessary I can slide the hook under my fender. But I don't unless the bus driver fusses.
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Old 10-26-08, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Szczuldo View Post
since when is a bridge an impassable object? Is there some law that I'm unaware of saying that cyclists cannot be on bridges?

The Mackinac Bridge is one of many

http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,...107--F,00.html

Bicyclists are not allowed to cross the Mackinac Bridge on their own. The Mackinac Bridge Authority will transport your group across the bridge in Mackinac Bridge Authority vehicles. The fee is $2.00 per bicycle.
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Old 10-26-08, 07:59 PM
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Maybe you can check with the rules to the bus company about bringing your bike into the bus. Here in Dallas, DART jus put in bike racks but you can still take your bike in the bus if there is room on the bus, the bike is reasonably clean and you sit at the back of the bus. Then you don't have to use the rack.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by barturtle View Post
You may be able to cover your fork with something like a Lizard Skin Chainstay protector (the super jumbo or swing arm might be big enough) or the Fork boots they sell. They're made of neoprene and should be thick enough to prevent the rubbing on the rack from doing damage.
Was going to comment on not finding that link but I figured I'd post it now that I've found it to save OP some time.


http://lizardskins.com/products/?typ...nsion%20covers


DO WANT!! I need like4 pairs of that.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lcayton View Post
Hi folks,

I commute on a cyclocross bike with disc brakes and take it on the bus sometimes. The bus racks here are mounted on the front of the bus and have an arm that goes over the front wheel of your bike. Unfortunately, the arm digs into the fork of my bike -- before I realized it, I wasted a good carbon fork.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to protect the fork from the rack arms?
Sucks, and not to derail but what city are you in OP? We have racks on our buses here in Toronto, though I've not yet used one I'm curious if it's Toronto buses you've had trouble with, as I don't want to risk damaging my ride if I ever try to use them.

Cheers, and good luck with the remedy (the pipe or tube cushioning sounds like a plan, you could even get a budget bag of cable ties and carry some small side cutters to fix it on/snip it off if velcro can't work for you.l
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Old 10-26-08, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
The racks also do not work for bikes with fenders.

Sorry, but that is incorrect.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:42 PM
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Wow,
What would just be a little scratch on a cro-moly fork ruin's carbon?
Time to switch materials and let the bike protect itself?
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Old 10-26-08, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dobber View Post
Bicyclists are not allowed to cross the Mackinac Bridge on their own. The Mackinac Bridge Authority will transport your group across the bridge in Mackinac Bridge Authority vehicles. The fee is $2.00 per bicycle.
Having never been to Michigan, much less the Mackinac Bridge, I must ask why? Is it due to crosswinds or other weather conditions?
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Old 10-26-08, 09:42 PM
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First of all, exuse teh peanut gallery who shout nonsense such as "You should of ride your bike instead of using the bus!", honestly this forum spawn some of the most elitist *******s this side of somethingawful.com.

Secondly, I'm sorry to hear about your fork. You can try having the city pay for the damage, but honestly you can get a cheap steel fork for pennies on the dollars.

Thirdly, let this be a lesson that your commuting bike should be utilitarian. Commuting on a carbon-anything bike is like commuting a Ferrari Enzo back and forth to work. Yes it's fun, but it isnt it purpose and it's going to suck when it breaks.
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Old 10-26-08, 09:46 PM
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I'd wrap my fork if I were you. I'd also suggest your transit system get some better bike racks.
With the ones used around here, you'd have to have some crazy-wide fork to come close to rubbing against the hold-down arm.

These hold-down arms also work fine with all fendered bikes I've put on...
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Old 10-26-08, 09:49 PM
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These hold-down arms also work fine with all fendered bikes I've put on...
I personally just put the hold down arm on top of my brake.
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Old 10-27-08, 12:16 AM
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On the bus racks I've used, you don't have to place the clamp right against the fork, you can put it a bit up on the wheel itself (it should have enough grip to stay there, I think). Though, maybe I'm wrong...
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Old 10-27-08, 12:26 AM
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Hey folks-

thanks for the great ideas! The lizard skin fork cover and the pipe insulation (+1 for creativity) both sound like good possibilities. I live in san diego, but, judging from some quick googling, the bike racks here seem pretty standard. I think it's partly that my bike configuration is a little uncommon: wide road fork (to accommodate aggressive cyclocross tires) and no rim brake. On any bike with a rim brake (road, canti, whatever), the rack arm will not dig into the fork because the brake is in the way. And most road forks are much narrower anyway, so the arm might actually reach around.

I basically agree with the comments on getting around on a utilitarian bike, but since I only have one *nice* bike, I really love to ride it all I can. It's a steel cyclocross bike, so it's really not far off a commuter, the main impractical aspects being that it's 1) a bit flashy looking, so not something I want to leave locked up and 2) the carbon fork, which has been replaced with an inexpensive steel fork (Kona project 2, which I think could survive a nuclear blast). I have a 17 miles commute to work, or a 5 mile ride + bus ride, so I usually take the bus in, and then do the ride home. Given the length of the ride (plus the nice trails around work that I like to ride sometimes), it's really nice to have the cross bike with me.

xenologer: actually the scratch is fairly deep. Think of a flat head screwdriver being pressed into the fork with the stops and starts of a rickety bus.. Carbon is fairly strong stuff, but can't handle any sort of lacerations. Frankly I'm as surprised as anyone that full carbon bikes are becoming more common for cyclocross and mountain bikes..
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Old 10-27-08, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mace2 View Post
On the bus racks I've used, you don't have to place the clamp right against the fork, you can put it a bit up on the wheel itself (it should have enough grip to stay there, I think). Though, maybe I'm wrong...
That's the case with the racks around here. Because of the angle, you can put the hold-down bar on at 10 o'clock on your front wheel, with bike in the left-facing rack and everything will stay in place.

This is how they rack up front-fendered hybrids in interior BC: Has to be at least 2" clearance from hold-down bar to fork blade.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-27-08 at 12:50 AM.
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