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Old 09-22-09, 09:28 AM   #1
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Rack for Solar Panels!!

I am part of the Bloomington South Solar Racing team. We have several modified bicycles that use a front hub motor and solar panels mounted on the back on normal racks. These bicycles all use lead acid batteries, so weight was never a concern when making them.

This year we are building up a bike for use with lithium-ion batteries, which will greatly reduce the overall weight of the bike. Since we are watching our weight, and since we got it for free, we now are working on building up an 06' Cannondale System Six frame.

We need a rack to mount on this (preferably a lightweight one)- are there any suggestions? The only weight that it should be taking is between 5 - 10 lbs, and could be less.

Currently we use p-clamps around the stays (of our Caad 8's and 7's), this works out ok.
recently we tried using a rack that used p-clamps around the chainstays and attached to the brake bolt. For some unknown reason (maybe we bent the thing too much), the metal attachment to the brake bolt failed.

I was looking at various racks and found some that were dropout mounted- this is good. I was wondering if there was a seatpost clamp + dropout mounted rack- is that even possible?

Anyways, the bottom line is that we are looking for suggestions of racks that can attach at either the seatpost or the brake bolt and the dropout.

If you suggest a brake bolt mounted rack, could you give us some assurance that it won't fail? We're still a little wary as we lost about 4 minutes in our last race due to this problem.
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Old 09-22-09, 09:37 AM   #2
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Not sure why the brake-mount rack failed. I've been using the brake-mount rack shown below on my Cannondale for decades and many thousands of miles of fully loaded touring and it seems as good as new. And I can assure you that my camping gear and other stuff in the panniers weighs well over your planned load.

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Old 09-22-09, 09:50 AM   #3
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for 5-10 pounds, a decent seatpost-mounted rack ought to be fine.
Most of them are rated to at least 20 pounds, IIRC.
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