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Rear racks and lights

Old 11-23-11, 08:43 PM
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Rear racks and lights

I'm wanting to get some lights to put on my seat stays. I know, no biggie, as there are a bunch out there on the market that will mount there.

However, I also have a rack. Since rear lights are most effective when properly aimed, then the rack legs would greatly diminish the desired effect, right? Or am I just visualizing a problem that really isn't?
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Old 11-23-11, 09:11 PM
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I think that the problem is not so much the rack, as what you put on it.

The main reason I rack-mounted my lights was because I didn't want my pannier to get in the way. If you are only using a trunk rack, then it shouldn't be too much of an issue, but there will be "blind spots".

Do you currently have lights on the rack now?
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Old 11-23-11, 09:12 PM
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I'd mount them to the rack legs as they are farther back. Or the back of the rack.
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Old 11-23-11, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
I think that the problem is not so much the rack, as what you put on it.

The main reason I rack-mounted my lights was because I didn't want my pannier to get in the way. If you are only using a trunk rack, then it shouldn't be too much of an issue, but there will be "blind spots".

Do you currently have lights on the rack now?
I've got a 4D Toplight mounted right now. And a NR Cherrybomb 1W on the seat post between the reflector and the seat wedge. But I want more lights back there.

If I strap my bag to the rack, it pretty much blocks the seat post light and reflector. I've mounted a milk crate in the past that blocked the reflector, but allowed for lights to be zip tied. Despite the utility factor, I just couldn't live with the weight of the crate and removed it. The flat tray that I've used before hangs over the rear platform a bit and blocks the rack light some, and again removed it.

I've tried putting the Cherrybomb on the rack leg, but I couldn't figure out how to keep it stable and secure; besides, mounting the rear leg just points the light down towards the ground and reduces the 'distance of awareness' as it were.
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Old 11-23-11, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
I'd mount them to the rack legs as they are farther back. Or the back of the rack.
How would you mount them and how would you aim them? I want to use them for what they were designed for, and not some ad hoc DLG.
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Old 11-23-11, 10:24 PM
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I've been in that situation on customers' bikes before. One possible workaround would be to

1. get a dowel in a size the light's mount can clamp onto

2. bore a hole through the dowel that's the size of the rack leg. The hole doesn't even have to be on-center or coaxial.

3. Now saw the dowel in half, down the center of the drilled hole, and use it to shim the rack leg up to the size the light wants. Obviously some friction material will be needed, perhaps some rubber cement.
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Old 11-24-11, 08:03 AM
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I use my rack flexibly, sometimes with stuff lashed to the top, and sometimes with panniers. Either way, mounting a light is a challenge. Seat post, seat stay - either way there is some chance that I would interfere with the projection. I was able to mount a Mars 4 to the back of the rack pretty well; however I just got a B&M Toplight that I, with some trouble, mounted there instead. I now have the Mars mounted on my helmet. Last week I mounted a blinky on the axle nut of my IGH. It worked pretty well and did not interfere with panniers; however you would need a screw driver to remove in order to take the wheel off. I am now thinking about fabricating a custom mount.
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Old 11-24-11, 08:35 AM
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I have a PB Superflash attached the rear of my rack, and PB Superflashes attached to each pannier. Mounting on seatstays with my panniers would be difficult, so this is a workaround.
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Old 11-24-11, 08:51 AM
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A local commuter relies on his seat-post mount - it is frequently covered up by what he has on the rack. I just want so badly to stop when I see him (when I am driving - he rides in later than I do) and tell him, but never have. I have mounted my lights on my trunk, my backpack, and my helmet, and have a steady red on my rack. You might find you can use the P-clamp approach and get lights on the rack legs. I zip-tied my PB Superflash to the trunk by just tightly zipping to the basic mount.
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Old 11-24-11, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
I use my rack flexibly, sometimes with stuff lashed to the top, and sometimes with panniers. Either way, mounting a light is a challenge. Seat post, seat stay - either way there is some chance that I would interfere with the projection. I was able to mount a Mars 4 to the back of the rack pretty well; however I just got a B&M Toplight that I, with some trouble, mounted there instead. I now have the Mars mounted on my helmet. Last week I mounted a blinky on the axle nut of my IGH. It worked pretty well and did not interfere with panniers; however you would need a screw driver to remove in order to take the wheel off. I am now thinking about fabricating a custom mount.
Out of curiosity, which is brighter between the Mars 4.0 and the Toplight?
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Old 11-24-11, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
I'd mount them to the rack legs as they are farther back. Or the back of the rack.
+1

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Old 11-24-11, 09:16 AM
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How'd you do that?^^

Their mounting brackets won't clamp to such a small diameter tube as the rack leg. What and how stable is your solution?
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Old 11-24-11, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
How'd you do that?^^

Their mounting brackets won't clamp to such a small diameter tube as the rack leg. What and how stable is your solution?
Not my bike in the photos, but I've used an old inner-tube wrapped around the rack to build up enough thickness to use a seatstay mount. It's dead solid.
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Old 11-24-11, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
How'd you do that?^^

Their mounting brackets won't clamp to such a small diameter tube as the rack leg. What and how stable is your solution?
have used innertube strips to do that, and they are pretty stable. Lights are not that heavy. I use the Dinotte, and the diameter is 25.4mm, so I use reflector mounts creatively to mount to the rack. I'll see if I can snap a good pic.
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Old 11-24-11, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
+1

I have my lights mounted on my rack like in the picture, only lower. Used the seat post mounting piece and put that around all 3 of the rack legs as they come together. One on each side. No movement so far and work well.
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Old 11-24-11, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
How'd you do that?^^

Their mounting brackets won't clamp to such a small diameter tube as the rack leg. What and how stable is your solution?
Just offering a perspective. It seems, first off one needs a touring rack w/vertical stays such as an Axiom, Jandd or Topeak. Others have them, but I'm just mentioning a few. Then adding enough of the rubber spacers to allow for the light mounts to be attached securely. What I would add to this particular rig would be criss-crossed cable or zip ties to each light to keep them from bouncing out of the mounts as it can happen regardless. Zip ties are cheap. Good blinkies aren't. The ties don't interfere w/t effectiveness of the lights at all or very little and are bullet-proof in their security.

When changing the batteries one simply cuts the cable ties and puts new ones on when re-mounting. Been doing it for years. My mounting system is different because of my light configuration as I don't use a touring rack. But, I do use cable ties on all my blinkies except for the one I use on my back...it just clips on.

And speaking of blinkies try these @: https://www.pricepoint.com Just put 'Sette ST 316 Glo' in the site search and it'll come right up. 10.00US. I've got half-a-dozen of them. They're as good as any .5w blinkie.
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Old 11-24-11, 09:59 AM
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I use a Racktime TourIt rack and it has holes on the rear set at 50 mm apart. This works perfectly with Planet Bike's Taillight Rack Bracket https://ecom1.planetbike.com/3108.html .

This sets my Blinky 7 or Superflash at the rearmost part of the rack. When my Ortlieb classic roller bags aren't on, visibility is excellent 180 degrees around with the Blinky 7. With the bags on, the light is only visible from the rear (I use a Planet Bike Superflash then).

All Racktime racks have these mounting holes and I'd bet that all Planet Bike racks have 'em, or it has the hole for the vertical bracket that Planet Bike sells. Don't know about other manufacturers, but you might want to check this out for your rack.

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Old 11-24-11, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
Just offering a perspective. It seems, first off one needs a touring rack w/vertical stays such as an Axiom, Jandd or Topeak. Others have them, but I'm just mentioning a few. Then adding enough of the rubber spacers to allow for the light mounts to be attached securely. What I would add to this particular rig would be criss-crossed cable or zip ties to each light to keep them from bouncing out of the mounts as it can happen regardless. Zip ties are cheap. Good blinkies aren't. The ties don't interfere w/t effectiveness of the lights at all or very little and are bullet-proof in their security.

When changing the batteries one simply cuts the cable ties and puts new ones on when re-mounting. Been doing it for years. My mounting system is different because of my light configuration as I don't use a touring rack. But, I do use cable ties on all my blinkies except for the one I use on my back...it just clips on.

And speaking of blinkies try these @: https://www.pricepoint.com Just put 'Sette ST 316 Glo' in the site search and it'll come right up. 10.00US. I've got half-a-dozen of them. They're as good as any .5w blinkie.
I have this rack and this light mounted to it. I have a Cherrybomb 1W on the seat post.

I want to add at least one more light back there, so that whether I'm wearing my backpack or have it strapped to the rack platform, I'll have more than one light visible at any given time.

There is an adapter that would allow me to mount the 4D to the seat post using the binder bolt, but have doubts it will work with the OEM QR skewer. So I'm better off just leaving the light where it was designed to go- on the rack.

You'd think that someone would have come up with a widget or a bracket that would allow one mount to the chain stay, enabling the light to 'peek' around rack legs...
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Old 11-24-11, 10:56 AM
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Old 11-24-11, 11:03 AM
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my rack is a seat post mount; no legs. don't most modern (last 10-15 years) racks have a hole at the very rear for mounting a light or reflector? as you can see, mine doesn't have legs, but there is a hole at the top rear for mounting an L bracket underneath, which came with the light. the headlight is a blackburn and i bought it the same time as the taillight, but can't remember whether the rear is a blackburn. and before anyone goes off about 'blinkies' i'll tell you right now a) it works great in fog; i parked it and walked a loong way back to determine it's effectiveness, and b) the random flashing mode is definitely an eye attractor.

use your imagination. it will please you.
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Old 11-24-11, 11:18 AM
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Ugh, I have a light mounted to the rear mounting bracket already. And another light on the seat post. I quit strapping the pack to the rack due to the fact that the seat post with its light and reflector were blocked.

My rack mounted light offers 220 degrees of visibility. Should I use my old Nashbar Townies, by the time I move them back far enough to avoid heel strike, then they act as blinders for the light.

I just want an alternative location that is stable, secure, and can somewhat aim the light properly.
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Old 11-24-11, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
How would you mount them and how would you aim them? I want to use them for what they were designed for, and not some ad hoc DLG.
My PB SuperFlashes and SuperFlash Turbos came with mounts for seat stays which can easily be made to work on rack legs with a bit of additional rubber. The bracket is made to adjust vertically and horizontal adjustment is done by rotating on the rack leg so they can be aimed where you want them.

Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Ugh, I have a light mounted to the rear mounting bracket already. And another light on the seat post. I quit strapping the pack to the rack due to the fact that the seat post with its light and reflector were blocked.

My rack mounted light offers 220 degrees of visibility. Should I use my old Nashbar Townies, by the time I move them back far enough to avoid heel strike, then they act as blinders for the light.

I just want an alternative location that is stable, secure, and can somewhat aim the light properly.
If you are looking for a way to mount lights when the seat post, seat stays, back of the rack and rack legs are all blocked, I think you will be limited to mounting them to the bags or your body.
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Old 11-24-11, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I have this rack and this light mounted to it. I have a Cherrybomb 1W on the seat post.

I want to add at least one more light back there, so that whether I'm wearing my backpack or have it strapped to the rack platform, I'll have more than one light visible at any given time.

There is an adapter that would allow me to mount the 4D to the seat post using the binder bolt, but have doubts it will work with the OEM QR skewer. So I'm better off just leaving the light where it was designed to go- on the rack.

You'd think that someone would have come up with a widget or a bracket that would allow one mount to the chain stay, enabling the light to 'peek' around rack legs...
Yeah, I prefer 3 at all times, myself. Low/medium/high in terms of location. The Sette I mentioned in my previous post comes w/a seatpost mount not pictured. My fg commuter is set up w/a seatpost rack/trunkbag combo that allows me to mount the blinkie on the seatstay about 4 inches above the caliper. The rack has a refector and I use another blinkie on my back or helmet cover depending on what clothing combo I'm wearing.

Your rack looks like it would mount a blinkie or two just fine on the vertical stay using a seatstay mount and some rubber spacers. The mounts that come w/t Sette rotate 2 different ways. Clock and counter-clockwise and up-down looking at the light from the rear. So, even if one has to attach the mount pointing towards the ground the non-attaching part of the mount can be rotated up to the proper angle for maximum visibility. Btw, my bikes are all peppered w/DIY redneck adaptations of some sort.
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Old 11-24-11, 12:05 PM
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I mount 2 PB Superflashes to a Delta rack with the included mounts and extra rubber sheet (like inner tube). The reflector is on the center mount, technically required by law here. One pannier is removed for pix.

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Old 11-24-11, 01:08 PM
  #25  
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Koga OEM B&M 4D toplight, Rack is a Tubus, so that was easy.
Rack like Igo's would take one too.
an EU standard type mount , these days.
Use the 2 holes Horizontal, 50 or 60 mm apart, instead of vertical and 20mm apart.

Bike came with a battery one, got a Multi to run off the Hub Dynamo.

Got kludgy, and made a way to mount the other one
down by the water-bottle cage, on my rear rackless B.F. P.Llama..
Low , so my rain cape wont hide it.

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