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Non-pannier use of a rear rack

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Non-pannier use of a rear rack

Old 10-28-12, 01:16 PM
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FatBottomedGirl
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Non-pannier use of a rear rack

Hey guys!

I have an EX2 Blackburn rear rack and been very happy with it as far as hanging a pannier (or two) to it.

I was just wondering: what kind of items can I put *on* the rack and how liable and safe is it?

Can I, for instance, put a backpack with my rainclothes on it?

Of course I would secure it with an elastic strap or a cargo net but it is tough to imagine what could fit there? it feels so narrow!

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-12, 02:08 PM
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That rack doesn't have a 'fender top' or solid platform. I'd be wary of strapping anything to the top of that rack that wasn't designed to do so- like a trunk bag or a basket. You could strap your backpack to the rack, but you'd have to take great care that the pack straps don't dangle through the rack and secure it so the load doesn't shift resulting in the bag making contact with the rear wheel.
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Old 10-28-12, 02:49 PM
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As long as you use something that won't fall through the gaps on the top of the rack (or use a stiff piece of cardboard/plastic under your item for said purpose), and you mummify the item in so many bungee cords that it can't move, I think you can carry just about anything that doesn't exceed the weight limit of the rack.
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Old 10-28-12, 03:06 PM
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Secure a piece of Plywood to the rack, and then it will be wider,
and, also, have some wheel-spray protection.

BALTIC birch plywood is light and strong, paint or clear lacquer to keep it nicer looking..

add some corner holes to hook the stretch net into..
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Old 10-28-12, 05:14 PM
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I have toured with a 25l backpack bungied to the rack-top. You need about 3 bungie chords, at least one going under the rack and over the bag.
Don't let anything drag into the spokes or wear against the tyre.
make sure your rear lamp is not blocked.

I sometimes use a rack extender for carrying big items such as bags of plaster, cement or horse manure!
I have a 1/4" plywood length with 4 pairs of small holes, threaded with a length of wire so i can fix it in place and remove it easily. If you want a more permanent fixture, corrugated plastic fixed with zip-ties should be strong enough.
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Old 10-28-12, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Secure a piece of Plywood to the rack, and then it will be wider,
and, also, have some wheel-spray protection.

BALTIC birch plywood is light and strong, paint or clear lacquer to keep it nicer looking..

add some corner holes to hook the stretch net into..
If you opt for this route, take note of where on the rack you place your panniers and then cut into the new deck plate at that location or you won't be able to use your panniers in the future.
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Old 10-29-12, 12:59 PM
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I've attached milk crates... high profile but work really well. I once used a sturdy cardboard box. Cut a piece of plywood to fit the inside bottom and used 1/4" carriage bolts to secure it to the rack. Added some reflective tape to the back. Worked reall well for an entire summer. Then I spent some bucks and bought my panniers, but you can't beat a simple box sometimes!!
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Old 10-29-12, 01:06 PM
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The issue you'll most likely encounter when strapping stuff to the top of your rack is bike instability. The higher you mount a load the more it contributes to instability. Now a bag with rain clothes in it doesn't sound very heavy so it's hard to imagine you'd have any problem with that. But if you were to mount your child to the back, you'd find the bike less stable. YMMV.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:16 PM
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Thanks guys! this was mostly out of curiosity! I always have a rear pannier on my bike and I see no case where I would absolutely need to use the top... I was just curious.

(as it turns out, just today I used it to put some bread and a couple of cucumbers... )
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Old 10-29-12, 01:59 PM
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I've used racks like that for 35 years. I use bungie cords to attach all kinds of things. Tying things up can be slower than with other methods, but it works. Be patient and thorough. Make sure the bungies are tight and have no risk of dangling or getting caught in the wheels or anything. When I tie up clothing or a backpack, I take care to tuck in any dangling straps, sleeves, etc.

You could use rope if you prefer. Or you could use those nifty ratcheting straps that have become popular. Be sure you're good at any of these skills before you take off. Bounce and wiggle the bike to be sure.
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Old 10-29-12, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FatBottomedGirl View Post
Thanks guys! this was mostly out of curiosity! I always have a rear pannier on my bike and I see no case where I would absolutely need to use the top... I was just curious.

(as it turns out, just today I used it to put some bread and a couple of cucumbers... )
Okay.... but take it easy!
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Old 10-29-12, 02:50 PM
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Now that's quite the pickle!!
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Old 10-29-12, 10:32 PM
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This is my small, urban summer version. I've carried 3 times larger backpack - no problems. Just put a good bungee cord. Stability is not a problem if you tie it down right - doesn't moove. It is also very practical. You stop and you've got a regular backpack to carry. Unless aggressively riding OFF road, it will be no problem.


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Old 10-30-12, 06:34 AM
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If the racktop load is very heavy or big I always use a rope; lightweight rope is fine, as are nylon webbing straps. You dont want a heavy bag of plaster or concrete held in place by a bit of elastic.
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