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New(ish) bike, old rack

Old 11-06-23, 10:04 AM
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New(ish) bike, old rack

So, disc brake bike with 135mm OLD. I grabbed an old (dating from the 120mm OLD era) Blackburn rack. It seemed unhappy about being spread out to fit the bike.

Just to check, I went to Blackburn's web page, where they offer "our original product, designed by Jim Blackburn in 1975, the EX-1", listed as one size fits all.

So, go ahead and mount the rack? Anyone ever had issues*?



*with a narrow OLD rack and wide OLD bike, not with life in general.
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Old 11-06-23, 11:46 AM
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I would. 15mm means 7.5mm spread to each leg, just a hair over 1/4".
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Old 11-06-23, 04:13 PM
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If you do it, do not be surprised if the rack pushes your dropouts a bit closer together when the wheel is out of the frame. Thus when you drop the wheel into the frame, you might have to pull the seat or chain stays apart a bit to get the wheel to drop in. The Blackburn rack is pretty stiff.
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Old 11-07-23, 01:31 AM
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I would be very surprised if the much thinner rack legs could overpower the much thicker frame stays with the 1/4" of stretch.

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Old 11-07-23, 11:45 AM
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It's a bit more, because the aluminum dropouts are thicker than the steel ones - but, meh, not that much more. If racks are made 'one size fits all', it's got to be okay...right?

I'm used to everything fitting exactly on a bicycle; it seems odd to stretch a metal part to fit. It's simultaneously a case of "yeah, that'll be fine" and "man, it would be a pain in the keister to snap a rack on tour".
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Old 11-07-23, 02:41 PM
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The Blackburn racks had a pretty good reputation, so I am assuming it should be ok. I have an older Rhode Gear rack that was very similar design, used it for several years on a 135mm back end. But I think my rack was built for a 130mm bike, so not applicable.

I no longer use my Surly rear rack for touring, but I put it on my heavy touring bike for riding around near home. And the bike I put it on has some extra fittings on back that make the rear of the bike wider where the rack attaches. I have to yank my chainstays out when I drop the wheel in on that bike.

And my rando bike was designed for 130mm hubs, I run 135mm, so I need to pull the stays apart on that bike too.

Not a problem in either case, but it is an extra step to putting the wheel into the frame.
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Old 11-09-23, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
It's a bit more, because the aluminum dropouts are thicker than the steel ones - but, meh, not that much more. If racks are made 'one size fits all', it's got to be okay...right?

I'm used to everything fitting exactly on a bicycle; it seems odd to stretch a metal part to fit. It's simultaneously a case of "yeah, that'll be fine" and "man, it would be a pain in the keister to snap a rack on tour".
just about every rack I have mounted needed a tiny amount of cold set adjustment to get it right. This it is par for the course and no different than this scenario. Heck the first few millimeters are a freebie. If you take a rack in your hands and squeeze the legs the they move with very little effort at first. Past that it gets harder. If you cold set to that extra 7.5mm the rack will not even care, it is just set to that from that point on and once again stretching the first few millimeters takes little effort.
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Old 11-10-23, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by abdon
just about every rack I have mounted needed a tiny amount of cold set adjustment to get it right. This it is par for the course and no different than this scenario. Heck the first few millimeters are a freebie. If you take a rack in your hands and squeeze the legs the they move with very little effort at first. Past that it gets harder. If you cold set to that extra 7.5mm the rack will not even care, it is just set to that from that point on and once again stretching the first few millimeters takes little effort.
That has pretty much been my experience. There may have been some where I had to make some effort to make the tabs parallel to the drop out faces if they needed to bent a lot, but it was never a big problem.
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Old 11-19-23, 08:21 PM
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I’m not sure that I had the very same brand of rack but I have stretched one to fit my bicycle years ago without any ill effects. Of course, your mileage may vary. 😉
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Old 11-20-23, 11:56 AM
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That no one reports any real-world problems has me feeling pretty confident.


P.S. For any of you wondering what the issue might be but apparently is not, the Blackburn rack (like most but not all cycletouring racks) is triangulated in the OLD bending plane.


Last edited by tcs; 11-20-23 at 12:40 PM.
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