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Tubus Tara mounting problem

Old 03-26-09, 03:22 AM
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Tubus Tara mounting problem

Hi all, I'm having a problem with my Tubus Tara front rack on my Trek 520, and wondered what the community thought I could or should do about it.

In short, the rack doesn't fit symmetrically on the front fork. Below is an image (taken from the POV of the rider) that shows what I'm talking about. As far as I can tell (I'm eyeballing it), the wheel runs perfectly through the middle of the fork, so I'm inclined to think this is a problem with the rack.

Dissecting the problem further... The rack is still slightly off center (but less) when I only have the lower bolts attached (without the side arms bolted). It's when I attach the side arms to the eyelets that the problem becomes more obvious. The big problem is that the holes on the side arms don't align with the eyelets. I can attach one side, but then the alignment on the opposite side is off by about 3mm. I have to put stress on the rack to align the side arm and eyelet to get the second bolt in. This stress seems to increase the misalignment of the wheel through the rack (as shown in the photo).

To make matters worse, the fork eyelet on the right side is angled forward. That is, the bolt needs to be inserted at a slight angle forward for the threads to align. This puts additional stress on the entire thing.

I've already confirmed that the side arms are of the exact same length, and even had Tubus send me a second pair to try. That's not the problem.

Does anyone have a suggestion of what I could do to diagnose or fix this? Is it even a problem?

Thanks! chris

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Old 03-26-09, 05:00 AM
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It's steel, so you can bend it, although the rack will never really be straight. Tubus racks cost a lot of money, so you think it would be made a little better. Surly racks have the rep for being tweaked out of the box, not Tubus.

Your fork/mounts aren't wonky, are they? If the mounting braze-ons are even a little bit out, it can thow the whole rack outta wack by a lot.

Did you buy the rack from a shop or the internet? At this point, take the bike to a shop on matter where you got the rack. Many racks being sold online or rejects form shops, so you must be careful.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:40 AM
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Your rack looks well used. Perhaps it was bent (while off the bike) so now it isn't symmetrical.

One possible fix is to use "nylon spacers" to shore up the 1cm side. These look alot like thick washers and are available from hardware stores. I think trying to bend the rack back to true would be dificult.

Your fork eyelet problen can be resolved by retapping and rethreading the hole with a larger diameter bolt. This is not easy and should be only done by a person with some experience. Perhaps someone at a machine shop.

Finally, you might have to go to a rack that doesn't use the eyelets. Like OMM.

Last edited by Cyclesafe; 03-26-09 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 03-26-09, 07:38 AM
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Thanks for the responses so far. I spent a little time bending the rack and have it mounted a little cleaner than before. There is still a minor misalignment between the right arm and braze-on (where the braze-on isn't perpendicular to the fork). If the braze-on were misaligned in the opposite direction I probably wouldn't have a problem. I will try enlarging the hole on the arm with a metal file.

I bought the rack from a shop who ordered it for me. I'm quite certain they'd give me a puzzled, "What do you want us to do about it?" look if I brought it in. It would be easy to check with another Tara, but I don't know of any shop in my area that stocks it.

The rack is two years old and has seen around 2500km of loaded travel. I recall when first mounting the rack having to apply pressure to get it to fit, but didn't think much of it at the time. Looking at a photo from two years ago I see that it was a problem (although less) back then too. I must not have noticed it getting worse after adding a handlebar bag last year.

I'll post an update when I have one. Thanks again!

Last edited by chrisch; 03-26-09 at 07:41 AM. Reason: added link to photo
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Old 03-26-09, 07:50 AM
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Sounds like the main problem is your eyelet, not as much the rack. I agree with the suggestion that a spacer might help a bit. I guess I would try to mount the rack so that it isn't under tension - using spacers drilling out the holes in the rack arms. Or, if you are really concerned, take the bike to a trek dealer and see if they will warranty the fork.

But really - I doubt it matters. As long as there is plenty of clearance between the pannier mounts and the wheel, and you aren't having handling problems, what difference does it make? If you're having handling problems I would try to solve it, otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 03-26-09, 08:14 AM
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The Tubus installation instructions are quite insistent that the rack be installed so that it is not stressed. I'm not sure of all the engineering behind this warning, but I'd be inclined to take it seriously.
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