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Mt. Bike rack questions

Old 07-29-13, 07:20 PM
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Mt. Bike rack questions

I have no doubt that this has been discussed but my search turned up nothing. I am going to use my mountain bike for touring. The trouble I have is that it has no eyelets for racks front or rear. Does anyone use, or know of, some decent clamp on racks? 29er, disc brakes, front suspension fork. I will consider a trailer or xtra bike if I can't find anything but I want to investigate this first. Thanks!!
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Old 07-29-13, 07:24 PM
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Old Man Mountain
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Old 07-29-13, 07:51 PM
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Just what I'm looking for. Thanks!!
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Old 07-29-13, 08:01 PM
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Just to get the ball rolling here, I will suggest that a clamp-on rack will lack both vertical supports (which attach to the frame at the back wheel) and the necessary cross bars to lock a pannier (bag typically used for touring) in place. I own several good clamp-on racks, but I could not imagine using any of them for any more than carrying a towel or a spare t-shirt.

There are no eyelets on the rear wheel insert? If you've got these for the bottom of the rack, you can find hardware that will attach the top of a standard rack to your seat post. You can probably also figure out a way to attach the top hardware to a reflector mount.

However you can pull it off, I would say figure out a way to add a proper rack (not a clamp-on) to the bike before trying to tour with it.
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Old 07-30-13, 12:00 AM
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+1 on the Old Man Mountain recommendation. Rock solid, way more solid than you'll ever need in fact, as I regularly carried a person on my front rack for a time. Ortlieb panniers work just fine for them and I'm sure most others would as well. I've toured with my rack, with my Ortliebs on it, overloaded, and with small loads on the deck as well. On and off road, they've done excellently, and have a good reputation, for good reason.

The only possible downside I've experienced with them, is because of how much rack is down at the end of the fork, my bike wouldn't fit in a friends car top bicycle rack.

Finally figured out how to upload the only picture I have of using the rack that way:
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front rack person.jpg (76.5 KB, 51 views)

Last edited by Medic Zero; 07-30-13 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 07-30-13, 05:01 AM
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I'm curious...how does that Old Man Mountain rack attach to the bike without any eyelets?
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Old 07-30-13, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom
I'm curious...how does that Old Man Mountain rack attach to the bike without any eyelets?
Attaches at the quick release on the bottom, and the brake posts on the top.
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Old 07-30-13, 03:17 PM
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[QUOTE=Medic Zero;15903160]+1 on the Old Man Mountain recommendation. Rock solid, way more solid than you'll ever need in fact, as I regularly carried a person on my front rack for a time. Ortlieb panniers work just fine for them and I'm sure most others would as well. I've toured with my rack, with my Ortliebs on it, overloaded, and with small loads on the deck as well. On and off road, they've done excellently, and have a good reputation, for good reason.

The only possible downside I've experienced with them, is because of how much rack is down at the end of the fork, my bike wouldn't fit in a friends car top bicycle rack.

Do you use the highest capacity model they sell or a lighter rated one? I wonder if I need a rack with 70 pounds rated capacity. I don't really have any desire to haul that much. I suppose if car top transport was really necessary, you could remove the entire rack.
Thanks for the great info, guys!!
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Old 07-30-13, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn.cyclist
Do you use the highest capacity model they sell or a lighter rated one? I wonder if I need a rack with 70 pounds rated capacity. I don't really have any desire to haul that much. I suppose if car top transport was really necessary, you could remove the entire rack.
Thanks for the great info, guys!!
I believe they've discontinued the model I have, mine is the Cold Springs, not sure what it was rated at. From what I've seen, their construction appears similar for all their models. Certainly mine wasn't rated to carry people! I'd safely assume that any of their racks could carry double what they rate them at.
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Old 07-30-13, 03:48 PM
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I have the Sherpa front rack, and it will hold more that I'd ever want to load on it. If you are seriously planning to buy one, give them a call to make sure you get the right attachment hardware for your specific installation. The basic rack is the same, but the mounting hardware comes in all types and sizes. The guys there are great to work with.
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Old 07-30-13, 03:57 PM
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Here is the rack mounted directly to the fork


And here is the rack mounted to the QR skewer
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Old 07-30-13, 04:00 PM
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I realized, I have a waterproof Portage bag made for Canoeing, with it's back pack straps , I can put my trailer on my Back,

and climb over stuff that with the gear off the bike , and get places that would be a real PIA to remove Panniers
and carry them separate from the bike .. + the bike..

as it is now I can make 1 trip.. Up stairs and across road washouts.
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Old 07-30-13, 04:55 PM
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At the risk of beating a dead horse....

Old Man Mountain.

I tried to buy a cheaper pair of front suspension racks, and it just wasn't worth it. The Old Man Mountain racks are very nice, go on well, and work great.
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Old 07-30-13, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn.cyclist
Thanks for the great info, guys!!
I've owned the OMM rear rack and can't say that I'd recommend it. There are a couple of issues which were problematic for me. First, there's the inability to change wheels without removing the lower legs of the rack. Because the rack's lower legs aren't supported, you'll probably have to unload the rack as well if you have to change a flat. I found it to be a hassle. YMMV.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the very long quick release skewer bent on my rack. It made it hard to get the skewer into and out of the hub. To be honest, I never used the rack for touring and just used it for around town riding with a commuting load and only for a short time. I'd be concerned about the skewer not being up to the job with a touring load.

Third, the attachment points looks kludged. I'm sure there are clamps for a fork without brake bosses, which is the case for most front forks today, but the whole thing looks rather ugly.

Finally, there are alternatives that, in my opinion, work better. You could use Tubus stay mounting clips (Item #3 on this page). I use them on a Moots YBB and on a Specialized Stumpjumper Pro that I use for commuting, off-road touring and fishing. They are much, much better than p-clips for the rear rack.

I'm not a big fan of putting a load on a suspension fork. You can use a u-clamp on the legs but it would be very easy to damage a very expensive fork.

Another alternative is to use Revelate Design bags. You can't carry as much stuff but that's not all bad. ( I know, it's a shocker. Stuart actually suggesting carrying less stuff. Deal with it) The Relevate bags would let you use the mountain bike as a mountain bike as well.

And, if all else fails, a trailer is the way to go with a mountain bike. (Another shocker. Stuart suggesting a trailer. Yea, I got one. Grow up) I hate using a trailer but it's easier then using panniers on a mountain bike.

Price-wise, a trailer, panniers and Relevate Design bags are a wash. They all cost about the same when all is said and done.

Edit: Another thing to consider is changing the fork. If you aren't going to do off-road touring, you probably don't need the suspension fork. Since your mountain bike is a 29er and thus modern, you probably have a threadless fork. Switching the fork is trivial and the cost of the fork shouldn't be too high. You could then use a touring bike fork with all the braze-ons you need for a front rack.

When you want to go back to a suspension fork, the change is just as easy.
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Old 07-30-13, 06:44 PM
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I haven't seen these mentioned, but I think the Thule Pack'n Pedal tour racks are worth a look. I'm pretty sure these racks were designed by someone else and Thule bought the design. There's not many reviews but from what I've read the Pack'n Pedal racks are strong, secure, and can be mounted virtually anywhere.
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Old 07-30-13, 07:52 PM
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You don't mention the size of your load. I would go for any rear rack with a top plate to act as a fender and stack tent and sleeping pad, frame bag, handlebar bags above and sleeping bag below bars. No panniers. Nothing cantilevered forward off bars or attached to forks. Basically a tight package that can be ridden off road without contents bouncing around. This would be the equivalent of a small set of panniers and small rack load. If you're looking for mondo loads get an Extrawheel trailer.
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Old 07-30-13, 08:15 PM
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I currently have a Tubus Swing mounted on the front of my Giant XTC 2 and pull a Extrawheel Voyager. Works okay for me and my type of "off-road touring."

Tubus Swing (more images here)



and the rig on tour earlier this month ...



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Old 08-05-13, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Here is the rack mounted directly to the fork


And here is the rack mounted to the QR skewer
Thanks for posting these great photos, your bike is stunning. Which rack set up do you like best and why? How do you attach fenders? Do you have some eyelets for those? My Mt. bike has no eyelets and I hope to find a way to use road typre fenders as opposed to clip on mt. bike fenders.
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Old 08-05-13, 06:12 PM
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I currently have OMM Cold Springs racks installed front and back on two bikes with Rock Shox Tora front suspension systems. The forks have both disc mounts and V-brake posts and the V-brake posts are used as the upper anchor point for the rack. The lower end is designed to work with a QR. Absolutely no issues removing a wheel and repairing a flat would be as simple as if the rack wasn't there.

Am also running one bike with Thule 'Pack N Pedal' racks front and back. The initial installation is long and finicky because they're so adjustable. They're the only rack I know that will let you level the rack and then shift the panier mounting rails forwards or backwards. About the same price as OMM but with much more 'cool factor' thrown in.
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Old 08-06-13, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Burton
I currently have OMM Cold Springs racks installed front and back on two bikes with Rock Shox Tora front suspension systems. The forks have both disc mounts and V-brake posts and the V-brake posts are used as the upper anchor point for the rack. The lower end is designed to work with a QR. Absolutely no issues removing a wheel and repairing a flat would be as simple as if the rack wasn't there.

Am also running one bike with Thule 'Pack N Pedal' racks front and back. The initial installation is long and finicky because they're so adjustable. They're the only rack I know that will let you level the rack and then shift the panier mounting rails forwards or backwards. About the same price as OMM but with much more 'cool factor' thrown in.
I have to second this. I've had zero problems changing a tire with the way the Cold Springs model mounts, and I've had plenty of flats! I have to wonder how the rear rack cyccocommute used mounted that he had to remove it to change the tire. That seems odd to me.
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Old 08-07-13, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mtn.cyclist
Thanks for posting these great photos, your bike is stunning. Which rack set up do you like best and why? How do you attach fenders? Do you have some eyelets for those? My Mt. bike has no eyelets and I hope to find a way to use road typre fenders as opposed to clip on mt. bike fenders.
The direct fork mount is a little better because it gets the load lower and further back. Ideally, having the load centered over the axle affects steering the least. Low riders are set up that way, but higher racks tend to move the load forward, which affects steering a bit. I try to put lighter stuff in the front panniers, and within the front panniers, place heavier items toward the rear. The result is fairly neutral handling. For mountain biking, I use the QR mount, which is stronger.
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Old 05-27-16, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
The direct fork mount is a little better because it gets the load lower and further back. Ideally, having the load centered over the axle affects steering the least. Low riders are set up that way, but higher racks tend to move the load forward, which affects steering a bit. I try to put lighter stuff in the front panniers, and within the front panniers, place heavier items toward the rear. The result is fairly neutral handling. For mountain biking, I use the QR mount, which is stronger.
Don't mean to bring an old thread back from the dead, but I'm curious about direct mounting to fork eyelets. I own the Sherpa. It's great. But I'm not a huge fan of mounting it with the QR since my bike (Salsa Vaya) has lower eyelets. HOW did you do it? Many thanks!
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Old 05-27-16, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jkeller7
Don't mean to bring an old thread back from the dead, but I'm curious about direct mounting to fork eyelets. I own the Sherpa. It's great. But I'm not a huge fan of mounting it with the QR since my bike (Salsa Vaya) has lower eyelets. HOW did you do it? Many thanks!
Here are a couple close ups. Used a small spacer to give enough clearance so the rack doesn't contact the fork.



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Old 05-27-16, 07:35 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! And those pics are very clear. Thanks a lot.

But I was afraid you were gonna say that... I see that you have a set of eyelets a little higher up on the fork, but I only have eyelets down on the dropout where your fender is attached. If I take the lower bracket off the rack, there's a good half inch gap between rack and eyelets. I could put a spacer in there, but I fear the force would be too much for whatever bolts I use.

Nevertheless, I'll try it and post pics if it's a success!!!
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