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Rack repair

Old 11-05-13, 09:08 PM
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urbanescapee
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Rack repair

Aside from generally being stronger, that is, able to carry more weight, the other reason I have read for why so many cyclists (tourists) recommend steel racks is that in the unlikely even that you were far from an otherwise convenient replacement option, they can be repaired by just about anyone who knows anything about welding. I have already replaced my steel rack that was damaged as a result of a collision with a car, but I still have it (tubus logo). The car hit me my bicycle square on the side of the rack (which saved the rest of the bike). The rack did become misaligned ( leaning more to the left than to the right, not centered) and in an attempt to salvage it, I tried forcing it back in the other direction basically by bracing the frame of the bike with my hands and carefully applying force with my leg to bend it back. It mostly worked, except that the welds (brazings?) where the tubes cross each other cracked in a couple places in the process.

What I'm getting at is, have any of you actually had a steel rack repaired? Particularly one that has failed at the welds? I understand that many would consider this not to be worth the time or the money but I'm just sitting on this thing because I feel like it would be such a shame to throw it out.

Last edited by urbanescapee; 11-05-13 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 11-05-13, 09:48 PM
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Have you talked to anyone over at Ortlieb since they are the US distributor for Tubus. They would be able to tell you if a repair can be fesable. Since its made out of steel bend it back into shape and find a welder to weld it back together. Should be good as new.

Last edited by Ravenhog; 11-05-13 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 11-06-13, 07:25 AM
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I would contact Tubus as well. If for no other reason, they might even send you a free replacement.

On the other hand, I once had an aluminum backpack frame that cracked while doing an extended hike on the Long Trail - Appalachian Trail in Vermont. I took the backpack to a local welder, who was able to repair the broken weld for a nominal fee.
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Old 11-06-13, 07:43 AM
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There are welders and there are welders. I have welded plain low carbon steel but I am not a good enough welder to try welding the thin gauge tubing made of their special high strength steel.

I do not know if they heat treated the rack after welding, if so that would complicate the situation because welding on part of the rack could weaken other parts of the rack.

And, you are assuming that you can visually see every part that is cracked or otherwise damaged that would need repair.

Good luck.
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Old 11-06-13, 08:36 AM
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It's repairable but the retail labor cost to have it repaired by someone who welds for a living will probably get close to the cost of the rack. I'd be more concerned that the bike braze ons aren't bent or cracked.

I had a Tubus Cargo with lower rails brazed on by a fellow who was just beginning to build frames and it cost about $90
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Old 11-06-13, 11:06 AM
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Good luck with Tubus customer service. They refused to send me a Logo stay when it bent in a crash. Had to get it from Wayne.
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Old 11-06-13, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanescapee View Post
Aside from generally being stronger, that is, able to carry more weight, the other reason I have read for why so many cyclists (tourists) recommend steel racks is that in the unlikely even that you were far from an otherwise convenient replacement option, they can be repaired by just about anyone who knows anything about welding. I have already replaced my steel rack that was damaged as a result of a collision with a car, but I still have it (tubus logo). The car hit me my bicycle square on the side of the rack (which saved the rest of the bike). The rack did become misaligned ( leaning more to the left than to the right, not centered) and in an attempt to salvage it, I tried forcing it back in the other direction basically by bracing the frame of the bike with my hands and carefully applying force with my leg to bend it back. It mostly worked, except that the welds (brazings?) where the tubes cross each other cracked in a couple places in the process.

What I'm getting at is, have any of you actually had a steel rack repaired? Particularly one that has failed at the welds? I understand that many would consider this not to be worth the time or the money but I'm just sitting on this thing because I feel like it would be such a shame to throw it out.
I've actually had an aluminum rack repaired. Admittedly not out in the third world on tour, but here in Seattle I had a welding shop repair a rack that had broken (IIRC, right at a weld) after I abused it FAR, FAR beyond what it was spec'd for, or any reasonable person would do to it. Although a little pricey, it was cheaper to have the rack repaired than replace it, especially when you add in shipping. Definitely worth the time and money, it saved me money and is good as new. As far as time goes, the welding shop wasn't that far off my normal commute, I spent well less than an hour total detouring to drop it off and pick it up. They even sprayed it black after they were done. It was a black rack to begin with, but I know they had to remove some paint to weld it.
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Old 11-06-13, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
There are welders and there are welders. I have welded plain low carbon steel but I am not a good enough welder to try welding the thin gauge tubing made of their special high strength steel.

I do not know if they heat treated the rack after welding, if so that would complicate the situation because welding on part of the rack could weaken other parts of the rack.

And, you are assuming that you can visually see every part that is cracked or otherwise damaged that would need repair.

Good luck.
Depending on where it broke, a local welder might splice in a small brace.
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