Adding a rear rack to a carbon fiber road bike
OK…I admit it, I let the radar scare me off this morning. I’ve got a committment early this afternoon, but I hoped I could get a 20 mile ride in this morning before the forecasted rain hit. I looked at the radar, and frankly, it looked like I might have a 50/50 chance of getting home dry so I backed out. Three and a half hours later, the radar still looks like we’re about to get pounded, but it still hasn’t started raining. That’s what I get for trying to make an informed decision!
In the mean time, I’ve moved my rack over to the road bike and I’ll start commuting on it next week. At this point, it’s an easy process, but the first time I did it required a little thought and research. My Giant OCR-C road bike is similar to all the carbon fiber road bike’s I’ve seen, in that it doesn’t have braze-on’s for attaching a rack. In order to do so requires something of a specialty rack.
I found the TUBUS FLY last year and really like it a lot. It’s a “minimalistic” rack that looks like it belongs on a road bike because it has fairly clean lines and not a lot of bulk. More importantly, you can buy lots of attachment options that will allow this little rack to be mounted on just about anything.
At the top, there is a single supporting arm that I’ve attached between the frame and the rear brake. This takes a little “customization” of the bendable aluminum arm, but it’s designed for that very purpose. I’ve always thought it could probably be mounted in place of the existing spacer on the brake, but haven’t tried that yet. Because the rear brake is now sicking out a little further from the frame I make sure I periodically check it for tightness.
At the bottom, the rack attaches to the bike via an extra long quick release skewer and extensions to the rack legs that allow them to be threaded onto that quick release skewer. The downside of this arrangement is that when I have a flat on the rear (and that’s where it always occurs!) I have to completely remove the skewer and unhook the rack at the bottom in order to get the wheel off to change it. Hopefully, that’s a rare occurrence.
The addition of this little rack let’s me use either my trunk rack or panniers with my road bike, which greatly adds to the utility of that machine. I prefer riding it over the Marin mountain bike because it’s just a lot more efficient and faster to ride. With the rack back on it, I’m looking forward to a little different experience on my daily commutes!
Now, if this rain would just go away!
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