After a long hiatus from the workshop, it’s time to get going on another rack project!  This time it’s a rack for a guy named Sal, who’s in the process of having an absolutely gorgeous bike put together for him by Dream Cycle here in Vancouver.

Sal’s going to be running a Tubus Duo lowrider rack for carrying his panniers, but wanted something custom to act as a high-cargo carrier and bag support, and we’ve been talking about ideas for a simple but elegant rack that would integrate with and compliment the aesthetic of the Duo. The rack will mimic the Duo’s upper  curve, and act as an extension of the duo when the two are in use together.  When not touring, Sal intends to remove the Duo to save weight, but continue using the upper rack in town.

Here’s the design we settled upon (in pink).

Sal's Rack Design

Dimensional sketch

The construction of this one is relatively minimal, deriving the two main structural elements from single bent pieces, terminating on the bottom with a pair of extended tangs that will slip behind the Duo’s attachment tangs on the bottom connection point; the top attachment points will mount to a set of Paul’s Rack Adapters, sitting in front of a Paul’s Racer Brake, a modern-day reimagining of the old french Mafac Racer Brake. The upper stretch of the rack tubes will terminate with a pair of 1/8″ tabs which will angle down from the deck to reduce the  width from the 108mm width at the deck to the 78mm width at the brake posts.

The rack will also feature a curved front light-mount to accommodate Sal’s Son Dynamo-powered headlamp.

Here are some early shots of the rack parts in progress…

Rack Deck, Bent

Rack deck, bent up and ready to rock

Rack Deck

Another angle

 deck pieces

Deck spans and backstay cut and ready to miter.

More to come soon!

Radial rack update

January 6, 2011

After much filing, brazing, and sanding, D’s custom rack is completed! Happy day :)

Custom front rack w. radians

Comparing to a quick profile sketch I whipped up showing the dimensions and alignment of the rack. This isn’t strictly necessary, since I could simply take measurements off of the fork in this case, but going through the sanity check was a good idea in any case, since it revealed that the rack was a little close to the rack adapters (the silver things jutting out of the brake mounting posts) for my preference, and I revised the design before continuing.

Custom front rack w. radians

Filing up some ends for the long stays.

Custom front rack w. radians

For the upper stays I used a different construction method—I flattened 2 pieces of 3/8″ tubing to make some ‘mounting sockets’, and then made some stanchions out of bent 5/16″ tubing that sleeves inside the sockets, and connects to the rack. I probably wouldn’t do this again, as it was far too labor intensive (it’d be easier to use a single piece with a compound mitre), but I think the end result looks pretty good, and it’s strong like bull.

Custom front rack w. radians

I added a flared stud at the front for whipping a bungee around to facilitate lashing cargo.

Custom front rack w. radians

Detail of the bungee stud.

Custom front rack w. radians

That about does it!

Guess it’s time for a new project…

Here we go…

October 8, 2010

Alright then… a new blog, this time chronicling my (hopefully) ongoing foray into fabrication, mostly metal, and related to bicycles, but I doubt if that’ll end up being the long and the short of it—there’s a veritable decade’s worth of projects backlogged in my brain that I’ll hopefully have the pleasure of documenting as they unfold.

In the immediate future (not to mention the immediate past), my energy is going to be focused on honing my brazing abilities, and developing a set of rack prototypes (along with a truckload of happy experiments!) with a strong emphasis on refining some unique, and well-built racks, and other bicycle-cargo-related accessories.  More on that in the near future ;)

For now, let the acetylene-and-caffeine-fueled mayhem begin…