21 May, 2009

Racks at Work


David sent the photo above of his bike with a bucket of about 80 baseballs, which he regularly transports on a VO porteur rack. A baseball weighs just over 5 ounces, so that's more than 25 pounds.

He writes:

Thought this would be a good shot given that some of the blog folks have asked about the capacity of your racks. I often take this with my 12 y.o. old son to do batting practice after work. So that’s a bucket of about 80 baseballs...

The bike has tons of VO things on it. It’s from a garage sale but at this point I’ve replaced just about everything except the frame. Works really well. The fork has quite a bit of rake to it so it seems to carry heavy loads on the rack with little effect on the handling. The whole bike lives outside and has required zero maintenance or fiddling for about three years, other than just topping up the air in the tires. I do try to store it on the porch when it’s about to rain.

Anyone else have an interesting photo of stuff on a VO rack?

17 comments:

Joel said...

Don't have a digital camera but can confirm - as the photo aptly demonstrates - teaming a good porteur rack (and VOs are among the best) with a bungee cord or net is a very versatile and handy way to manage day to day stuff moving.

Greg said...

Form and function....great stuff. How about that chain guard, do we know the provenance? Chris, any idea when the new VO chain guard will be available?

Anonymous said...

wondeful shot! this post and the one immediately preceding it are a nice pair.

best,
mw

Yann G.S. said...

though mine is not VO (custom by bilenky) two of the more interesting things I've transported on my porteur rack would be a huge mounted boars head, and a carboid for brewing beer... both times I had to ride a good distance (we were not going to cut our bike ride short just because I trash picked a boars head)

off topic I just saw these on ebay... probably would not be too hard to have made and is a nice half step between Alloy bar plugs and using cork... (i actually prefer them to both) http://i9.ebayimg.com/07/i/001/4a/ef/268b_1_sbl.JPG

Anonymous said...

Pretty bike. But wasn't it agreed upon such lack of fender clearance to be lethal?

jimmythefly said...

What a lovely runabout. What's that under the down tube?

Fred Blasdel said...

What model of cable stop is that on the chainstay?

I could really use one for my Nexus IGH.

robatsu said...

I'm sure that the porteur rack could handle a lot more weight that it would sane to carry on the front of a bicyle. I routinely carry 20+lbs of stuff in a large handlebar bag where essentially all the load is carried by a simple constructeur front rack. Heck, I'd conservatively bet that the constructeur rack could easily take 50-60 lbs and it wouldn't suprise me if it could take double that.

But this gets to the question of would you want to? Were I carrying around boar's heads, beer kegs, boat anchors, construction debris, I think I'd just hook up the trailer.

And if you use a kid trailer, drivers miraculously become very polite and careful around you.

Karma said...

What are those handlebars. Minimalist but classy. I like.

Joel said...

Robatsu: Storage space is a premium in my condominium. With 4 bikes already, a trailer would really push things.

My bike with the porteur rack has low trail and decent chain stay length. I have had at least 45 pounds on it with no complaints. I imagine I would not want to fly down a twisting canyon road with the set up but find it perfectly fine for moving fairly heavy loads on flat Chicago streets.

Relying on the porteur only encourages thrift. If I am not comfortable putting something on the rack, I am much less likely to buy it.

Timothy said...

With regards to the kid trailer as a stuff carrying trailer, be prepared for smart-alec comments about forgetting your child.

"Hey Lance, you forgot your kid!"

fmackay said...

Jimmythefly: The thing under the downtube is one of these. Stops the front end from swinging about.

Anonymous said...

Seconded - for where you got the chainguard?

robatsu said...

I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't suggesting that one should get a trailer instead of a porteur rack, just that at some point w/a bulky load, I'd just use a trailer.

I'm thinking one of the porteur racks w/a nice wood slat box built up on it would be a nice addition to my wife's city bike.

david_nj said...

The chainguard is from an English 3-speed junker, trimmed a little to size and spraypainted with epoxy paint. The cable stop is just a Sturmey Archer unit -- any bike store will have a bunch of different sizes; you just need to try a few. The only issue is getting the mounting bosses installed ... mine are just rivnuts but at some point I'll have some brazed on.

The fenders aren't that close to the tire, even though the pics make it look like it. I would say there's around 1/2" or so of space between them or a little less. So far it has not proved lethal ...

The spring stabilizer thing has proved to be worth its weight in gold, because it holds the rack pointing forward when you're loading it. You don't really notice it when riding.

Aa said...

hey Dave (or anyone), can you tell me where I could purchase a stabilize in the USA?

pete! said...

I agree with Robatsu that the rack can definitely take way more weight, I have carried 50+ pounds of canvas on my old Blackburn front rack which is one third the size, and aluminum.
A good friend of mine had a courier rack on one of the frames he built for NAHBS, and I was lucky enough to be the one to install it to the bicycle, along with Honjos and a constructeur rear rack. Both racks are as sturdy as I have seen, and I have seen many customs from several builders. Plus the polished stainless steel looks fantastic.