19 January, 2011

New Camper Racks

These are our new loaded touring racks, or at least the prototypes. These versions are pretty good, but not perfect. The front rack is very close and, if testing goes well, might make it into production this spring. The rear rack will need at least one more prototype to get it perfect. We tried to make the racks in the style of French constructeur racks. We studied hundreds of photographs and drawings of classic touring racks before designing these.


The front rack has an integrated decaleur and low rider frames. It can be mounted to the fork crown, to low-rider bosses, or to both.


The rear rack has a lower rail that wraps around the rear fender. This makes for an exceptionally stiff rack. It also allows the panniers to be lifted off without disturbing the load on top. Finally, the lower rail allows for a lower center of gravity and better handling.

They are made of stainless steel and the workmanship is really nice. Don't ask me about price; I don't know yet.

40 comments:

etherhuffer said...

Great! But I see one concern: The forward facing horizontals that dead end pointing straight ahead. Those should curve up or dead end at the vertical support so that you don't accidentally grab some object/person/branch etc.

Mark said...

I have two requests/suggestions for the rear rack.

1) Add on something toward the back of the lower horizontals to keep an aft mounted hook from sliding off. It could be an eyelet lick the front racks have for lights. For bikes with short stays or people with large feet, being able to mount paniers as far back as possible is a must.

2) Have some decent way for attaching it to the brake bolt instead of the seat stay rack eyelets. A lot of old bikes don't have rack eyelets, and the brake bolt works fine and looks far better than P clamps.

Jammy said...

Are the low rider parts on the front and rear racks removable like on the Nitto Campee racks or are they fixed in place?

alistair said...

+1 on what mark said about the seatstay bridge attachment, as none of my or my partners bicycles have seatstay eyelets. Also it would be cool to have connectors on the front rack for a flashlight style headlights, and the option of buying the clamps to go with it. Apart from that they look great!

Justin said...

Gorgeous. I wish the rear racks were available today. I've chosen the Pass Hunter rack with integrated decaleur. Seems like a waste of cantilever bosses and lowrider mounts to use the front camper rack (not to mention the added weight of the part that mounts to the eyelets.

Any chance of producing a rack in this style as a compliment to the Pass Hunter rack; one that mounts to the lowrider bosses on the fork?

Anonymous said...

Any idea on price?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The low riders are not removable, though we thought long and hard about designing them to be so. Making them one-piece resulted in a rack that's lighter, sturdier, and less expensive. Plus, Nitto already makes a rack with removable frames.

Andy said...

+1 on having brake bolt attachments. P-clamps just aren't very elegant!

Jammy Straub said...

@ Chris, that makes sense about making the low riders fixed in place to reach a different market price than the Nitto variant. Well done.

I'm very curious if the decaleur is cross compatible between the new camper rack, the passhunter, and the stand alone 5mm decaleur you're selling.

It'd be great to have the pass hunter or camper on one bike and setup the stem decaluer receiver on my bike with front constructeur rack. Easy switching bikes for my rando bag.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

With the rear rack what's the wheel/tyre/mudguard size limitation? Ie will it go on say a Salsa Fargo with mudguards? Cheers.

web said...

That rear rack is lovely.

enzomatic said...

The mounts for the low rider bosses seem rather high, are these set up to work with your randonneur? The touring bikes I've ran into seem to all have lower bosses.

enzomatic said...

Also is this going to take the place of the proposed Dajia low riders?

Anonymous said...

I'd love a small front rack (like your randonneur rack) with removable low-riders for small front panniers.
These look very nice, but overkill for my purposes.

eaglerock said...

+1 on both Mark's original comments (hook-holder and brake bolt mount on rear rack). Same with alistair's request for flashlight mounts on the front rack.

To expand alistair's idea: How about a mount for a taillight on the rear rack, either beneath the top curve or the fender curve?

Personally, I think the Nitto Campee configuration is ideal - support for a handlebar rack + saddlebag/rack bag for light stuff, support for full panniers for loaded touring. But they're superexpensive, and they don't have decaleurs. Well, now I just don't know what to do.

Nick said...

Very excited to see these, especially the rear rack. Well done.

I wonder if the struts to the seatstays can be removed if the lower rail were to be extended further back to double as the seatstay attachment. In this case the top of the rack would look like the constructeur, elegantly attached to the fender only.

Having said that, however, I agree with other commenters that attaching to the brake bridge may be better. Can both ideas be combined? The lower rail extending further back ready to attach to either eyelets or to the brake bridge?

One other detail that might be nice would be an attachment for standard European taillights, either between the two rails or below the lower one.

Ian and a guy named Jason said...

Well, they both look beautiful... but...

I wouldn't leave town with either of them, heres why

1- bag retention for the rear rack, needs to have a hook on the terminals nearest where your feet will be so that bags do not slide forward if mounted in a non conventional way, i can see many applications of this that would have this happen. or like others said, snag pants legs, stray objects, or anything else that they cross paths with

2- Mounting of the front rack- looks difficult to obtain optimal positioning, would like to see pictures of it on different forks

3

this is by far the biggest problem i have, and i have the same complaint with my porteur rack.

very poor design of the low mount on both racks, just a thin piece of stainless welded to... thin tube.. this is a major stress point on the racks, and i feel in an accident, or overloading will be the first to fail.

please reconsider this of all points, if interested, I can offer a few suggestions

very close to having some really nice racks for people to use and love for years, just need to go through some changes first

Ian-

brandon said...

You eluded to camper racks last year I believe, and I've been holding out. I will definitely be purchasing a rear rack, and most likely will go with the front as-well.

Uncle Ankle said...

Light mount on the rear rack, please?

doc said...

'just when I thought my bike was perfect...

Anonymous said...

It is a bit hard to see on the rear rack, but it appears that the blocks for seatstay struts bolt in place. There could be holes to mount one of them in the middle, and then a different strut could be made for brake mounting. Is this workable?

Jon said...

I too would like to see a taillight mount on the rear, for a single bolt. Those that need 2 bolts can use an adapter bracket.

Chris Kulczycki said...

The decaleur mounts is compatible with all our current decaleurs and other integrated racks.

Ian, we've now sold many thousands of racks and have never heard of a weld failure on one. The tangs on our racks are steel and thicker than most.

Justin said...

Any chance of producing a rack in this style as a compliment to the Pass Hunter rack; one that mounts to the lowrider bosses on the fork?

OBA said...

Very nice looking - please factor in sizing for 26" wheels and consider a bracket or mounting options for a rear light - the prototypes are very promising!

Tom said...

Ian- what changes would you make?

Wald racks use stamped sheet metal struts- they have long been proven- for over 100 years. Our rack mounting plates are stainless steel. They are thicker than a lot of fork ends and dropouts and are more than adequate in terms of strength. There is plenty of surface area for a strong weld bead.

Do realize that this is prototype 1. We usually end up with a few more iterations before we decide on a final specification. It's time consuming and labor intensive.

SocialBlunder said...

Ditto on the light mounts, front and rear.

ewmyers said...

Very beautiful! I was just considering having a custom rear rack made because I couldn't find the right one, but now I think I'll just wait for yours.

Light mounts would be a big plus. I'm slightly but not very concerned about the forward facing horizontals. Perhaps you could find a more graceful manner of attaching the seatstay struts to the rack, though? Those blocks are pretty jarring compared to the nice lines on the rest of the rack....

Bike Hobo said...

The weld front low-riders as they look- would be a concern for me on bumpy, rough roads. I'd be afraid that the weld would snap under weight and sustained pressure from rough roads. I've already snapped one VO decaleur on a a rough stuff tour but that is prob my fault. Hope you guys do some extensive testing on various conditions before release. I the book "adventure cycling" by Stephan Lords, there is a photo of the Nitto Campee variant being field repaired by a welder somewhere in Africa.

Uncle Ankle said...

Perhaps a silly reflection: The front rack looks just a bit "cobbled together", unneccesarily so since it's not modular like the Nitto Campee. Still pretty, but lacking a certain "unity". Did you ever consider a more "unified" design, like this Minoura for example? Your design is probably stronger, though.

Gavin said...

I love the rear rack. I have been wanting something like it for a while.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the forward facing horizontal on the rear rack also serve as the link to the seat stay?

Anonymous said...

I want one of each style!

Greg from Wausau,WI

Dan Kopp said...

love these!
exactly what i've been looking for.

Steve Mattson / Bikerowave said...

I really love the simplicity of the rear rack prototype. I like the nice bumper wrap of the rear-most horizontal rail (that the panniers would be hanging on.)

My concern in looking at the photo is the style of pivot mount point on the top front of the rack where the rods connect the rack to the seatstays rack boss or p-clamps. It looks like the mounting points on the rack are a block of aluminum with some adjustable slide at the top, not unlike the Axiom Streamliner series. My issue with the Axiom racks is that this lock pivot is tall and gets in the way of fender and even wheel clearance when the rack is as close to the wheel as desired. does this make sense? If possible, I'd recommend something closer to the less-tall stack height of the Nitto mounts vs the Axiom mounts in style. Tubus seems to do a pretty good job as well.
I love the continued (retro)innovation that you continue to explore!

Anonymous said...

is there any way that we can see these mounted to a frame, or a complete build? thanks.

Jon Pucci said...

The front rack is SOOOO beautiful. the second this thing shows up I am going to buy it for my Woodrup. I appreciate very much that unlike the Nitto campee this rack does NOT attach to canti studs. Old touring bikes like mine don't usually have canti's so the brake bridge attachment is just lovely!

MSMith said...

Chris - Any idea when we might see these available?

Wandering wheels said...

Would be SWEET to see a 5mm threaded rear light mount (or something similar) on the rear camper rack. Patiently waiting!

Anonymous said...

Soooo.........when are these sweet racks going to be available??