09 September, 2011
I'd also like to answer a few oft asked questions about our racks.
Why don't you make aluminum racks?
That's easy. They break suddenly due to metal fatigue if you use them long enough. Aluminum might be okay on a city bike where the rack is used only occasionally, but a broken rack is the last thing you want on your loaded touring bike when 300 miles from home. By the time you make an aluminum rack that's beefy enough it weighs about as much as a tubular steel rack and looks like construction scaffolding.
Why doesn't VO offer painted or powder-coated racks (or fenders)?
Painted racks may look nice when new, but it only takes a couple of months for the paint to get scraped and worn and look awful. After all, you're hanging panniers on your racks and strapping all kinds of stuff on top. Powder coating is tougher than paint, but it still scratches and wears off. Our stainless steel racks are hard to scratch and any scratches are easy to polish out.
Is stainless steel better than chrome plated steel?
Chrome plated 4130 steel is a little lighter for the same strength, but every well used chrome plated rack I've seen has some chrome worn off and ugly rust spots. Look at those classic touring bikes from Europe. Most have chrome plated racks that need to be re-chromed. And re-chroming is now ultra expensive. So we prefer stainless.
Why does the rear constructeur rack bolt to the rear fender?
Because that's the way the Constructeurs did it. Also, it makes for a really clean attachment and prevents any rattling between the fender and rack while getting the rack as low as possible. Our new rack also attaches to the seat stay bosses or canti-studs.
Posted by VeloOrange at 1:14:00 PM