24 January, 2012

Alternative Saddle Bag Support

I've noticed more and more Pass Hunter style front rack being used as saddle bag supports or small rear racks. I just saw another one on a Japanese site and was reminded that Nick used one on his bike. These photos are of his 26"-wheeled on/off road touring bike. I'm not sure that I like the looks of this installation as the rack is not level, but it is certainly practical and very strong.

I wonder if we should design a version especially for rear mounting? There are some small rear racks/bag supports already available, but ours would be stainless steel and have a few nice refinements. Another project to think about.

22 comments:

Karma said...

Didn't have enough fender/tire clearance on three different bikes to front-mount my VO Randonneur rack so I ended up trying this very trick and it worked great. Typically run it with a small wire basket which makes it perfect for hauling a small load of groceries or similar bundle, such versatility.

Jeremy said...

I would love to see a rack like this--I saw a similar one recently on a picture of a recently restored Jack Taylor touring bike, although I think that rack was custom made for that particular bike.

I do forsee a problem with this, however. Given that seatstay angles vary widely, much more so than fork angles and especially between different sizes of the same bike, and the contact points for this type of rack (brake posts, seatstay bridge hole) are always perpendicular to the seatstays, can a rack be made that would mount level on many different bikes?

Pierce said...

I have thought about this a few times, but with the grand-compe ene mini-rack. It could look pretty nice with the lines being level. but aren't the stays of bikes often different angles? It would need to be for a particular frame. Another thing is that the odd angle of the rack is actually what you need for a saddlebag. It would looks rather goofy alone, I think I would only attach something like that if I were planning to tour where the saddlebag wouldn't be removed.

Jon said...

I made my own crude version for my 29er All-Rounder, a couple of years ago. I prefer it to the seat-rail loop support, for that bike.

I see no reason why a ball-join, or something similar, couldn't be incorporated to address the varying seat-stay angles, etc.

Rudy said...

Yes, please! I'm looking for this exact solution for my Carradice, but don't have the $$$ to spend on a Nitto

Anonymous said...

Yes! Check out the supports on appleblock.com....or alternatively, a seatpost mounted alternative to the Carradice Bagman.

doc said...

It's a really good solution for a front loaded bike where you still want a saddle bag. This is my LHT a few years back, using an inexpensive canti-rack in the rear.
http://gspiess.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/codoruslht.jpg

Anonymous said...

The Carradice support I've used is okay, not great. I always have this fear that it's going to snap any moment. You can see the rails bending at the contact area with the saddle and it's unnerving. It hasn't, and carrying only 8 lbs probably helps. This rear rack is a much better solution b\c it's anchored at the brake brazeons.

dwainedibbly said...

I would like to lodge a protest. I am VERY upset that I didn't think of this.

llewellyn said...

Currently in Tokyo about to head home.Saw a lot of these racks on fixies and local tourers.Prices varied a lot depending on whether you want alloy or steel, even saw a titanium one in a very classy shop in Osaka.Most likely to see these on mini-velos or folders.

Parisian said...

Very nice idea, I'd get one , maybe even an eyeleted braze on version for us center-pull guys.
Love the blog Chriss!

Anonymous said...

Most saddlebags have a rounded bottom profile, and many of us use more than one size bag on our bikes, therefore a little up-slope toward the end of the rack is not a bad thing. The rack in the photo looks very good just the way it is.

A small, tidy, bolt-on version to retrofit bikes with side-pull brakes would be most welcome in this quarter. For new custom frames, builders could add bosses to suit it, as is done sometimes with V-O's bolt-on front racks.

Gunther said...

Wow my thoughts exactly I was just contemplating using a front rack in the same manner (my viva is great but can't take much weight). It's nice to know that it is doable. Would a separate version like you said be necessary if the current one already works?

Don said...

Overkill. Totally unnecessary considering what is already out there for saddle bag support. Not far back enough to carry panniers.

Anonymous said...

I would be first in line for a small support that kept things in my Nelson from dinging my VO fenders. It MUST look like it belongs on the bike when the bag is off. The viva, hupe and other such supports (seat post mounted or stay mounted) look goofy without the bag. I tried one of the front racks you folks have on special offer but I had to choose between the platform not being level or the upright not being parallel to the seatstay. Either option was strange looking but still better than the other available support options.Unfortunately I tried bending the upright and managed to mangle the rack. I think some tinkering with the angles and some adjustable stays might do the trick

Anonymous said...

I did that several times with a nitto "marks' rack" i got from rivendell. Works great with a bike with no fender to put the saddlebag on, like a road bike or something.

You can see the rack + bag collabo here:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3215/2804399510_194a1f4ab9.jpg

Anonymous said...

Please note the key feature of the nitto rack is the adjustable stays, which make it possible to mount to any type of bike with adequate clearance.

gypsybytrade said...

The rack, as pictured, was perfect. The angle of the platform is a feature when using a saddlebag, as it ensures that the weight is securely cradled as near to the frame and as low above the wheel as possible, without interfering with the brake, tire or fender.

I once sat on the Pass Hunter rack, with no ill effect. It is
competitively light (less than the Viva), while stronger and more
elegant than other bag supports. With other bag supports I have
experienced or seen a bouncing bag (most others), loosening set screws
(Bagman) and torn pants (Viva, Sheehan 2011).

A similar rack with greater adjustability would allow mounting on the front of some bikes that do not accept the current rack, such as some old mountain bikes and some modern touring bikes. It did not fit my High Sierra.

Perhaps a similar platform with an adjustable mounting tang, and
struts to order? Canti struts, or struts to frame mounts like the
Rando rack; to p-clamps, and even long struts to mid-fork mounts. It
would be great if the rack could fit any bike, front or rear.

A slightly larger platform would make it even more versatile. Call it the Anything Rack.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I think it would be a nice alternative to the Bagman support and work even better. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes. Possibly a bit wider to give more support for some bags. Maybe an "integrated decaleur" quick release set up to accommodate straps like the Minnehaha Medium Saddle Bag has...

David said...

I am curious how the B&M Toplight Line is mounted onto the fender here. I have the idea I want to do this too, but I would like to know what hardware I need. It's an uncommon mounting position and I can't imagine you found purpose-built parts for this job!

Andrew said...

And the winner is
http://www.symphonic-net.com/france1961/okaji.htm