07 January, 2014

VO Rear Rack Installation with Pictures!

By Igor

We've had a few questions about installing our racks, so we put this post together to help. A front rack post is in the near future. Both posts will be in our tech section as well, for easy future reference.

First off, let's talk about the Campeur Rear Rack. This rack is my favorite. Its pannier mounts keep weight low, tubular stainless steel construction makes it durable and stiff, and the frame mounts are strong. Finally, I like the classic good looks. The rack's hardware kit includes everything you need to install it to your bike.

The bottom end takes a 5mm bolt and washer for attachment, just like almost every rack. The tangs have 4 holes so that you can adjust the height of the rack; you may need to cut off the unused part of the tang if you're using a higher mounting hole. This allows the top platform to be mounted directly to the fender in the classic French style. (Since our racks are stainless steel, you'll need a new hack saw blade or cutting wheel to get through material if you decide to trim the tang.)

Orientation of the hardware is super important when installing the stays. Note the position and orientation of the daruma bolt, channeled washer, nylock nut, and the stay that connects to the cantilever post. Depending on your frame size, style, and application, the position of the daruma and stay will vary.

The rack also comes with long stays to mount to the seat stay eyelets. Use these instead of the canti-mounts if your bike doesn't have cantilever brakes. These stays can also be used with p-clamps (not included) if your frame also lacks seat stay eyelets.

The Constructeur rear rack is awesome for small panniers or a small bundle strapped to its top. I prefer to mount it to the fender in the traditional constructeur style. This makes an elegant, lightweight addition to your bike's rear end. 

This pictured rack has the tang has been cut to be mounted to the fender on a VO Polyvalent. A 5mm bolt and washer (included) secures the rack to the dropouts, just like the Campeur rack.

Here's the top end of the rack. A single leather washer (not included) under each of the brazed-on eyelets of the rack looks great and gives the rack optimum stability. 

If you prefer not to mount the rack to the fender, we offer 2 stainless rack tangs (sold separately). These allow the rack to be attached to the seat stay bridge or behind the brake caliper. The tangs are available in two lengths, regular and XL. The tangs can be bent and cut to adjust to your particular setup.

Lastly, the Dajia Expedition Rear Rack is a strong no-frills brushed stainless rack that's suitable for big or small loads. 

The top end is where you will adjust the angle of the rack and the position of the stays. The 2 screws and 2 washers secure the stays to the seat stay eyelets. The screw on the side adjusts the length of the stay to make the rack horizontal. The panhead screws on top are used to adjust the inboard/outboard position of the stays to your application. If your bike is very small, or large, you might need to cut the ends of the stays to prevent their interfering with a rack-top bag or touching the tire. 


Anonymous said...

I always mount my racks and fenders to the dropout by running a bolt through from the back and putting a washer and nut on the front. I figure it lets me reef on the nuts without fear of stripping the threads out of the frame.
Is there any reason this is a bad idea?

VeloOrange said...

Anon, We don't see a problem with your mounting method; others have done that. Though if you run Campy 10 or 11 speed the rear bolt head might touch the chain when it's on the smallest cog (I've seen that happen on one frame.)

David Pearce said...

Yes to the last comment. I just finished building my Green Hornet on your smallest Polyvalent frame, and I equipped it with a c. 1998 (not sure about date) Campagnolo ErgoPower Triple 9-speed Group. If you mount the fender stays in the normal (lower) position, you must cut and smooth off the stay-mounting bolt, so that it is only just rounded proud of the inside of the dropout It took me a time or two to figure out what was jamming on my test rides, because each time I shifted into the smallest cog of the cassette, it happened. The gears are just so tight there, there can be NO obstruction.

David Pearce,
Washington, D.C.

David Pearce said...

In other comments on my just finished build of "Green Hornet" on the Polyvalent frame, I'll just spend a minute on fitment issues. I am 5'4", vertically challenged, shall we say, and the stand over height for the smallest frame is....snug, but doable. Once on the bike it feels great, lively and stable. I built it, as I previously mentioned, with a Campy Ergopower Veloce Triple-9-speed Group, an eBay special that came off a carbon Trek 4130 that was delaminating.... (Metal is better than carbon....). There is about 4mm +- lateral clearance between the smallest chainring and the exterior of the chainstay, but that it seems to be doing just fine. I'm using a new Veloce bottom bracket, I think it is 110mm, but it might be the bigger one. I'm not using any of your spacers, even though I ordered some. The chain line looks good to my untrained eye.

As for fenders / tires, I have Hongo Grand Bois fenders from Compass Bicycles, all very carefully modified and fitted according to Jan Heine's and Peter Weigle's excellent instructions. Before the fenders, I had attached the Grand Bois Hetre 42mm tires, with their beautiful orange color, but I regret that I don't believe they will fit with the current fenders, and for the moment I have resorted to using the Grand Bois Lierre's, nominally 36mm, but in reality 38mm wide. I will try the Hetre's one time, when I have nothing better to do, but my suspicion is they won't work, and even if they do, they shouldn't be used, because the clearance is just too close.

Finally, the front fender mounting under the fork crown has TWO threaded mounting holes, which is interesting. I don't think you need to attach the front fender with TWO bolts under the crown, but I guess you could. I am going to try to use the hole I didn't use for the fender mounting bolt to fish my generator wire through the fork blade to the my SP hub dynamo. The wire will go through a hole in the fender at the fork crown, and be soldered / connected up with the wire from my Edelux II light. There is an opening for you to do a very good explanatory video or blog post with pictures about wiring up a front light, and fishing the wiring to the generator hub. Compass Bicycles doesn't have it, and in fact, Compass bicycles doesn't have a bunch of the solutions you offer: such as an integrated front rack / delaleur, nor a headlight mounting bracket able to mount the "right side up" Edelux II light in the classic underslung position on the non-drive side of the front rack.

Thanks, Velo-ORANGE,

David Pearce,
Washington, D.C.
& Charlottesville, Va.

David Pearce said...

BTW, just in case you're wondering, I have paired the Ergopower levers with your Zeste brakes. I love the beefy, reasonable size nuts for securing the brake pad assemblies to the arms, and I like the toe-in adjustability of the brake pad assemblies.

My only problem with the Zeste's is really my fault: while test riding the bike at the very first rideable availability, I lost the two Allen set screws and that little Phillips head screw out of the rear brake straddle hanger. I had left the straddle hanger untightened while I was refining the adjustment, and wouldn't you know, the darn bolts & screw turned themselves out! A trip to the hardware store is in order to replace these parts.

The lever / brake combination works very well. Now, with the toe-in adjustment dialed in, and some 15 miles of usage, the brakes stop silently and with one finger riding from the drops, on your Diagonale rims.

Thanks, V-O,


P.S. Bicycle Builders, make sure those nuts and bolts are tight before venturing out for a test ride on the pavement!