10 August, 2015

Custom Fit Your VO Campeur Rear Rack + Bonus Frame Teaser

by Igor

Racks should sit level and low for balance, strength, and aesthetics. A low center of gravity contributes to better handling when going into corners. When standing out of the saddle, rear bags mounted too high can cause luggage sway and contribute to a noodly feeling all the way through the frame to the handlebars. So let's put on our Constructeur hats to modify a Campeur Rear Rack and get a nice, low center of gravity; the process is easier than you might think.
As above, this setup is technically fine. Although, my compulsion for better integration was rearing its ugly head.
The Campeur rack's dropout tang has 4 pre-dilled holes. These can be cut off to fit different bike designs. At this step, we had two choices. 1) cut to the lowest hole and mount the rack to the fender or b) mount to the second to lowest hole and not mount to rack to the fender. This bike will be going on trips where assembly and disassembly is needed, so we decided that ease of use is more important than complete integration. The last thing you want to do is search for 4mm long button-head screws when you're assembling a bike in an airport.
Measure the braze-ons under the rack and the height of the rear loop in relation to the fender. In this case, the forward braze-on sits closest to the fender, so that is the constraint.
Mark the middle position between holes. I used the end of the tang as the constant for both sides for an even cut. There are many ways to actually cut the tang. Hacksaw and a fresh blade is the most typical way to get your cut as you probably have one in your garage or shed. Dremel is the next, but Chris hates dremels for an overwhelming number of reasons. Chop saw would probably work, but not everyone owns one and the racks don't fit within the path of the blade.
I know my co-workers don't want to hear "eeka-eeka-eeka-eeka" for minutes on end, so I went with bolt cutters. One swipe and it's done. Be sure to make the cut perpendicular to the tang and wear eye protection.


This raw cut will need to be filed down and rounded off to eliminate burrs on the corners.
Re-install and enjoy!
I'll leave you with a small teaser of the shall-not-be-named orange bike. Hypothesize away!

15 comments:

Darrell Goodwin said...

The shall-not-be-named orange bike looks like a disc-brake equipped rando bike, with downtube shifter bosses and internal cable routing. Interesting...

Jean-Francois Caron said...

The cable-scuff on the head tube also indicates that the orange bike was tested with housing-to-the-downtube adapters used with integrated brifters.

VeloOrange said...

@Jean-Francis,
Keen eye. 6600G shifters.

Anonymous said...

Disc Polyvalent please oh please!

giant hogweed said...

Whatever the orange bike is, I hope it has room for BG rock and road tires.

John said...

Thank you for telling us about tires and step by step photo tutorials. Hope it will be very useful to us.

Brian said...

Orange bike is light tubed, 650b Rando/Gravel style bike.

peddalhead said...

On a recent visit to VO headquarters I was lucky enough to get a look at the-bike-that-shall-not-be-named and as I ran my hand along the top tube I had to agree with the other witnesses in the room "this is a very good thing".

eric said...

Perhaps a new rear "rack that shall not be named" might be developed for the "orange bike that shall not be named".

The Campuer rear rack is a beauty... but can't hold a set of panniers far enough back. Size 10 or larger feet heel strike the leading edge of even mid size panniers on the Campeur Rack even when the bags are clipped all the way back on the rack... even on a bike with semi long chain stays.

Oh... and by the way... please get the damned orange bikes named and in stock already!

Coline said...

A friend in Germany is shopping for a new bike. She has lots of step through choices AND she can get permanently brazed on carrier...

josh said...

I have similar issues to Eric with my Campeur rack. I have nice Swift Rolltop panniers with highly adjustable Arkel hardware and cannot, no matter what, get them to sit right without heel rub on the Campeur rack, even with them slammed as far back as possible. I have a custom 650B rando-style bike with not-particularly-short chainstays (room for 42s and fenders) and size 10 shoes - by no means an aggressive or racey setup.

velodan said...

I'm going with a Disc Camargue, or variant thereof.

Unknown said...

Thanks for bolt cutters tip. I'm wondering if you recommend a particular size or brand? I don't want to spend a ton. Also curious if bolt cutter is appropriate tool for cutting fender stays. Thanks!

didier said...

Why pre-drill the holes? You end up with leftover holes and a so-so fit, to the nearest half inch or so. It's not very hard to drill them -- any power drill, a little oil, and an expendable drill bit works fine. Truly don't get why you would do this, since the whole point of a bespoke-fitted rack is that it be perfectly fit. I am no bike mechanic or rocket scientist, but had no trouble fitting the early VO racks that did not come drilled. Scratching my head here, guys.

Coline said...

If you make the frames then why not make a perfect fit rack?

In Germany it seems common to have a rack as part of the frame for city bikes, my friend is buying one, why not for serious tourists?

Screwing a rack on with tiny bolts lacks strength and elegance...