06 January, 2016

Bike Packing Rack, Blems, and Bells

By Chris

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of some bike packing bags, especially of those ass-rockets that swing and stick out behind the saddle, but then I never liked large saddle bags of any type. So when we were testing the Piolet prototypes I had an idea for a minimalist rear rack to carry a dry bag.
The advantages to this system include the ability to vary the size of the dry bag depending on what you need to carry; dry bags are cheap so you can have several. The load won't sway or bounce around. Unlike panniers the dry bag setup keeps the bike narrow for single-track touring. And dry bags really are dry, in any weather. Should we make these?
The rack above was welded up by one of the staff from 3/8" stainless tubing. In addition to carrying a dry bag, it will take small panniers, which are convenient for grocery shopping and commuting.
We have a few more blemished framed for sale. This is a smart way to save some money. After all any bike will likely have a some blemishes after a few months of riding, so you might as well get ahead of the curve.
Finally, I just wanted to show you this cool hand hammered bell made by frame builder Nao Tomii. They start out as a VO Striker Bell. You can get the hammered version at Nao's site.

15 comments:

RussandLaura Pathlesspedaled said...

Not a fan of the seat packs either. Very limiting if you ride a small frame and don't have much seat/tire clearance.

teamdarb said...

Make them only if you are going to pre fan a concave curve to the top platform. I find it terribly annoying tying to strap a dry bag to a flat platform.

Anonymous said...

The rack looks good, but a view from the top with no bag on it, might be helpful!? Also the nature of it's design looks like it could lend itself to some of the longer chainstay bikes that are coming out.

I like that bell, maybe I could get a hammer and wail on a couple of my bells!? - masmojo

Winga said...

I like the minimalist rack. I've seen a custom one with 3 holes on the struts for the bigger cages, is this possible?

Todd Tillinger said...

Yes, the rack looks good. Elegant and rugged solution. Make it wide enough for 3" to 5" tires and you would catch the winter fat bike folks, too.

Clancy said...

A new minimal rack would be nice with the demise of the Salsa one. The Nitto R14 is available with the usual Nitto Price. Pletcher model C is available too, but not very flexible mount due to the fix strut length. Your current design looks pretty specific to that bike. Would you modify to work with most bikes?

Alexander Koval said...

A hole other question. How is this dry bag called? I am searching for one of those!

Anonymous said...

It looks like you are carrying a very uniform load like a sleeping bag or roll mat. I've tried a similar setup on a Tubus Airey with a dry bag secured with a bungee and it doesn't really work for lots of smaller items like inner tubes, multi-tool, waterproof, etc. The bungee finds the path of least resistance and the contents bunch up inbetween - like squeezing a balloon. The bag also wants to roll off. You need to fix these issues

Sam Placette said...

Yes I have been looking for a minimalist rack like the one pictured and I would like to buy one if available for a reasonable cost. I also want to second the ideas posted above for integrated 3-hole HD anything-cage mounts on the struts and for fatbike / plus-sized tire compatibility.

What ever happened to the fender-rack that was mentioned on the blog a while back?

Jim Mearkle said...

Speaking of blems, it would be cool if there were a way to find the best matching car touch up paint. For example, Mazda uses a color close to Pass Hunter red, but I'm not sure. It might be a bit brighter.

Vegas said...

Yes please! I'm building up a Vaya right now and this would be a really good way to keep the loaded weight down for weekend trips.

Can I sign up to know if these get developed?

Anonymous said...

I like the minimal rack. It could be useful just to keep a big saddle bag (Carradice) off the tire/brake... there are no minimal racks out there.

VeloOrange said...

Clancy, The rack would have adjustable struts if we put it into production.

Alexander, that is an MEC dry bag, but there are many brands.

Winga, we talked about this, but are leaning toward keeping it super minimal.

Sam, The fender rack just didn't turn out to be very practical in testing.

Jim. we have touch-up paint for most VO frames; email.

The trick to using dry bags on racks is to make sure they are tightly stuffed; just roll them up as far as possible before clipping. Also, I find that flat straps are better than bungy cords for dry bags.

Ben said...

I too like the rack and dry bag combo - perfect for a bike that doesn't often carry anything, but could at any time. It looks really sharp in chrome.

Unfortunately for lots of us, many otherwise good modern frames are so graciously provided sans rack mount points... So giant, swinging saddle/seat post mount bags are sometimes the only option. The ability to work with full suspension bikes is nice, too - as is not worrying about fatigue failure or loosening fasteners.

sonofsonofson said...

this might be the perfect answer to bikepacking with a dropper seatpost!