This Space for Rent

Project of the week, now 95% assembled

95% finished front rack

I went up to the hardware store this afternoon to get a few last pieces for the rack (4 p-clamps, metric #4 bolts, and metric #4 nuts) but managed to come away with 3 #4 nuts and 1 #5 nut.


And the hardware store had closed by the time I realized this mistake.

So here it sits, fully assembled but not yet ready to be dragged out onto the line :-(

I’m using p-clamps right now because I want to be able to adjust the position of the struts. p-clamps aren’t the greatest solution to ever come down the pike, because (at least the ones I bought, which are sized for 1" tubes) they don’t fit around the oval blades of my fork as tightly as I’d like, and this means that they move back and forth when the rack deck is loaded. The longer term solution here will be to either get a different fork with mounting points for front racks (either a (custom?) low-trail fork or something like a touring fork) or to borrow a larger torch and braze a pair of nuts onto my existing fork (and this has the advantage that I could also braze wire guides to the drive-side blade while I was doing it.) The ultimate plan is to actually braze the struts onto the rack and have a completely rigid 3-point mount to the fork.

Some of the brazes are not exactly what I’d call professional (and by “some”, I mean “all”) but, despite some of them being laughably incompetent (two of them only had the brass flow to about ¾ths of the joint, and all of them had huge globs of extra brass that I had to file off) only one of them was actually bad enough to break when I was manhandling the rack during cleanup (so I scraped the flux off, went back outside, and rebrazed it properly) and my scheme of wrapping the frame around the back of the brake has the disadvantage that it makes it really hard to thread the brake bolt into the mounting hole. And it sits really low even compared to my design of having it sit really low; If I raise the fender as high as it will go under the fork, I end up with maybe 1/16th inch clearance between it and any load that might be sitting on the rack.

The weather has been pretty horrible these last couple of days (thus my working on the rack instead of going out on the line) but perhaps it will moderate in the next day or so and let me ride the mlcm up to Sandy for a donut test run?


It would take more bending, and possibly raise the rack a bit, but an approach like that used in the Axiom “Front Platform Support” where the side supports are on to the brake bolts could work? You’d have to make curved side supports to get them far enough forward, but it’d avoid brazing and give you a very solid mount point?

Graydon Thu Dec 30 10:55:31 2010

Unfortunately the existing fork doesn’t have mounting points for cantilever brakes (if it did, I would have brazed up a pair of struts that mounted to the cantilever brake studs instead of the current p-clamp arrangement) so I’d still have to patch together something to attach the studs.

David Parsons Thu Dec 30 11:18:42 2010

Ah, ok, I have mis-construed the photo, then. Thought there were attachment points where there is (presumptively) but a pivot.

Comes of not really believing in center-pull brakes, I suspect.

That’s a really tough fork to securely fasten a front flat rack to, then.

Graydon Thu Dec 30 12:43:21 2010

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