Thursday, November 19, 2009

modifying rear Bicycle rack, cont'd

D: though very stiff, I did manage to close the baskets so that the narrow ends fold inside not outside.
Meaning no more issue with rubbing on the tire.

OK, I went to the bike shop and too a good look at how panniers mount on a rack.
The removable ones have heav-duty oversized hooks.
D: nice. Combines 2 panniers into wheeled handled luggage.
D: nice but not adjustable for width. Not of use to me.
Also, hard to take with you.
D: cargo bike overkill.

OK, my challenge was to accomodate both folding baskets and removable panniers.
As you can see by my pic, the standard market folding baskets get in the way of panniers.
Also, those baskets are permanently affixed.
There is no reason why an aftermarket removable-pannier set of hooks could not be used.
However, I'll assume we're talking about the standard product.
What to do?
Well you know I want a wider rack to optionally attach a third basket on top.
Yes, we could just slap a milk crate up there. But:
1) it is not a perfect match for grocery bags and
2) it places all that mass high up- this will make the bike unstable.

What we need is a capital-T cross-section from the rear of the bike.
Mount the permanent folding baskets under the ledge.
The thickness of the basket when folded then provides the backing for the panniers.
The panniers are mounted on the top outside edge of the 'T'.
All of this also provides the width necessary to mount a third basket on top.

While we are at it, I'd like to provide a vertical tube at the rack rear to mount a rear light. A basket mounted top and centre gets in the way.
Me, I like to mount lights on my helmet also to mitigate this.
It also addresses the high directionality of LED lights.

Looking at my Cruzbike, I have lots of extra height on the rack.
Frankly, a lower top will also be more stable.
I need clearance for a rear rainguard, though.
I'm gonna modify my existing rack by
1) removing it
2) chopping it thru the midline in half
3) attaching longer tubes to make it wider
4) bending it in a DIY 2x4 press to to my T shape (one half on each side)
5) thereby creating a ledge on the side
6) attaching some more narrow rube to hang the baskets under the edge
7) reattaching.

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