Archive for the ‘rack building’ Category.

Gifford: Powdercoat and Details

This color is hard to photograph. I’ve done my best at getting an accurate portrayal in these photographs. It is a brown with a lot of red in it. The Surly Karate Monkey comes in a similar color.

In this photo you can see how clean the fillets look with paint on them. You can also see the taillight cable getting hidden into the downtube:

The taillight wire comes out at the bottom of the downtube and runs under the chainstay to the light itself. The light is attached to the Rohloff shift box that is also under the left chainstay. In this photo you can also see the Rohloff cable guides (which I think look good now that they are painted) and the adjustment bolts for the eccentric bottom bracket.

I made a mount for the taillight using a stainless steel spoke. The wiring still needs to have the proper connectors crimped on and to be trimmed:

I built a new rack for this bike. It is probably the most nicely finished rack that I’ve built. It works with my Pass and Stow bag (which snaps to the rack) and my Acorn bag (which attaches with Ortlieb hooks to the front crossbar). It is designed to make the bicycle work well with Sportworks bus racks.The bus rack hook that holds down the front wheel can get right up to the fender.

The cable routing for the headlight on the fork was done so that the wiring can be removed without unsoldering the hub connector. The lighting is routed using pairs of hooks which are facing in opposing directions. You can turn the wire 90 degrees to remove it manually, but it won’t do so on it’s own. The hooks were made with 1mm diameter steel wire. There are two wires in this photo, one going from the hub to the headlight, and another going from the headlight to the taillight:

A final full bike shot:

There are some more photos on my smugmug site:

The todo list is getting very short and none of it prevents me from putting a lot of miles on this bike:

  • Custom stem
  • Build up my SON20 based front wheel. That one will be lighter than the current wheel.
  • Trim the wire for the tail light.
  • Make a fender guard so that I can remove the rear rack. It is only there to protect my rear fender from the spring loaded rear wheel hook on my employer’s bicycle shuttle.

This winter has been pretty mild and spring is coming fast. I expect the tone of the blog to change back from project statusto trip reports soon. I already have tenative plans for an overnight ride at the end of March if the weather is good.

Stainless Cycle Truck Rack

John Speare has my old Cycle Truck now (giving me room in the basement to make a new one). As part of the deal I wanted to make a new rack for that bike. The original rack is long and narrow (20″ long, 16″ wide) and after riding that bike a lot I came to the conclusion that a short and wide rack would be better. This will encourage keeping the loads closer to the head tube, which is the key to carrying heavy loads and having good handling with that bike.

In addition to the size differences the new rack has also gained a U-lock holder behind the backstop and some cleats for holding die down ropes. I copied the cleats from Joseph Ahearne’s lovely cycle truck that was shown at the OBCA show a couple of weeks ago.

The old rack will be going on my next cargo bike, which will look a lot like the Cycle Truck except that the front wheel will be under the rack instead of behind it. It could look something like this:

The new rack is made out of stainless steel (316) and was my first rack made with the material. It is challenging to work with, mostly because brazing it is trickier. The bronze filler that I normally use doesn’t work with stainless. I tried three different fillers (Harris 45% silver, Cycle Design’s Fillet Pro, and Nickel Silver from Gasflux). In the end I used the Harris 45% silver on the joints which wouldn’t see high loads and nickel silver on the ones that would. The Fillet Pro was the nicest of the three to work with, but I have limited quantities of it and wanted to save it for my framebuilding projects. Nickel silver is very strong, but melts at a higher temperature and was harder to use. The fillets also don’t clean up as nicely. 45% silver is the weakest of the three, but easy to work with on stainless steel.

In the photos shown here the rack is just about finished. I have some cleanup work to do around the brazed joints (that will remove the smoky color near some of the joints).

The underside of the rack. You can see the 4 cleats as well as the 4 mounting points that hold the rack to the bike.

A closeup of one of thecleats. The rack has stainless water bottle bosses as mounting points, and the cleats screw into those.

An early photo of the lock holder. The final one has a second loop on the middle rail of the rack:

I’m delivering the rack to John a few days after Thanksgiving and will take some photos of it installed on the bike then.