View Full Version : Rear rack for racing bikes - who's right?

04-28-2006, 10:28 PM
I'm tired of carrying everything in my backpack so I'm looking into getting a rear rack installed on my Felt racing bike. I definitely don't use the bike for racing, just commuting. A mechanic at CityBikes was worryfree and very helpful when telling me about different racks and different panniers (are those the bags attached to the rear racks??) or their cheaper version - buckets - for my road bike. However, at my next destination, a small bike shop, the owner said a typical rear rack is a bad idea for a racing frame because it applies weight where weight shouldn't be applied (the rear axle & the back fork). He said the only solution is to use "Old Man Mt. Road Racks" for racing frames, which I couldn't find on their website anyways... the website didn't differentiate between racks for road bikes and mountain bikes.

Is the owner of the small bike shop right? This guy has been super helpful and obviously knows his stuff (or so I thought), but.... Personally, I suspect he cares too much about keeping road/racing bikes in tiptop shape, while I just want to use (and reasonably maintain) my bike for what I need to use it for - commuting. It's not like you can put a whole lot of weight on a rear rack anyways (the limit seems to be about 20 to 30 pounds). Maybe he just doesn't understand what a rear rack would look like... but he sells a few, so I don't know what's going on.

So the questions... are rear racks OK for racing frames? Am I dooming my bike to a short life by installing one? Do I need a special rear rack or can I use normal rear racks, perhaps with a little jerryrigging?

04-30-2006, 10:51 AM
I mounted a Rack on my Felt (Not a Racer though) and found it to be perfect for my needs. I use it for a weekday commuter and a weekend ride bike. On weekend rides I can carry a small bag with spare folding tire, deck shoes, etc. I also mounted a small aluminum bracket with my Blinking Tail light mounted to it off the back of the rack. The visibility of my Blinking light gives me a little more safety at night. I am thinking in commuter terms since this is what you are using the bike for.

If there is a problem with a rack being mounted carrying under 40 lbs on any bike, then there is a safety issue in my opinion. I think the Weight and Balance for the Moment of the rack will have little effect and actually would be better than carrying it on your back. In other words the lower center of gavity of a load on the rack gives better stability than carrying it on your back. The load is riding close to the same distance from the center of balance in a back pack or on a rack (distance aft) so i see no difference in weight on the rear wheel area. The issue would be SHOCK over bumps, so maybe thought to a wider tire. I would get a lower end, more sturdy and more spoked wheel set built up (or at least a rear wheel) for commuting and have the good set for rides.

06-03-2006, 05:17 PM
I'd say if your Felt has eyelets by the dropouts you are fine even if there are none on the seat stays. Does the frame have eyelets? If so a rack is 100% fine, just don't over load it. One issue you might have with bags is heal clearance due to the short chain stays. If you have small feet this will be no problem.

My guess is I know the small shop you speak of and he is right in that the old man mountain is the best solution for heavy use, it is also pricy.. I'd say unless it is a high end bike ($1500+) or has carbon stays I just wouldn't worry about it. If it has carbon stays with eyelets it should be fine though. Ride it as a commuter, treat it as a commuter...