Made in Portland: A front rack to carry an extra set of wheels

A front rack for carrying wheels-5

The new wheel rack from TCB.

A friend stopped by the office recently with an interesting new product by Portland-based company TCB Racks. It’s a product only racers are probably going to love and/or understand — a front rack that allows you to carry your precious race wheels on the way to a workout or competition.

TCB was started by former bicycle delivery professional, cyclocross racer, and mechanical engineering student Tad Bamford. TCB’s specialty are stainless steel, porteur-style front racks that are held together not by welds, but by bolts (check out his randonneuring rack).

A front rack for carrying wheels-7

A front rack for carrying wheels-2

Tad debuted his racks at the Oregon Manifest show back in 2008, and he’s been steadily growing his business ever since (last week, we shared how TCB has collaborated with another local company, Ruckus Components).

But his new product (which has yet to be named), is something totally new for TCB.

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Team Beer founder and frequent cyclocross and track racer John Howe needed a way to carry his race wheels to the track and to local ‘cross races (racers prefer to use their high-end, expensive wheels solely for competition). Howe had heard about a similar rack made by TCB for another racer at Alpenrose, so he asked Tad to build one for him.

A front rack for carrying wheels-6

Close-up shows how the
spare wheel attaches to the rack.

The result is a new product that solves the problem in a simple way. The stainless steel rack mounts to the wheel axle (via a crimped tube) and the race wheels are attached via a skewer. (Tad says he’s working on another feature that will string a little mesh hammock over your front wheel for dirty laundry.)

Loosen a few bolts, swap out the wheels, and in a few minutes you’re ready to race (or ready to ride home).

Tad says the price is $35 and an extra $5 for the dirty laundry sling (which could come in handy after a muddy cross race).

Stay tuned to the TCB Racks blog for more details and ordering information.

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Bryan McLellan
12 years ago

I’ve used my Surly “Nice Rack” for carrying extra wheels before. Of course it turns your bike into sort of a truck and takes eight people and a senator to get the thing mounted.

Ed
Ed
12 years ago

You can also make your own using two strips of aluminum with holes drilled in them, and toe straps:

http://davesbikeblog.squarespace.com/blog/2008/7/23/off-to-the-races.html

Brad
Brad
12 years ago

Brilliant!

Toby
Toby
12 years ago

Clever idea, and given how light your raceday wheelset doubtless is, it should be a non-issue that TCB racks aren’t welded. And even the more serious racks presumably are tough, though I’d expect them to be tad heavier, being bolted together.

Rollie
Rollie
12 years ago

Another use for this would be to carry your knobbies to the trailhead but get there on slicks. Though you’d have to lock up the slicks and presumably the rack until you got back.

Toby
Toby
12 years ago

Clever idea, and given how light your raceday wheelset doubtless is, it should be a non-issue that TCB racks aren’t welded. And even the more serious racks are presumably tough, though I’d expect them to be tad heavy, being bolted together.

tomisutra
tomisutra
12 years ago

that’s tad. always thinking outside of the sphere. that what you were talkin to lucky about? but i forget, you’re a seamster also.

fredlf
fredlf
12 years ago

I might start using this just to ride my regular Kelley Point Loop where I flat constantly. So much faster than replacing the tube after a flat…

Hillson
Hillson
12 years ago

Pure liquid awesomeness.

rev
12 years ago

slick!

Tad
12 years ago

Thanks for the props all! I plan to have a few of these for sale at most ‘cross races this season and the laundry slings should be ready in a few weeks, so now you can all plan to ride out to the Astoria races.

Toby – These are a single piece of tubing, so no welds is completely a non-issue here. And actually my heavy duty porteurs are just over 2#, lightest thing on the market I’ve seen and easily as sturdy.

Oh, and click my name for the latest bling. Yeah!

Duncan
Duncan
12 years ago

does anyone make a hitch so you can tow one bike w/ another?

toddistic
toddistic
12 years ago

RAD! I WANT ONE! My biggest annoyance when racing is to have to lug another wheelset on my back when going to/from races!

Toby
Toby
12 years ago

@11 – Cool to see the maker himself here, Tad. I wasn’t trying to diss your racks, just noting that Jonathan’s explanation that they’re “held together by bolts, not by welds” wasn’t going to be a big deal for a pair of wheels. The porteurs and radonneurs aren’t one piece of tubing, are they? Do they have a maximum load, or is it whatever you’re crazy enough to try and carry?

Tad
12 years ago

My website is FINALLY UP!

tcbracks.com

And Toby, no offense taken, just trying to clarify. The racks are not single tube, but the designs are clean enough that the fasteners take minimal stress and can be very small. The porteurs are designed to break you before you can break them, meaning if you can control the bike the rack can take the load, but I say 70# max for sanity and legal reasons because there are idiots like me out there who will try anything.

佐藤 宜秀
12 years ago

ホイール運搬用ラックだそうです。相当ニッチな市場向けですね。http://bit.ly/2sXY6x

IF Rapha Japan
12 years ago

http://bit.ly/3w5gre brilliant! これやったらシクロクロスレースまで自走してスペアホイールセットまで持って行ける!さすがポートランドや.TCB Racksには前からカスタムラックを頼もうと思っていた.国内にはカスタムラック屋さんはおらんのかな?

Cycle Blogs
12 years ago

Bike Portland: Made in Portland: A front rack to carry an extra set of wheels:
The new wheel rac.. http://bit.ly/cc4DK