A-Tisket, A-Tasket, a Rack and a Black Basket

The rack is made of heavy-duty 4130 chromoly steel. It slides into the basket mounted to the downtube shown in the next photo.

Oma got a present this weekend, a nice front rack from Dutch Bike Co. in Chicago. I installed it and added a new basic black milk-crate.  The rack is different from most front racks sold in the US in that it mounts to the down-tube and remains fixed when the front wheel turns.  Most front racks, like the Wald racks, mount to the front fork and turn with the wheel.  This is not a problem with light loads, but heavy loads tend to force the steering around corners and you have to use a lot of muscle to counter-steer.  If you have never ridden a bike with a fixed front rack, it is a real joy.  Most traditional European delivery bikes feature even larger fixed front racks. Quite a bit of weight can be carried in this manner without negative effects on the handling. 

The instructions show the bracket mounted below the downtube, but the braze-on for the steering damper would be in the way. I considered drilling a hole in the bracket and installing it on the bottom as directed, but I thought I would see how well it worked on top to avoid drilling through the powdercoating. The ring clamps hold the bracket to the downtube at each end.

In order to mount the bolts and the clamps, you need to remove the bolts and bend them. I did it quite easily with an oxy-acetylene torch I use for welding and brazing. If you don't have such a torch, ask the folks at the Dutch Bike Co. to pre-bend the bolts for you.

Here you can see the rack in place after I installed it.

Trial run to the co-op.

I had 29 lbs on the rack this trip. Oma took the corners like a formula one racer despite the added weight to the front. OK, well, maybe not like a formula one car, but the steering was really not affected.


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Equipment, Equipment Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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