I picked up my new Elephant from Glen about 5 months ago. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is and how to use it. Thing is, it takes me a long time to figure out the personality of my bikes (like up to a year or two) and now that I have the ability to seriously screw up a really good bike with a totally stupid rack, it just takes that much longer.
I only have about 500 miles on it, but never has a bike been through such a rigorous "getting to know you" phase, which has included but is not limited to: a loaded, beat-down, jarring solo trip into the Cd'A NF, a whole different kind of abuse on the Midnight Century, and the urban adventure of seven carless days.
Rack-wise, I equipped it with hastily-built rear and front racks. Then I messed with them and messed with them some more, and more after that.
All the experimentation's been fun and educational, but for a while now I've been feeling a need for some closure. I'm a long way from figuring the bike out, or it me, and things will change for sure, but there's some shit I've definitely learned and feel good about and so I'm settling on that for now and then I'll go from there at some point in the future.
Over the last several weeks, I pushed myself to make some decisions on rack design, get them finished up, and then powder coated. After all that, here's what I finally brought home.
The rack bits along with the recent Frame Saver tear-down left me with this pile o' parts. I think there's a bike in there somewhere:
These days, sunlight is in short supply and my lame camera takes shitty pictures in the shadows of my shop. Which is okay for most stuff, but when you finish a major project, you wanna do it justice, and so I was waiting for today to take it down to Manito Park and take some fun pics under natural light amidst the fine scenery. Last time I did this, Patty laughed her ass off. "You're taking senior pictures of your bike!"
It's pointless to try and refute her assessment. I'm a nerd and I have no case. But they're really good senior pictures . . .
The Velo Orange fenders have been pretty good, quality-wise. I decided to have them powder-coated the same color as the bike, which for a guy who's much more comfortable blending in than standing out was a pretty bold move. The only thing about them that drove me crazy was that the fit between the stay and the eyelet bolt was super sloppy. The stays wouldn't stay put and rattled around.
I fixed it, though.
The front rack came out great. Everything's square and true and the size is appropriate for the bike. It's really not the right machine for hauling a big load above the front wheel.
The fender attachment at the front helps stiffen the fender big-time.
I added a loop at the top and a hook-thingy at the bottom for storing mini-bungees.
All this busy-ness is about mounting the light and battery.
Hopefully this explains it.
The rear rack, on the other hand, is a mess. Nothing on it is square or symmetrical. But it's functional and the powder coating smoke-screens the flaws.
More storage for bungees.
This is the u-lock holster. It's designed to accommodate multiple lock sizes.
Larry commented on a previous post with the idea of using a "broccoli rubber band" to secure the lock to the rack. I adopted his idea, although I ended up using a hacked bungee instead of a rubber band. The lock is super solid in the holster.
Showing you my pictures was sooooo fun. Can I, like, sign your yearbook?