Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rackufacture: Tubus Duo Knockoff Blitz Build

With the Elephant, it's always been my intent to haul the majority of my krap in front panniers, whether it be camping krap or commuting krap. For my first trip out, I hastily equipped it with a Tubus Tara lowrider rack. The Tara is super solid wonderful. Only thing is, it's kind of dorky looking, which is okay for the woods, but I feel like a tool cruising around town with it. So I'd been eyeing another Tubus rack, the Duo, which is to me, if not actually elegant, at least a little less toolish. The smart thing, of course, would have been to just buy one, but apparently my time is worth absolutely nothing, so I decided to build it instead. Oh, did I mention that it will never fit any other bike.

But sometimes, when you haven't built a rack for a while, you just need to. And besides, custom is kinda cool. My schedule is pretty hectic right now, so I had to jam it into a short window. The bulk of the work was done during a marathon shop session this past Sunday and I was able to finish it off tonight. Here are a few details of the progression . . .

Main structure.  I'll bend the "tails" to fit the pannier hooks at the end of the process.

I spent a lot of time figuring out the best way to attach the rack to the fork.  This is a rack boss that I've filed down to around 5/16" diameter.  It will fit through a hole in the rail that actually carries the pannier.

Lower attachment point detail.

Pannier attachment rail.  I'm crimping the tube where the filed-down rack boss will go through it, to increase the cross-section a bit.  (It will make sense in a minute, I swear.)

Fitting up the pannier rails.  In addition to supporting the bags, these give the rack its lateral stability.

Filed down rack boss poking through the rail and ready for brazing.  Hopefully this makes sense now.

Pretty much finished.

Right rack removed, inside view of the bag hanging off the left rack.

Not a great picture, but side-by-side comparison of the Tara and the new rack.  In addition to looking better (to me, at least) the new rack saves about 4/10ths of a pound.

For as puny of a little rack as it is, it sure was a bugger getting everything to fit up the right way. But I'm really happy with the way it came out. Off to powder coat, after which I'll be looking forward to loading it up and seeing how it works.

1 comment:

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