Has anyone built a rear bicycle rack?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by jmccrury, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. jmccrury

    jmccrury Member

    I was thinking about building one for my bike if I could do it cheaper than buying one. Just wondering if anyone else had done it so I could get some ideas.

    I did find where some people have built them out of pvc.
    Example: http://www.pvcplans.com/bikerack.htm

    I also saw a much simpler one on another site, but I don't know how sturdy they would be.

  2. crazeehorse

    crazeehorse Member

    i made one from a peice of 1/8" alum. plate, by bending down a 1" flange on each side,mine is 8" X 14" then i took two peices of alum. tent pole, flattened the ends about 1" . then i pop riveted the flat part of the poles to the flanges i bent on the plate. i then drilled the other end of the flattened poles to fit the rear axle nuts for the braces.i cut a slot in the front of the plate, the size of my seat post so i could clamp it to the seat post tube. cheap & sturdy, & i had a cordura case for a cordless drill that i screwed to the rack, thats where i keep my tool kit.
  3. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    PVC is very easy to work with, and in a "square" form if you will, would be very strong.

    The only downside is you are looking at 45 and 90 degree angles only, so astheticly, it may suffer a little.

    A matter of fact, I was looking for a way to hang a gas tank off the back of the seat post.... I think I am going to try PVC for it!
  4. crazeehorse

    crazeehorse Member

    you should be able to get 22.5 degree couplings as well, at least you can in my area, i know this because i do a lot of plumbing.
  5. DougC

    DougC Guest

    I don't believe that (generally speaking) you can build much of anything cheaper than a Chinese factory can make it. You can find cheap rear racks online for $10 or so.

    Of course sometimes I want to build the whole thing, but I know it's not likely the cheapest way to do it.


    I've built one rack (or rather two versions of one!) but only because I could not buy anything that would fit the bike I have very well:


    PVC is not that strong, it's just a way that doesn't require welding.
  6. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    There is one way to do it at no cost; those plastic baby seats that people put on their bikes to ride their kids with. Take off the seat itself and you have an aluminum rack.

    You can find them all the time in the garbage. I must have put a half dozen at least on various bikes over the years. In fact my fuel tank is riding on one right now.
  7. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    WOW!! What a fantastic idea.
  8. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    I made a rack out of 1/8" x 1" aluminum bar. The tools needed are a vice, vice grips or pliers and drill. The main support post is twisted, this adds stability. Bending is easy, you just need to measure things out and figure out how the bends develop so you can repeat them.

    I built it for bike touring and it is stable enough for holding a pack on top and panniers on the side. It is a few years old, with frequent use and has held up, although most days I am just bike commuting to work with no load on the rack.

    I'm not sure if it is up for motorized use, however I am sure it could be braced, maybe with a layer of plywood on top to mount the engine on. Some X-braces underneath might stop a tendancy to wobble.

    Attached Files:

  9. DougC

    DougC Guest

    One thing I have always disliked about rear racks was the tiny screws they're held on with. They're junk, every d*** one of them.

    When I was riding bikes a lot years ago, I always carried extra screws for when the rear rack screws fell out.
    And they always did.
    Eventually the threads in the hole get chewed up, and screws won't hold anymore, so then you have to find some way to attach a bolt through there--but the trick then is, that there's often hot much room on the chain side. A regular bolt head or nut is too tall, and will prevent the smallest sprocket (of a 10-speed bike) from being used, because the chain will hit the bolt head/nut. I've put rear racks on almost every bicycle I've owned, this problem always comes up, and I've always hated it.

    In Europe it's not difficult to buy a bicycle with a rear rack that is integral with the frame (welded on) but you can't find that in the US yet, unless you get something custom-made ($$$$) or do it yourself.

    When I did the Fusion rack I spent a lot of extra time and made four clamps that fit over the frame tubes and are held on by four 1/4-20" bolts. They're relatively heavy and look clunky but they haven't come loose so far, and I am fairly confident that they will not be the first part of the frame to break under a severe load.