Friday, February 9, 2018

Cheapskate hack: Porteur rack

I'd been wanting to try a real porteur-styled rack on my bike for a long time.
I liked the idea of a platform that sat close and low to the fork crown, allowing for larger and/or more oddly-shaped loads. But the cost of new, factory-made racks remains prohibitive, averaging over $150. Custom models start at around $200.

Inspired by a similar rack on a bike I'd seen several years ago, I decided to try making my own.

1. I obtained a canti-boss mini-rack cheap on craigslist ($18)
2. I mounted it on my bike. Then, I used hose clamps to install a miniature broiler grill (sans drip pan, about 13" x 9") that I'd found at Goodwill ($4)
3. Finally, I mounted a discarded rail from a very nice factory-made rack that I had scored at the CCC's Salvage Sunday for something like $0.50.
Additional hardware needed to put it all together -- hose clamps, L-braclets and various nuts a bolts -- came to another $6 and change.

Photos below show the basic assembly process.

After I'd installed the platform, I realized that carrying any load more than around 3 or 4 lbs. on a rack mounted on cantilever struts would break the rack. So to increase strength and triangulation, I installed additional full-length struts I'd salvaged from a WALD basket.

Hose clamps hold the platform securely to the mini-rack.

L-brackets (above) hold the guard rail securely. Front pair of bolts also secure the full-length Wald basket struts (bottom end incorporated with fender stay bolt, in fork eyelet.
Total cost of creating and assembling my porteur rack came to around $30 and change.
And it actually looks okay. My bag fits nicely in the rack, and with the addition of a couple of lashing straps it's sturdy enough to manage a short case of beer or a trio of growlers (something to keep in mind for summer barbecue season).
I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.


herzogone said...

I like it, clever use of a broiler pan!

LizzieL said...

I salvaged a grill rack not long ago thinking it would make a good front rack, which I would like to have, but I haven't got your technical abilities........ Yours is amazing!

anniebikes said...

Brilliant and creative! Thanks for sharing.

bikelovejones said...

Thanks everyone.

If you click on the link about the similar design early in the post, you'll see a very different interpretation of how to utilize old parts.
I appreciate the earlier design, though I find the construction very beefy and overbuilt; perhaps the plan was to utilize it on a campout and there was some detachment mechanism I couldn't see.
Mine is designed to function strictly as a porteur rack, for portage. I prefer the lighter-weight look and feel of my attachment realization.
And also -- it was probably much easier to assemble.
Still do to: Apply a clear coat of nail polish to the places where rust has appeared on the grill, and also on the parts I shaped with pliers to accommodate the tubing at the back of the mini-rack (see photos). After that, it should last quite awhile.