Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rack Fail and the improvised solution

About halfway down Cambridge street I started to hear an awful noise,  so I pulled over immediately.
the bolt that holds the rack to the seat-stay bridge had lost its nut and the whole rack had rotated back  45 degrees until it hit the fender.

While I was wrestling the bolt back through the stay, my co-worker P__  happened to be riding past, and stopped to see if he could help.  He had a couple of nuts floating around in his bag, but unfortunately, none of them fit.

A quick solution came to mind, and I detached one end of my rack strap from the axle,  looped it through the rack, and then around the seat tube, and then attached it back to the axle.  Problem solved!

The weight is borne by the axle anyway, the nut at the bridge just prevents rotation, and the rack strap wrapped tightly around the seat tube kept the rack from moving much.

I was even so bold as to stop at the grocery store and ride home with a fully laden pannier.  I didn't break any land speed records, but I made it home just fine, found a nut that fit the bolt, and was certain to soak it in Loc-tite before tightening it back up.


  1. thank goodness for home-spun (street-spun?) temporary fixes...

  2. I had something similar happen once. I had a 17 lb bag of dog kibble strapped to my rack. One of the rack bolts that holds the seat stay part to the rack came loose and allowed the rack to pivot back. It was before I had fenders, so it pivoted onto my rear WHEEL. I came to a sudden stop. Luckily for me, I was going slowly up a hill and not rocketing through an intersection at 17 mph. I still feel like I dodged a bullet with that one.

    I rode home with the bag of kibble balanced on my handlebars. I'm glad you made it home with the pannier. I personally wouldn't have done that, but I tend to be overcautious.

    Now I check the bolts for attached things regularly.

  3. OK, thanks for the reminder to go check the nuts holding the bolts that hold the rack on!

  4. You go girl! I once had something similar happen. The rack on the bike I was riding fell backward and mangled the rear fender in the process. Now, I apply Loc Tite to all of the screws on my racks, fenders and other accessories.

  5. Oof, that's a problem I haven't encountered (yet). Clever solution. :)

  6. Reason 37 to carry duct tape along. Bonus points for improvisation!