Bike rack stability question
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  1. #1

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    Bike rack stability question (now finished with pics!!!)

    (I could have sworn there was a forum specific to bike racks, but a search didn't turn it up. My apologies if I'm blind or something)

    I just got a new 1999 Ford Ranger and I'm going to be creating a bed rack for four bikes (2 MTBs, 2 road). I've looked at pre-fabbed bed racks and note the only point where the bike is secured is at the fork with the clamp -- in other words, no stablization bars to prevent side-to-side sway.

    Yakima sells "Blocks" that are essentially front skewers I can screw into 2x4s in the bed of the truck. 4 of these sets me back $100 whereas two bed racks sets me back $300 and a purpose made bed rack for four bikes sits on top of the bed rails and sets me back over $400 and gets the biks up into the wind, rather defeating the purpose of a bed rack.

    I'm not that concerned about the MTBs, but the carbon forks on the roadies gives me a little pause as I don't think I want to be subjecting them to much side to side torsion.

    My questions are:

    1. Am I dumb to be worried about side-to-side torsion on the bikes?
    2. If I'm not dumb to worry, would simply bungie-cording the bikes provide enough side-to-side stability to allay concerns.
    3. If I'm not dumb to worry and bungies won't do it, would you brace the rear wheel or somehow brace on the frame directly?

    If anyone has any other thoughts on this or has built one of these things themselves, I'd be interested to hear any tips.

    Thanks,
    David
    Last edited by ddmiller67; 08-12-2007 at 07:48 PM.
    Live fast, die old.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I used those fork mount blocks mounted to a piece of plywood I cut to fit my truck. I made it about a foot wide so it wouldnt wiggle. Once you clamp the bike in, you are really done. You just have to make sure it is clamped in nice and snug just like if you were clamping in your front wheel. I suppose if you drove over really bumpy roads the back tire could bounce but I never had an issue.

    Some truck beds have a slot built in for a 2X4 which would work well. Otherwise, just make sure whatever wood piece you use stays far enough away from the cab of the truck for your handlebars.

  3. #3
    i like whiskey
    Reputation: innergel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddmiller67
    1. Am I dumb to be worried about side-to-side torsion on the bikes?
    2. If I'm not dumb to worry, would simply bungie-cording the bikes provide enough side-to-side stability to allay concerns.
    3. If I'm not dumb to worry and bungies won't do it, would you brace the rear wheel or somehow brace on the frame directly?
    1. yes. you put more stress on the frame and fork riding it that you would ever put on it clamped into a rack in the bed of your truck going down the road.
    2. not necessary
    3. not necessary

    I have a similar fork mount screwed to a 2x6 in the bed of my truck. No bungees, no cables, no nothing. Just the fork mount. It works perfectly and the bikes are plenty secure and stable.

  4. #4

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    Truck bed bike rack done (w/ pics!)

    Based on Daryl's comments and the comments from another fellow in a different thread, I created the following 4-bike rack in the bed of my '99 Ranger 4x4. It took about three days spread across two different weekends, with most of the time waiting for paint to dry.

    The base is 3/4 plywood. Paint is Ace Premium Porch Paint. The bikes are attached to Yakima Blockers, which are attached to the plywood with 1/4" stainless steel bolts. Unseen on the bottom are rubber spacers I picked up at, of all the places, Archie McPhee's for $5 each. I think you could probably skip these as long as you cut your plywood tight to length and have a bed liner so the bolt heads won't scuff the bed. I put a fifth mount in so if I only have one bike it will be centered and more sheltered. Total materials cost is about $200, $125 of which was the Yakima mounts. For reference, the local rack shop has a Yakima bed rail system for two bikes at $150 each (I could have mounted one front and one rear) and a 4-bike system that goes on top of the side rails for $450.

    Here are the pics...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Live fast, die old.

  5. #5
    POGUE MAHONE
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    Dido, block of wood and a fork clamp is all thats required. Don't worry about the other end of the bike unless you plan on doing some rally driving.
    My kickstand is busted.

  6. #6
    Failboat Captian
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    You probably missed this http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...e.cfm?SKU=3702

    $10 ea from Performance. All 5 fork mounts would have run you $50. But the folks at Yak thank you for your patronige.

    BTW, what's the graphic on your plywood?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad
    You probably missed this http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...e.cfm?SKU=3702

    $10 ea from Performance. All 5 fork mounts would have run you $50. But the folks at Yak thank you for your patronige.

    BTW, what's the graphic on your plywood?
    I saw the Perf blocks, but I was willing to spend the $5 extra so I didn't have to screw with drilling the 10 holes in the potmetal mounts (they were $20, not $10 three weeks ago, though I might still have made the same decision). I almost went with the $60 truck bed rack they had and used it as a base for what I ended up doing, but the only advantage would have been for having the uprights for the front wheels. Tossing them behind the seats in the cab seemed a better solution.

    The graphic is one from a T-shirt I picked up in Moab in 1995. It's a riff on the petroglyphs in the area, with the front reading "Ancient Mountain Bike God - Cave near Moab, Utah"

    The text on the board is from the back of the shirt. It's clear on my 'puter screen, but in case it isn't elsewhere, it reads: "Up the mountain, down the trail, throught the mud you will sail. With the Mountain Bike God you need not bail."

    It was either that or the George of the Jungle cartoon theme song* (long story involving my ability to hit trees when I tumble, even if it is the only tree in several square miles). This was shorter

    * http://www.tvtunesonline.com/lyrics/toons.asp#george
    Live fast, die old.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    if youre even thinking of spending 300 bux.. just go ahead and get a thule t2 or the saris themla.. goes on the hitch.. super easy to load.. and very secure

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by I3erto
    if youre even thinking of spending 300 bux.. just go ahead and get a thule t2 or the saris themla.. goes on the hitch.. super easy to load.. and very secure
    I have one already, but I've never liked the idea of hanging $4500 worth of bikes on something sticking 3' off the back bumper for some schmo to hit at a stoplight or clip backing out of a parking spot.

    When we took that rack on the last road trip (2000), I also noticed the rims and tires of the bikes picked up a ton of road grit. That didn't bother me with the MTBs, but it does with the road bikes.
    Live fast, die old.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I've used a Yakima rack in the bed of my Ranger for years with no problems. The rear tire sometimes hops around if you hit a bump but it doesn't cause any problems. I've never had a bike come loose from the fork mounts. I also have front wheel holders on my rack. And I've got another fork mount bolted to a 2x4 when I need to carry 3 bikes.

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