What is the Strongest Rear Rack Available?
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Thread: What is the Strongest Rear Rack Available?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    What is the Strongest Rear Rack Available?

    I realize this question is a little subjective, but I'm looking for feedback from folks who use and abuse their rear racks regularly.

    This summer when I go to Maine, I'm taking the TW as my primary go-to vehicle. But instead of towing it, the bike will be secured to the deck on the back of my old bus turned RV. Last time I used the bus to go coast-to-coast and carried a 220cc scooter. The scooter was literally craned onto the deck by strapping the handlebars and back rack (which bolted directly into the frame).

    BusCrane.jpg

    Looking at the TW rear fender, I can't really see a way to do the same without having a pretty strong tail rack. The little one I have on there now just bolts onto the subframe and that doesn't seem strong enough.
    Obviously, there is the Cycle Rack - you all have great things to say about it. But are there other tough racks that are bolted directly to the frame and would allow me to lift the bike without fear of breaking a frame weld?

    Your advice, as always, is appreciated!
    Ledmelon likes this.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    My vote would be for the CycleRack.....probably the strongest of all, and also carries the most stuff. You could also rig up a bridle of heavy nylon webbing that would go down and around the swing arm on both sides....something like a towing strap but shorter.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    35.JPGI have a cycle rack on my tdub. when installing it, I welded a piece of 1" flat bar under the seat, from side frame rail to side frame rail. I also added 1" flat bar from the back of the rack to where the signal lights bolted in. now the back of the bike is strong, but even with these changes, I wouldn't use the rack for an attaching point for a crane lift. I like Rocky's idea better, then you are grabbing on to34.JPG something that was designed to carry weight
    Last edited by grewen; 03-12-2016 at 11:27 AM.
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  5. #4
    Member LittleTen's Avatar
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    I'll second that....

    Another vote for Cyclerack also, but as a member of the CBOA, this x-cargo arraingment is what I'll be stuck with for a while longer...20160312_103628.jpg
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  6. #5
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyTFS View Post
    My vote would be for the CycleRack.....probably the strongest of all, and also carries the most stuff. You could also rig up a bridle of heavy nylon webbing that would go down and around the swing arm on both sides....something like a towing strap but shorter.
    <face-palm> Doh! What a ditz I feel like right now. Of course!!! I could just strap onto the passenger peg brackets.
    That's what I get for becoming fixated on one-way, linear thinking.

    Thanks Rocky! You just saved me some money better spent on actual vacation
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  7. #6
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    I pick up my Suzuki S50 as well as the TW200 with a rope or sling through the wheels. It works fine and you can easily rig up a small spreader bar out of a 2X4 to keep the ropes or straps away from the fenders if you are worried about them. Or run the lines down around the bottom of the bike. You don't need a rack to pick it up.

  8. #7
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvNot View Post
    .... I could just strap onto the passenger peg brackets.
    Even better, then the strap would not contact the seat or plastic. Or maybe it would....maybe something like this would prevent that:

    0000741_430-heavy-rescue-spreader-bar.png
    Easy to mimic with a piece of wood. I'm assuming you will be removing or de-tensioning the straps when tying down the bike to the rack.

    Cool bus!!!
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  9. #8
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    The weakest part of the CR rack is the flat strap under the seat that the rack attaches to and not the rack itself. Before I bought my MC lift jack I always used the CR with a block and tackle attached to a beam in my garage and attached directly to the CR just in front of the side welded J shaped tubes. Keep in mind the two bolts are just standard 6 MM bolts and that cross brace on the frame is just a shaped, thin strap with relatively poor welds to begin with that often break. Probably fine for any down weight we put on our racks but not so good to use the rack as a hoist point unless you beef it up from below. My buddy Bucknutz is strong as an Ox and has lifted the back of my bike many times from the back of the CR.

    GaryL
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  10. #9
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyTFS View Post
    Even better, then the strap would not contact the seat or plastic. Or maybe it would....maybe something like this would prevent that:

    0000741_430-heavy-rescue-spreader-bar.png
    Easy to mimic with a piece of wood. I'm assuming you will be removing or de-tensioning the straps when tying down the bike to the rack.

    Cool bus!!!
    Rocky, that sling is similar to what I used on the handlebars of the scooter, with a final single point on the rear rack.
    Basically, I winched the scooter up into place, chocked the front wheel, strapped down the handlebars using regular ratchets, wrapped the rear wheel to keep it from bouncing, then removed the lift straps, secured the crane, and moved on to the next city. It took a while, and could be challenging when the campground parking space wasn't on level ground, but ultimately, it was well worth the effort. I got to ride a lot of pretty country (Black Hills, Devil's Tower, Salt Lake City area, Lake Tahoe, the outskirts of San Diego, then up and down the Dragon's Tail in Maggie Valley a couple dozen times).

    As soon as my refund check comes in, I start the bus prep, part of which includes checking out the crane. I will have to replace the wire (original bare wires is rusted into a nasty mess) and will do a couple of trial lift and fits to make sure the TW works as well as the scooter did. The trip is still almost six months out, but time flies and there's lots to do.

    Thanks for all your advice, gang! I really appreciate the excellent feedback.
    Gerry likes this.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Ski Pro 3's Avatar
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    It is hard to believe the denial of cycle rack owners. The only rack I've ever heard of breaking on the forum is the cycle rack brand rack. And not just once, but several times. Over and over again. Not because of crashes either, just to carry a load and ride, the things break.

    Not only are they oversized and ugly, they break at the drop of a hat. I'd advise to stay clear of the cycle rack.
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