There were three sizes of the old blackburn rear rack for brazed-on fittings. Small fits approx. 18-20" frames, medium fits approx. 21-23" frames, and large fits approx. 24-27" frames.
They were needed so that you could get a relatively level top-surface on various frame sizes, as they weren't adjustable. The one for the smallest frames had the longest "nose" area. I have one of those for the 20" touring bike that I built for my wife back in 1983, and I have a large one for my 24" 1982 Woodrup.
Greg Parker Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 08:47:12 -0400 From: "Barb & Dan Artley" <email@example.com> To: "Classic Rendezvous" <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> Subject: Re: [CR] Blackburn vs. Jim Blackburn and carrying capacity.
I couldn't possibly compare my humble history to Robert "Rack Attack" Broderick's data stream, but I may have an early version that I've found differs from the more modern 'early' version in size. Richard Sachs built my tourer for a stay mounted Blackburn rack back in 1978 and after going through the usual wear and tear of years, I wanted to replace it with the fresh paint job acquired in 1989. I couldn't find one to fit! They were all about an inch shorter reach than my first one. I didn't check for "jimblackburn" or "blackburn", but ended up powder coating mine to clean it up.
I'd had one of those chrome eurostyle racks on my UO-8 set up for touring back in the day, but it was rusting, and those Blackburns had a great reputation for strength and light weight. It has proven to be just about bullet proof after nearly thirty years, and the bike just doesn't look 'right' without it.
Dan Artley in Parkton, Maryland USA
I work in a Community Bike shop where we are seeing a number of items (mainly racks and bottle cages) with the "Jim Blackburn" marque. Mainly these are on older touring bikes such as an early 80's trek 620 or an old fuji. Are these items "special" or are they just an old rack? I can't seem to find any other identifying marks on them, nor can I find anything online about them. I am thinking about putting one of these on my cross-check for doing some cargo-hauling and light touring this summer but don't have a clue what sort of weight they are rated for. I know that modern "Blackburn" racks have ratings and am curious if they are similar. The one in particular is alloy, three stays on each side, open top rather than a platform and a single stay which I presume mounts to the brake hole on the rear brake bridge. The tubing does not look particularly beefy, but must have been used for touring at some point because the bike we took it off of had sizable panniers on it. Thanks, Andrew