Re: [CR] Recommendations for racks and panniers

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Campagnolo)

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 14:09:48 -0400
Subject: Re: [CR] Recommendations for racks and panniers
From: "Doug Fattic" <>
To: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

> From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
> I'm looking to set up a couple of bikes for commuting, including a Schwinn
> World Voyageur and a Schwinn Sports Tourer. I live only about two miles from
> work, and this town is only about 25,000, so I feel I really should be using a
> bike for around town transportation, not just rides on the weekend. As I
> mentioned a week or two ago, I'm looking for rear racks which can be mounted
> to the brake center bolt, so I don't have to clamp anything to the stays. I
> did obtain a Blackburn of this tyep from a list member, but I'm still
> interested if any of the high quality chromed steel or stainless racks like
> Nitto, Tubus or Berthoud can be mounted to the brake bolt.
> Also, for commuting I need to carry a medium size laptop and a briefcase,
> although the briefcase might be optional. What size panniers, in litres,
> should I look for?
> Finally, what are the best sources for high quality rear racks and paniers?
> I know VeloOrange, Wallingford and Rivendell. Anyone else specialize in this
> type of gear?
> Jerry moos
> Big Spring, Texas, USA

Jerry, if you want to be period correct, there probably isn't another option than the Pletscher carrier. That is what I had on my 1965 Schwinn Super Sport. Like Fred mentioned, they supply a T shaped adaptor. The hole in the bottom of the T fits behind the brake bolt and the 2 holes along the cross of the T fit the 2 holes at the front of the rack. That setup avoids clamping and marring your stays. J&B Importers sells a copy of this model made in Taiwan to bikes stores under the Pyramid brand.

Another timeless option is a chrome (or black powercoated) rack sold by Wald Co located in Kentucky. This is the same company that sells baskets and other supplies to what used to be the American bicycle manufactures. It has a hook attachment that bolts to the brake and a slot on the other end so the rack can be leveled. It is not expensive and attractive.

Now if I may go completely outside of my bounds of this discussion and suggest that for a 2 mile commute, what you really want is a Dutch style bike like what we make in Ukraine. These bikes don't fit the mentality of Americans and aren't as useful in major metropolitan areas where theft and hills make them less practical. Strong influences come from San Francisco where someone will say they are heavy for hills and from New York where they will get stolen. However for normal places they are great. Internal gears (8) make shifting easy, enclosed chaincases keep clothes clean, fenders, racks, lights and kickstands make them functional. I use mine all the time. There is a picture of one here on our Ukraine bike ride website: I just copied (with some modifications) Dutch designs. I've got a few I've made hanging around the shop which can be sold :)

And if you want to stay period correct, those old Chicago Schwinns we avoided when we were younger like the Breezer and Collegiate work okay too.

Remember that for shorter distances you pedal at a walking effort.

Doug Fattic
Niles, Michigan, USA