What are the bike rack options for Wabis?

To start, you can make most racks work for almost any bike given the number of mounting options or accessories available. However, some racks and mounting types work better than others. We'll cover what is possible with each model, including what existing mount types and some recommendations for certain racks.

Rear rack vs. front rack?
Most people are used to getting rear racks as it is a more "traditional" rack, however front racks tend to be better options for Wabis and most SS/fixed bikes. Front racks are easier to install while rear racks can have clearance issues with your feet and panniers/saddle bags given the short chain stay designs.

Mounting Types
There are many ways to mount racks as different frames have different capabilities. This means racks provide different mounting options or accessories are made to provide more options.

  • Eyelets: Threaded hole in frame that a standard 5mm bolt attaches to. This is the most common attachment method. These eyelets are usually located near the rear dropout, near the fork dropout, on upper part of the seat stays and, in some cases, on the fork blades.
  • P-Clamps: If eyelets are not available on your frame, you can use small rubber clamps that attach to the frame tubing (usually the chain stay or fork blade to provide a spot to bolt a rack (or fender) in lieu of an eyelet. There are a few drawbacks - they can mark the paint, they can look clunky and they are not as strong as eyelets. However, they are are viable options if you want a rack that requires eyelet mounting and no eyelets are available.
  • Brake bolt mounting: Several racks allow you to attach a strut to the front or rear brake. mounting bolt. The strut mounts between the brake caliper and the serrated washer that presses against the frame. We recommend this for most of our frames given the lack of chain stay and fork blade eyelets (with the exceptio of the Thunder).
  • Wheel bolt mounting: Several racks allow you to attach a strut to the wheel bolt itself when there is no eyelet available at the dropout or the location of the eyelet doesn't work well for the rack. We also recommend this for most of our frames. However, for rear racks, we recommend a particular type of mounting to ensure the wheel does not slip. Note that all wheel bolt mounting recommendations below are based on Wabi wheels using 6mm bolts. Solid axle wheels with 9/10mm diameter will most likely not work.
  • Strap or clip mounting: There are some racks that either strap to the chain stay or fork blade or clamp to the seat post. These can work fine in applications with lightweight loads. These racks can be a bit ugly, expensive and/or unstable on your bike.

Let's go through what is available on each model and our recommendations.

CLASSIC

Eyelets
The Classic has front and rear eyelets for racks and fenders. However, both sets of eyelets are not typical locations or installations. The front eyelets are on the inside of the fork above the dropouts while the rear eyelets are recessed above the rear dropouts. The front eyelets are really only for fenders while the rear eyelets can be used for fenders or racks, but require a spacer and longer bolt given they are recessed. The Classic does not have eyelets on the seat stay or upper fork stays.

Rear Rack

We typically recommend a rack with brake bolt mounting for the top of the rack and either eyelet mounting or wheel bolt mounting for the bottom of the struts. You can install p-clamps on the chain stays if you want to a rack that has traditional eyelet mounting at the top. There are usually more racks available with that mounting than brake bolt mounting.

If you want to use the eyelet for mounting, you will need a small spacer (3/8" outer diameter, 1/2" long, M5 bolt compatible inner diameter)  and longer mounting bolt (M5, 25mm) then what typically comes with the rack itself.

eyelet adapter.JPG

If you want to use the wheel bolt for mounting, the rack needs to accommodate an M6 bolt size. Some may be too small as they only accommodate QR skewers, which are smaller. We also recommend not running the rack strut between the frame and serrated washer. Rather, it is better run it between the bolt head and the serrated washer. We recommend a 3mm thick metal washer inside of the serrated alloy washer (to transfer the force more directly) and a longer 25mm M6 bolt.

wheel bolt mount rear.JPG

In our experience, the best rack option for brake bolt mounting and eyelet mounting is the Axiom Journey MK3 Uni-Fit. It comes with extra long adapters to allow eyelet mounting without getting in the way of the wheel bolts that also allow the rack to be mounted far enough back to minimize pannier / foot conflicts. The plates can be mounted inside out for a cleaner look too. This rack only comes in black.

For brake bolt mounting and wheel bolt mounting, we recommend the Axiom Streamliner DLX rack. It is a minimalist rack that is well made and comes in black or silver.

Front Rack

We recommend finding a rack with a brake bolt mount for the top and a wheel bolt mount at the bottom (that can accommodate a 6mm bolt). For front wheels, you can mount the rack strut between the fork dropout and the serrated washer as there is minimal concern for hub to slip out of the dropout.

Our recommendation is the Origin8 Rush Messenger. It is an aluminum rack with a large platform that comes in black. The strut can accommodate a 6mm bolt too.

SPECIAL AND LIGHTNING

Eyelets
Neither bike has eyelets on the front or rear. This means that you will need to use p-clamps or only brake bolt / wheel bolt mounting options.

Rear Rack
Given the limitations of no eyelets, we only recommend racks with brake bolt mounting and wheel bolt mounting. In that case, we recommend the Axiom Streamliner DLX rack. It is a minimalist rack that is well made and comes in black or silver.

Front Rack
We recommend finding a rack with a brake bolt mount for the top and a wheel bolt mount at the bottom (that can accommodate a 6mm bolt). For front wheels, you can mount the rack strut between the fork dropout and the serrated washer as there is minimal concern for hub to slip out of the dropout.

Our recommendation is the Origin8 Rush Messenger. It is an aluminum rack with a large platform that comes in black. The strut can accommodate a 6mm bolt too.

THUNDER

Eyelets
The Thunder has a full set of eyelets and that rear dropout, front dropout, seat stays and upper fork blades.

Rear Rack
Given all the options, you can mount most racks. However, we still recommend racks, like the Axiom Journey MK3 Uni-Fit, that are set back more or can be set back more to allow clearance between pannier bags and your legs.

Front Rack
The eyelets on the Thunder allow you to mount most front racks. We don't have any specific recommendations given the large numbers available.

Mar 16, 2022

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