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Old 04-06-2015, 09:40 AM   #1
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Custom Bike Rack

Been some time since my last post - we've been enjoying the heck out of our van. However, one item that has been on my custom-to-do-list for a while now was to design and build a new bike rack solution. When I first designed the rear rack setup, I always assumed that I would put the bikes up on the roof rack... which we've done several times now and it works, but it's far from convenient. And because I planned on putting the bikes on the roof rack I didn't made concessions for the rear rack swing arm to be easily modified to accept a bike rack solution.

I didn't feel the rear box was strong enough to accommodate the bikes and with so much weight in there already I figured the tire swing-arm was the best solution. I came up with several different designs, but in the end this was the most achievable with the tools that I have.

There were a handful of criteria that drove the design:

- I wanted to be able to load the bikes by myself, quickly without much hassle. I was able to load the bikes on the roof by myself, but it was not quick and there was much hassle.
- Bikes need to be above the box/tire so that I could tow a trailer without interference. A couple times a year we take the boat and bikes camping.
- Swing arms should be operable with bikes attached.
- I wanted to work with the bike rack system that I had which forces the two arms of the design to be a specified distance apart. Retrospectively, I should have just bought a couple bike rack trays which would put the two arms closer together.

Material wise, this should have costed me three, 10ft long 1" EMT @ $7/ea. In the end I screwed up three pieces so it cost me twice as much.

Still needs paint, non-orange straps, cut the arms to length (much shorter), caps the arms, etc.

Here's the process:










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Old 04-06-2015, 11:22 AM   #2
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Re: Custom Bike Rack

Very clever and nicely done!
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Custom Bike Rack

Nice! What are you planning on using for the QR wheel chock?
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Custom Bike Rack

Very nice. A bike rack on the left/tire side is something I've thought about for awhile. I don't have your fab skills but would love to go that route!

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Old 04-06-2015, 05:39 PM   #5
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Re: Custom Bike Rack

Looks great. What will you do for security, considering it's only held on with straps?

Cheers,
Brent
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: Custom Bike Rack

If you happen to get a flat and use your spare, then put the flat tire on the tire mount, will the cross bar on the bike rack be so low that it will contact the rim? It looks like its only a couple inches above the top of the rim right now and if there isn't any air in the tires and the tie downs cinching down tight, it looks like it could drop down pretty low.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: Custom Bike Rack

Thanks, everyone. This has been on the back burner for a couple years now it seems. My bubby is so tired of hearing about it that when I finally shut up and built it, he was probably happier than I was

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
Nice! What are you planning on using for the QR wheel chock?
I've had a couple sets of these for nearly 15yrs which is why I built the rack the way I did with the arms spaced out to accommodate the bike as opposed to a couple bike trays.



Quote:
Originally Posted by vwteleman
Looks great. What will you do for security, considering it's only held on with straps?
Cheers,
Brent
I was thinking of simply extending the pad lock and chain that I'm using to secure the spare tire. Beyond that, I guess I didn't consider it a high priority even though I probably should have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
If you happen to get a flat and use your spare, then put the flat tire on the tire mount, will the cross bar on the bike rack be so low that it will contact the rim? It looks like its only a couple inches above the top of the rim right now and if there isn't any air in the tires and the tie downs cinching down tight, it looks like it could drop down pretty low.
If I get a flat, the bikes will have to go up on the roof. The bike rack could probably stay on the spare tire depending on how catastrophic the flat is.
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