Saturday, January 16, 2010

Freeload bike rack

My new freeload bike rack arrived today, so armed with the confidence of knowing that I once assembled a kids "Warehouse" swing and slide set, I started to put it all together. Being the geek I am, I had my camera on hand, and a good thing I did.... because, although the assembly of the unit was a complete doddle, when it came to strapping it on my bike I came unstuck. I had been messing with the webbing straps, and they had unravelled from their correct locations : (
I was able to re-thread them by referring to the camera's images.

The top "deck" caused me some grief, I thought I had it installed as per instructions, but noted that I could pull it off the alloy frame quite easily. After some frantic phone calls to Mister Cleetus, we found that he had not installed his correctly either. There are two parts to getting it right. 1. The curved alloy frame's end needs to be bottomed out against the green toe-piece in a horizontal plane. 2. Some downward force needs to be applied to the deck directly above the little green catches, which are underneath it. There is a resounding click when this happens.

As suggested, with bikes running brake lines on the top-side of their "seat-stays" you will need to pull them up, to give some room for the mounting hardware. I had heaps of spare brake-line so it wasn't a problem. I did move the mounts as far as I could down the seat-stay though, so that there was no chance of the rack coming into contact with my seat under full suspension bottoming. This has yet to be tested in the real world. Maybe one day this summer it will stop raining.

So far the contact I have had with the guy at Freeload (Tim) has been very helpful and friendly.


BikeHutt said...

If you only knew a good bicycle mechanic...

El jefe said...

The search goes on... ; )

sifter said...

Great tips Jeff!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

A bit of a grave dig, but how have you found the Freeload rack? I am just starting out bike packing and the freeload caught my attention as a really nice piece of kit.

Does it stay in place?
Is it robust and reliable?


El jefe said...

Hey Ross, search for Kiwi Brevet on my blog to see how robust the racks were. We covered terrain that was pretty heinous, 1100kms in 5 days. Much of it gnarly single track. For an aussie perspective on that event, go here. . I would recommend getting some gnarly rides in with the rack on, and even wetting it thoroughly and re-tightening the webbing so its fully settled in before a big event, but I would take the two mounting tools with me anyway.A couple of allen keys from memory. Mine did not move after it was set up. I saw a little bit of slippage on a cross bike that had the rack set up on the front fork very steeply. They were getting hammered tho!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff,

I think I will make the trip over for the Brevet next year. It sounds like a great trip and I haven't heard anything but good reports.


El jefe said...

There is nothing to suggest that there will be another one next year Ross, possibley the year after, we are all hoping!