Ken’s Custom Rear Rack
After sharing his partner’s bike on our adventure bikes page, Ken has kindly offered to share some DIY instructions on how he made the custom rear rack for it. Ken is a longtime mountain biker and bikepacker, before it was called bikepacking.
How did it all start?
My partner and I got into bikepacking through the Polaris Challenge bike events of the early noughties where lightweight overnight camping was part of the 2 day orienteering competition. I’ve always made my own bikepacking setups including frame bags, front harnesses, rack combinations etc for overnighters and longer, mostly overseas, holidays. The current rear rack design come from preparing for a 5 week bikepacking trip to Scotland and Wales about 5 years ago on our first custom bikepacking bikes.
The rack is simple, cheap and easy to make. Total cost about $15. All you need is some 8mm aluminium rod, 2 cable ties and a seatpost collar. It’s surprisingly robust.
On the 5 week trip the racks did their job without a hitch. Even the cable ties didn’t need replacing. And they are versatile. You can put an 8-12 litre drybag in it, or a tent. Probably not a packraft!
The 2 big advantages are:
- can be used with suspension seatposts and, with adaptation, a dropper post,
- no sway (almost)
What excites you about Aus/NZ bikepacking scene?
We’ve got some of the best opportunities for bikepacking in the world, but as yet so many are still just potential or undocumented routes, particularly in Australia. I’m sure there are people quietly exploring new routes all over the place.
Where’s the favourite place that your gear has taken you?
I am particularly interested in coastal routes – beaches and headlands and there are plenty of that to explore here in Australia and we are planning a trip to NZ to do some north island beach routes. Years ago we toured around Samoa on our bikes, not really bikepacking but minimal gear needed in the subtropics, staying in beachside huts, swimming in coral lagoons….aah.