Car Less Ohio

Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State

A New Year's Velorution

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but as my riding mileage dropped way off last month with the onset of bitter cold weather, I figured the new year would be a good excuse to start walking the walk, as well as talking the talk, especially as a co-founder of this blog. So, I began riding my bike to work yesterday.

The worst part about bad-weather riding, in my opinion, is not so much being out in the weather itself. It’s the additional activity required before and after the ride: planning the additional clothing that you need to wear for the ride, and packing more clothes that you’ll have to change into once you arrive at your destination. So, advance preparation is the key more than ever to killing the motivation-killers. Get into a night-before routine–set out your riding clothes, pack your at-work clothes, and make sure your bike and gear are set up and ready to go.

Speaking of bike preparation, I recently added the final touch to make my winter commuting bike ready for action. I needed a rear cargo rack. Mountain bike frames with disc brakes and no rack mounting eyelets present a challenge for carrying cargo. First, I tried mounting a standard cargo rack using clamps around the seatstays for the lower arms of the rack. It held firm, but this caused the rack to sit in a more forward position, which in turn caused my heels to hit whenever any pannier was hanging on the rack.

So, I came across the Axiom Odysee Full Suspension Rack. As the name implies, this rack will work on full-suspension mountain bikes (as long as they don’t have suspension pivots on the seatstays). However, it’s the ideal solution for any bike that has disc brakes and/or lack of rack eyelets. Your rear wheel must have a standard quick release. The design principle is similar to the popular racks from Old Man Mountain, but the price is much more reasonable.

The lower mounting points on the Odyssee Full Suspension Rack use elongated metal plates, with holes through which you thread your rear quick release skewer. The upper mounting points on the rack are made up of two rigid metal support brackets and a pair of clamps that attach to any point on your seatstays. The support brackets are adjustable, so you can get a level rack setup no matter what the angle of your seatstays is.

Here’s what it looks like on my bike. It was an unexpected benefit that it still left room for my seatpost-mounted fender between the rack and the tire. My Axiom waterproof panniers fit very well, as you would hope, leaving plenty of clearance for my size-10.5 hush puppies.

I have never seen any store carry the Axiom Odyssee Full Suspension Rack, but most can special-order it for you. Ask for QBP item number RK6622; they’ll know what you mean. Suggested retail price is $46.99, which includes all the brackets, clamps, and other hardware you’ll need to make it work, and comes in any color you want, as long as it’s black.

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