Hey nice rack

About Pannier Racks

Bicycle racks gives you versatility when riding, it means you can go shopping, commute to work with a change of clothes or your laptop, or go touring overnight or for days.  It’s safer and more comfortable to carry weight on the bike, and not in a backpack which just makes your back get hot and sweaty.

It keeps the centre of gravity low down and means less load on your hands and bum and side wind doesn’t knock you around as much.  A quality rack will support either a rack pack or a set of panniers and your camping gear.

Racks which fit directly onto the frame are best, but there are racks for full suspension models, seat post mounted racks are also very effective.  Disc brakes which were once a problem with racks are no longer a problem, with more and more companies making disc specific bicycle racks, the world is your oyster.

Top Features of the Tubus Cosmo Rack
It will fit either 650 (26″) or 700 (28″) wheel fitting.

According to the manufacturer it weighs in at 730g although my tipped the scales at 803g which included all the accessories.

It can hold a load at 40kg max.

The Cosmo Rack is a stainless steel rear rack: Designed on the principle that the load needs to be carried lower and further back to give maximum heel clearance without compromising stability.

Constructed of tig welded tubular stainless tubing: the result is an attractive and durable rack.

Initial impressions:

Straight out of the box: Well the Cosmo Rack is a solid Tubus Cosmo rack tabspiece of engineering and well-constructed.  Hard to flex the supports legs in to forwards each other.  It’s pretty light in the hand and the colour is not too bad.  The seat stay mounts and the connecting pieces are sturdily constructed.

The Cosmos Rack has a plate welded to the base of the two vertical rack bars which gives extra strength compared to most racks which connect to the bike via a single vertical rack bar which then flattens out with hole for attaching, which is where most racks seem to break.  The plate is welded on all four sides.

You can mount your bags further down and back away Tubus Cosmo Rack stays and connectionsfrom your heel when pedalling.

I didn’t find this rack difficult at all to install, especially after I flipped through the instructions although in fairness I only looked at the pictures as the wording was in German.  It comes with stainless steel fittings and once all the bits are in place this is a rock solid rack, it has excellent weld quality and protection for your rear light.

The mounting system is extremely sturdy (solid aluminium rod connects the rack with the seat stay mounts instead of pressed zinc coated tin which did twist and vibrate on my old rear rack.

Conclusion:

Very tough and lightweight.  When carrying a heavy pannier load you need to know your rack is up to the job. It is on the expensive side, but a cheap rack will soon have you screaming in the middle of nowhere when it breaks.  The Cosmo rack removes at least one worry from your mind when touring.

If you are humming and haring over this rack, it’s well worth the extra money. You won’t regret buying the Cosmo rack as you’ll never need to buy another.

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 Rear rack cosmo lowerTubus-Cosmo-Rear-Rack

My shiny new precious.

Well, yesterday I retired the tired old Velocity Deep V rear wheel before the cracks did me in.  I have now successfully built my first two bicycle wheel from scratch.

The new wheel consists of a Mavic rim (36H variety), DT Swiss spokes, a Shimano 105 freehub and 8 speed cassette. A more detailed post on these items can be found at Another wheely good post or two.  After breaking two rear axles on my old wheel (which was a freewheel hub)  I moved away from these types of hubs after a conversation with one of the mechanics at Pushys at Fyshwick.  He explained the difference of where the bearings sit in relation to the load being placed on them.

See picture: hub differences The bearings are represented by the red circles.  The bearing on the right side of the lower picture is where both of the previous axles broke.

Another advantage of the freehub, is that I can remove this cassette by using the Unior cassette remover instead on carrying a chain-whip around on tour.  A lot of weight is saved.  Plus the Unior tool can be used a spoke tool as well. And I can wear it as a Colonel Klink monocle if/when I get bored on tours.  HOGAANNNNNN.

See below for the cassette:shimano-9spd-cassette-med

And here are examples of the Unior Cassette removal tool (left) and a chain-whip (right).

unior_spoke_freewheel_remover_1669_4_wrench

Before I digress too far, this morning’s commute went fine, a few seconds of tinging as the spokes settled but then they weren’t heard from again.  The brakes seem happier too grabbing a nice flat rim instead of the concaved / cracked Velocity rim.  I have also made a front rim which is almost ready to go on the bike, it has a dynamo hub but I have no lights for it to run yet, plus I’m searching the LBS and the interweb for rim tape in 622 20mm size at a ‘non give up a kidney for’ price.  My new rear is currently using the old velocity rim tape which is 16mm, and well no flats yet. 🙂Chainwhip

Next I upgrade I think I’ll do is replacement is of the front and rear derailleurs, I changed to a triple chainring a few weeks back but I am still using a double chainring derailleur and is at its limit of range of movement, probably have to replace the cable as well due to stretching from doing more than it should and I believe the current Sora rear is bent/twisted but not being an expert on these things I could be mistaken. (It has happened before).

hub comparisions

‘Take a look’ or as an Australian would say ‘have a Squiz’

Previously I had fitted first the small Zefal ‘spin’ mirror, which was OK I suppose, then it was replaced by the Urbie bike end mirror which was larger.  The Zefal was too small to be any good for merging onto the Monaro Highway here in Canberra, the Urbie had too much vibration so when I was in the ultra smooth cycling lanes (note: sarcasm) I couldn’t tell what the heck was behind me.

spin urbie

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this youtube video by travellingtwo.

It’s time to introduce the ‘Take A Look” mirror, it’s actually smaller than I thought it would I think there maybe two revision of this mirror, all the ads I have seen seem to be bigger/squarer, but sitting at my desk it seems to do the job, but tomorrows commute should tell.  I have fitted it to my helmet and added a ziptie.  Addendum, I have now tried it out on three commutes now and it is better than both of my other mirrors, although I feel that I could do with more real estate of the actual advertised mirror.

Take a look mirror Take a look mirrorThe Travelling Two have their own blog on which they have already done a review.

Another wheely good post or two

Built my 1st and 2nd wheel this week, primed myself by watching a few youtube videos, which when you don’t have the bits in front of you, you never notice errors or omissions in the videos until you are trying to do it step by step with the video.

Anyhow my wheels now consist of:

Mavic A119 700c 36H rims front and rear from Chain Reaction as well as a couple of Tioga tubes.
Shimano DH-3N72A dynamo (36h) hub for the front wheel came from Wiggle as did the
Schwalbe Marathon Green guard tyres 700 x 35 which for the tour I think I will probably buy some folding Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres in 40 mm, which weigh 300g less.

Spokes are DT Swiss Alpine III which I got at Rose Bikes.
Shimano 105 5700 rear hub 36H mated with a CS-HG50-8 speed cassette, these are also Wiggle purchases.

Yes I bought all my items from overseas otherwise I would still be saving up to purchase them locally.

I will buy some more nipples as I seem to have damaged a few of them with my cheapo spoke tool, but the wheels seem to have trued up ok today, although there is a little hop in height but no lateral runout.

Yup, I forgot to order any rim tape.

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