When I mounted my OMM racks last December I had to use some washers at most of the lower mounting locations to get the clearance and fit I needed. You can see the washers I used on the rear left mount in the photo above. Rack mounting bolts are meant to work in shear where they are strongest. As soon as you add a spacer in between the rack and the braze-on the mounting bolts experience a bending moment and are weaker. The minimal amount of spacers I had to use didn’t pose a problem for carrying moderate loads on smooth ground or light loads off road. However, with the upcoming GDR tour I was concerned that carrying moderate loads off road would break something. Having a rack fail miles from the nearest services would have been a real bummer.
Luckily my friend Kurt is more mechanically gifted than me and enjoys futzing with tools. Last night we ordered some pizza, got a case of beer and he set about modifying my OMM racks so that they would fit on my Pugsley without the need for spacers.
On the rear Kurt had to bend the upper mounting arms to allow the lower portions of the OMM rack to move inwards enough to eliminate the need for any spacers. He even did it so the bends looks professional – unlike the mangled hack job that would have been the result of my DIY efforts!
On the front the lower rack mounts interfered with the Pugsley fork legs. Kurt filed away the rear of each mount to get the required clearance. Once that was done the OMM racks could be mounted without any spacers on the front.
It doesn’t seem like a lot of work, but it took about two hrs from start to finish with lots of trial fittings before Kurt did any modifications – he is a stickler for measure 3 times cut once. The result looks great and should be stronger than before. Kurt has also suggested we buy hardened bolts to replace the standard rack bolts to make the racks on our Puglseys totally bombproof.
Bumping down the GDR with my loaded Pug I’ll be enjoying the trail without worry about my racks.
It pays to have handy friends!…=-)