Pugsley OMM Racks Mounting Upgrades

15 06 2009
Note silver washers used to space out racks mounts.

Note silver washers used to space out racks mounts.

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.

After Kurt's handy work the same rear OMM rack mount without any spacers.

After Kurt's handy work the same rear OMM rack mount without any 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!

Front OMM lower mount filed down for clearance with Pug fork.

Front OMM lower mount filed down for clearance with Pug fork.

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.

Front lower OMM rack mountm without spacers after it was filed down.

Front lower OMM rack mount without spacers after it was filed down.

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!…=-)



9 responses

15 06 2009
Doug D

As a belt-and-suspenders type approach, you could consider mounting a set of aero (triathalon) bars as a backup rack. You can strap your sleeping bag and a duffel bag to them if one of your racks breaks.
Also, please mention where you find hardened bolts in Calgary. I have broken about a dozen of the regular type and would certainly be willing to pay for some better ones.

15 06 2009

Hey Doug,

My Pugsley has Titec H-bars on it so I don’t think aerobars are possible, but between 2 bikes with 4 racks we should be able to handle one broken rack.

I’ll ask Kurt to get some extra 5mm fasteners and I’ll also let you know where he got ’em.

I’m back in town this week and next if you’d be interested in meeting up for a coffee and chatting about fat tire bikes? I’d like to hear about your AK experiences.



17 06 2009

OMM can actually provide the silver lower mounting brackets without the ‘sticky out bits’. They come with some nice 1cm long spacers too, which should make for a stronger mount than a bunch of washers. I needed them as I didn’t want to use the skewer mounting method, and the ‘sticky out bits’ were to fat to attach to the rear eyelets.

OMM don’t advertise these mounting kits though and I don’t know why. I think if more people knew about them, they would sell more racks – and customers wouldn’t need to ‘hack’ the mounts so much.

Perhaps you could contact OMM, and suggest that they make them better known?

17 06 2009

I got a bunch of varied mounts from OMM. As you can see from the lower two photos I’m using mounts without the “extra” tabs on the front of the bike. On the rear the mounts with the tabs are useful to get the correct spacing of the rear rack on a Pugsley.

19 06 2009
Surly Pugsley Rack Options « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] Have a look at the close up rack photos on my Pugsley Flickr page for mounting details as well as this post about Kurt’s upgrades to my OMM racks. […]

19 06 2009
Doug D

Cool, I would be up for coffee next week. Maybe email me and we could try for Tuesday? I got one of the Cetma Cargo bikes yesterday so you may want to give it a spin.

1 01 2010

hi Vik,
I am attempting to tackle the same ordeal, but with a sherpa rack.
i had a couple questions, if you don’t mind.
when you talk about cold-setting the upper mounting arms, are you talking about the silver parts or the actual rack?
does the driveside silver mounting arm you used have the same spacing as the non-drive (the set i have are different spacings, which may be an advantage)?
hope you are having a blast in Baja,

2 01 2010

You can’t really bend the silver mounting hardware. You can grind off parts to make them fit better.

Kurt mounted Sherpas on his Pugsely without any major problems, but I had a big bag of OMM silver hardware to trial fit and select the best ones. You may need something other than the stock parts. Try and if you do contact OMM they are very helpful.

6 01 2010

cool, thanks.
after much mental gymnastics, i ended up sawing off the spacer on the driveside arm and mounting the arm on the inside of the frame. the spacer on the non-drive was perfect (about 35mm long, i think). i also moved the arm that attaches to the brake post to the outside of the rack. it ended up feeling really solid and it lines up with the frame. plus i can use the sawed-off spacer as a fork light mount. i am leaning towards replacing the rear with a red rock rack and moving the sherpa to the front. i think other folks have just been using the arms that don’t have spacers for the front rack so i can just saw that other one off too.

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