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Bruce Gordon Front Rack - How does it Mount?

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Bruce Gordon Front Rack - How does it Mount?

Old 02-11-19, 08:24 AM
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Tonyweiss
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Bruce Gordon Front Rack - How does it Mount?

I just picked up a Bruce Gordon Rack off craigslist. I am planning to mount it on a 2015 Surly CC for a touring set up. But I can't figure out how to fit this rack to my bike or if it would even fit? It has the slotted grooves at the top for what I thought was the mid range fork mounting points, and then it has a threaded piece on the mid cross bar that points inward about 3/l4" for the lower mount. I know I will need to make some sort of bracket because the holes don't line up even, but this lower mount confuses me on how you mount it because even if you mounted the bolts form the inside of the fork, it would be almost impossible to line the threads of the fork up with the threads of the rack to secure them? Here are some pictures, any help or advice is appreciated. I would love to keep and use the rack but if it doesn't work for my setup I will just have to sell it to someone who has a bike that fits. I also put a picture of the rack from his website, but I'm still not sure how it mounts, or maybe it is only for a 26" fork? I also put a picture of the 2015 Surly CC i'm wanting to fit the rack too. Thanks.



This is the picture of the rack from his website.






The 2015 Surly CC i'm trying to put the rack on.
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Old 02-11-19, 09:00 AM
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Its pretty clear to me, by packing your own packages of oatmeal, bringing some bread, fruit and jam for breakfasts, and then making your own lunches, you'll each be able to save $18 per day, 3x18=$54, so about a days car rentals worth.

oh wait, you asked about the rack, sorry I got distracted by the last photo.....(I know, I know)

if the distances dont match up for the mounting points and you have to go the bracket route, I personally would put a solid bracket on the upper attachment point, so that where the weight will go the most (to the bottom mount) at least its well and truly supported there.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:05 AM
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done every thing with that fancy camera phone but take a picture of any attempts to fir ir on the fork..


NB;
1) , because of the way the bottom mount is .. >one approach is ream the threads out of the fork tip eyelet and put bolt in from the back side<


2) Fabricate a new piece screwed into the fork tip that the rack is then bolted onto.. 3rd hole can be where the hub skewer bolts through..
3) have the fork modified .. brazed on with new fittings for mounting the rack

I have had a bike where the mid fork mount did not match , so I fabricated a piece to adapt my BG rack to fit ... back in the mid 80's...






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-13-19 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:16 AM
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Oh whoops, didn't realize ski trip details were in the background! Well if I wasn't buying so many bikes all the time we would have a little more money for skiing

But even if I made a bracket for the top mounting position, how do you attach the lower mounts without cross threading the threads on the fork and the threads on the rack? Is the idea to just insert the bolt form the inside of the fork, thread it though the fork, then somehow align the threads of the rack and hope to keep threading the bolt through the fork and into the rack until they are tight? It just seems like a bad design if that's the case, or I am missing some sort of piece. I've never seen a front rack in which you have to thread the bolt from the inside of the fork that wasn't a through bolt with a nut on the other end or something.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:18 AM
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I'll post a few more pictures tonight of trying to mount it to the bike.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:18 AM
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That must be an older style rack. My mid cross bar is a bit higher relative to the dropout with a short offset piece pointed down. Bolt head is on the outside and enters the threaded eyelet on the dropout. Fender mount bracket doubles as spacer to prevent mount bar from striking fork blade. Without fenders any other spacer could be used...







Good luck!

edit: Ah, yes! A closer look at Tony's photos shows that his rack was built in Eugene OR. That pre-dates mine which was built in 1994 in Petaluma CA, thus the design modification.

Last edited by BobG; 02-12-19 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:13 PM
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I have had multiple BG racks mounted to multiple bikes. The front racks are a pain if the bikes is not a BG or Robert Beckman (his early career partner) as they made mainly for BG and Robert Beckman forks. If your fork does not come with braze-ons in the appropriate place, I use "P" clamps (a silver P shaped bracket with a black plastic counting around the O part of the P). They are easily found in hardware stores like ACE Hardware for about $1 each. The threaded braze-ons are for fenders brackets. You may need to use spacers (sort of a like a hollow tube the screw passes thru) to mount the lower brackets. Do not ream the fork as you may want to eventually use another rack. P brackets are a lot cheaper than new forks.

Paired with Robert Beckman packs (BG copied them), they are a fantastically stable set. Not as waterproof as Ortleib packs but tremendously secure yet pretty easy to mount/dismount the packs.

Tailwinds, John
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Old 02-12-19, 11:22 AM
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I have a Eugene made set, it uses a bolt into the dropout eyelet from the outside ..

on the mid fork mount,

I fabricated a top mount adapter with extruded Aluminum angle stock, & hand tools.. , a hacksaw, file, and a drill .. Mid 80's ...
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Old 02-12-19, 11:24 AM
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TulsaJohn, P clamps was what I was thinking about using. I have a set of NeedleWork Panniers to go on the front and they fit perfectly. They were originally sold (I think also made by BG or Robert Beckman) and fit fantastically on the rack as you stated. I'm a little concerned with waterproofing as you mentioned, but other than that they seem like an awesome set up, even years later.

I'm curious, do the P clamps hold the rack well and tight? I was wondering if they might slide/move around or break over time? I'm planning on doing some long tours and maybe even around the world so wondering if it might be best to sell this BG rack and NeedleWork Panniers and get a Tubus rack instead with Ortlieb panniers.
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Old 02-12-19, 11:26 AM
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Great find BobG! An oldie but a goodie, for being over 25 years old this rack is still in great shape, BG really does make awesome stuff!
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Old 02-12-19, 11:33 AM
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Did.. past tense .. He retired last year 2017, closed Petaluma shop, sold everything..
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Old 02-12-19, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonyweiss View Post
TulsaJohn, P clamps was what I was thinking about using. I have a set of NeedleWork Panniers to go on the front and they fit perfectly. They were originally sold (I think also made by BG or Robert Beckman) and fit fantastically on the rack as you stated. I'm a little concerned with waterproofing as you mentioned, but other than that they seem like an awesome set up, even years later.

I'm curious, do the P clamps hold the rack well and tight? I was wondering if they might slide/move around or break over time? I'm planning on doing some long tours and maybe even around the world so wondering if it might be best to sell this BG rack and NeedleWork Panniers and get a Tubus rack instead with Ortlieb panniers.
if you are serious about long trips, I would suggest selling this and going with a tubus tara, a very sturdy rack, and bonus is that it is easier to pack when off the bike for cardboard box air travel because of the folding horizontal stays. I remove rack from bike, fold horizontal bits to along side the main tubes, tape them on, then hang zip tie the rack off the back of my rear rack which is on bike, the tara straddling the rear wheel more or less.

many good panniers out there, but for sure ortliebs will be waterproof and are very well made and last a long time.
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Old 02-12-19, 01:33 PM
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True, I shipped my bike in the airline/Amtrak supplied carton, BITD before they really went after those oversize fees ,
so wheels both stayed on ..

Tubus Tara folds almost fat.. .. The Tubus made mount compensates for not having a mid fork braze On...



Tho Gordon rack is one for a bike you don't have to fit in a small box Low Trail front loading , is one style of bike..

I have a Bike Friday, it feels best , with a front load,,,
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Old 02-12-19, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
if you are serious about long trips, I would suggest selling this and going with a tubus tara, a very sturdy rack, and bonus is that it is easier to pack when off the bike for cardboard box air travel because of the folding horizontal stays. I remove rack from bike, fold horizontal bits to along side the main tubes, tape them on, then hang zip tie the rack off the back of my rear rack which is on bike, the tara straddling the rear wheel more or less.

many good panniers out there, but for sure ortliebs will be waterproof and are very well made and last a long time.

I did an ACA tour on the GDMBR last summer using front and rear BG racks and Beckman panniers. It was all rock solid. I made a simple connector out of steel flat stock to bridge the front rack to the mounts on the fork. I checked my bike on Alaska Airlines disassembled and boxed (including racks) in a Bikeflights box without issues. There were 13 of us on the trip. Ortliebs outnumbered all others. As I recall, 3 people had pannier mounting issues of one sort or another during the trip. All were Ortliebs and all were surmountable. I’ve never worried about water proof. I basically don’t believe there is any such thing. Those things I feel I must keep dry are bagged in trash bags and/or ziplock bags. If I had Ortliebs, I would do the same.



Inch or two of flat stock with a couple holes made very solid mount.


Bike, rack and more in bikeflights box checked as baggage


All the tools needed to reassemble bike (catfood for perspective)


1 checked “bag” and two carry-on. Agent checked them all though for no cost.
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Old 02-13-19, 07:35 AM
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L, as you show, its always doable.
My opinion was just that, an opinion based on his "going round the world" comment.
He won't be going round the world on that bike likely, not with that crankset anyway, so my take was that it would be easier with a front rack like the tubus that will go on most bikes with no issues or added parts. Its my opinion also to want to use new panniers, but again, just an opinion.

the one thing with ortliebs is that one must set up the attachment points properly, so that there is not any movement going on. A friend had problems with the bolts on the back of his coming loose, but it was a setup issue, looseness and vibrations caused it.
I set up my panniers with proper "lower tab" and "both upper attachment points" positioning so that there was absolutely no "fore/aft" movement.
I also put "fattening" material on my rack tubes, so that there was no looseness at all when the two upper points were on the rack, and used tape and tubing to have also some vibration absorbing effect, so no pannier movement at all over rough roads, on which I rode a lot on various trips--and never had anything come loose.

I always make the analogy to how a bolt can and will come loose if it isnt tightened properly, due to the vibrations moving it, and it gets worse and worse. My simple system worked and helped with avoiding any issues. To me, it was common sense, remove looseness and moving around, and stuff will stay tight.

but again, all this is just blah blah, this guys rack can work fine on his bike, he just has to do some solid work arounds, all doeable.
I just know anything about the panniers, so I can't have an opinion on them.
I have used Ortliebs since about 93, so have that on my side, and a bias anyway.
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Old 02-13-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
L, as you show, its always doable.
This was really all my point was. I basically agree with everything you say except just wanted to point out that OP has very high quality stuff so I wouldn’t see the need to sell and start over. Most any setup one chooses is going to require some fiddling of one sort or another, as you have done with the Ortliebs. Fiddling with low quality stuff probably wouldn’t be worth it but his stuff is top notch. The fiddling I had to do was really very simple and very solid, no extraordinary measures required to force something to work.
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Old 02-13-19, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post


This was really all my point was. I basically agree with everything you say except just wanted to point out that OP has very high quality stuff so I wouldn’t see the need to sell and start over. Most any setup one chooses is going to require some fiddling of one sort or another, as you have done with the Ortliebs. Fiddling with low quality stuff probably wouldn’t be worth it but his stuff is top notch. The fiddling I had to do was really very simple and very solid, no extraordinary measures required to force something to work.
absolutely agree. I'm sure he can get it sorted out, especially with a good visual example of what you did, and that he tries out and enjoys bike touring if it's a new activity.
cheers

and tony, have fun skiing (you know I was just poking fun at your board info there....)
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Old 02-13-19, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tonyweiss View Post
I'm curious, do the P clamps hold the rack well and tight? I was wondering if they might slide/move around or break over time? I'm planning on doing some long tours and maybe even around the world so wondering if it might be best to sell this BG rack and NeedleWork Panniers and get a Tubus rack instead with Ortlieb panniers.
I think the P-clamps will hold very securely assuming you use the right size and use a piece of old inner tube as a "washer" between the fork and the clamp. When touring I carry a spare P-clamp just in case the mounted one breaks but have never had one break.

Depending on where you are going, you might use a dry bag as a liner. However, personally, if I were going around the world, I would probably go with Ortleib just because Needlework packs are MUCH more difficult to get repair (basically when Robert gets a whim to). Don't get me wrong, Beckman/Needleworks packs are fabulous and would easily outlast Ortliebs. However, should something like a clamp break (common on Ortlieb not so with Needleworks), the Ortliebs are much much easier to get parts for.

Hope you have good tours whatever you decide, John

Last edited by TulsaJohn; 02-13-19 at 09:49 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 02-13-19, 01:04 PM
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Bruce & Bob used to both be In Eugene , Bob moved ti Bend And started selling bags and bikes to put them on,
Bruce moved to Petaluma in the SF bay Metro region ...


Big real estate cost increases in both ( all 3) places..
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Old 02-18-19, 10:37 AM
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The challenge is that if you have Beckman panniers, usually they are made to fit almost exclusively on Bruce Gordon or Beckman racks. So moving to a Tubus setup messes up the "solidness" of the pannier-rack interface. Also, occasionally BG would make his racks to custom fit a customer's bike, so it can be a challenge mounting them on other bikes. My tandem, for example, has special braze-ons higher up on the fork for BG racks (the original owner had them added).

All that said, use P-clamps as necessary for the mid-fork mounts, and you can usually space out the lower mounts (fork eyelets) using nylon spacers available at any hardware store.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:46 AM
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One thing that can make Ortlieb bags Fit on Bruce's racks , is add a second bottom hook ..

so one faces forward, 1 faces back... the eye like double track bottom piece can allow each hook to have its own track..
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Old 02-19-19, 07:46 AM
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I have used both stock Ortlieb and Needleworks packs on a BG rack with no issues. Tailwinds, John
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Old 02-19-19, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tonyweiss View Post
I'm curious, do the P clamps hold the rack well and tight? I was wondering if they might slide/move around or break over time? I'm
I have Nitto Big racks sold through Rivendell. The front one uses P-clamps. My Beckman racks (stolen, along with the bike they were attached to) also used P-clamps. Never ever ever had a problem even on rough, unpaved, mountainous/hilly roads with a full load. Bring a spare if it would make you feel better. They weigh next to nothing. As with any system, you should check your attachment points periodically. back in 2011 I lost a front rack dropout bolt because I installed it in haste to beat rain, apparently did tighten it fully and didn't check it after a few days. I worked its way loose and fell out sometime during 25 miles of hilly, bumpy gravel/rocks.
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Old 03-21-19, 08:27 AM
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I'm new to this thread, and Bike Forums, and have been researching a problem that possibly someone can help with? I have a 2017 Trek 520 with disc brakes and am trying to fit a old BG front rack. The disc brakes are making it difficult! Any ideas on how to get that bottom rack attachment to fit over a larger space from the disc brakes? They fit my old, now stolen, Cannondale beautifully. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-21-19, 10:52 AM
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add a spacer* to widen your rack and Longer bolts ..

* the ring nuts from Presta valve stems are a spacer source , that accumulates in the Bike Shop,
from replacing tubes with punctures ..

so drop by & ask for a handful ..
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