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Anyone else receive their Jack the Bike Rack?!

Old 11-16-22, 06:58 PM
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Anyone else receive their Jack the Bike Rack?!

My “day of fulfillment” has arrived, after many months of anticipation of this Indiegogo project. I eagerly opened it, checked it out, and mounted it up on my Tern Rally. I have a few thoughts to share, but also hope someone can chime in with some cool tips on how to handle and route the cargo strapping.

For those who don’t know, JACK is a handlebar mounted rack which secures with straps and without need for tools. It pretty much is like a decaleur, only it’s designed to be a rack, not support a bar bag. It’s also designed to install/remove/transfer between bikes quickly and easily…which was the main selling point for me, as I prefer not to have hard-mounted racks, but do have ocassional cargo needs with a variety of bikes.

So, the first thing to mention is that it seems quite nice. Materials and build quality both appear very good, and it’s particularly apparent in the details. For example, the fit and stitching on the nylon platform fabric is straight, clean, and tight; bar diameter adapters have the size molded in and the stem straps have size tags sewn in as well as contrasting stitching; cargo straps have brand labeling and retainer mechanisms so they don’t fall all over the place when loosened. It’s all quite nicely done and nicely packaged, too.

Fitting is fairly easy but really a little fussy, in the sense that there’s a whole kit of stuff you need to have handy to do it. There are stem straps in 5 sizes which need to be chosen from to keep the rack properly positioned depending on stem shape and size. There are two pairs each of bar cradles and adapter shims to fit virtually any standard bar diameter…all of which, again, need chosen from and need to be on-hand if you want to switch the rack between bikes with dissimilar bars and/or stems. It’s not tough to do, and no tools are needed, but it’s just not as dead-easy as I hoped it would be, although the versatility is supreme.

Mounted, it flexes when weighted, and I suppose the 11lbs max rating will be pretty close to the actual maximum load, at least on this stem/bar combo, which holds the platform just at horizontal. Some combos will certainly snug up the stem strap better and give a little upward angle to the platform when unloaded, which probably allows a little more weight capacity. It looks a little busy when mounted, but not bad.

I’ve not used it yet, but I did try to mount both the accessory straps I bought as well as the included bungees. I’d like them (i.e. either the straps or the bungees) to look tidy on the rack when unloaded, but be ready and easy to adjust for cargo. Honestly, I have no idea how to achieve this, though. There are several tie-down points on the rack, and given the thoughtfulness shown everywhere else in the rack, I can only assume they’re optimally used to manage the straps in some way, but I just don’t have the kind of mind that’s adept at figuring that stuff out. Fancy knots, trick shoe lacing, stylish yo-yo tricks…that kind of thing, and apparently JACK strapping, escape me. They even include some trick, custom carabiners which seem to have integrated cord locks, but again, I dunno how to best use them. If any fellow JACKers, JACKdogs, JACKieRockers or whatever this emergent user base will be called, have any tips, I’d appreciate it!

There is a QR on the optional strap packaging that’s supposed to provide a link to “getting the most” out of the straps, but it’s inop at this time.

That’s about it; I look forward to testing it out on the road tomorrow for my commute to work. Until then, here are some pics:












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Old 11-16-22, 07:12 PM
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Rack looks nice. But Man OH MAN... That bike is Gorgeous!!!
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Old 11-16-22, 10:45 PM
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For less than a half the price of that thing, which is merely a support system for a bag, you could just buy a Wald basket as an-all-in one solution. Pick a bike and bolt it on. And if you really want to move it around, it would not take more than five minutes to swap from bike to bike.

Of course, that would not provide you with an overly costly and over-engineered “solution.“
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Old 11-16-22, 11:11 PM
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I think it's a delightful design. I'd love to hear how it works with a load.
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Old 11-17-22, 12:01 AM
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It's an interesting idea and if I had found it back during the order window I really may have purchased one.

A porteur or demipoeteur rack would hold more and weigh about the same. Actually A Soma aluminum demipoeteur rack weighs 7oz less, has a larger platform, and can hold more weight.
The portability of this Jack Rack is neat though.
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Old 11-17-22, 02:03 AM
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I missed the indegogo but I'm on the wait list for full production.
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Old 11-17-22, 08:37 AM
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Sent my money to the wife of a slain Nigerian general. Expecting my rack any day now.
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Old 11-17-22, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
For less than a half the price of that thing, which is merely a support system for a bag, you could just buy a Wald basket as an-all-in one solution. Pick a bike and bolt it on. And if you really want to move it around, it would not take more than five minutes to swap from bike to bike.

Of course, that would not provide you with an overly costly and over-engineered “solution.“
The 4th and 5th paragraphs of the OP are enough to dissuade me.
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Old 11-17-22, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
My “day of fulfillment” has arrived, after many months of anticipation of this Indiegogo project. I eagerly opened it, checked it out, and mounted it up on my Tern Rally. I have a few thoughts to share, but also hope someone can chime in with some cool tips on how to handle and route the cargo strapping.

For those who don’t know, JACK is a handlebar mounted rack which secures with straps and without need for tools. It pretty much is like a decaleur, only it’s designed to be a rack, not support a bar bag. It’s also designed to install/remove/transfer between bikes quickly and easily…which was the main selling point for me, as I prefer not to have hard-mounted racks, but do have ocassional cargo needs with a variety of bikes.
...
Mounted, it flexes when weighted, and I suppose the 11lbs max rating will be pretty close to the actual maximum load, at least on this stem/bar combo, which holds the platform just at horizontal. Some combos will certainly snug up the stem strap better and give a little upward angle to the platform when unloaded, which probably allows a little more weight capacity. It looks a little busy when mounted, but not bad.

I’ve not used it yet, but I did try to mount both the accessory straps I bought as well as the included bungees. I’d like them (i.e. either the straps or the bungees) to look tidy on the rack when unloaded, but be ready and easy to adjust for cargo. Honestly, I have no idea how to achieve this, though. There are several tie-down points on the rack, and given the thoughtfulness shown everywhere else in ....



The level of the rack will prolly vary, depending on the angle of the stem... so yours being mostly horizontal will put the rack at mostly horizontal.
You could vary the angle upward by getting/placing some appropriate hard rubber 'shim' of varying/preferred thickness, between the upper strap and the stem...
Prolly something which suits can be found in a good hardware store. something made to go around a pipe section the same diameter as that section of the stem...

Strap storage - seems they should have thought of that - maybe a small, flatter pocket on the underside of the trampoline...
there are options... but appearance being high on the meter for this thing, my 'McGiver' would prolly not suit.... LOL!
Ride on
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Old 11-17-22, 01:50 PM
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If one put a Wald basket on that bike it would be sacrilege. We gifted a daughter a Specialized Fjallraven rack which is smaller, I think about the same price, has ugly welds, and only holds her purse, but she uses it.
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Old 11-17-22, 02:50 PM
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Wald make a basket that clips onto the handlebars of a bicycle. The only difference I can see in mounting is the Wald doesn't have the spacer/stem thingy that keeps it away from the headtube to keep it from getting scratched (i fixed that on mine). Easy to take off and put on another bicycle.

133 Quick-Release Basket – Wald Sports


The price show here is the MSRP but you can find them for <$30. I can't see a weight limit for it, but I've had 15lbs in mine. They also make a larger size model, and different bolt on baskets and racks that wouldn't take long to swap to a bicycle with braze-ons.
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Old 11-17-22, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
The level of the rack will prolly vary, depending on the angle of the stem... so yours being mostly horizontal will put the rack at mostly horizontal.
You could vary the angle upward by getting/placing some appropriate hard rubber 'shim' of varying/preferred thickness, between the upper strap and the stem...
Prolly something which suits can be found in a good hardware store. something made to go around a pipe section the same diameter as that section of the stem...

Strap storage - seems they should have thought of that - maybe a small, flatter pocket on the underside of the trampoline...
there are options... but appearance being high on the meter for this thing, my 'McGiver' would prolly not suit.... LOL!
Ride on
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Yes, you understand well how it works. And the idea to stash the straps in the “trampoline” occured to me, and while I think the slightly bulkier and gripper bungees would stay in there, it is open on three sides, so could work themselves out. It would have been nice had JACK put that space to good use as a pocket.
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Old 11-17-22, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
If one put a Wald basket on that bike it would be sacrilege.
Yes, by all means, let's prioritize fashion over function.

By the way, there are plenty of rackless handlebar bags which will transfer from bike to bike much more easily than this thing and will hold about as much cargo without difficulty. Here is a terrific example, here is another. Each of these costs about as much as this hacked-up rack, and each actually carries cargo -- they don't just provide ****** platforms on which you have to mount another bag that costs more money. There are plenty of others like these, btw.

But if your priority is wasting money on a bodged-together system that costs more and doesn't work as well, then yeah -- indiegogo, or kickstarter, or some other amateur hour site of your choice is great!

Last edited by Koyote; 11-17-22 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 11-17-22, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
If one put a Wald basket on that bike it would be sacrilege. We gifted a daughter a Specialized Fjallraven rack which is smaller, I think about the same price, has ugly welds, and only holds her purse, but she uses it.
Yeah, I’d never do that! I put a Wald metal basket on an old Schwinn Collegiate 5spd, and while it had its charms, er, practicalities, it’s definitely not the thing for this bike. The noise a Wald makes is enough to be a stopper, but as I said, I don’t want something bolted on/hard-mounted. JACK is dead silent and whips on/off in seconds without need of tools. It’s pretty perfect in that regard.

On another bike I have a Route Werks bag, another Kickstarter born project. Like the Spesh bag you mention, it’s too small for real cargo work, but is otherwise an awesome bit of kit. I considered one for the Rally (or getting an extra bar mount to swap between bikes), but it really just doesn’t meet my needs for this bike.

This is the Route Werks on the Breezer Doppler:



EDIT: Notably, the TiGr lock strapped to the top tube was a Kickstarter, too, from about 10 years ago, and they— I have a few— are the only lock I use.

Last edited by chaadster; 11-17-22 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 11-17-22, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Wald make a basket that clips onto the handlebars of a bicycle. The only difference I can see in mounting is the Wald doesn't have the spacer/stem thingy that keeps it away from the headtube to keep it from getting scratched (i fixed that on mine). Easy to take off and put on another bicycle.

133 Quick-Release Basket – Wald Sports


The price show here is the MSRP but you can find them for <$30. I can't see a weight limit for it, but I've had 15lbs in mine. They also make a larger size model, and different bolt on baskets and racks that wouldn't take long to swap to a bicycle with braze-ons.
Curious as to how/ what you fabricated bracket to keep basket from hitting the head tube- any pictures? Thanks
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Old 11-17-22, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ralphs View Post
Curious as to how/ what you fabricated bracket to keep basket from hitting the head tube- any pictures? Thanks
Click through the pics at the linked website - it's clearly illustrated. The basket has a built-in headtube brace.
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Old 11-17-22, 09:38 PM
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...am I the only one who is reminded of a beach chair ?

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Old 11-17-22, 10:04 PM
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Don't waste even more money:
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Old 11-18-22, 01:02 AM
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smells like an ad
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Old 11-18-22, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
smells like an ad
No, I have no affiliation with the product or maker whatsoever beyond as a customer. I can’t even use the cliché “satisfied customer” as I’ve not even used the rack yet. That upon “first look” it has no critical flaws bodes well.
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Old 11-18-22, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
smells like an ad
Nope, the OP really just likes kickstarter projects and decking his bikes out with things.
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Old 11-18-22, 10:25 AM
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...just an observation from someone who lives in (obviously) a less user friendly city for bicycles. If the rack is easily removed to transfer between bicycles, how does it stay on your bike, locked up outside the store, when you go in to shop ? It doesn't appear to be something you can easily grab and carry with you, like most of the bags I use here, because of low life thieves and criminal opportunists. That would be a major concern for me. Whatever portion of the bag or carrier I leave on the bike needs to have some element of time consuming attachment to the bar or bicycle. Otherwise I'm going to be balancing whatever I bought on my handlebar again.

But I guess I could never use a bike that shiny for shopping anyway. * sigh*
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Old 11-18-22, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...just an observation from someone who lives in (obviously) a less user friendly city for bicycles. If the rack is easily removed to transfer between bicycles, how does it stay on your bike, locked up outside the store, when you go in to shop ? It doesn't appear to be something you can easily grab and carry with you, like most of the bags I use here, because of low life thieves and criminal opportunists. That would be a major concern for me. Whatever portion of the bag or carrier I leave on the bike needs to have some element of time consuming attachment to the bar or bicycle. Otherwise I'm going to be balancing whatever I bought on my handlebar again.

But I guess I could never use a bike that shiny for shopping anyway. * sigh*
Something like this is pretty much the ideal setup for light grocery runs. Though you can obviously just substitute a canvas grocery sack and save a whole bunch of money.


Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Nope, the OP really just likes kickstarter projects and decking his bikes out with things.
Yeah, a Wald basket and a $2 canvas sack isn't sexy and spendy enough for some people. It does have the advantage of being usable right out of the box, no bf instructional thread required.

I know I'm kind of hammering on the OP here, but he does have a long history of threads about his latest overly-complicated acquisitions, and about the modifications and other hassles he goes through in order to get them into workable states. This one is particularly memorable.

Last edited by Koyote; 11-18-22 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 11-18-22, 11:07 AM
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...in the past, I used some of those double wire baskets on the back of a 3 speed shopping bike. But it does limit you, in that you cannot easily swap them between bikes. What I do now is have the interface between the mount or rack as something permanently attached to a number of bicycles, and panniers or a front bag that easily attach and detach from those mounts. So now I can easily rotate what I ride to the store, but still take the bags with me when I leave the bike. Those double wire rear basket things are pretty practical, though. I might go back to them in the future. Mostly, people don't steal three speeds when you lock them up. Or at least they didn't used to.
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Old 11-18-22, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...just an observation from someone who lives in (obviously) a less user friendly city for bicycles. If the rack is easily removed to transfer between bicycles, how does it stay on your bike, locked up outside the store, when you go in to shop ? It doesn't appear to be something you can easily grab and carry with you, like most of the bags I use here, because of low life thieves and criminal opportunists. That would be a major concern for me. Whatever portion of the bag or carrier I leave on the bike needs to have some element of time consuming attachment to the bar or bicycle. Otherwise I'm going to be balancing whatever I bought on my handlebar again.

But I guess I could never use a bike that shiny for shopping anyway. * sigh*
Yeah, there is no provision for security with this, though a thief seeing one for the first time probably wouldn’t immediately understand just how quick and easy it is to remove. Fortunately, I don’t seem to have to worry about that kind of thing the places I go. But yeah, for high-risk areas I’d probably choose a different rack solution.
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