My son joined a school orchestra which meant he had to transport his a viola (i.e. smaller violin) between home and school often.
Since he loved riding his bike to school wit his friends, I needed a way to mount his viola case to his 24″ Diamonback Mountain bike.
He was already lugging around a 19 pound backpack so carrying the viola case on his back was out of the question.
TRAY VS. TRAY + SIDE LEGS
There are two primary types of rear bike racks:
- Tray only – attached to the seat post; limited carrying capacity
- Tray + Side legs – same as above except it also has side support legs that gets attached to the bike frame;
I initially considered the tray model but found many complaints related to the bracket’s weld joint failure. I suspected that was happening due to constant flexing / jostling of the tray when the bike was in motion (remember that most mountain bikes do not have suspension in the rear).
I ended up choosing the tray + side leg model it did not have any joint failure complaints (probably because the cargo’s weight was also supported by the side legs).
TRAY (SEAT POST) VS. TRAY (BIKE FRAME)
To further complicate the choice selections, there are two different methods of attaching the cargo tray to the bike (in addition to the side legs). Two examples are:
- Lopez Rear Bike Rack – Tray is attached to seat post + side legs attached to the frame; or
- Iberia PakRak – Tray is attached to the bike frame + side legs attached to the frame
The primary advantage of the tray that gets attached to the bike frame (i.e. Iberia model) is that it can carry more weight. However, not many mountain bikes can accommodate its “fork” design without spending money on adapters (like Sunlite Monostay Adapter or Delta Cycle Stay Mounts).
- LOPEZ rear bike rack
- 2 x 36 Inch Hook and Loop Cable Tie, 6 Pack Heavy Duty Adjustable Fastening Adhesive Cinch Strap with Plastic D-ring Buckle (i.e. Velcro straps) (I needed at least 2 straps to securely hold down the viola case; please note that each pack comes with 4 straps
- Black electrical tape (optional)
- Foam padding (optional) scrap (Interlocking EVA Foam Floor Tiles)
LOPEZ bike rack came with these tools:
- Combo (open / closed) wrench (included in the package)
- Hex key (included in the package)
- Socket + Ratchet + Extension bar
STEP # 1 – The bike’s seat post was 1″ diameter (how do I figure this out?) so I had to add 2 rubber padding pieces (included) to mount the tray. You will need to adjust the quick disconnect screw the adjust the tightness around the seat post;
STEP # 2 – With the tray mounted, we need to install side support legs. Both legs are identical so it does not matter which side gets installed first. Each legs are made up of 2 parts: longer support leg (gets attached to the tray) and a mounting bracket (gets attached to the bike frame). I installed it so that the longer side legs are on the outside (see pix) to allow additional clearance.
STEP # 3 – With main parts installed, we now move on to trim work by first installing the tail reflector.
STEP # 4 – and Hook and Loop strap (a.k.a. Velcro straps)
By utilizing the included bungee cord and two wide Hook and Loop straps, my son’s viola can be transported with ease!
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