Friday, February 17, 2012

What This World Needs

Charles and I both ran with a set of Profile Aquarack seat post mount bottle racks last season, neither set lasted beyond a few months.  Yeah, I get it.  It's roadie gear.  Still, I need something that doesn't fall apart after a couple bumpy rides and I try to avoid Camelbacks when temps are above freezing.  So we have been talking and I'm thinking of designing my own rear mount bottle cage, something that's actually gravel worthy.  My question to you is do you think there'd be much interest in this?  Is there any other bike equipment or accessories you'd like to see ruggedized for gravel?  What else would you like to see in the gravel or snow world? 

Tools and knowledge at my disposal (some things are pending approval from my work):
  • 3D modelling software
  • Schematic design and capture tools, PCB layout tools
  • Machine shop
  • Mig Welder, oxy torch
  • Some basic metal fabrication experience
  • Basic PCB assembly and programming experience
  • Seven years mechanical design experience (mostly stainless steel and aluminum)
  • Seven years of PCB design and layout (high speed data, controls, power supplies and filtering)
  • The desire for a hobby I could make some beer money off of.



  1. I've seen the Profile racks fail on gravel rides. They definitely aren't up for the task. I have seen a trend towards carrying hydration bladders in frame bags. W/R/T things that I'd like to see developed: A way to keep rocks, mud, and sticks from getting caught in my R Der and bending/breaking it. I'm not into internal hubs yet, but maybe I could be converted.

    Here's one product that's already out there for hydration:

  2. LIke you know the need for cargo space on overnighters and longer is extremely valuable. I would like to see some better method of front fork mounted racks simular to the style of bottle racks but bigger to mount gear. Also, I think racks for Fat Tire bikes front and rear could be reduced in weight quite a bit for the typical demands placed on them

  3. @Matt - When I originally got my tangle bag I had considered putting a bladder in it, but decided in favor of the extra storage. That's the first I've heard of the seat pack system, and I've already ordered one. That should fit the bill nicely. As far as derailleurs go, I've ruined three in the last year so I'm right there with you. Not sure how to make something that isn't clunky, but I'll see what I can come up with.

    @Dave - Something like a Revelate style bag with light internal framework that could mount to an enabler fork? I think that would be pretty doable and easy to adapt to other forks with bottle or rack mounts. You wouldn't need much for internal framework since most likely you wouldn't be carrying a ton of weight up there.

  4. The few I know that are rolling with internal hubs would have nothing else ever again. So that is the proof in the pudding I think. Craig, regarding front fork equipment mounting, how about something on the lines of a sleeping bag on one fork, and a tent on the other. I'm thinking of a summer tour, and leaning towards packing comfort.