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  1. #1
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    A Few Questions

    Hey Guys I am a student in the Industrial Design program at Auburn University and have just gotten into the sport of mountain biking. This semester I am taking and open design studio and have chosen to design a new type of bike rack for trucks. I have put together a few questions and topics to aid my design. If you don't mind taking a few minutes and discussing these topics I would greatly appreciate it.

    Don't feel obligated to respond to all the topics or questions any information will help.



    Which would you prefer a quick release mount or a permanent mount to the body of the truck. Why or why not

    What are you thoughts on having to take the wheel off vs. leaving the wheel on.

    Bed mount vs. Hitch mount style carriers.

    When loading a bike in the back of a truck what problems might you face or do you face?

    Are there any security concerns of leaving mounted bike and unattended?

    If a piece has to remain on the bike frame during the ride is this a negative (will not interfere with rider during ride and will be light weight and small)?

    Thanks for your time

  2. #2
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    I was just getting ready to post the same question about leaving the tire on or taking it off.Witch is the better way to go? I kind of like the side arm and/or the hi roller and just keave the tire on.I saw a lot of pics posted with bikes on racks and the tires off,and it makes me wonder if I am overlooking something.

  3. #3
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    Hey Guys I am a student in the Industrial Design program at Auburn University and have just gotten into the sport of mountain biking. This semester I am taking and open design studio and have chosen to design a new type of bike rack for trucks. I have put together a few questions and topics to aid my design. If you don't mind taking a few minutes and discussing these topics I would greatly appreciate it.

    Don't feel obligated to respond to all the topics or questions any information will help.

    I used to own a truck, but not at the moment.

    Which would you prefer a quick release mount or a permanent mount to the body of the truck. Why or why not

    I would prefer something semi-permanent. I want it to be secure and sturdy, but I also want to be able to remove it to haul a load of mulch or firewood and not trash the rack.

    What are you thoughts on having to take the wheel off vs. leaving the wheel on.

    I prefer leaving the wheel on. The quicker and easier it is to put the bike in the rack, the happier I'll be. I don't like fiddling with QR levers, wrenches, brakes, clamps, etc. Not to mention compatibility issues with thru-axles.

    Bed mount vs. Hitch mount style carriers.

    Most of the time I don't have a preference. But there are times where I want to carry bikes AND use the hitch for towing a trailer. I was rearended once with a bike in the bed of the truck, and the bike was fine. It would not have been fine if I was using a hitch rack, so that's something I consider.

    When loading a bike in the back of a truck what problems might you face or do you face?

    I personally never had an issue with anything, but folks with extra short beds have length issues and need extenders. Folks with camper shells have height clearance issues.

    Are there any security concerns of leaving mounted bike and unattended?

    Yeah. I'd like to be able to lock the rack to the vehicle, and I'd like to be able to lock the bike to the rack. In the systems I've used, that has always required use of a cable lock. It would be nice if the locking mechanism was a part of the rack itself and not so easy to cut with a pair of bolt cutters.

    If a piece has to remain on the bike frame during the ride is this a negative (will not interfere with rider during ride and will be light weight and small)?

    Yes, that's a negative. I want to take the bike out of the truck and ride without adding any parts to the bike that might fall off and get lost in the woods (and then how am I going to attach the bike to the rack?).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc
    Hey Guys I am a student in the Industrial Design program at Auburn University and have just gotten into the sport of mountain biking. This semester I am taking and open design studio and have chosen to design a new type of bike rack for trucks. I have put together a few questions and topics to aid my design. If you don't mind taking a few minutes and discussing these topics I would greatly appreciate it.

    Don't feel obligated to respond to all the topics or questions any information will help.
    Cool. I don't have a truck right now, but I've had trucks and I've had lots of experience with them and racks (also as a bike shop employee). I study human factors and ergonomics for my master's degree.
    Which would you prefer a quick release mount or a permanent mount to the body of the truck. Why or why not
    Quick release mounts are nice, they increase the ability to do other things. I'm assuming you're talking about being able to take whatever "rack system" out. The potential problems I can think of are stability and security, as anything that can easily come out can easily be stolen much of the time. Having a rack system that can be "taken off" or whatever is nice though, then you can put other things in your truck bed, or sleep in the truck bed when camping, or whatever.
    What are you thoughts on having to take the wheel off vs. leaving the wheel on.
    I prefer leaving the wheel on. There are standard size front QR axles, 20mm front axles, 24mm front axles, 25mm front axles, QR rear axles, 12mm rear axles, 20mm rear axles. Obviously some of these aren't as common as the others, but they are out there and the numbers are increasing. Best ease=leave the front wheel or all wheels on.
    Bed mount vs. Hitch mount style carriers.
    Bed mount is ok in a truck, but with a hitch you increase your cargo load dramatically, have the ability to do stuff like put big coolers in the bed or a mattress to sleep on, or more bikes, etc. Although, lots of trucks have a pretty good sized bed and even with bikes sometimes there aren't many issues. The possible negative of a hitch mount, according to some, is that someone could "rear end you" and your bikes could be damaged, although with other racks the bikes may "stick up" above the roof and be totaled by an overhang, so there isn't really any system that is perfect. Another negative with a hitch might be access to the rear gate/hatch of a vehicle. Keep in mind that one can make a cheap and simple rack for a pickup bed by cutting a 2x4, mounting whatever front axle mount to the peice of wood, and jamming it in the bed or affixing it some other way. While this may not be as easy as the rack system you have in mind, it's cheap and effective, so when faced with a system that will work just find and is going to be $40 in total cost vs one that is going to be $140 and mounts the bikes in the same location (and you'll still have to lift the bikes into the bed) it's going to be a no brainer and I doubt many people would choose the $140 option. In fact, I worked at a bike shop and I would give people instructions how to make cheap bed mounts like this.
    When loading a bike in the back of a truck what problems might you face or do you face?
    It usually takes two people to do it efficiently, one to hand the bikes up to the guy in the bed, that's more of an issue though when shuttling and putting 4+ bikes in the back. You also have to have the bike pointed the right way, so when you get a few bikes up there you need it pointed the right direction because you run out of space quickly.
    Are there any security concerns of leaving mounted bike and unattended?
    Huge concerns leaving a bike worth up to $6000 in the back of a truck.
    If a piece has to remain on the bike frame during the ride is this a negative (will not interfere with rider during ride and will be light weight and small)?
    Yes, I'm sure it would be. More weight on the frame is more weight you have to accelerate with every pedal stroke, and riders are usually very concerned with this, it dictates a lot of the frame/component purchases that people make. Realistically it may not even be a huge problem in terms of actual physical effects, but it doesn't matter, it won't sell well due to the percieved effects. I would avoid this, however it depends on how much of a tradeoff it is, how obtrusive, and it it serves other purposes (like it locks the bikes and makes it difficult to steal them, but if the entire rack can be stolen easy or cut with a tool, it's not going to be a good tradeoff). I can't see this route working all that well.

    I study ergonomics and HF and I could go in even greater detail and really get into this if I wanted. I suggest you try to work with an ergonomicist or human-factors expert, because they can really help you design something that will satisfy all the human-interface problems. You could engineer the absolute best anything in the world, but unfortunately humans are creatures of habit and not always smart enough to take advantage of such a design.
    Last edited by Jayem; 01-18-2008 at 06:59 AM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    Which would you prefer a quick release mount or a permanent mount to the body of the truck. Why or why not

    QR would be nice, but it has to be lockable. Either built into the system, or simply a chain run through a loop and to a tie-down in the truck-bed

    What are you thoughts on having to take the wheel off vs. leaving the wheel on.

    On is easier.

    Bed mount vs. Hitch mount style carriers.

    Bed mount - keeps the bike out of harms way more than a hitch mount.

    When loading a bike in the back of a truck what problems might you face or do you face?

    Lifting the bike is the "hardest" part. Not a big deal for most guys, but some smaller women may have issues lifting a bike into the bed of a tall 4x4.

    Are there any security concerns of leaving mounted bike and unattended?

    Yes, theft is common nationwide. Solid locks for the rack and the bike are important.

    If a piece has to remain on the bike frame during the ride is this a negative (will not interfere with rider during ride and will be light weight and small)?

    Yes, that would be a negative. Assuming it's a something lightweight, like a small plastic tab/mount, it's probably not a big deal in reality, but will likely be perceived as a disadvantage to the system.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc
    Which would you prefer a quick release mount or a permanent mount to the body of the truck. Why or why not
    there are advantages and disadvantages to either. A permanent mount would likely be more theft-resistant and secure, but what happens when you want to use the truck for something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc
    What are you thoughts on having to take the wheel off vs. leaving the wheel on.
    back when most bikes where QR I would have said a QR clamp is likely more secure. These days there are a few different standards and not all of them allow fast, easy wheel removal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc
    Bed mount vs. Hitch mount style carriers.
    you have to decide bikes+trailer or bikes+bed. I think I'd use the bikes+bed more often, but as others have said the bikes are more protected in the bed possibly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc
    When loading a bike in the back of a truck what problems might you face or do you face?
    weight of the bike could be an issue depending on the bike, your height and the height of the bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc
    Are there any security concerns of leaving mounted bike and unattended?
    yes.
    I've never seen any bike carrier that had a serious lock, one that would take more than 10 seconds to open if someone knew what they where doing and wanted your bike. That's one thing I'd really like to see. Seems to me that a good lock could add a layer of security when the vehicle is moving too - even if the primary [non-locking] retention fails, you still don't dump your bike on the highway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borderc

    If a piece has to remain on the bike frame during the ride is this a negative (will not interfere with rider during ride and will be light weight and small)?
    that would be a deal killer for me unless there was something really special about the rack otherwise. I have a hard time imagining an attachment that was small/light enough that I wouldn't mind leaving it on, yet was substantial enough to secure the bike to the rack. I'm guessing you have a concept in mind though, just based on you asking this question.

  7. #7
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    just to give you an idea...i owned a 2000 dodge ram 1500 short bed...i had a full size tool box on the back...i mounted two quick release racks on the front of the tool box and then made two front wheel forks and mounted them also to the front...you could run a padlock through the lever of the quick release...i also i had two lights mounted to the lid of the tool box which was great for backing into spots late at night...the wiring for lights, i ran them to a four pin trailer hitch harness...that way when i needed to take the box all i had to do was take my two screws out and reach under and pull the male end harness out of the tool box...this was a great and stable system...plus everything could be locked...also i had a kayak at the time and had a rack...and i could have two bikes and two kayaks on at the same time...

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