Bike Rack Projects - Single and Tandem

I have finished my bike rack projects for my smart car. After my 1st prototype to design one rack to hold either a tandem or a triathlon bike. I decided to make 2 bikes racks, one for the triathlon bike and another for the tandem bike.

Now I am going one step further, I figured out a way to carry two bikes on the back by only adding a couple of pieces.

Over the next week I'll will be uploading video showing if there is any movement (flexing) of the bikes when driving. And I an trying to create a low cost force gauge so I can see if there are any stresses I have to be concerned about.

I have actually a couple of people ask about me selling these bike carriers. I believe I have developed the simplest design for each application. It only took me 3 prototypes to get here. The three applications are: Single Bike Carrier (mountain, road, racing styles); Two Bike Carrier (mountain, road, racing styles); Tandem Bike Carrier.

Next week I will be riding with my bike club (www.SlowSpokes.org) and trying out the various bikes on the back of my smart. I want to be able to accommodate as many bike styles as possible.

I have determined the best way to mount all bikes is using the fork mount system. It gives the bike 3 points of contact (2 at the front fork, 1 on the tangent of rear tire). This system has a few benefits:
- Less weight - no front tire.
- Shorten the bike approximately 10 inches.
- Reduces weight of using a full bike carrier with an arm to hold bike in place.
- This style of bike carrier is less expensive

Now before you mention anything about the "stick out" of the tandem. The tandem sticks out on the sides when it is on the back of my mini van too. It just looks larger because of the size of the rear of the smart car. The tandem is 86" long in this layout. According to the technical data from smart. The car is 61.38' wide and at the mirror it is 69" wide. So it sticks out 8.5" per side.

Here are the pictures:


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Tags: bike rack

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Comment by Rick Leedy on September 15, 2009 at 5:25am
Shoot me an email with details when you have them. rick.leedy at gmail.com
Comment by Mark Carlson on September 2, 2009 at 10:25pm
Hey Rick, I have been side tracked with starting a unique running group, since Planet Fitness is interested in sponsoring my group idea. (rCharacter.com). I have actually been driving around with both the single and tandem designs. So far no problems. I just have to dig out my quotes for the cost of production. I'll have to get on this project and complete it by mid September.
Thanks

Mark "Mr Incredible"
Comment by Rick Leedy on September 2, 2009 at 6:46pm
Mark-

Any more information on your bike rack? I am quite interested.
Comment by Lesley Kenwood on June 22, 2009 at 12:53pm
I would be interested in a rack for a single Raleigh hybrid bike (cross between a mountain bike and beach cruiser).
Comment by toes on June 21, 2009 at 11:27pm
Don't mean to be a stick in the mud, but are/were there any concerns with how the bikes cover up parts of the tail lights and (in the case of the tandem) the license plate?
Comment by Mark Carlson on June 21, 2009 at 11:19pm
Hey Russ,

Thanks for your comment. I'll keep you posted here and on SCOA, too. Once I feel confident in my design and its use. And most likely offer them for sale... a 90% chance of yes.

What I am going to do to keep the cost down is ask my fab shop the cost to make 50 bike rack carriers and pay to have them made. I really want something inexpensive while at the same time earn a few dollars for my effort. Here is how I came up with 50. 25,000 smart cars a year. 2,500 (10%) of the owners ride nice "bikes". 500 of those (20%) would want to carry them on there smart car. 50 (10%) of those would by my carrier.

I wanted to get them so low in cost that i contacted a supplier in China. But I didn't want to place a $10,000 minimum order. So these will be American made at a few dollars more.
Comment by Wonder Woman on June 20, 2009 at 10:36pm
very nice...now momma needs a rack for smartette!

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