new rack style for port authority?

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Swalfoort
Participant
#

Am racking home this eve. Rack arm on bus 5021 seems different. Lift arm rounded at top, as is normal, then has extra finger, extending at angle. Will try to grab photo. Extra finger currently wedged in my spokes. Cringe……


Swalfoort
Participant
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I had a heck of a time getting the lift arm any higher than this….the rubber coated metal “finger” kept getting caught in my spokes. (You can see it, almost exactly pointing at the valve stem at the top of the wheel.)

IMAG0121

I did eventually get it fully vertical, as intended, but I really had to man handle my bike to do so.

I don’t remember having this problem before. Do all racks have this finger/extra piece? I think it might help hold the bike more securely, but at the cost of ease of loading and unloading.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The last set of racks they got have that finger. It confused me, too, but work pretty much the same way.


rsprake
Participant
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Does the finger move at all? From the photo it doesn’t look like fat tires will fit around it.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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No. You can see one pretty well at 0:54 of the video on bus bike racks.

Unlike Sara, I put the whole J-hook, including finger, over my tire. It fits, but I’m only running 28s or so. Haven’t tried it with really wide tires.


ieverhart
Participant
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Is it designed to accommodate smaller-sized wheels, too?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Functionally identical, as far as I can tell. I have no experience using it on anything other than my usual road bikes. They started putting these on in May or June, so there are maybe 150 of them out there. The racks on the new-new buses (5800s, 5730s, 3200s) don’t have that finger.


Swalfoort
Participant
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If you encounter this type of rack, I suggest pulling the lift arm to a straight vertical position, so the hook and finger are well above your wheel, then lowering it straight down onto your tire/wheel. I usually shortcut the process, lifting the arm to slightly less than vertical, and keeping it fairly snug to the tire….that’s a mistake with this rack.


rsprake
Participant
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I thought the finger went through the wheel. I see from the video that it does not.


dwillen
Participant
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In bean town, they don’t have that J-hook thing at all. Instead, there is a little twirly loop deal, like in this video. It confused me the first time I rolled up. I suspect it wouldn’t work well with my 29er + knobbies, not that I’d have any reason to rack and roll that.


rsprake
Participant
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I’ve used a rack twice in 24 hours. One had the new style, one the old. Oddly enough the brand new bus had the old style. The main difference with the j-hook version is that when you place your bike on the rack, you’re essentially placing the bike on the arm. My bike is a little longer than most so it may be a non-issue for you.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The buses with that finger were the last “old” buses to get racks.


salty
Participant
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I’ve encountered these racks before with my commuter (700x32c) and don’t recall having a problem, but with my MTB this weekend (29×2.2″) it was a miserable experience.

When I went to put it on the bike, I could not get the arm over top of the tire. This was with the “finger” on the tire, I don’t think the tire would fit inbetween to let me use the top hook. After a lot of frantic wrestling (holding up the bus, stress level high) I managed to get it wedged pretty well, within maybe 20 degrees of vertical. The bus driver asked “is it on there?” and I said “yes” although I wasn’t sure, and very nervous since we were headed down that godawful pitted stretch of 5th between Oakland and the Birmingham Br.

The good news is, the bike didn’t bounce off. The bad news is, I couldn’t remove it at the stop (holding up the bus again…). I had done some kind of “rolling” maneuver to get it on, and I couldn’t get it to work in reverse – between the arm being fully extended, the knobs on the tires, and how tightly the front tire was wedged in the rack, it just wasn’t budging; I was worried I was going to damage the wheel or break the rack. I was about to deflate the tire when I finally managed to get it off somehow.

So, not sure what to do there, but I’d like to get some quality time with one of those racks without it being on an in-service bus. FWIW, the first bus had a non-finger rack which presented absolutely no problem (although even the 2.2″ tires took a bit of pushing to squeeze them into the slots on the bottom of the rack – not necessary on my other bike which drops right in). Anyone else have MTB experience with these racks?


byogman
Member
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Anyone have experience with the racks and how they work for small bicycles? Specifically thinking of a girls road bike with a 42cm frame and 650c wheels.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I wonder if I should try to arrange a meeting of the bike community and Port Authority to test mount a bunch of questionable bikes with racks of various types. I’m not sure where this would be done, possibly at a neutral on-road site like West View Plaza, or an on-property site like the Manchester Main Shop, or a division. But I can ask.

On our part, assuming this can be done, can we build a list of the types of bikes we want to test? How small, how long a wheelbase, how tall, width of tires, size of pannier, whatever.

(FWIW, the only time I had a serious problem was one night I had a bike with a pannier that could not be easily removed. Driver claimed I was blocking a headlight; I said it was not. Police were called. Bus and 15 passengers sat. I was a real pain in several people’s butts, but I wasn’t blocking the headlight, so I wasn’t budging. Too much information.)

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