Tubus racks on Volaes

The Tubus Logo. The classic touring rack. Now available for Volae recumbents.

For fast, light bikes, Volae bents are unique in that the steel frames readily accept racks and fenders and provide braze-ons (really, mounting holes) at the drop outs for this purpose.  With bents though, it’s always a challenge to fit racks to the unusual geometry of the bikes.  Some bent manufacturers (Rans and HP Velotechnik stand out in this regards) make proprietary racks to ensure the racks fit the bikes.  And of course TerraCycle makes their excellent low-rider/underseat racks for Volaes.

For Volaes, up till now, the generally accepted solution has been to use the excellent Old Man Mountain racks, which can fit nearly any bike.  I continue to recommend them for any hard-to-fit ride that needs a rack and lower cost applications.

However, we’re enthusiastic to now make public our work testing high quality Tubus racks on Volae bents and we are recommending them without hesitance, particularly for commuting, touring and urban applications.  We couldn’t be happier with the match-up between a great bent and a great rack.

Possibly the most significant needs filled by Tubus racks, as it relates to city riders and tourers, are (1) a good rear light mount on the rack, (2) additional mounting holes for fenders, (3) they leave open the skewer if, for example, you want to attach a Bob trailer for a shopping trip*.  If nothing else, this makes Tubus racks stand out.  They have other good qualities as well. (*Volae does not recommend using Bob single track trailers for Volae bikes, so use at your own risk.)

Tubus’ titanium “Airy.” Weighs 8 oz, carries 66 lbs.  Note the two holes at the bottom of the supports; one for the bike, the other for attaching fenders.

Besides the light and fender mounts and liberated quick release, there are numerous other reasons why we like Tubus racks.

– Strong, well-made, well-designed, and carry a heavy load.  (The 25 ounce Logo model carries 88 lbs. and has lowered pannier rails for improved center of gravity.)

– Available in strong and lightweight 25CrMo4 steel, beautiful stainless steel, or titanium.

– The featherweight titanium versions start at 8 oz. (the Airy) and carry a remarkable 66 lbs.  (The well-deserving Airy won the 2006 Eurobike Award.)  For touring, the TI Carry, with lowered pannier rails, weighs only 12.3 oz and also carries 66 lbs.

– A rear light mount at the rack’s back (50mm European-style mount).  Allows proper positioning of a rear light for great visibility. Enables use of B & M dynamo-driven front and rear lights.

– A model that works for disk brakes (the “Disco” model).

– The Disco model includes parts for mounting to the quick release skewer, if no rack/fender braze-ons are available or filled with fender mounts.  A new (longer) quick release skewer is included (and it’s a good one).

– For non-disc brakes bikes, Tubus provides a very wide choice of racks.

– There are fender mounts on the rack itself (though not on the disco), so you can easily mount both fenders and a rack. This is a truly wonderful feature because otherwise it’s a pain in the neck to mount ordinary fenders (like Planet Bike) along with a rack and it can weaken the mounting for both the rack and fenders.

– Racks (e.g., Logo) can mount on quick release skewers when rack/fender braze-ons are unavailable (Tubus’ QR mounting kit required).

– Racks such as the Logo, Cosmo, Locc, and Carry all have lowered pannier rails, enabling recumbent riders to mount their panniers a few inches lower, to obtain a lower center of gravity. This also allows for full use of the top deck of the rack.

– Sleek and stylish but practical design.

– Long and highly adjustable arms for mounting to the seat stays.

– Seat stay arms that are pre-bent with an S-bend are available. But since the arms are aluminum, one may also bend the arms to fit a given need.

– Strong optional clamps from Tubus attach to the seat stays to provide for extremely secure attachment.  The clamps are also sold by us at New York City Recumbent Supply(TM)/The Innovation Works, Inc.  I strongly recommend using the purpose-built Tubus clamps instead of generic P-clamps and I use the 14mm clamps.

Above, Tubus clampset for mounting a carrier on Volae seat stays.

For installation, one note of caution, or rather of patience, is that if you’re (correctly) installing a Disco along with Volae’s kickstand gizmo plus fenders, is that it is a long and tedious process due to the way all the parts interconnect.  However, take your time and do it right.  You’ll be well-rewarded with a light and fast bent that can also carry groceries home from the greenmarket.


Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson

Leave a Reply