How I Built a Wooden Front Bike Rack That Can Support An Elephant (photos inside) 

In this post, I will reveal in detail how I built my wooden bike rack. (People asked about it after seeing a few photos in other articles).

So, let’s go.

The platform is made out of two pieces of pine stained with an oak finish.

I went with pine for the following reasons:

  • it was all I had
  • it’s cheap
  • it’s very light despite its thickness

The shape of both the platform and the backplate was strategically chosen to save weight and create anchor points for a luggage strap (image below).

The cutouts prevent the luggage strap from sliding back and forth. There are 4 cutouts on the platform and two on the back support.

The two pieces of wood are connected via the drawbore method.

However, you can use just dowels and strong wood glue.

Note: Do not use screws going from the platform to the back support because you will be going into the end grain. This wouldn’t be a strong connection because the screw will spread the end grain.

You can also use two strong L-brackets and screws, though. When using an L-bracket, its supporting screws are going into the faces of the pieces and the connection is strong and simple to make.

The support struts are made from the bodies of 2 very long screwdrivers (lol).

I stick-welded two brackets on each side of the support struts with a hole in them.

I went with screwdrivers instead of tubing for 2 reasons:

  • I didn’t have access to strong Chromoly tubing.
  • I am not the best welder and cannot stick weld tubing without burning through it.

The screwdrivers’ bodies are made of S2 steel. S2 steel is extremely strong but also flexible because the screwdrivers have to sustain twisting forces.

Hence the struts bend/bounce slightly and have a cushioning effect. It’s quite fun to see them act as suspension when you carry cargo and pass over a bump.

Nonetheless, they are plenty strong for my needs. The rack can support my bodyweight (about 80kg) rather easily.

Since I don’t have rack or mudguard eyelets, I used some sort of P-clamps to connect the struts to the fork.

The connection is strong but adds weight (if you care).

The next image shows how the struts connect to the bottom of the platform.

All supporting pieces of wood are attached to the base platform with 10mm wooden dowels and wood glue.

The front piece was added to prevent the base platform from splitting (probably unnecessary, though).

I also used the front piece to mount my light.

This turned out to be a very nice position for my light as people barely notice it when it’s off.

I no longer remove my light with me after locking my bike. So far so good (knock on wood).

The back support attaches to the handlebars via “genius” engineering.

A bolt is threaded into the back support (there’s a threaded insert into the back support).

The bolt also goes through a cut PVC pipe which is then secured to the handlebars with a hose clamp.

The method is far from aesthetically pleasing, but I had no other materials at the time. It’s quite strong, by the way.

Tip: Make sure that the excess of the hose clamp is pointing down rather than up and cut some of it. Otherwise, it may injure your hands.

I attached a collapsable milk crate to the rack via bolts going into threaded inserts.

The collapsable milk crate is very handy and helps me carry my backpack without needing a luggage strap.

When you have to carry cargo that doesn’t fit in the basket, you can just fold it.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the comment section below. I will answer as soon as I can.

Thank you for your support.

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