Final Rear Rack Design for my Schlick Northpaw.

Last November, the night before I headed off for my Northwoods deer camp in Peeksville, Wisconsin, I decided to build a new rack for my blaze orange Schlick Northpaw hunting rig. Because I was putting it together at the very last-minute, I started with a really basic rack, but left it bare steel so I could continue to modify. Four months and more several hack-and -braze sessions later, I think I am finally done with the rack!

Version one:

Regular readers will remember this post and the first very basic version of the rack.

The rack mounted on the bike outside deer camp last rifle season.

The first version saved my back hauling stuff out to my deer stand, but the single stay design left the panniers to flexy and they sometimes rubbed the rear tire when I hit a bump. Back to the laboratory!

Version Two:

In the second version of the rack, I removed the single vertical supports , moved them forward and added the L-shaped support behind it to keep the panniers from rubbing on my back tire. This also gave me a place to mount my fenders.

This design worked well, but I found it difficult to mount and remove the panniers when I had a trunk bag or anything else mounted to the top of the rack.

Final Design:

The two horizontal tubes about an inch below the rack platform allow me to easily mount and remove the panniers even when something is mounted to the top.


Of course as soon as I have this powder coated you know I will think of something else I want to braze onto it.

Bontrager makes a few different versions of their highly adaptable BackRack.

There are a number of off-the shelf racks that fit fat-bikes. Lots of people have good luck mounting the $45 Bontrager BackRack to their bikes, even asymmetrical frames like my Northpaw or the Pugsley. But I enjoy working with my hands and getting dirty once in a while, and I probably only have $20 in tubing invested in the project so far. Powder coating will probably set me back another $20, so I’ll come out ahead. Unless I think of something else to add… now how am I going to mount a fly rod to this thing?

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

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