PB Crown with Rack Bosses

I have been working with Kirk Pacenti of bikelugs.com fame to get the Paris Brest fork crown made with M5 rack bosses built into the shoulder of the crown during casting.  I Samples are here and I am very excited for these.

Until now if you were working on a Porteur / Randonneur style of bike you options were limited to bosses that were hand brazed into the top of the fork.  Having the bosses as an integral part of the casting will shave man hours and result in a stronger more consistent product.  These crowns will make this style of front rack mount more approachable for builders and designers.

There are a couple of strong benefits to having crown mounted rack bosses.  Foremost is the added stiffness you will get from a rack with two well spaced upper mounting points as opposed to the more common single point in the center.  Running a close second is having redundancy of upper mounting points, two is better than one.  If a bolt were to come loose or a rack strut fail, the loaded rack is less likely to immediately drop into the rider’s front wheel.  I believe this mode of failure is more common than thought if the number CPSC recall notices on production front racks is any indicator.

I hope that by pushing this fork to market we will see an increase in the number of well designed front loading bikes and front racks on the market in the coming years.  The crown specs are the same to the existing Paris Brest in every way other than the added rack bosses.  Spacing between holes is 80mm.  If we as designers and builders were to adopt this as a standard it will help with the proliferation of the niche. bringing a level of consistency across brands.

After talking with Kirk today, these crowns will be available through Bikelugs.com  in 6-8 weeks.

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9 Responses to PB Crown with Rack Bosses

  1. Stephen says:

    Excellent news! This will save me having to modify the crown for my new bike, and should make many other people happy as well.

    Another good reason to use this type of rack mount is that it eliminates any potential interference between the rack and the front brake or the mudguard (“fender” in American) at the crown.

    It looks like a significant number of rando-type parts will be coming from Pacenti, what with fork crowns, rims, tyres, and dropouts (coming soon I heard). 🙂


  2. Michael_S says:

    very nice Rob, those seem like a very smart change to an already perfect ( I thought) fork crown.
    Are these going to be available for other builders? I have a loaded touring bike ” in the oven” that could certainly use one.

  3. Errin says:

    I’m not clear on this, but will this crown be used on all the future Rambler forks, or is this for sale on it’s own?

    • Rob says:

      Answering both of you at the same time. These crowns will be available for all builders through bikelugs.com. When I started this fork crown project with Kirk there were two paths: I pay for design and tooling and have all rights to the crown or he would take on the cost of tooling if I committed to a sizable initial order and he retains the rights to sell as many as he can for as long as he wants. This crown is a product that others will want, he is in the business of selling bike building bits, I sell bikes. The path seemed obvious to me.

      The Rambler as a production bike is a study in man hours to get the made in the USA aspect possible at a reasonable price. One way to shave hours it to use high quality well finished frame components. Things like poor fitting dropouts or non-straight tubes can eat up time fast. That, aside from it being the right thing to do IMO, drove many of the choices to use CNC steel bits sourced in the USA and high quality tubes, etc. The crown being precast will save the time of drilling, brazing in bosses as an additional step, and clean up.

      Another aside is that by making these, and possibly other bits in the future, I can give something back to the guys who have taught me so much about this business through the web and in person. Passing this time saver through will hopefully give guys a little more time at the end of the day on these kinds of builds.

  4. Alistair says:

    Skillful work Rob,
    Smart design, collaboration, openhandedness. This really looks like what you’ve been talking about: the ongoing day-to-day work of building a great bike AND seeding an bike manufacturing ecosystem.

    Cheers, Alistair

  5. David G in SF says:

    Hi Rob,

    Is there a nice production rack available that will fit?
    If not, will you ask Nitto or somebody in the US to make one?



    • Rob says:

      The Nitto Mark’s rack works pretty bomber with a little cold setting of the struts. With the four point mounting it is exponentially stiffer then the single strut to the crown. I have contacted Matthew at Pass and Stow to make sure he is aware of the crown, but I need to follow up and or work with him to develop a bracket that optimizes the double mount. I have a Soma Porteur rack in hand that I will be modifying in the next week, and hope to possibly convince them to make as well. And last but not least I have engaged Colin to make a 3 piece design I have worked up, Demi-porteur and lowriders, but there are too many things going on at once. My upcoming Kickstarter campaign will be pivotal in getting this whole thing moving and funded. Cashflow really does drive how much I can throw at the various projects.

      Thanks for your interest – Rob

      • Stephen says:

        Well, I have a crown on the way, and should be able to have the frame built in a few months once I get back from South Asia. I will be interested to see if anything materialises in the meantime, otherwise I will most likely make something from light gauge stainless steel tubing. The four point mounting will nevertheless be a lot stronger, stiffer and cleaner than attaching multiple items elsewhere, as per usual.

        Your other projects sound interesting too – may I suggest you mention them at Internet-BOB when the Kickstarter things is about to happen? 🙂


        • Rob says:

          Kickstarter will be starting within the next two weeks. I will be wrapping up the video edit this week. and then the rest will fill in quickly.

          I will likely have my prototype racks i the works within your time frame. I will most likely be working with Collin at haulincollin.com and if you are thinking of custom, his prices are incredibly fair. That said if you have the chance to make one yourself, I would jump on it. It is incredibly rewarding to have things that you make with your own hands, at least for me there is nothing like it in the world. The only thing that comes close are the smiles of others who are using things that I made.

          WRT iBob, I will be posting there as soon as time lets up from getting program done and shifts back to marketing,

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