CETMA Style Bolt Together Front Bike Rack




This instructable will show you how to build a bolt together front mounted bicycle rack. By way of reference, actual CETMA racks can be found for sale at cetmaracks.com

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Step 1: Materials Needed

First get your materials. I used four pieces of 12 inch long, 1 inch steel tubing, 2 pieces of 1 inch angle iron at 18 inches long, 2 3/4 inch electrical conduit hangers (available at any hardware store in the electrical section), several 2 inch long bolts with nylon locknuts, 2 pieces of 1/2 inch steel stock at 20 inches long, 2 pieces of 1 inch steel stock at 24 inches long and a can of rustoleum.

For tools you will need an angle grinder or a hacksaw to cut the metal, a drill with metal bits, a measuring tape, safety glasses and some wrenches or a socket set.

Special thanks to my brother in law for donating the metal stock and tubing. These could be purchased or scrounged.

Step 2: Basic Frame

Bolt together the basic frame by drilling the guide holes and bolting it together.

Step 3: Bolt in the Rest of the Frame

Bolt in the rest of the frame. The middle frame struts should be spaced to match your hub width, the down struts will eventually bolt to them. Add any additional struts as you feel necessary. I was going to go with six, but went with 4.

Step 4: Cut and Bolt the Top Support

Measure the height you would like for the rack. It can go almost all the way down to the wheel. Cut your top support a couple inches higher than your handlebar and attach your conduit hangers where the rack will attach to the handlebars.

Step 5: Measure and Cut the Downstruts

Ok, so I forgot to take a picture of this step. Get an assistant and attach the top support to your handlebars. Push the frame out from the front of the bike till its level and have your assistant hold it level. Take one downstrut piece and line it up so it will attach to one of your middle crossbeams and will line up with your fork so the skewer will go through. Mark that spot and cut. Drill top support and skewer holes.

Step 6: Finalize

Fit, paint and attach to bike. Haul a ton of stuff!!

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    18 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you!  This is great

    I've been scouring the web for the past two weeks, sweating at the cost of Nitto front racks.  They are pretty damn sexy compared to this, sex sells after all.  But, I'm going to make my own.  For those who used aluminum, what dimensions did you use?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This bike rack turns with the front wheel--I also noticed the Two Dollar Bike Rack / Headlight (https://www.instructables.com/id/Two-Dollar-Bike-Rack-Headlight) which does not turn with the front wheel--does anybody have any experience with which is more stable for riding?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I made one similar to yours using aluminum angle iron from the Hardware store connected with rivets instead of bolts. Lighter and just as strong.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I'm thinking of building one of these using a combination of steel and aluminum. I think the struts that connect the rack to the dropouts would be one good place for steel.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    the struts definitely, the load you can carry will be far greater without bowing the struts. i am thinking of replacing the tray with an aluminum one to lighten up the whole thing.


    Reply 11 years ago on Step 6

    Sorry I wasn't more specific: I was hoping to get an overall view of the frame on the bike. Perhaps a side shot. Thanks!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Idea: Build one for a front suspended bike, buy a gallon of whole milk from a dairy 5 miles away and when you get home, butter! ;D Just kidding...

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice, but I am guessing it ads considerable weight to the bike. I would try making it out of aluminum instead. good job nonetheless.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Aluminum would have been a great alternative to save some weight, but I had free steel available and it should last forever and carry more weight. You could easily use aluminum and the same plans for a rack.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome job on building it! Limitless potential on what you could carry. That red color should get you noticed in traffic too. +1.