The Incredible Rim-Rack!





Introduction: The Incredible Rim-Rack!

Got "tacos"?? make rim racks for your bike! Using old beat and bent up alloy bike rims, a few nuts and bolts, a bit of ingenuity, and a dash of time, and you'll have your own set of rim-racks to make a
-INCREDIBLY- ( I mean it) strong base for mounting pannier holders, large baskets, saddle bags and buckets tail trunks, kid seats, etc!

Compared to many other home-made rigs, this one also looks GREAT when not in use. I have gotten several comments from fellow bicyclists and pedestrians alike on how sharp it looks!

Tools I used----------------------

Sawzall (or hacksaw)

Scroll Saw ( jig or coping saw could also be used)

Electric drill w/assorted bits

Center punch (a nail could be used on these soft rims)

7/16 wrench and socket

small allen head key


Assorted 7/16 standard steel bolts/nuts/washers, 2 lengths of about 3 inches to small 2 in for attaching buckets.

ONE taco'ed-out-of-repair alloy wheel, any type; hybrid, road, mountain.

plywood for top.

The road type would mount and drill better, but the mountain is more common, and genrally stronger for compressive weight.

small scrap of steel for a brace

Step 1: Step 1

basic construction step 1

First take your rim, find the valve stem hole and mark the exact opposite side. On cheaper rims there is a unwelded seam on this opposit side. Cut both here and in the middle of the valve stem hole.

You noe have both sides cut. Good job!

Step 2: Drilling and Mounting

Look at the pictures and diagram, they should give you a VERY easy look on how to mount it.

The top mount is universal to ALL bikes, and is the joint that is most cruicial for fit (so you thighs dont hit it) Do not hit it with a hammer to make the rim thinner, use a clamp. Using a hammer will make the rim crack.
DO this before drilling the holes for the through-bolts.

However, the lower mounts will be challanging for some bikes like cruisers and other bikes that dont have these nice lugs to mount racks and fenders. One could make a tab to be mounted on the rear axle stubs (like on coaster hubs), or behind the quick-release nuts.

Step 3: Torsional/alignment Brace

This is needed to keep the rims aligned, and to help with uneven loads and other torsional factors. Its as simple of getting some steel or thick aluminum stock and drilling holes from the spoke holes into the material, then bolting it up! I did mine right above the fender, which is about mid-point of the rack's radius.

Step 4: What to Mount? and Other Ideas

This rack is so versatle, and easily customised to your own use/purpose. look at my illustration to give you ideas. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

With my barrel-bags, I love having some cargo capacity on my Giant ATB when scavenging, going to the library, rummage sales.

If you make one, dont forget to post up!! Id enjoy looking at your ideas and creations!

Step 5: Building a Rack Top!

One of the best thing you can do with this rack design is to put a top on it!

Using some small pieces bent rim sections (which you may have cut off initially for the main two spars) , and a few more bolts, you secure the pieces to the back half of the spars.

All attachments conveniently use the pre-drilled spoke holes already in place!!!

Step 6: TADAA!!

Your finished product should look similar to this. It is INDCREDIBLY strong, a full grown adult could sit on it no problem. I have hauled TWO five gallon buckets with sand, and it did not budge or sag AT ALL. This is very rigid.

The possibiltys are ENDLESS!!

This is probably the most adaptable and flexible of all the home-made bike racks on this sight.

Post up your ideas and uses, I think we all want to see them, right???



    • Game Life Contest

      Game Life Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    24 Discussions

    Really great idea (definitely one of those - 'why didn't I think of that'!!).

    I have some old taco'd wheels that could certainly go towards making a rear rack...however, I just wanted to get your thoughts on long term durability? I intend on making some for my touring you think a rack of this design would be up to long term touring under load?

    I'm also thinking about making a front pannier out of some 20" rims that I've got kicking about.

    Cheers for the inspiration...

    You have just made my day i was looking into building a rack and this is perfect as I have a lot of bent rims that need to be put to use. I will try this with (semi) fancy double wall downhill rims. Again, thank you for the inspiration!

    A most excellent idea! My compliments! (And I am NO slacker when it comes to this kind of thing!) Versatile, recycle/re-purposed, strong, attractive, unique (hopefully not for long!) and now I am off to find a rim or 2 to make a rack for my wife's Burning Man bike!!! Thanks! I'll speak your name with honor!

    What is the size of your bike frame? The reason I ask is that it may be helpful to include recommended rim sizes for certain frame sizes.

    When I am in need to re-adjust the seat, I meerly loosen up the top mount and position the seat where I want it, then re-tighten

    I think you should get a pair of nylon shims (Concave on one end and flat on the other) and clamp it down. A seatclamp ( with attached ring) will prevent it from riding up. A large doughnut O ring will allow cushioning. As for the bolds on the rim, you could use a quick release seat bolt. Now it would be instantly removable and allow for extra tight turns.

    Remember, with any DIY project, you may have to do a bit of hacking and head-scratching to do certain things, there is no formula

    If you can locate a seat post clamp having a small lip that prevents it from sliding down the 'post tube,you can remove the lip with a 1/2 round metal file and use as a mount to seat post...

    For years I've searched for the best way to make a bike rack without buying fancy equipment from some expensive bicycle shop. This fits the bill quite nicely! I live far from any bicycle shop, so I don't have access to a lot of things most people can easily get. I do have a lot of bent wheels though! Sad thing is most of them are on my bikes...

    thats pretty awesome Im definatly gonna use this idea on my bike how would you put a homemade rack on it, your diagram wasnt very spacific

    1 reply

    Excellent idea! My only suggestion is add a spacer (a small diameter piece of pipe (or anything with a hole in it that fits snugly inside the rim) whose ID would fit over the bolt) on the inside of the rim where the bolt passes through the rim for mountin purposes. This will insure the rim dosen't collapse and you can then tighten the mounting bolts and increase the strength even further. Again, Great idea! Mikey

    1 reply

    Sorry for ignoring your comment for so long!

    Yes, adding a spacer to have something for the bolt to tighten to WOULD be a great idea to make the bolted joints stronger!

    Was there any mitigation for heel-strike in your 5-gal bucket design? Or was it never a problem? Hitting the containers with the heel of my feet while pedaling has always been a limiting factor with the type of cargo panniers that I can use on a bicycle.

    1 reply

    no, even with balls of my feet properly on the pedals, heel strike does not happen at all for me. I wear a size 11 shoe, I guess it might strike if your a size 15. :D Heel strike was one the factors I considered. Hope this helps-Jerry