Rack systems aren’t entirely necessary for hardcore bikepacking, what with zillions of frame bag, handlebar bag, and seat post bag options out there. But, they are eminently useful when schlepping lots of gear on a bike adventure. They’re also really useful if you have an all-purpose bike you might use for gravel riding one day, single track bombing the next, and a grocery store run mixed in too.
Racks can also be, however, finicky, difficult to fit, and they don’t always play well with different forks, axles, dropouts—you name it.
Old Man Mountain, however, has just released their new Divide and Fat Divide racks, which are dang near universal based on a clever fit kit. Suspension forks, bikes without eyelets, weird geos, none of that should matter with this rack. They include pucks that the rack tightens down against if you don’t have mounting points (i.e., if you’re putting one on a suspension fork) and the dropout height is easily adjustable.
I mounted mine on the rear of my Hudski Doggler, which is adventure ready with tons of mounting points, so install was a snap. I used the included thru-axle for mounting it, which allows the rack to support 70 freaking pounds. The thru axle mounting system is pretty cool too. Once you replace your axle with the one OMM provides, you can remove the rack quickly with a hex key, leaving their axle in place. Easy peasy.
I love that the pannier lashing points are nice and low, so you can access panniers without getting in the way of strapping things to the top of the rack, and that the rails on top of the rack are chunky enough for mini bungees, or whatever you use to strap things down.
But mostly, I love that this thing is dead bang silent on trails. No rattles, no matter how chattery the trail. First time I tried it out, I bombed down Repack, here in Fairfax, a steep fireroad with enough rocks and ruts to shake loose the most stubborn of tooth fillings, and the rack didn’t budge or make any metallic peeps. That’s quality.
They run about $150, with a made in the USA option (super cool) at $180. Fit kits with the thru axle are an extra $75 or so.
Get ’em here.