Adding an Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX rack to a Trek 7.2 FX… 28Apr15 | 0

…everything’s on the internet right?  Well, how come I couldn’t find instructions on how to match up these two bits of kit?  After struggling for an hour, I realized that I could potentially save someone a lot of time…

Here’s my mini-howto on getting some panniers into your life!

To start, this is specifically for the Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX mated to a Trek 7.2 FX.  If you’re looking for more general information, this is a great overview.  Why the “disc” version on a bike without disc brakes?  Room to breath, of course.

My Trek is the first “real” bike I’ve ever owned, and certainly the first I’ve done anything to other than irregularly lubricating the chain.  Also, my Trek is a couple years old (2012 I think?) so Your Mileage May Vary if it’s much older or much newer.  I hear the 2015 is a slight downgrade in build quality…anyway, enough rambling…

First: the Axiom came with entirely too much mounting hardware.  I suppose out of necessity, both the hardware kit and the hilariously vague instructions (I had to download them off the internet) are generic.  Don’t bother downloading them, they’ll just make the job take three times as long as you screw around with the center bracket before eventually being forced to abandon it: for the Trek, I didn’t need the middle bracket (or perhaps I do, but it’s a good 4″ too short to reach anything useful).  I’m sure it’s necessary to reach the rated ~100 pound capacity.

Next, I had to pop some rubber bungs out of the threaded fittings welded onto the frame below the seat (in the bicycling world, these are called “internally threaded eyelets on the seat stays” I think?  I may very well be wrong!)  This is the location on the Trek:

seat stay threaded eyelets

The smooth silver bolt head in the middle bottom of the image (I think it’s called a rear brake frame mount) is where the center bracket would fit if it had been appreciably longer :/

Next, loosen the four hex head bolts that hold the “Versalock arms”. They’re the bits that are hooked to the frame in the above picture.  Don’t loosen the bolts too far, just enough so you can easily slide the arms in and out, and rotate them a bit.

Time to start mounting!  Lightly place the rack into approximate place.  There are more threaded nipples down near the rear axle.  If you want maximum load capacity, you probably want to use the axle (I think the technical term is “quick release skewer”) itself as the mount point (as well as fabricating a longer middle bracket and fiddling with Versalock arms so they don’t block the middle bracket).  Easy enough to move at any time with a couple hex keys.  If you’re like me and just wanted to get the rack mounted before needing to ride home in the dark, line the bottom of the rack up with the rearmost eyelets:

Rear rack bottom mount point

You can see I experimented with various mount locations ;)  I used the longer bolts, as the backside of the eyelet has plenty of clearance.  Also, I am very underwhelmed by how secure the bolt is in the eyelet.  Some thread-lock or a locknut on the backside is definitely in order!  A locknut may be challenging, as the backside of the eyelet is angled for what I’m sure is some really great reason.  Don’t bother going nuts on tightening the bolt, just have it holding the bracket in place until all of the mount points are in place and the rack is level.

With the bracket lightly in place, align the Versalock arms so they reach the seat stay eyelets.  If you get things loose enough, you can do just about anything you want with the arms (I managed to get them backwards at one point, so two of the bolts were facing each other under the rack…I’m special like that).  I found that the arms interfered with the rear brakes if they weren’t in this specific configuration shown in my images.  You may be able to “adjust” things differently with a little elbow grease.  Also, I saved the shortest of the included bolts for this, as I figured the longer bolts may have bottomed out before tightening down.

Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX mounted on a Trek FX 7.2

Now that everything is roughly in place and you’re pretty sure the rack is level, tighten down the bottom bolts near the axle, then tighten down the bolts on the seat stays.  Again, this is aluminum:  don’t go nuts with the torque, I erred on the side of caution knowing I have thread-lock that is going to be slathered in here once I’m positive of the exact alignment.  Finally, make sure the Versalock arms look tidy under the rack, and slowly tighten down the four bolts holding them in place.  It’ll slowly pull itself into place, and right before it gets firm is your last chance to make minor adjustments to the angle of the rack.  For these Versalaock arm bolts, I did give a little bit of torque, as I figure if this rack has a lifetime warranty these bits must be sturdy.

Three of these bolts are visible here.  The shiny holes are from my misguided (thanks, instructions!) attempt at using the middle bracket:

Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX Versalock arm bolts

If you made it this far, you now have a rack on your bike in a fraction of the time it took me.  Enjoy!

Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX mounted on a Trek FX 7.2
Axiom Streamliner Disc DLX rack on a Trek FX 7.2

Reminder: for maximum load carrying capacity, you’ll want the bottom bracket on the axle, and probably want to figure out some way to rig a new middle top bracket.  The manufacturer claims it’ll carry 50kg (110 pounds!), and I don’t see that happening on those little eyelets over bumps for thousands of miles without something unfortunate happening to the welds…also, acquire high strenght threadlock / red loctite (and a bunch of spare bolts).

Feel free to comment if you have any feedback or input: you don’t need to register or login.

Why is Ting so damn cheap? 22Jan15 | 1

Via reddit, courtesy of Hyperion1144:

The reason MVNOs are allowed to exist is to supplement the pricing strategies of the Big 4. MVNOs, by virtue of their lower visibility (less marketing, often no physical stores) attract only the truly “price conscious” consumer, while other types of consumers just walk into the nearest red, orange, pink, or yellow store and pay whatever they are told to pay.

Lots of people think they are price conscious, most are often not. They are brand conscious, and then compare prices among the brands they are willing to look at. Most consumers haven’t yet clued into just how much of a commodity cell service can be.

Cell carriers want to charge the price unconscious as much as they will bear, without diluting their brand by also selling value services to the price conscious consumer. The MVNOs are a filter, an alternative branding system, that allows the Big 4 to do this.

tl;dr: because if you’re a cheapskate, things simply cost less.  if you are too lazy to put any effort into life, things cost more.

Obligatory Ting referral link…

TIL about the origins of Vermont, the corporate yoke on government starting early, and a local business-raised militia… 12Mar14 | 0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shays’_Rebellion

  “By early 1785 many influential merchants and political leaders were already agreed that a stronger central government was needed.”

The future of piracy? 27Feb13 | 1

How deeply does the government bother tracking “illegal” web traffic?  Who bothers paying money to operate an anonymizing webmail service.  If you can track the comings and goings of bitcoin payments by using this data trail to focus resources, you wouldn’t need to literally scour every last inch of traffic.  Unless there is so much processing power available it’s irrelevant.

Corporations wrote a very strange combination of horribly fucking invasive and very softhanded in this new law.  Showing that they’re basically an extortion arm of the government.  In effect.

Pay for all content, “ir”regardless.  If you don’t, the government has the ability to track back through to see if you are using various layers of security in all likelihood.  How long until the NSA and MPAA drop pretenses and join forces?  Like the various armament corporations did with our permanent standing army, and eventual “Endless War”.

Sigh…

Ten Cent Days – Ten Dollar Album 01Jul12 | 0

Ten Cent Days recently released their first offering, a record titled Ten Dollar Album.  Having followed the evolution of the majority of the music on this album by venturing forth to various local venues over the past year or two in order to regularly to enjoy the obvious potential of this album’s creative director, Caleb Banas, I thought I was in a reasonable position to take a stab at a decent review of the album after the band recently requested this through various social media websites.  After spending a bit of time contemplating the matter at hand and making many revisions while attempting to put to the written word exactly how music that makes me feel and think makes me feel and think, I came away with a new appreciation of just how difficult of a task it is to stay concise, clear, and meaningful…hats off to lyricists everywhere!  Oh, brevity truly is the soul of wit…now, to mediate between the band and you, constant reader…with shorter, tighter, and more concise verbiage…

What is a Ten Cent Days, you may wonder?  Ten Cent Days is self described as a ‘flea market’ of musicians who each have an ‘eclectic style with a dirty old-timey twist’ and interestingly Victorian-era inspired garb…they are also percussion, various stringed instruments, melodica, bass, various guitars, and a lot of singing!  They are typically of an acoustic mindset, although a small handful of heavier numbers incorporate a little fuzz into the mix.  Haunting, dark, desolate, complex, beautiful, joyous…Ten Cent Days are all of these things and more.  Unfortunately I have no personal experience with other bands that may provide a frame of reference for you to easily hook into, so I must do with this incomplete description: while the basic melody of the acoustic folk music is fundamentally straightforward, the complex layering of instrumentation and vocal harmonies creates a rather unique sum that only rarely delves into any kind of conventional rock or pop sensibility.

Ten Dollar Album opens with a rather dark number titled “October”, and closes with a rather dark number titled “Country Folk Death Song”, somber and slightly irreverent, respectively.  In between, songs internally swing from downtempo dirges describing utter dejection that seamlessly transition to uptempo and remarkably beautiful rejections of suffering.  The transmutation is a joy to behold, and it is a process that repeats within many of the songs.  This is certainly not homogeneous and commoditized modern pop or rock!

Across the album, the songs are nearly universally a cathartic release of the lyricist’s personal turmoil.  As with all great art, there is more than enough room internally for the music, the tone, and meaning to be instantly relatable.  This is no simple task considering how intensely personal the moments are that have been condensed and distilled.  Combining the relatable lyrics and tone with the band’s deft interplay of melody and harmony quickly hooks the listener, allowing one to listen past discomfort until they’re faced with the bare and honest truth of the recorded experience.

Only got a minute, and need an instantly accessible song?  Try Only in Theory.  Appetite whetted and want something more complex to sink your teeth into?  Try Black Marbles.  Ready for a deep and beautiful musical foray that explores what it means to be human?  Put on your listening ears along with the best pair of headphones you can track down, and try Flowers for Rick.

I’d highly recommend Ten Dollar Album to anyone whose taste for music runs deeper than the Top 40.  This may not the most immediately enjoyable record that you will come across this year as it is quite often very dark and intensely personal…but after allowing the album a place to live and grow in your heart, you will find the songs are timeless and that you’ll soon be coming back for repeated listenings.

This listener is personally quite interested in what the future holds for Ten Cent Days!

Find Ten Cent Days…

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tencentdays

On ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/tencentdays

Stream and buy Ten Dollar Album on BandCamp:  http://tencentdays.bandcamp.com/