row2k Features
Rigger Tricks
The Shell Trailer Side-mount Bike Rack
October 10, 2012
row2k hackers

Using otherwise useless space, and staying legally narrow

We've covered the regatta beater bike already, but as the next big regatta season approaches, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the artistic and engineering genius behind a great hack for actually getting your bike to race course: The Shell Trailer Side-mount Bike Rack.

You can find this one on the Cal trailer: it takes the unused space on the sides of the trailer in front of the fenders and turns it into a pretty sweet spot to carry your beater bike TO the regatta.

We spotted this hack at the IRA a few years back, and it is clearly a great way to avoid the most common issues with putting bikes on a boat trailer: no more bikes lashed to the top of the oar pile, or standing up against the lower racks (and scratching the bow decks of your smaller boats). It also eliminates any chance of the number one grievance trailer drivers have with coaches' bikes: you know, the one you hear about forever if you happen to be the guy who locked your bike to the front of the trailer on top of the spare tire that time they got the flat tire in the middle of the night.

We went straight to the source on this one, to Cal boatman Mike Fennelly, a man not afraid to overbuild a bit in the name of a great hack:

"I came up with the idea to use the space outside the trailer bed but inside the fender lines. This makes use of otherwise useless space but within the legal limits of the vehicle. I chose the space forward of the fenders because with our fours on the bottom rack there is nothing to interfere with the bikes. The handlebars must be rotated inward parallel to the side of the trailer to stay within the width limits, and aft of the fenders they would hit the sides of the fours.

"I began by bolting two 18" lengths of 2x2x1/8 steel angle to the steel angles under the trailer bed, leaving about 6" protruding out to the side. I then bolted a 52" length of 1x2x1/8 steel channels under the ends of the protruding angles. I used an XPORT fork mounting fixture at the front, and a short piece of Yakima roof rack wheel tray at the back with a short piece of boat strap for the rear wheel. It's probably overbuilt, but I don't want anything coming loose on the interstate. The one drawback I'm still working on is the full exposure of the bikes to all the spray from the rear truck wheels. It hasn't damaged the bikes yet, but I would like to minimize it.

There you have it: the Shell Trailer Side-mount Bike Rack--get your bike on!

Have a great "build" that helps you get to the race course in style? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack for future inclusion here? Send it to us!

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