Like many of you, I enjoy biking…In fact, I may meet most of the criteria for addiction with my love of cycling. As a result I use my Yakima roof rack 4-6 times a week and was getting quite tired of either removing the skewer, tightening it down, or letting it rattle when the bike isn’t on the car. What I really wanted was to be able to keep my setting that fits my bike perfectly and not have a rattling skewer….
Problem: Skewer Rattles when bike not on the rack, must be either screwed fully tight or removed to prevent rattling during driving. makes placing bike on roof rack much more of a hassle because the skewer then has to be re-adjusted to the bike
Solution: Make a custom spacer the same size as the fork tabs to place into the rack when a bike isn’t in place.
First I took off my wheel and measured my fork, a Reba RL to make sure my spacer is the same dimensions as the fork.
Create CAD File of spacer. This was very simple and only took a few minutes using Solidworks 2010
Step 3: Purchase Materials and Tooling. I used a 1.25″x1.25″ bar of 6061 T6 aluminum for this job because it is lightweight, cheap and easy to machine.
Step 4: Machine Parts
I machined the ends using a 4 flute Carbide 1/4″ diameter endmill and then the middle section using a 2 Flute 1.25″ long HSS endmill. Afterwards surfaces were cleaned up using a 1″ diameter 3 flute bit and then machine marks were removed using scotchbrite green abrasive pads and light polishing
Results: It seems to work very well…I’ve had it on about a week and its made the process of taking the bike on/off the car much simpler and no rattling. Overall I would say a success…in the future maybe i’ll make an adjustable model that works for road/mountain forks and possibly anodize, chamfer etc….make it prettier.
Some notes. The first attempt to make this I reversed the order of operations removing the middle material first and then attempted to cut out the ends. This had quite a bit of deflection and resulted in a poor quality part.