Installing A New Rack on the Artifice Trike

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Photos by MJ Klein

When I bought my Artifice recumbent trike, it came with a rack that was installed by the factory.  I wanted to install a Topeak rack like I had on my MTB but I wasn’t sure if the Artifice rack was too custom to replace with a consumer rack.  After some investigation, I was able to install the rack that I wanted on the Artifice.  Here’s what I did:

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

This is the rack that came with the Artifice and my Giant saddle bags.  One thing that I didn’t like is how the saddle bags look, and the fact that they hide the beautiful alloy wheel.

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

This is the Artifice rack with the saddle bag flipped up and out of the way so you can see the alloy wheel.  The rack is attached in the front by the two natural colored aluminum stays that attach to the trike frame just in front of the rear wheel.  If I could attach the new rack to those aluminum stays, then the install would probably work.

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

This is the Topeak rack with the bag attached to my MTB.  The front of the rack is attached to the MTB frame in the normal way: with brackets that bolt up to the seat stay tube.  I measured this rack and found it to be within a centimeter of the dimensions of the rack on the Artifice.  I took this Topeak rack off the MTB and prepared to install it on the trike.

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

These are the aluminum brackets on the stays that were attached to the front of the rack on the Artifice.

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

In this shot we see that I have hand-tightened the right side bolt into the stay bracket.  I’ve placed the bolt in the left slot and I’m about to move the stay bracket over and bolt it up.  This arrangement worked out very well.  Once tightened up, the rack was rock solid.

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

This is a shot of the rack installed on the trike.  Now you can see the nice real alloy wheel!  The only issue with installing this rack is that the bottom attachment point interfered slightly with the plastic cap on the end of the QR axle.  Next time I’m going to a machine shop, I’ll take the rack with me and grind off the corner of the mounting boss.  For the time being, it works fine.

Topeak Rack On Artifice Trike

This last shot shows the expandable pannier deployed.  When I need to carry a larger load, the expandable pannier is very convenient.  Note: I did not have the elastic connected to the rack side frame.

So, it is possible to install your favorite rack on the Artifice after all!

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14 comments

    1. Craig, my Yukon is about 5 years old (i need to clean it!). i can’t use clipless pedals on an upright because i can’t unclip fast enough to prevent my falling down! those Giant MTBs are tough bikes. i got mine for NT$7,000 and some change. made in Taiwan, and the price sure has gone up since!

  1. Which Topeak rack do you have (if you know the model number off hand)???

    I’ve been looking at ssome Topeak racks and some racks made by other manutacturers for my mountain bike. I see some that look similar to yours and I see some that look like thay only attach to like the frame at the seat post. Haven’t really decided on which one to get. The prices of the racks I’ve been looking at are like USD $40 to $80 (NT$1318 to NT$2637 at the current exchange rates).

    Now… you and cfimages are both confusing me. He said he uses “clipless pedals” and you said you can’t use clipless pedals on an upright. Now as I look at the pics of your old mountain bike… I don’t see any toeclips on the pedals. Now I thought pedals without toeclips would be “clipless”.

    Am I missing something here???

    mike01905s last blog post..Red Sox Game 01

    1. Mike, i linked to both the rack and bag on the Topeak website.

      i don’t like the “clip on” seatpost types because they aren’t as strong, and they don’t have side panels generally. if you want to get the pannier version of the bag you’re going to need the side panels to attach them to.

      regarding clipless pedals, you’re not alone in being confused by the term. it came about during the evolution of pedal security technology. Wikipedia does a pretty good job of explaining it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipless_pedals “clipless” refers to the lack of an external toe cage (called a clip), but yeah, it’s still a clip holding your foot to the pedal. locking and unlocking the shoe to the pedal is referred to as “clipping in” or “clipping out” so being “clipless” doesn’t make sense really. you’re right about my MTB not having toe clips but since they aren’t locking you can’t call them “clipless” pedals even though they don’t have toe clips!

      1. OK… I took a look at the Salem Cycle website and they don’t list the “Super Tourist DX Tubular” which you have… they list the “Explorer Tubular Rack…

        http://topeak.com/products/Racks/ExplorerTubularRack_w_o_spring

        both “with spring” and “without spring” (USD $40 or NT$1319 without the spring and USD $50 or NT$1649 with spring… at today’s exchange rates).

        I looked at that Wikipedia link that you have. After reading that… I guess that even tho a pedal “without” a toe clip on it is a “clipless pedal”… the term “clipless” actually refers to a type of pedal where a specail shoe or cleat can get “locked” onto a pedal without a toe clip.

        So I guess in the future when going to a bike shop… I have to make sure that I ask for a pedal without a toe clip and not a clipless pedal.

        Also… I seen that you said you got your Giant mountain bike for like NT$7,000 five years ago. Last year when I bought my Trek 3700… it cost me USD $330 or about NT$10,883… at today’s exchange rates. Last year it would’ve been about NT$10,395 at the exchange rate then (right now, USD $1 = NT$32.98 and a year ago USD $1 = NT$31.50).

        mike01905s last blog post..Red Sox Game 01

        1. Mike, i don’t know the differences among the Topeak racks but they all look very durable and well designed.

          glad you got the “clipless” issues all sorted out!

          bike prices are definitely going up! some bikes that i’ve been looking at recently seem almost double in price from 4~5 years ago. i know that steel prices went way up in those years, so it’s not so surprising when you consider that aspect.

  2. where u got the two silver colored holder which hold the front of rack. i just purchased topeak bag and rack.

    1. hi Pema. the front rack holders came with my trike. it had a rack on it when i bought it. you should be able to knock something together to hold the front of the rack to the eyelets on the frame.

  3. I put my topeak rack on my artifice and i dont have the two silver holder for the frong rack, hence my rack is slightly leaning forward. After few days of riding, i noticed a crack in welding point of the left side of seat holder. did ur trike get any crack in seat holder welding point.

    1. hi Pema. one of the features about TW-Bents work is the quality of the welding. there should be no cracks anywhere in anything, welds or tubes. make sure it’s not a paint defect and insist upon a new frame or a professional repair. i’ve never seen a cracked weld on any TW-Bents products.

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