We are proud to announce a few new products:
The elegant Grand Bois/Nitto M-13 racks are designed for Grand Bois 650B bikes. They feature a slightly smaller platform than the popular Nitto M-12. Where the Nitto M-12 was designed for quick manufacture, this model takes its inspiration from the racks made by René Herse.
The racks are made by Nitto exclusively for Grand Bois, from lightweight steel tubing. They are plated for durability. At 188 grams, they are among the lightest production racks available, a full 70 grams lighter than the Nitto M-12.
The rack supports attach to the frame’s cantilever brake posts with small tabs that are brazed into the rack tubes, similar to the dropouts of a classic bicycle frame. (The M-12 uses large plates simply brazed to the ends of the rack tubes. Other rack makers squeeze the tubes flat and drill a hole.)
The rack has a mount for the front fender, which is angled to line up with the fender (see below). The workmanship is typical for Nitto, which means it is super-strong and looks great from 5 feet away, but upon closer inspection, the fillet brazing could be smoother.
There are two models: The “Flashlight” model (above) has two eyelets under the rack platform for mounting a flashlight holder.
The “Headlight” model (above) has one eyelet on the right support stay to attach a headlight mount. The photos show prototypes, and the final production versions will have some minor refinements. A 700C version will follow in the Spring of 2011.
The racks come with special, nicely proportioned hardware. The cantilever bolts (bottom and top right) use a standard M6 thread to hold the cantilever brake, but the forward extension is a smaller M5, capped with a lockwasher and a nice domed nut. There also is an M6 domed nut and lockwasher for the attachment at the fork crown (top left), and an M5 nut with built-in washer for the fender attachment (top center).
Compass Bicycles will receive a few “Headlight” models next week, and we expect a larger shipment in February. (Update: The racks are in stock. Click here to order.)
In addition to the Grand Bois 650B “wide” fork crown, we now offer a narrower fork crown ideal for 700C bikes, with a distance between blades of 47 mm (the wide crown measures 53 mm there). This “narrow” fork crown allows builders to use the popular Kaisei “Toei Special” fork blades on 700C bikes, as well as 650B bikes with narrower tires. Grand Bois uses this “narrow” crown for their own 700C bikes. Whereas the Grand Bois “wide” fork crown was designed specifically for the Kaisei blades and offers a perfect fit, this “narrow” crown is a more generic “Imperial Oval” shape. An experienced framebuilder should have no trouble fitting the blades into the fork crown. Available now in limited quantities.