Added rack, trouble getting on/off bike...

GrayFox

Member
Yesterday I had my LBS add a rear rack for my Vado SL5.0.

Unfortunately this addition is giving me grief because I now find it very difficult to get on/off the bike because I have trouble lifting my leg over the rack (adding a trunk bag at this point would make getting on/off impossible). I had to tilt the bike a good bit to get on/off before adding the rack.
IMG_0537.jpg


Any suggestions on how to get limber enough to solve my problem?

I am in my early eighties, weight 215 pounds and typically ride 20 miles with about 650 feet of climbing every other day.. I have been riding regularly for about 11 years.

Thanks for any insights....
 

gtpharr

Member
Region
USA
City
CHESAPEAKE, VA
I'm 20 years your junior and solved that problem by getting a step through (or low step) frame. I'm more concerned about comfort and safety than I am about looks or speed. I have nothing to prove to anyone and really enjoy my rack and rack bag.

I know my reply is of no help to you and does not address your question. Your problem will continue as long as you want a rack & rack bag on a traditional diamond / triangle frame. It is kind of like the guy who complains he can't tow a boat or haul a load of wood in his sports car.

Your situation is exactly why we all need at least 2 bikes!
 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
Is it the combo of the rack and seat, or just the rack? If it's getting the height to clear both, could a dropper seat post perhaps help you at all? Maybe try and drop your seat all the way and just test the swing to see if it lets you lean over the frame more, resulting in less leg angle when you mount? I find my rack doesn't bug me too much by itself, but the oversized seat I use does seem to make it tougher. I like my suspension seat post, but I admit I long for a dropper pretty regularly too.

Either way, I'm not a fan of trunk bags for that reason. I have a couple but don't use them in favor of simple panniers that seem to get in the way less, and keep the weight lower.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Did the shop know there might be an issue here? I guess what I am wondering is regarding the potential for the rack to be installed a little lower, closer to the tire? Or maybe a little further forward?

No trunk bags for me either....
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
I like having the trunk bag on my Civante, but like you I hate getting my 70 year old leg over it to get on/off.

I’ve learned to be tactical about where I do that. Nothing like a good five inch curb, rock, slope going up from the road shoulder… whatever it takes to put the bike down and away a bit. Between that and leaning it over as well, I‘ve learned to adapt. Getting on is still easier than getting off!

My brother had a full hip replacement two months ago and is back riding his gravel Cannondale, but has adapted this technique also. He’s shopping a dropper post as well, since for him the seat all by itself is a problem now.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Not sure what you are thinking about carrying on the rack, but you could consider getting a front rack instead.
I put the big panniers in front & the small up high behind to avoid heel strikes with my size 14s.
Up front they cut the wind in front of my thighs & better distribute weight.
 

Nubnub

Member
When I dismount the bike, I balance on the left pedal and coast while I swing my right leg over the seat and rack Once my right foot hits the ground I'm either stopped or going very slow and can unclip my left foot. Dismounting this way is much easier for me than getting started. When we were kids, my sister used to use the reverse technique to push off with her right foot while balancing her left foot on the pedal. So far I haven't had to do this but may need to learn or get a step thru at some point.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
When I dismount the bike, I balance on the left pedal and coast while I swing my right leg over the seat and rack Once my right foot hits the ground I'm either stopped or going very slow and can unclip my left foot. Dismounting this way is much easier for me than getting started. When we were kids, my sister used to use the reverse technique to push off with her right foot while balancing her left foot on the pedal. So far I haven't had to do this but may need to learn or get a step thru at some point.
This. I kicked my rear rack bag a couple times when I first put it on. Just have to remember to get that leg up there every time. Becomes automatic. I always use the left foot on the left pedal and push off with the right foot method of mounting. This also helps with swinging the right leg up and over.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Have you considered a triangle frame bag? I had a similar issue with a trunk bag and don't use my rack at all once I put on a frame bag. YMMV.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
A triangle bag w/picture in EBR for sale forum
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
In agreement with Art Deco, try some frame bags. They fit between the top tube and down.
Longer term, a step thru frame. However there may not be a step through frame that is as light as the Vado SL. Would your bike shop consider a trade in for the new mid-step Vado SL? The mid-step is not as low as a deeper step through, but it’s just a thought.
Falls are bad, worse if there are witnesses. Stay safe.
 
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Nxkharra

Well-Known Member
@GrayFox i feel for you. I have the same issue with my Vado 5 and added bag raising my leg over.
I wish I had bought step through.
for now I tilt the bike and get on and off.
I used to stand on the pedal with left foot, push with right leg, and raise the right leg over but just had knee replacement (left) so this option is no longer available for now. Oh well while getting old sucks but we are blessed that we still can get out and do this.

I have seen some female riders sit sideway on the saddle and raise their legs in front and across on top of the top tube. This is not easy for me and need to practice to be able to do this.
good luck.
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
No easy way for us seniors. I have a Trek Allant 8s stagger, and still find it hard to get my right foot off the bike and through the space. Crashed once already when I didn't get things balanced properly. I'm now getting my left foot waaay out there so I can do a really big lean on the bike before I get my right foot free. I think the same approach would work with a normal frame and rack. Just plan to tilt a lot.
 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
I use a frame bag on my Vado SL. It's large enough to hold spare tubes, tools, phone, wallet, lock and a light jacket. You need to have a side access water bottle cage and it's a little difficult to pull the water bottle out while riding so I usually just stop when I need to drink.

 

mjeds

Active Member
Region
USA
get a dropper seat post. so you can drop the seat to its lowest position when getting off. then pop the switch to rise it back to its preset position.

this way the seat is out of your way so you don't have to swing your leg as high to exit.

I am 50 but have a replacement hip and with the seat fully up, rack and cargo pack I have a similar issue.

personally I actually stand on the pedals while moving, swing my leg over so I am on one side of the bike before completely stopping, then I don't have to get off with the bike completely stopped. as it is easier to swing my leg over while standing on the pedal because it is higher than the ground.

If I can't do that I use a curb and exist curb side. so I have a higher platform to stabilize myself.

the 1 second mark (start of video) and the 1:15 mark for mounting: and the reverse for dismounting.

 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
Yesterday I had my LBS add a rear rack for my Vado SL5.0.

Unfortunately this addition is giving me grief because I now find it very difficult to get on/off the bike because I have trouble lifting my leg over the rack (adding a trunk bag at this point would make getting on/off impossible). I had to tilt the bike a good bit to get on/off before adding the rack.View attachment 88142

Any suggestions on how to get limber enough to solve my problem?

I am in my early eighties, weight 215 pounds and typically ride 20 miles with about 650 feet of climbing every other day.. I have been riding regularly for about 11 years.

Thanks for any insights....
I'm a bit confused by this. I have a Rad Rover ST so easy for me. I have a Topeak Rack and bags and today I tried to throw my leg over just to see if I could. I cleared the bag OK but barely cleared the saddle. If you can't clear the rack how to you clear the saddle which is quite a bit higher?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
It's about getting your knee high enough....