I’ve wanted a great rear rack solution for my Nuvinci N360-equipped Schlick Northpaw for some time and had previously used a Planet Bike Versarack. While I got the Versarack to work OK, it was not ideal for the Seattle Sports Rain Rider panniers I have. The main issue was that the effective straight rail on the Versarack is about 6 inches while the clips on my panniers are about 8 inches apart. I did get them to work OK by using the curved portion of the rail towards the front of the Versarack but it required bending the frame of the pannier plus it put the bag a bit more forward than I wanted. I knew that, for this particular application, there had to be a better way.
Enter the Old Man Mountain Sherpa rack. Made in Santa Barbara, USA, the Sherpa is a very versatile rack.
Other “gotchas” for fitting a rear rack on the Northpaw are that the Nuvinci N360, like most Internally Geared Hubs, is a solid, bolt-on axle. Normally the Sherpa rack uses a Q/R axle and attaches to the bike with a longer skewer that OMM supplies. It is a very slick setup for those bikes so equipped. In our case, the solid axle precluded that attachment style so we went with a more traditional bolt-to-the-frame mount.
Also, in order to tension the Gates belt drive, this bike uses a Paragon Slider rear drop out that would change the lower mount point if I used a hub with a Q/R and decided to adjust the belt tension or change belts to adjust the chainstay length. Not ideal, but is could have been dealt with if the Nuvinci had a Q/R axle. Fortunately, the OMM Sherpa rack works great as a bolt on rack as well.
Installation was pretty straight forward. I talked to John at Old Man Mountain about how the mounts were configured on the Northpaw and he sent me the appropriate hardware.
Because the Northpaw frame is offset in order to accommodate the belt drive, the Nuvinci hub and the 3.8-inch fat-bike tires, we used a flat mount on the right seatstay and an offset mount on the left seatstay. The mounting straps that go to the upper seatstay mount needed only a slight bend to accommodate the frame design. The rack is nicely centered over the rear tire.
I also wanted to get the SKS Grand M.O.M fender mounted under the rack. This particular Northpaw sees most of its use on the beach and splashing in the water is both fun and unavoidable. There was plenty of clearance under the Sherpa to mount the fender to the seat post as intended and a bolt with an aluminum standoff anchors the fender at the rear of the rack.
The Sherpa works very well with the Seattle Sports Rain Rider panniers that I favor with ample heel clearance and a solid platform on which to mount the bags.
I stand by my assertion in the previous article that the Planet Bike Versarack is a viable choice for offset fat bike frames needing a rear rack but if you are looking for a more “expedition-grade” rack solution, look no further than the Old Man Mountain Sherpa Rack. It is versatile in mounting choices, carries panniers well, is made in the USA and works great!
- Load Capacity: 40 lbs.
- Weight: 900 g
- Length x Width x Height
- 11.75″ x 5″ x 14.25″
- Color: Black texture
- Made in the USA
Disclaimer: Old Man Mountain provided this rack for review and they are also a sponsor of the fat-bike.com website. However, regardless of how we get test products, for review from a manufacturer, bought with our own $$$ or borrowed from friends, our reviews will always give our honest opinion and real-world experience!