Ready to roll: igus® products support lightweight bike rack

QuikrStuff uses bushings and washers in critical pivot points

When engineers at QuikrStuff looked to design a new bike rack, the team wanted a product that was lightweight, durable, and installable in seconds.

With the help of components from igus®, the Colorado-based company met all of those objectives and more.

Outdoor enthusiasts Bryan Wachs and JT Westcott formed QuikrStuff in 2020 and developed the Mach2 rack with the support of designs and patents of Cal Phillips, a renowned outdoor inventor. Phillips had been working on the design for several years while at his former company, 1Up USA, but the final product required many changes before coming to market. 

Tapping Westcott’s expertise in aerospace and manufacturing, QuikrStuff developed a lightweight rack that is fully assembled, durable, easy-to-install and corrosion-resistant. “This bike rack could last for 20 years,” said Clint Gibbs, a highly regarded bike expert in a video on his YouTube channel. “It works great. The features on this bike rack are so amazing.”

Powerful Pivot Points

In initial testing, Westcott said it became obvious that some changes were required in the design. “We had to do some things to hitch assembly to make it stronger,” Westcott said. “There was a lot of strengthening that we had to do.”

One of the challenges the design team faced was the pivot points on swing arms of the assembly. The assembly can handle up to four bikes of all kinds — including heavy fat tire bikes, trail bikes, and e-bikes.

bike rack

Photo courtesy of QuikrStuff

“We started out with a ball bearing, but the loads were just too high, and it was basically destroying the bearing,” Westcott said. “We discovered that during the prototype phase, and we knew pretty quickly what we had wasn’t going to work.”

The design team found a solution with two iglide® bushings and four washers. The washers are custom-made for the application and are made with iglide G material. Thanks to this material, the washers have high wear resistance as well as dirt and dust resistance.

iglide G is frequently found in agricultural equipment, automotive applications, construction machinery, machine tools and fitness or physical therapy equipment. It is particularly beneficial for oscillating and rotational movements, such as those in the QuikrStuff rack. The material is the most popular iglide material worldwide.

Weight-ing game

The iglide Q2 bushings used are wear-resistant and dimensionally stable at high loads. They also offer good abrasion resistance, and embedded solid lubricants reduce the coefficient of friction and improve wear resistance. 

iglide Q2 is also frequently used in agricultural equipment and construction machinery, where high dynamic loads occur and when impacts, shocks and contamination occur in addition to these high loads.

“We looked at other materials, but because it’s a real corrosive environment we were concerned about their durability,” Westcott said. “Basically, it’s on the back of a car. We were concerned that other materials might rust or corrode over time.”

One of the other critical elements of the igus components is they do not require any external lubricant. “We’ve got other components on the rack, and we don’t want to get any kind of oil or lubrication on them because it can become an issue if it’s cross contaminated,” Westcott said. “It’s not desirable to have any kind of grease or lubricant.”

Consumer crush

Photo courtesy of QuikrStuff    

person inspecting a bike rack

Soon after QuikrStuff racks hit the market, the company knew it had a product that resonated with the biking community. Due in large part to the pandemic and supply chain issues, the company had a months-long wait list soon after the onset of the worldwide pandemic. The wait time has since been reduced considerably.

The rack is lightweight, modular, and easy-to-install. Most people can install it in less than a minute without assistance. “I think it’s lightweight but strong,” Wachs said. “Since it’s modular, instead of having two people lift a 50 to 70 pound rack, it requires just one person to lift 28 pounds, and then 22 pounds three more times to get the assembly in place for four bikes.”

The rack also includes integrated locks that all work off one key and can handle any bike without adapters. “I think the hitch is what makes this rack rock solid,” Wachs said. “You don’t need tools. It comes completely assembled out of the box. You can be up and running with your bike in 30 seconds.”

Wheels up!

While the pandemic hurt QuikrStuff with some temporary supply chain issues, it also helped spur an interest in cycling.

Statistics report the number of bicycles sold in the European Union in 2021 surpassed 22 million. In Great Britain, sales grew by more than 11 percent in 2021, amounting to approximately 3.25 million units. Germany, where more than 75 percent of people own a bike, is replete with cycling lanes and workers who commute with their bike.

In the U.S., citizens spent $8.2 billion on bicycles and accessories in 2022, a $1.3 billion increase from 2020. The number of riders has surged by 9 million since 2015.

Many of those users also purchase bike racks and the competition is keen in the industry. Some other brands are more well-known, but one of the key distinguishers for the QuikrStuff rack is its durability.

bike rack and bike installed at the back of a vehicle

Photo courtesy of QuikrStuff

“We’re making something you don’t want to throw away,” Wachs said. If you’re going to invest $5 or $10,000 on a mountain bike or e-bike, you might switch that out every 3 to 5 years. We don’t want you to have to switch out the bike rack. It’s not about the bike rack, it’s about the bike. So, our job is to protect that bike and get it where it’s going.”

To view other igus solutions for the bicycle industry, check out our webpage. For questions regarding your own potential applications, contact an igus expert.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply