when the dust cleared

A Tale of Two Racks

It starts like this:

  • I installed a Specialized Pizza Rack and Pizza Bag on my bike last year.
  • The headlight mount on a client’s pizza rack broke.
  • Pizza Racks were out of stock for a loooooong time, so…
  • We put parts of my rack on the client’s bike.
  • I received parts of the client’s rack.

And so it was that I found myself with no place to mount my headlight. At the present time, second quarter of 2021, bikes and parts can be difficult to source. What I wanted was another Pizza Rack, but the out-of-stock nature of that item started this whole thing. After digging around for a while, I located and purchased a nifty Velo Orange Flat Pack Rack.

Installation. Well. There’s a big difference here. I’m pretty sure the Pizza Rack includes instructions, but I’m not sure why. There are five metal parts that go together pretty intuitively. True: the Pizza Rack requires that your fork has mounting eyelets about halfway up each fork blade. If you have that, you’ll have your Pizza Rack installed pretty quickly. If you don’t, well, the Pizza Rack is not for you.

The Flat Pack Rack is another story. Included is a piece of paper encouraging you to pull up this page of installation instructions. The Flat Pack Rack is pretty darn flexible, but it’s also fairly complicated. Tools that I needed for this installation that were not required for the Pizza Rack include: a hacksaw, a file, gas for the car to get to the hardware store, money for longer bolts and a bucket to contain all of the foul language. I kid, but the Flat Pack Rack is indeed a more complicated beast to install. Once the sawing, filing, fastening and swearing (again, just kidding) chores were over, the Flat Pack Rack felt every bit as sturdy as the Pizza Rack. It also, in my subjective and personal opinion, looked better.

Anyway: Killer! I now have a rack on my bike. Uncool: the Pizza Bag doesn’t fit well. Like not well at all. Big sigh. Followed by more sighing. I thought about my fallback position, and decided that maybe a Wald basket with a bag inside might be pretty sweet. When I was about 15 minutes into bag research, fiscal responsibility shined down on me, and I thought, “Criminy! Have I not sunk enough money into this project already?” I had. So I put the pizza rack back together with the broken light mount, sawed off a piece of aluminum bar stock, drilled a few holes in it, grabbed a few zip ties and voila!, a Pizza Rack with a light mount. Cost: around 20 minutes.

This post started as a “look how I get myself into dumb situations and wander through possible solutions like a drunk” type of exercise. And perhaps it is. In the process I learned (maybe re-learned) a few things. Flexibility generally has a downside: complexity. I knew the Pizza Bag was designed for the Pizza Rack, yet it failed to dawn on me that it might not work with just any rack. I also just kinda pooped out as the scope (and budget) of the project expanded.


I gave the Flat Pack Rack to my coworker Sarah, who recently purchased a Kona Sutra. Believe it or not, she zip tied a Wald basket to the rack and purchased a sweet bag to fit therein. I believe this is where I would have ended up had I persevered with the Flat Pack Rack.

Sarah's bike with rack, basket and bag.

My coworker Kalyn has a Pizza Rack with a cool quick-release rando bag on there. It’s a very awesome setup, and they like it a lot.

Pizza Racks came back in stock as I typed this.