Make Your Own Skate Deck Front Rack

Have an old or busted skateboard deck that needs a new life? Our friend Dan Stranahan of Forager Cycles in Washington shares the steps he took to turn an old skate deck into a nifty and functional skateboard front rack. Find photos and his step-by-step guide here…

A few weeks ago, Dan Stranahan of Forager Cycles sent out an email newsletter explaining the benefits of their lightweight titanium Link Wrench. He explained how well it works with racks that use Salsa’s 8mm strut mount, which includes Tumbleweed T-Rack, Ratking RIP Rack, Nitto racks, and others. He also mentioned converting an old skateboard into a front rack using the strut mounts, and I reached out to learn more.

It turns out you can use Salsa’s 8mm Strut Mount Kit, 8mm struts, and any generic rack “diving board” bracket to convert a skateboard or any other type of platform into a functional front rack. Adding to our growing archive of Make Your Own Bikepacking Gear (MYOBG) tutorials, we’re excited to share this brief step-by-step guide from Dan.

Stranahan skateboard front rack

Stuff You’ll Need

You’ll need hex keys or a multitool, 8 + 10mm wrench, drill, hacksaw, wood cutting saw, clamps or bench vise, flat file, crescent wrench or Knipex for bending, generic rack diving board bracket, Salsa 8mm strut mount kit, and Salsa 8mm struts. The 8mm or (5/16″) struts can also be cut from an old rack.

  • Stranahan skateboard front rack
  • Stranahan skateboard front rack

Step 1: Cut the Deck

Cut a section from an old skateboard deck. I chose a deck I had lying around that wasn’t too banged up, held it up to the front of the bike with a measuring tape to get a sense of where to cut, then cut the board with a chopsaw. A skateboard deck is a fun and functional option here because the hardwood plys make for a very strong platform, but this method could be adapted to other flat objects as well.

Step 2: Fit the Diving Board

Modify the diving board if needed. I trimmed the end of my diving board bracket and modified the bends in a bench vise so that the diving board would sit level with the ground when bolted to the fork crown.

Stranahan skateboard front rack
  • Stranahan skateboard front rack
  • Stranahan skateboard front rack
  • Stranahan skateboard front rack

Step 3: Drill Holes

Drill holes in the deck for the strut mount hardware and the diving board. I measured in from the edge of the board to find the center, then drilled my holes for the diving board along the midline. I then drilled holes on either side of the skate deck for the two 8mm strut mounts and bolted the hardware to the deck using washers so the bolts don’t pull through the soft wood.

Step 4: Add Slots for Straps (Optional)

If you’d like, you can add slots for straps in the skateboard deck by drilling a few holes and removing the excess with a round file (or use a router if you have one). Obviously the platform is wood, and highly customizable!

Step 5: Fit and Trim the Struts

Fit to your bike and trim the struts. Bolt the rack to the fork crown via the diving board, and bolt the uncut struts to your fork eyelets without tightening all the way. Next, level the rack, move the struts into position, and mark and cut the struts. File the cut ends, assemble and you’re done!

Stranahan skateboard front rack
  • Stranahan skateboard front rack
  • Stranahan skateboard front rack

Be sure to check out our other DIY tutorials by browsing everything filed under #MYOBG.

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