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I want to mount a rear rack on a frame without eyelets. I know there are racks that mount to the axle, but this bike is SS without a quick release skewer, so that won't work. Can I get away with just using rubber coated steel P-clamps? All I would need to carry is a few schoolbooks and my lunch etc, so not a ton of weight.

Has anyone had any experience using only P-clamps to mount racks to the bike?

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yes that will work ...
Use double sided foam tape a.k.a. servo tape where you're installing the P-Clamps and you will have much fewer problems. Put the tape on the frame where you're installing the clamps and put the clamps over it. I used it when I had a high end road bike - worked great and protected the high tech aluminum frame and paint from damage. Mostly it stops the clamps from sliding around.
p clamps will hold a lot of weight... and fenders, and lights. I've tried them all. Home depot has metal ones, Ace only has plastic.
There is a company called Tubus that makes high end racks. They also make adaptors for mounting. They have a very beefy set of clamps that would take a lot more weight than the cheap ones you usually see. I think they are about $6/pr. You would only need a set for the lower mounts. I think you need to know the diameter of your stays also.
I love p-clamps, I made a U-lock holder on my rear rack out of p-clamps. Oh the things we do to kill time. Yeah p-clamps are pretty strong, I must have installed a 100 racks with p-clamps. Just don't use a baby seat and use lock tight on the bolts and nuts. They have a habit of coming loose because of all the vibrations from riding, Hence don't use them with baby seats. I would also use rubber shims, you know the ones used on reflectors put them between the frame and p-clamps. Shops always have a million of them laying around.
Vando
P-clamps are your friends
here is a link with pictures

http://www.bikecommuters.com/2008/07/19/p-clamps-are-your-friends/
I mounted my Surly Nice rack on my Cross Check using their plates and simple hose clamps. Worked like a charm for over a thousand miles so far (fully loaded) maybe you could get their mounting hardware and use that near the dropouts as a nice tidy and strong solution. Although at $60.00 it is totally worth it just to buy the rack that comes with the hardware...I'm just sayin'.
Cool, looks like my project will be a lot easier than I thought. Thanks youz guys.
I found that old inner tubes work fine in place of the double sided foam tape or rubber shims.

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