Better Adventuring With The Alternator Rack

If you’ve got a bike that can accommodate a rear rack, you should have one. Whether you keep it on your bike all the time or you adjust it to fit and add it to your always-ready-to-go gear pile, a rear rack makes for a more versatile bike. Throw panniers on the sides, strap a sleeping bag on top, or tie down a bundle of firewood after you’ve set up camp. It’s surprising how many hassles are all but eliminated with a rack out back.

Our Alternator Racks are crafted of rugged 6061-T6 aluminum tubes and are designed to work perfectly with your Alternator Dropout equipped Salsa frame. We offer three versions to fit 135mm, 170mm, or 190mm rear axle spacing.

Blackborow riders take note! The Alternator 190 Rack is now in stock!

We designed the Alternator Rack and the mounting hardware to become “one with the bike”. A solid connection means your load is less likely to adversely affect the way your bike handles even up to the 15kg/33lb weight limit. The struts are stout and the highly adjustable attachment hardware makes them stay put once positioned. The height from axle to deck keeps weight low and increases stability. Standing up to climb, and immediately sitting back down while you say, “WHOA!” outloud will be a thing of the past. All these things make for better riding and exploring.

Alternator 190 Rack mounted to Blackborow 1...

Alternator Rack Features:

• Designed specifically for Alternator Dropout-equipped Salsa bikes
• 135mm, 170mm and 190mm rear axle spacing versions
• 135 x 325mm cupped deck
• Mounting kit includes extra long struts for improved range of fit in straight and shaped (kinked) struts options
• Large pannier hook stops
• Black powdercoat finish

For the best fit, keep in mind that all three rack widths require 320mm of clearance from the seatstay mounting points.

All three sizes in stock now and ready to get out there!

This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Blackborow El Mariachi Fargo Fatbike Mark Sirek Mukluk New Product Touring Vaya Travel

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Mark Sirek

Mark Sirek

I had to live on both coasts a couple of times to realize that maybe being born in the Midwest wasn’t just arbitrary. I’m drawn to the terrain here, and if you catch me with one of this region’s supreme IPAs in hand, I’ll talk your ear off about my favorite spots. I’ll always take every opportunity though to explore every nook and cranny anywhere I can on a bike, because that’s what makes me feel most alive.


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Doug | January 9th, 2015

One thing I wish some frame/rack manufacturer would do (salsa) is design a rack/frame combo with beefier bolt diameter at bottom of the racks.  The current standard is fine for on road but not so much for off.  I have seen a couple just sheer away even with modest loads. 

It’s time for a new standard.

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Guitar Ted | January 9th, 2015

I may have missed it in the fine print, but (a) do you need to use the upper attachment point on the seat collar, or is this compatible with frames with upper rack mounts, and (b) does the rack come with the seat collar or do you need to purchase that separately?

Thanks, by the way. I’ll likely get one of these for my Blackborow DS.


PK | January 9th, 2015

Doug - All the Alternator rack models mount to Salsa frames with Alternator dropouts via the upper pivot bolt of the dropout/frame plate. This fastener is a partially threaded M6x10 SHCS with a 12.9 grade.  Compared to the smaller, fully threaded M5x0.8 fasteners traditionally used to attach racks, the upper pivot bolt of the Alternator dropout has greatly increased shear capacity.  We’ve fully tested this connection beyond the rated load and cycled beyond normal testing limits (all the way to failure) and never had this fastener be the failure point!

GT -  The upper struts can be mounted to either S/S bosses or a Salsa Rack-Lock, it just depends on what your particular model features.  In the case of Blackborow, you need a Rack-Lock.  Rack-Locks must be purchased separately as this item’s fit depends on the frame seat tube diameter, which varies.

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DT | January 11th, 2015

Ok you sold me and my local Salsa dealer has a few. Does the Alternator 135 need a seat collar for an el Mariachi?


PK | January 12th, 2015

DT - Yes, the El Mariachi requires a Rack-Lock to mount a Alternator 135 rear rack.

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gringo | January 15th, 2015

Hey all,
The Alternator racks look great, but why such a low load limit? The competition promises a 40kg limit.

any chance you’ll up that in the coming season?


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Joe | January 19th, 2015

Can anyone recommend some panniers for my new 170 rack that is on my new mukluk ?

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Brian | February 8th, 2015

We’re two weeks into a two month primarily off-road trip through New Zealand and so far, so good with this rack. Blog is a bit behind and should be updated as we progress.

The fit of Alternator Rack looks pretty good in the photos above, but mounted on a 52cm Vaya Travel (with 26” wheels) it’s ridiculous with 3+ inches of clearance between the tire/fender and the rack platform - but unfortunately it’s the only rack option available. I get that not many people buy the 50 or 52 with the small wheels (and my wife is thrilled that a smaller wheeled option was available as a 700c/29” wheel on a small frame just doesn’t work), but it’d be nice to see a rack that fits a $4k bike properly. I also agree with gringo, re: the low load limit.

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