Previous Man Mountain Divide Rack Evaluation: A Provider For All Events

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Cass assessments the Previous Man Mountain Divide Rack in each its Taiwanese-made and MUSA kinds. Learn on for his full overview after utilizing it for over a 12 months in a number of iterations: as a entrance rack, a rear rack, direct mounted to the body, with the non-obligatory thru-axle package, and hauling every thing from panniers full of gear to a canine in a milk crate…

I’ve used Previous Man Mountain racks over a variety of years and on all method of setups. Most memorably, I ran a Sherpa on my Surly Pugsley fats bike. It was tasked with hauling two small Carradice Tremendous C panniers on a tour throughout South America 10 years in the past and I nonetheless have it – any gear that survived that journey scored a particular place in my coronary heart.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

My trusty Surly traditional Pugsley in 2013, fitted with an Previous Man Mountain Sherpa.

I used to be particularly grateful for the Sherpa as a result of on the time, it was the one non-custom rack that performed properly with the Pugsley’s unconventional body design. Due to the choice of speccing the Sherpa with offset ‘toes’, it labored completely with the Surly’s endearingly quirky offset rear triangle. The rack noticed duties throughout excessive mountains and on tough roads in quite a lot of situations. It by no means missed a beat, solely requiring its nuts and bolts to be snugged up now and again.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review
  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

A burly Jones LWB HD/e with a MUSA Divide on the again and a daily Divide up entrance. Panniers are by Tailfin – 10L Minis on the entrance and 22L Ultradurables on the again, with a rollbag lashed to the deck utilizing Austere Manufacturing cam utility straps, and a Wizard Works Framebagracadabra!

It’s on this means to suit virtually any bike, nevertheless unconventional it could be, that Previous Man Mountain’s racks have at all times excelled. The identical rack might be run on the entrance or the rear of a motorcycle, with or with out rack eyelets, on account of a spread of {hardware}, axle adaptors, and equipment designed to accommodate differing tyre widths, wheel diameters, dropout spacing, and geometries.

The Sherpa has now been discontinued and changed with the all-new Divide, which I’ve run on a variety of bikes with a spread of tyre sizes, from 27.5 x 2.8″ to 29 x 3.25″. Word that if you happen to’re a fats bike rider, there’s a separate fats bike model of the Divide for wheels as much as 26 x 5″ or 27.5 x 4.8, so virtually everyone seems to be catered for.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack

  • cratepacking dogpacking
  • cratepacking dogpacking

cratepacking dogpacking

The Taiwanese-made Divide with the usual {hardware} package that’s equipped, fitted to each the entrance and the rear of a Jones SWB. In case you’re operating a crate, extra straps are actually helpful for triangulating the setup and stabilising the load, particularly if it’s one which’s susceptible wiggling!

Like its predecessor, the Divide comes full with a full complement of mounting {hardware} – together with quick stays and lengthy stays – relying on whether or not you’re mounting it to the body or fork, and the geometry of the bike in query. As pictured above, it additionally makes use of adjustable extenders that permit it to be tailor-made to the peak required – relying on wheel dimension and rack placement. For essentially the most half, I’ve run mine a little bit above the tyre to stability stability with mud clearance, however you may at all times run them greater if you could clear fenders too.

All these components do require some preliminary setup time as you’ll have to familiarise your self with how all of them work and fine-tune the Divide’s place, as with most non-custom racks. However when you figured all of it out, I really discovered the Divide’s giant and chunky extenders and use of stout M6 bolts made it simpler than some for subsequent adjustments. The Divide additionally comes included with two units of stays and all of the {hardware} you’ll want for mounting it to virtually any body or fork with eyelets – nuts, bolts, washers, and spacers that nest within the Divide’s ‘sockets’ are conveniently labeled in baggage to assist decipher what goes the place. Regardless of all these numerous components, the rack nonetheless feels very inflexible in use – it’s solely prone to be compromised if you happen to run its stays at their longer extensions with heavy panniers.

  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review
  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

To assist accomodate this huge crate and 18kg of Huesos, I fitted the MUSA-made Divide. Its longer size affords extra help, whereas the extra thru-axle mounting factors assist with the substantial load, and in addition pushes the place of the rack again a bit, which in my case meant extra room between the crate and my again. A plywood board underneath the crate and bolted to the rack, could be helpful too.

I additionally tried the rear thru-axle made by the Robert Axle Challenge, considered one of a variety of options for bikes with out sturdy rack mounts on its seatstays. In my case, I did this as a result of these devoted thru-axles additionally come into play if you wish to actually load up the Divide. By inserting the brunt of the load on the axle, weight capability is upped from an already beneficiant 25kg (55lb) to a cargo-like 31.75kg (70lbs) – a ranking that applies to each on- and off-road use. While I’m undecided I’d advise operating the rack’s full potential payload for roughstuff bikepacking, it’s good to know you’re coated, and it definitely gave me extra peace of thoughts after I had my 18-kilogram canine sitting behind me. Putting the load instantly above the axle prevents your bike’s body and fork eyelets, or rack bosses, from being overly pressured and probably shearing off. Granted, it’s an unlikely state of affairs on a motorcycle body designed for touring, however I’ve seen sufficient failures prior to now on extra standard frames to know this will occur, particularly if the eyelets are meant for fenders relatively than racks. The draw back to this, nevertheless, is that it complicates wheel elimination, as you’ll have to take away the bolts that connect the rack to your thru-axle first.

In these pictures, you may see the prolonged deck of the MUSA Divide, together with slots for lashing gear, and eyes drilled for gentle mounts. I added electrical tape to guard the end and cut back put on on the rack.

The keen-eyed can have seen by now that there are literally two racks featured in these images. Each are known as the Divide, however one is made in Taiwan and prices $168 and the opposite in California, USA, and can set you again $228. Worth tags apart, there are some notable variations between the 2.

I requested OMM for a backstory on this overlap and I used to be comfortable to listen to what I used to be instructed: “Channing Hammond began Previous Man Mountain in 1996. All the racks had been made by him in Santa Barbara. The model has at all times been centered on becoming expedition-worthy racks to any bike, whether or not it had eyelets or not. Within the 90s, this meant by way of Fast Launch skewers. When thru-axles turned extra outstanding, he got here throughout the Robert Axle Challenge. Our BOB trailer axles had been excellent for mounting a rack, and Previous Man Mountain turned our first OEM buyer. After a few years of working collectively, Chris and Katy (the house owners of Robert Axle Challenge) talked to Channing about shopping for OMM from him. They noticed a better want for the racks than Channing might produce by making them himself. Chris and Katy purchased OMM in 2019, set out a extra user-friendly Match Equipment system, and arrange manufacturing for the primary giant batches of racks from Taiwan, nonetheless constructed to the identical requirements. With Robert Axle Challenge being a Made in USA model, and us being mates with Channing, we needed to maintain working with him and maintain providing a Made in USA model of the racks. They’re basically the identical rack, the one distinction is that the deck is a little bit longer on the MUSA model, and the embossing on the deck is completely different. That, and also you get to know the identify of the one who made it.”

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

MUSA or Tailwan-made, you select

Though described on the Previous Man Mountain web site as largely the identical, the highest deck of the Made within the USA Divide is definitely 60mm (2.4 inches) longer. This addition proved helpful in my case, as initially I hooked up a big crate for my canine to sit down in after he outgrew his first one (you may examine my early experiments right here).

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review
  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

The common Divide (dusty) and the MUSA Divide (new). The latter is longer, although the weights are virtually equivalent. Each embody the identical {hardware} and selection of stays, relying on whether or not you’re becoming them to the entrance or the rear of the bike.

Apart from that – and worth aside – the racks are very related. They each use the 10mm tubing that’s appropriate with most pannier manufacturers, and the very same {hardware} too. The diagram under reveals how the highest decks differ in dimension and form, together with these of the fats bike variations. Apparently, the MUSA Divide and the Taiwanese are virtually the very same weight regardless of these variations – 730 and 708 grams, respectively, for the naked rack, or round 960g with all {hardware} and extenders.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

Hurly Burly

As for building, the principle deck is produced from 6063 welded aluminium and hard, 13mm diameter tubing – with a separate pannier rail that’s 10mm in diameter. Not solely does this decrease the centre of gravity of the load you’re carrying, it additionally facilitates entry to any extra gear you strap to the deck, which is vast sufficient to be actually helpful. And, as a result of this deck is a strong one, it doubles up as each a bag help and as a mudguard, defending mentioned gear from crud. In some methods, this added practicality helps offset the Divide’s better weight in comparison with easier, extra minimal, tubular rack designs.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

An older Previous Man Mountain rack on Yeshe Park’s beautiful klunker-hardtail Mone, which makes use of the thru-axle adaptor in lieu of rack mounts.

As well as, there are a selection of slots by means of which you’ll be able to run Voile-style straps, together with holes drilled for an non-obligatory rear gentle mount, or probably for a dynamo gentle if you happen to’re operating the rack up entrance. The end is nice too – powder coated a matte black that’s held up properly – and the rack has a lifetime guarantee. Mounting {hardware} is chrome steel and high quality is equally excessive – nuts have nyloc to assist forestall them from backing out, as an illustration. Nonetheless, it’s finest to present them a once-over earlier than and through any journey, and I’m a fan of Forager’s little Hyperlink Wrench for this, as seen under, because it’s completely proportioned to suit into awkward areas.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

A ratchet instrument, like this one from Topeak, and Forager Cycles’ Hyperlink Wrench make fast work of becoming and adjusting the Divide when you’ve discovered how all of the components go collectively.

Final Compatibility

As talked about, Previous Man Mountain Divide racks embody the fundamental {hardware} package for attaching them to virtually any bike body or fork that options rack bosses or eyelets. But when your trusty steed is bereft of such utility, worry not, as a result of there are a selection of ‘Match Kits’ that ought to guarantee compatibility throughout virtually all bikes conceivable. What’s extra, Previous Man Mountain’s Match Equipment Finder is particularly nifty and helps sift by means of a dizzying vary of thru-axles, QR skewers, {hardware} kits, seatpost mounts, and extenders – and I count on the corporate will even do its finest to assist out in case your wants aren’t coated by their web site. Their FAQ web page can also be value trying out, as there’s some helpful information to be discovered, together with compatability with older Surly frames.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

Operating suspension? There’s additionally a package designed to connect the rack to a suspension fork, utilizing zip ties and a puck. Within the distant previous, I’ve arrange considered one of my hardtails in an analogous approach and it labored properly for a roughstuff tour – I ran a Thorn Catalyst with a Sherpa rack on a coil sprung Fox Vanilla, carrying a few small Ortlieb panniers. Nonetheless, given the arrival of handy fork clamps, cargo cages, and smaller bikepacking baggage, I now want to maintain unsprung weight as gentle as potential (see this information for concepts) to optimise the best way the suspension performs. Nonetheless, the choice is there in order for you or want the extra capability, and I’m certain it should enchantment to some.

Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

Lastly, Previous Man Mountain additionally affords a spread of appropriate baggage, together with {custom}, US-made North Road Micro Panniers and Revelate’s tried and examined light-weight Nano Panniers. Given the wet season right here, I’ve run my Tailfin Mini Panniers as they’re totally waterproof and match very securely, with nary a rattle off-road, wrapping the Divide’s tubing with electrical tape to guard the end.


  • Appropriate with virtually any bike with or with out rack eyelets, due to a modular design and an enormous vary of Match Kits
  • Plenty of choices to effective tune the rack’s place, be it fore and aft, or up and down
  • Fats and plus-size choices, proper as much as 29+
  • The identical rack might be swapped between the entrance or rear
  • Substantial load rankings, even off street (25 to 32kg/55 to 70lb)
  • Very strong underneath load
  • Two variations for various worth factors and place of producing preferences
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Wonderful help


  • Takes a while to determine all of the {hardware} choices initially (however then it’s quite a bit simpler)
  • Heavier and bulkier than some racks
  • Pricey (although high quality and sturdiness justify the funding)
  • In case you run the non-obligatory thru-axle, it slows down wheel elimination
  • Fashions examined: Previous Man Mountain Divide and Divide MUSA
  • Weight: 960/968g (2.1/2.13lb)
  • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan or USA
  • Worth: $168/228 at

  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review
  • Old Man Mountain Divide Rack Review

Wrap Up

In case you’re on the lookout for a rack that’s appropriate with virtually any bike, proper as much as the diameter and width of 29+ wheels, it’s laborious to raised the Previous Man Mountain Divide – and I applaud all of the choices OMM affords to facilitate this versatility, particularly given the complicated ‘requirements’ within the bike world.

Appears to be like-wise, it’s definitely on the chunky facet, and when it comes to weight, there are lighter, sleeker choices on the market which can be higher suited to decrease payloads or narrower tyre widths. Of their place, the Divide guarantees sturdiness and flexibility, and it ought to final you a lifetime – particularly with its included assure. Over the months I’ve been operating mine, each variations of the Divide have proved themselves amply able to hefting every thing from a 18kg canine in a crate to all of the gear you might probably want for a totally loaded tour… and even only a huge store in your native market. Whether or not you select the Divide MUSA or the Divide Taiwan will probably boil down as to whether you harbour a choice for US-made merchandise, although it’s value noting that the longer deck of the previous does make it a probably higher contender for supporting giant crates and baskets.

And, if you happen to’re questioning if the brand new Divide can nonetheless accomodate the quirky wants of a pricey outdated Pugsley, relaxation assured that it will possibly. Though this feature doesn’t seem inside their web site’s drop-down choices, OMM can provide two driveside rack extenders, offsetting the rack to be consistent with the wheel. This neatly circles again round to what makes this rack, and the individuals who run the enterprise behind it, relatively particular. I get the distinct impression that no matter your wants and no matter your setup – nevertheless standard or peculiar it could be – Previous Man Mountain will do their finest to discover a resolution that works for you.

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