With a name that’s almost synonymous with bicycle cargo racks, Old Man Mountain is still alive and well. That’s largely due to the recent acquisition of the brand by another like-minded made-in-the-USA focused company, The Robert Axle Project. That acquisition made a lot of sense given that the two brands had already worked together in the past, and The Robert Axle Project already had the production and engineering experience necessary to continue the OMM rack evolution (also, Channing Hammond, the original owner, continues to work with the brand). That evolution is now on full display with their newest cargo rack, the Divide.
This Rack Fits Everything (probably)
There are a ton of different bikes out there, all with unique frame and geometry requirements that often make fitting a rack more complicated. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just buy one rack, knowing that it would work with just about anything? That’s where the new OMM Divide rack comes in. Between the Divide (up to 3″ wide tires) and the Divide Fat (up to 26 x 5″ or 27.5 x 4.6″ wide tires), you should be able to fit just about any bike out there with the right fit kit.
Not only that, but the same Divide rack can be used on the front or back of your bike, again with the proper fit kit.
In order to fit just about anything, the rack seems a bit smaller with a deck size of 100 x 266mm for the standard Divide and 130 x 306mm for the Divide Fat. That still leaves plenty of room for cargo, and the deck has slots for using various anchoring straps and holes that can be used to mount accessories like rear lights.
OMM Divide Details
The secret to the Divide’s ability to fit nearly everything is in the multitude of ways that you can attach it to your frame, fork, or rear axle. At the bottom of the rack, there is an adjustable height dropout system which can be used with the Divide dropouts to attach to quick release or a specific thru axle from The Robert Axle Project. For forks and frames that don’t have mounts, mounting pucks are offered which simply zip tie around the seat stay, fork leg, etc.
You can also mount the rack without the dropout extension directly to the rack mounts on your frame. Note that how you attach the rack does affect the weight limit—racks attached to the axle can carry up to 70lbs. But racks attached to the frame like my Otso above, can only support up to 55 lbs (which is still quite a bit).
When it came to mounting the rack on the Otso Warakin Ti, OMM sent over a few different options since the rack mounts on this frame are fairly high. However, I found that using the lower rack mount on the frame and upper hole on the rack got it down low enough where I didn’t have to use any of the extensions, which meant less weight. Also, I don’t plan on carrying more than 55lbs any time soon, so the frame mount seemed to be the way to go.
To make this process even easier, OMM offers a comprehensive fit finder on their site which has an impressive database of bicycles loaded and will tell you exactly what you need to buy.
On the Otso, I ended u using Hardware Kit C to mount it to the frame but the 19mm spacers were too long. So I cut them down by about 7mm per side. That gave me sufficient thread on the included bolts to attach to the frame. From there I used the hardware kit A to attatch the 14” extensions to the frame and the Hardware kit E to attach those to the rack. The 14″ extensions are more than long enough, and OMM said that I could easily cut them down at the split if I wanted to, but I decided to leave them in case I need them to attach to a different bike in the future.
Overall, the installation process was very simple—it was far easier than I expected it to be.
Racks are heavy, right? Well, the weight of the Divide is actually pretty respectable with the main rack weighing in at just 703g. For my setup, the rack (703g), 14″ extensions (100g, and hardware kits A, C, and E (39g), combined weighed in at 842g. Not bad for a rack that can support 55lbs. If you combine this with the Revelate Nano Panniers (465g for the pair) which are specifically designed for the OMM racks, you get a 13L set up for 1307g with room on top for a lot more. For reference, the rack weighed above is the standard Divide.
Originally, I had planned to be on a bikepacking trip this past weekend that would have been the perfect test for the Divide setup. Unfortunately, a Covid exposure at my friend’s child’s school put that trip on hold, but I have done a solid amount of testing to get ready.
I’m short, so I ride small bikes. That means little room inside the front triangle for bags, water, etc. It also means that my legs rub on just about anything mounted between the steerer tube and the seat tube. My goal with the most recent set up was to prevent most of that rubbing, while leaving room for water, and plenty of room for gear. The OMM Divide + Nano Pannier setup has made that a reality in a package that doesn’t sway, bounce, or make much noise at all.
I’ll have a full report on this set up after I actually use it for real, but my first impressions are very favorable. I was hesitant to move to a rear rack and pannier setup over a large saddle bag, but so far the improved stability, easier packing, and lower center of gravity for the heavy stuff down low in the panniers seems like a big improvement.
Pricing & Availability
In an interesting move, OMM will be offering both the Divide and the Divide Fat in two different versions. The difference? That would be where they are made. The Divide will be made overseas while the Divide – Made in USA will be made… duh, in the USA. The same goes for the Divide Fat and the Divide Fat – Made in the USA. The country of origin does have an effect on the price with the Divide priced at $148 and the Divide – Made in the USA selling for $180. The Divide Fat is $158, and the Divide Fat – Made in the USA is $190. Fit Kits for optional axle mounting run $62-80.
The racks are available for pre-order now with the first shipments expected in October.