Old Man Mountain adds to its innovative list of rack options today with the new Axle Pack. OMM’s latest product launch features a combined thru-axle and strut, with several mounting points, to provide riders the ability to carry cargo on the fork on bikes without fork blade mounts. Rated to carry up to 11 pounds per side—while weighing under a pound for the pair—the Axle Pack offers a heavyweight solution for backcountry Check out Spencer’s first-ride review and hot takes on this new product.
Many readers out there might see the new Axle Pack from Old Man Mountain Racks and think, “why not just use hose clamps or something?” They probably didn’t live through the great rolling King Cage Universal Support Bolt failure that was the Baja Divide grand depart in 2016. I was told that the issue has been remedied. Nonetheless, if your fork doesn’t have mounts, packing gear there can be a pain and/or you might be wary of tensioning hose clamps around blades that aren’t rated for that purpose. Hence, the Axle Pack to the rescue.
The Axle Pack comes with two 6061 Aluminum struts, 8 extra strong zip ties, the two upper mounts, and all the hardware you need. In addition to the Axle Pack will need to buy the appropriate thru-axle for the fork by using OMM’s fit kits. With the appropriate thru-axle, the Axle Pack can then be bolted into the new axle and then to the fork via very strong zip ties, of which they include multiple pairs for swapping between forks. OMM offers a multitude of axles for many forks and spacings. While the Axle Pack isn’t truly universal there are plenty of options. If you already have an axle kit from another OMM rack, and you are planning on running the Axle Pack on the same bike, you could use the same front thru axle.
I added the Axle Pack to my Fox 34 fork on my Ibis Ripley AF. Adding storage to suspension forks is famously difficult and usually relies on lots of hose clamps and tape, none of which are very confidence-inspiring. I think suspension forks will be where this system makes the most sense. Many rigid forks are coming standard with double or triple mounts these days while suspension forks are lacking.
Blix also had a Wolf Tooth Lithic fork (I know they make a triple mount version now) that cleared larger tires but had no mounts, so we had swapped to a Rodeo Adventure Labs Spork with smaller clearances but two bottle mounts. She needs more storage on her fork, mostly for water. With the Axle Pack, we swapped back to the Lithic fork so she could put on some larger tires and now have even more storage potential. The multiple mounting positions will also allow her to use a Rod Stewart bag support on a separate mount from bottle cages as well.
There are plenty of thru-axle forks out there waiting to live their best life by carrying more shit. I always feel a bit suspect of mounting too much weight on a bottle boss on a carbon fork as well. What if I hit something and rip the mounts, will I ruin my fork? The Axle Pack allows a separation of the forces on your fork. It opens up a lot of possibilities for “non-adventure” forks of yester years. OMM says each side is rated for 11 lb, which is impressive considering the weight per pair is just six ounces. I shy away from carrying that amount of weight on a suspension fork, but the mount seems durable enough to withstand such forces. In OMM’s testing, they were able to rip out or strip the eyelets but were unable to break the zip ties.
Installation is rather simple. Install the new thru-axle and bolt it all together. The axle and struts are very well-machined and feel solid. The upper plastic piece that is zip-tied to the fork blades feels out of place with such nice machining on the other parts but it makes sense to have a universal fit. The burly zip ties were tough to tighten properly without pliers.
For shits and giggles, I tried to use a nano Voile strap through the upper mount. With the help of pliers, I got one through, though the stretch of the strap didn’t lend to as secure a mount as I’d hoped. Good to know in a pinch, but I would stick with the provided zip ties. Installation with the zip ties still left a very small amount of play in the upper mount, but any movement was indiscernible while riding. I found that leaving the lower mounting bolt a bit loose before tightening the zip ties allowed for the mounting bolt to take the infinitesimal slack out of the zip ties when tightened.
- Great weight-to-carrying capacity ratio
- Allows a great option for securely packing a suspension fork
- Add mounts to older not “adventure” forks
- 4 mount positions rather than just 2 or 3 on most forks
- more secure than hose clamps without the worry of damaging the fork
- Requires proprietary thru axel from Old Man Mountian and some forks may not be supported
- More expensive than hose clamps
I love any product that can breathe new life into old parts lying in our bins. The Axle Pack adds a lot of utility for a low-weight penalty. It also adds much more security than past tinkering options. The Axle Pack is available today for $60 plus whatever axle your fork may require. The whole kit should run around $100 depending on the axle if you need it.