Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Front and rear racks

  1. #1
    jrenaut's Avatar
    jrenaut is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Columbia Heights, DC
    Posts
    3,969

    Default Front and rear racks

    Talk to me about racks. No, not that kind, the kind that go on your bike. I've never had a bike with one, so I don't even know what questions to ask. I'd love something that comes on and off easily. I will pay a premium for something that doesn't rattle when I hit a bump. What should I be looking for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I have the tubus Tara front rack, which is touring-quality - possibly overkill for commuting, but hey. It's rated for 33 lbs and feels super sturdy when fully loaded. I've taken it off and put it back on in a few minutes without having any trouble with the four bolts (just use an allen key). The Tara goes for $120 MSRP, but watch for deals online. Most bike stores don't stock tubus racks, maybe because there isn't demand for it from bike commuters.

    I also have a cheapo back rack, the Topeak Explorer, but I dislike the flimsy feeling mounting arms. It doesn't feel like it should be taken on/off or bent too often. You're supposed to bend the arms to fit on your frame. It was my first rack and the best thing available at the shop at the time, but I'll upgrade this eventually. (I'm looking at the Racktime rear racks, which are supposedly as nice as tubus racks but less pricey. You can find Racktime racks in some local shops.) For now I don't even use the Topeak rack on my bike - the front rack is enough for the commute and grocery trips. But that also depends on whether you prefer weight on the front or the rear.

    EDIT to add: I should mention that the Tara front rack can only be used with the kind of panniers that clip onto the bar. Not sure if those have a name, but Ortliebs use that kind of mounting system. Can't use those attached/double panniers. Hope that makes sense.
    Last edited by crysb; 12-26-2012 at 01:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alexandria
    Posts
    1,260

    Default

    There are several things to look at including price, however I'm only familiar with a couple of brands... they seem to vary a lot by price ranging from $50 - $250 so what you want them for is a consideration. Are they for years of touring, through jungle, high desert plateaus, and other inhospitable places where other humans are few and far between? Or daily commuting and grocery getting with potentially heavy loads? Or only occasional use for carrying a bag in case you may buy something someday?

    The brand I've had for the longest time are Old Man Mountain racks. They're primarily designed for use on mountain bikes and/or on bikes that do not have eyelets for mounting - They're very durable and the ones I have can mount to the brake bosses and the skewer in lieu of eyelets. If you have eyelets then OMM is still ok, although they are fairly heavy and pricey. Another thing that may be of use is whether the rack has a solid top to it. You can strap stuff on top of it, or it can act as a fender if you don't already have fenders.

    You may want to look at "low-rider" front racks (Tubus is one brand) because they have a low-rider style that lowers the center of gravity of bags you put on the front making you more stable. I've never tried this though and I'm quite used to the feel of the OMM one I have.

    On the whole though, I don't think you can go very wrong with any decent rack. The one thing I would steer clear of is the seat tube clamp "racks". I really question how much they can hold. To eliminate rattle, sometimes all you need are some well places pieces of inner tube.

  4. #4
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Capitol Hill
    Posts
    3,563

    Default

    I use a Topeak Explorer and haven't had any issues. I initially bought it to get the mounting system, but I haven't used anything other than a regular pannier on it, although several times I've been tempted to get the basket for it. I haven't had any issues with flimsiness or anything, but I didn't have to bend it to fit on my bike. Actually, I did have to bend the chromed pieces that attach to the seat stays, but I wouldn't call those flimsy, as they're designed to be bent...but I can see how the actual rack wouldn't stand up to too much bending as it's just thin aluminum tubes. My biggest issue with the Topeak is that the bolts they provide rust really easy, particularly on the top part of the rack. They're just standard M5s though, so you could easily swap them out. I just made sure to coat all the bolts with anti-seize compound, but I don't know if that'll prove effective in the long run.

    Putting the rack on takes maybe 15 minutes the first time, just to get everything spaced correctly. Detaching and reattaching after initial install takes maybe 5 minutes. If you're going to mount fenders too, you'll probably need to get some longer M5 bolts. Volpes only have one set of eyelets by the rear skewers, so you'll have to mount the rack stays and the fender stays to the same eyelet, necessitating a longer bolt...maybe a centimeter longer than the supplied bolts.

  5. #5
    jrenaut's Avatar
    jrenaut is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Columbia Heights, DC
    Posts
    3,969

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by creadinger View Post
    There are several things to look at including price, however I'm only familiar with a couple of brands... they seem to vary a lot by price ranging from $50 - $250 so what you want them for is a consideration. Are they for years of touring, through jungle, high desert plateaus, and other inhospitable places where other humans are few and far between? Or daily commuting and grocery getting with potentially heavy loads? Or only occasional use for carrying a bag in case you may buy something someday?
    Mostly commuting, with some grocery shopping. We do have a car, so I don't need to carry anything insane, but I'd like to be able to do a bit more grocery shopping than I do with just my backpack. I'd also like to do a camping trip on my bike sometime, though this is an unusual use case.

    The lower center of gravity on the front sounds like a good idea. The bike has front and rear mounts. I'm not sure about fenders. I had them on the old bike and they drove me nuts, but that's partly because it was a road bike with no clearance and I couldn't get regular fenders and had to get the super low profile plastic ones.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Greenbelt
    Posts
    2,253

    Default Once you get your rear rack...

    My new toy: handy collapseable shopping basket -- easily holds two gallons of milk or a 12 pack. With a cargo net, much more...

    Just mount it far enough back you don't kick with your heel when standing on the pedals.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	grocery basket 1.jpg 
Views:	120 
Size:	83.8 KB 
ID:	2193Click image for larger version. 

Name:	grocery basket 2.jpg 
Views:	125 
Size:	83.3 KB 
ID:	2194

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbelt View Post
    My new toy: handy collapseable shopping basket -- easily holds two gallons of milk or a 12 pack. With a cargo net, much more...

    it also holds a vuvuzela, but those tend to bounce out if not properly strapped in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    DC and it's environs
    Posts
    514

    Default

    Bought a pair of the folding baskets for the wife for krismis. I got them locally and only then saw the options on their website. The fitted shopping bags are cute and apparently only available from their site. These are heavy little steel suckers compared to the aluminum racks but they do the grocery shopping trick in a way that panniers don't.

    http://www.waldsports.com/index.cfm/...ingbasket.html
    Last edited by Riley Casey; 12-26-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Live: Palisades, DC | Work: Crystal City
    Posts
    952

    Default

    Make sure you check rack compatibility with disc brake setups - I can't remember if your new ride has them or not, but - particularly for rear racks - if so, then you'll need a disc-compabitible rack. I've been using the Topeak racks with a Blaq pannier and have had no issues.

  10. #10
    jrenaut's Avatar
    jrenaut is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Columbia Heights, DC
    Posts
    3,969

    Default

    No discs, but thanks for the warning.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •