Touring - Topeak MTX Trunk Bag
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01-27-08, 07:44 PM
The Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EX looks like it would be a good fit for the top of the Jandd Extreme Front Rack on my Surly LHT. This bag is apparently made to slide and clip into a Topeak MTX rack. Do any of you know if the bag can be used on "normal" shelf top racks, like the Jandd, through either straps or bungees?
01-27-08, 08:45 PM
I have one I bought last year and it does have velcro straps for attaching to a non-"QuickTrack" rack. However, looking at the 2008 picture I doesn't look the same. I don't see the straps that are on mine in the new picture.
Same here. I have one, not the EX, but the standard, that I've been using for a year. It has the velcro straps, and I've been able to attach it to my front rack (which is not Topeak), but it's not as steady. I noticed on REI not too long ago that it now says that it cannot be used with non-Topeak racks. Maybe that does mean that they've removed the alternate attachments. But really, for touring, I don't know if that's what you want. There's plenty of other, more generic, bags out there. I love my Topeak bag, but that's only because it locks into my rack so easily. You take that away, and it's just another bag. Also, for touring purposes, you probably want full panniers, depending on how heavy you're traveling. I find one drawback to the Topeak MTX is that the fold out panniers don't seem like they'd have as much room as other panniers (although I haven't done a real comparison of specs), and if you leave them folded up, the trunk is fatter than necessary and can interfere with installing full panniers. I just got a slimmer trunk bag (Ascent) because I can't use the Topeak with my grocery bag panniers.
I love the Topeak rack/bag combo, but I do think either part loses a lot without the other. Things don't sit as solidly on the rack because of the bag track that's built in, and bags don't sit as solidly on other racks for the same reason. But put them together and it's easy on, easy off, very solid. However I've read on here that folks who use the Topeak rack fully loaded find it less than steady.
Now if you were going to use the fold out panniers, they loop on to the bottom of the rack, so, provided you have the velcro straps to fasten it to the rack at the top, you may find it perfectly stable.
But in the absence of a Topeak rack, I'd solicit advice on what trunks other folks prefer.
Rob has most of my thinking. The exception is that I use the heavier-duty touring rack and have no problems with heavy loads on it. My other racks are earlier, non-tubular versions.
I have had two of the trunk bags and like them very much for what they are designed for -- day tripping or randonnees when there aren't other panniers to fit. The bag is quite robust in how it keeps its form, and much has to do with the plastic slider which is quite a heavy beast. I have removed the slider from one of mine as an experiment, and the bag was not nearly so stable.
However, there quite possibly is no reason why a those versions couldn't work on a front platform rack. The new MTX might be a completely different story if it doesn't have the Velcro straps in each corner and at the front like the old ones do. And I think the "fold-out pannier" are a waste of time and space, and the MTX was quickly eliminated from my browsing list when I was in the market for another trunk bag.
01-28-08, 12:59 PM
For what it's worth here is my idea that I hope to try later in the spring...
Due to some shimmy problems I've had using a handlebar bag on my old Specialized Expedition with Blackburn lowriders, I hope to get a Jandd Extreme for the front so I can add more weight and get it lower. I contacted Topeak support and was able to purchase just the slide plate for their MTX rack (I think it is from the QR version) Once I get the Jandd I plan on mounting the plate on top of the Jandd platform and be able to slide a MTX bag and click it in. I currently have a MTX with the fold out panniers but I see their 2008 line has some trunk bags without the side panniers that would work better for my situation and will look into getting one of them.
I think this will get me more volume and weight in front, still within easy reach for things, and be able to easily and quickly take wallet, camera, etc. with me when I park the bike. I'll try to remember to post if my idea works out.
I contacted Topeak support and was able to purchase just the slide plate for their MTX rack (I think it is from the QR version)
You got the locking part of the rack, or the locking part of the rack bag? How much? On mine, it seems like the track on the rack is only part of the equation. It also has to have the end at the right height to hook in. But I've thought many times that it's be nice if I could buy that bottom piece that's on the bottom of my bag, because I could connect it to anything that I wanted to put on my rack. Ideas: milk crate, cooler, picnic basket, dog. Okay, the dog may not go for it.
01-28-08, 05:17 PM
I got the track that the plastic piece on bag slides into. I think it cost me $11 or $12 including shipping. It is predrilled with three counter sunk holes and they included the screws, but I'll have to replace with something a bit longer I think. Since the Jandd doesn't have the high loop on the end to catch the locking clip onto, I thought I'd use a small bungee over the clip to keep it from sliding off.
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