Touring - Axiom Rack Suitable for touring?
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08-27-10, 10:39 AM
I am looking for a rack and panniers for a 3 week tour in Europe. The only racks that any of the LBS carry are axiom racks, typically the journey. It seems that all recommendations point towards the steel Tubus or Jandd, but for $35 would these racks work well enough. I am also planning on using MEC panniers, probably the world tours. Does any body have any reason to believe that this setup will cause some bad experiences? Also does the journey rack provide any additional heel clearance?
Thanks for your help!
My understanding is that the rack clips on the MEC panniers are smaller in diameter than a standard (i.e. Axiom) rack, so you pretty much have to buy the MEC rack if you intend to use the MEC panniers. I forget where I heard this, and haven't tested it myself, but definitely you should try it out before you buy. Are you located near a MEC so you can go in person? If so, they also carry non-MEC racks.. I forget what brand it is... but you can try and hook the MEC panniers to the non-MEC rack and see if it works.
As to the question about the Axiom Journey, that's what I got for my touring rack. I haven't toured yet, so my advice doesn't mean much. But it's rated for 60lbs and seems very sturdy, so I think it will do the job.
08-27-10, 11:26 AM
yes, the journey will work well enough. its rated to 154 lbs.
the transit would work also. its rated to 132 lbs if i remember right. i have this rack.
for axiom gear info, go here (http://www.axiomgear.com/), axioms website.
08-27-10, 11:39 AM
I have the Axiom Journey on a Kona Dew commuter bike, and I had a MEC rack on the touring bike I sold as I now tour on a recumbent with Axiom Odyssey rack.
I also have MEC (Serratus) panniers, and they came on and off the MEC rack really easily. They are a bit more of a challenge to get on and off the Journey because of the thicker tubing, but they should still work fine.
The Journey seems like a much beefier rack that can hold more weight than the MEC rack, though I never had any problems touring with the MEC rack.
If you find that the seatstay struts on the Journey rack don't allow for fender clearance you can use the regular flat stainless steel struts. I installed an Axiom Streamliner on a Cross-Check and the stock struts under the rack were too close to the fender so I put in ss struts and it worked fine. Also the flat ss struts seem to be a bit more solid than the aluminum tubes that go through a tall right angle fixture.
Not directly related to your OP - but concerning the quality level of the Axioms ...
We have a set of the Axiom Journey 2 Lowriders on the front. We've done a 1-week tour in Spain and a 9 day tour from the Ohio River to lake Erie using these and have had no problems at all.
08-28-10, 09:07 PM
I used an Axiom Journey on my trip across the US along the Pacific Coast. My bike tended to wiggle at the rear end pretty badly but I don't think this is the fault of the rack. I was using a road bike with very short chainstays which I think is what caused the wiggle. That and I was also way overloaded! :P
I have since used that same rack on my Surly LHT for commuting and some light touring and never had a problem with it. For the money I doubt it can be beat and I also doubt that the Jandd racks are much better.
I've used the Journey on my LHT for a while but switched to the Nice rack for long haul tours. Not that the Journey was much worse: it's a tad more flexy and it is not as adjustable or roomy as the Surly Nice is, plus it would be worse to repair is broken (aluminium). Otherwise it is a quite respectable rack.
I concur with what Spudd said about the fitting of the MEC panniers on a Journey. Bigger hooks are available from the MEC though and I finally bought that much peace of mind: don't want to have a bag coming of the rack when going downhill at 45-50 mph.
08-30-10, 05:46 AM
Thanks for the responses.
The rack will be going on a cross check for a tour through germany. My thinking was to get the MEC bags with oversized clips so to better fit the Axiom racks so that is not an issue. I think for 35 bucks you can by 3 racks for the price of the steel Jandd or Tubus. Is there a more suitable rack than the Journey say the streamliner perhaps? Do any of these provide a little more heel clearance, and how do they work with fenders? Any other advice would be great and I could probably be persuaded to by a better rack if it would be justified in the price.....are they really worth 3 times more?
..are they really worth 3 times more?
no, they cost three times more because there are people that will buy them. I'd say they're worth 1.87 times more(gotta make up a number). I got a ToPeak for $45 and a Cargo for $120 then had lower rails brazed on the Cargo for $75, now I have a $200 rack that can do what the $45 Topeak does. Heck if price is an issue aren't there MEC racks for $15?
Is there a more suitable rack than the Journey say the streamliner perhaps? Do any of these provide a little more heel clearance, and how do they work with fenders?
My husband and I both have hybrids as our touring bikes, with the Journey racks on back. No issue with heel clearance. He has size 10 feet, so if you have bigger feet I guess you might have a problem... not sure. We both have fenders and they work fine together.
Personally, I don't see the point of spending more on a different rack.. I'm very happy with my Journey. But as I said, I haven't toured yet. I have used it a lot with panniers just around town, though, and no problems.
People are willing to pay more for the Tubus because of their reputation, because Tubus racks are obviously better made than, say, Topeak racks, and because Tubus racks are attractive (particularly the stainless steel models, which don't rust and don't have a finish that can scratch off). Not necessarily in that order.
That being said, in most cases, a Topeak Supertourist DX will carry as much stuff as you would want to carry. And if you're not going into the boonies, you can limp to a bike shop if anything goes wrong with your rack (and almost certainly nothing will go wrong with your rack).
Heelstrike depends as much on the bags and the chainstay length as on the rack. If you can mount the bags so that any extra bag sticks out from the back, you should be fine with this rack and the Cross Check's chainstays.
I am curious re: how Axiom came up with their rated capacities. It doesn't seem like a remotely good idea to load 154 lbs on a rear rack or 66 lbs on a Journey Lowrider front rack, regardless of how sturdy you think your rack is.
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