Bicycle Mechanics - Is bullet proof racks worth 6 lbs of weight?
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09-30-12, 10:55 AM
I like the "Surly Nice Rear Rack" and I LOVE the "Surly Nice Front Rack"
but am I nuts for throwing 6 lbs of CroMoly steel on my touring bike?
Guess it depends if you expect it to be shot at?
Seriously, I wouldn't do it in a pink fit. Aluminium, and when they eventually start cracking I'd keep em going with zipties and hose clamps and whatever for a while until they fell to bits, and then replace em with more ally.
But then I'm not a hardcore tourer; I'd only ever use em for commuting.
09-30-12, 11:12 AM
Tubus cargo and tara have the same load specs at 1/2 or 1/3 the weight.
09-30-12, 11:27 AM
So far I've had very good experiences with much cheaper and lighter aluminum racks. The only rack I've ever broken was an old Pletscher that I severely overloaded (over 100 lbs) and even that one still survived the trip after a quick impromptu repair. The rack I've had on my touring bike for the last 5 years was $10 and weighs about a pound.
I'd say these are just the ticket for epic adventure touring, and not much else.
In the rare instance that this rack breaks, you should be able to find, even in the most remote regions of planet Earth, somebody to TIG, MIG, stickweld, braze or solder this rack back together. An aluminum rack won't afford you the same luxury.
Although I'm pretty sure I could kludge a fix on an aluminium rack anywhere in the world... even if I had to use vines.
09-30-12, 11:33 AM
The Tubus and Bruce Gordon makes a more efficient use of materials.
and don't add more..
have used my BG racks on 2 touring bike-frames over 27 years.
FWIW, JandD makes use of aluminum to make a heavy rack..
09-30-12, 11:41 AM
I agree. Unless you are planning on expedition style touring they are overkill, and even then I think the alternative may be a better choice.
09-30-12, 11:51 AM
This assumes that the Surly racks are this indestructible.
There are lighter steel racks out there that will be just as strong, some are warrantied forever, and if you want a rack that will last you a lifetime steel is the way to go.
How much rack you need depends on what you're carrying, and where you're riding. If you're not carrying refrigerator compressors you probably don't need a so-called bullet proof rack. OTOH if you're doing a heavily loaded tour in the third world, then the added stresses of dirt roads, plus the higher premium for reliability might have you wanting them.
Folks doing loaded touring on paved world have no need for anything better than a good quality aluminum rack. Look for one with 3 vertical braces on each side. This improves rigidity, prevents sag if you do carry that compressor, and provides a broader base for panniers, keeping them from possibly jamming the rear wheel.
09-30-12, 12:21 PM
Other people have broken the parts that connect the Surly racks to the bike..
the rack it self was fine, but still functionally Broken.
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