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  1. #1
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    Seatpost Rack & Pack for MTB Recommendation ?

    Hi All,

    I ride an mtb, on the road primarily and I would like to pick up a rack/pack combo for some century rides I do and because I want to try commuting to work one day a week (30 miles round trip). For the work commute I would just be carrying in my (big ) lunch. I would bring in clothes to wear on the previous day. I was never a big fan of seatpost rack because they all looked like they were about to either snap off at the seatpost, or snap the seatpost off entirely.. However, my old Delta rack doesn't seem to work on my bike, an '05 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. The metal straps that attach to the seatstays aren't long enough. So now I am giving the seatpost racks a second look. I will never carry anywhere near the 25lb limit of most racks. Most of the time it will just be lunches, water bottles, DVDs I ride to return to the rental store, etc.

    I had my eye on this setup from LL Bean:
    http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/sto...=37086#details

    Even though I know they had nothing to do with the manufacture of either the rack or pack LL Bean is great to deal with customer service wise so if there's a problem I know they'll make good.

    However, I thought I'd run this through the forums first to see if there's anything in particular I should look for or stay away from.

    I appreciate your feedback !!

    Joe
    Oxford, CT. USA.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Old_Fart's Avatar
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    I just bought a Topeak QR Beam MTX rack and tail pack for my Surly Instigator and I'm pretty happy with it. I wanted to be able to ride it to work with a luch and spare t-shirt, but wanted to be able to easily remove the rack for trail use. With the light use it will get, I don't think the Thomson seat post is in any danger whatsoever.

    First I tried an inexpensive rack trunk bag from Performance and it was a complete waste of money. It would not stay upright on top of the rack. With a light weight cable lock, a couple of energy bars, and a t-shirt, it would sag and flop over one side of the rack. The load was more secure in a paper bag bungied to the rack.

    Here's the good Topeak rack: http://www.topeak.com/2006/products/...txbeamrack.php
    And here's the bag: http://www.topeak.com/2006/products/...runkbagexp.php

    The bag is shown with the panniers folded down, I have only used it with them folded and zipped up.
    The Topeak bag is quite stiff and very secure on the rack. Works best on the matching rack. It does work well enough on the Blackburn EXP-1 rack on my other bike but it works really slick on the matching rack.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeOxfordCT
    Hi All,

    I ride an mtb, on the road primarily and I would like to pick up a rack/pack combo for some century rides I do and because I want to try commuting to work one day a week (30 miles round trip). For the work commute I would just be carrying in my (big ) lunch. I would bring in clothes to wear on the previous day. I was never a big fan of seatpost rack because they all looked like they were about to either snap off at the seatpost, or snap the seatpost off entirely.. However, my old Delta rack doesn't seem to work on my bike, an '05 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. The metal straps that attach to the seatstays aren't long enough. So now I am giving the seatpost racks a second look. I will never carry anywhere near the 25lb limit of most racks. Most of the time it will just be lunches, water bottles, DVDs I ride to return to the rental store, etc.

    I had my eye on this setup from LL Bean:
    http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/sto...=37086#details

    Even though I know they had nothing to do with the manufacture of either the rack or pack LL Bean is great to deal with customer service wise so if there's a problem I know they'll make good.

    However, I thought I'd run this through the forums first to see if there's anything in particular I should look for or stay away from.

    I appreciate your feedback !!

    Joe
    Oxford, CT. USA.
    I'm not a fan of seatpost racks either. The ones I've tried ride too high and make the bike handle funny. Plus they look goofy. Before you go down that route, how short are the rack stays on your old rack? You can sometimes get new ones from a bike shop. I've even had some that were made specifically for adding on to the length of the existing rack stays by simply bolting on to the existing stays. You could also get more length by just going to one bolt for attaching the flat part of the stay to the rack (that alone will get you about an inch of length). It makes is marginally weaker but as long as you are only using light loads it should be fine.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Old_Fart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    I'm not a fan of seatpost racks either. The ones I've tried ride too high and make the bike handle funny. Plus they look goofy. Before you go down that route, how short are the rack stays on your old rack? You can sometimes get new ones from a bike shop. I've even had some that were made specifically for adding on to the length of the existing rack stays by simply bolting on to the existing stays. You could also get more length by just going to one bolt for attaching the flat part of the stay to the rack (that alone will get you about an inch of length). It makes is marginally weaker but as long as you are only using light loads it should be fine.
    The Topeak makes their post-rack with three different angled brackets to mount them at different heights. The V bracket mounts mine pretty low to the tire. As far as goofy-looking; that's the story of my life, I'm afraid. A rack on my bike isn't going to help that either way, so I go for functionality instead.

    I wouldn't tour with the thing but for a lunch and a few small items it works great. For me it's an easy way to get a rack on a bike that has no provision for it otherwise.

  5. #5
    Dave TRUMPHENT's Avatar
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    Nashbar sells the Ascent Seat Post Pannier Rack for less than 17.00. The clamp is nearly two inches tall. I have used mine for over 3 weeks of daily 22 mile commutes. I carry a complete set of office clothes, lunch, pump, tube etc in a 14 inch tool bag from Wal-Mart, secured by bungees from Wal-Mart. I have found no reason to complain about the rack or bag or bungees.

    I don't think I would attempt a Century on my mtb commuter but, could if I had to.

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Fart
    The Topeak makes their post-rack with three different angled brackets to mount them at different heights. The V bracket mounts mine pretty low to the tire. As far as goofy-looking; that's the story of my life, I'm afraid. A rack on my bike isn't going to help that either way, so I go for functionality instead.

    I wouldn't tour with the thing but for a lunch and a few small items it works great. For me it's an easy way to get a rack on a bike that has no provision for it otherwise.
    I'd still council trying to make a regular rear rack fit first. It's far more stable.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    How would you know which type of Topeak rack to get ?
    The E, V, or A type or rack ?
    My frame is a 17.5" ??? 2005 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo.
    I would like to keep the rack as close to the rear wheel as possible for balance..

    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Fart
    I just bought a Topeak QR Beam MTX rack and tail pack for my Surly Instigator and I'm pretty happy with it. I wanted to be able to ride it to work with a luch and spare t-shirt, but wanted to be able to easily remove the rack for trail use. With the light use it will get, I don't think the Thomson seat post is in any danger whatsoever.

    First I tried an inexpensive rack trunk bag from Performance and it was a complete waste of money. It would not stay upright on top of the rack. With a light weight cable lock, a couple of energy bars, and a t-shirt, it would sag and flop over one side of the rack. The load was more secure in a paper bag bungied to the rack.

    Here's the good Topeak rack: http://www.topeak.com/2006/products/...txbeamrack.php
    And here's the bag: http://www.topeak.com/2006/products/...runkbagexp.php

    The bag is shown with the panniers folded down, I have only used it with them folded and zipped up.
    The Topeak bag is quite stiff and very secure on the rack. Works best on the matching rack. It does work well enough on the Blackburn EXP-1 rack on my other bike but it works really slick on the matching rack.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Old_Fart's Avatar
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    I went into REI (which also means I probably payed top dollar for the set) and they had all three styles to test fit on my bike.

    My frame is an 18", the seat tube measures 19-1/2" to the top of the clamp. With the V-style rack sitting right on top of the seat clamp the rack clears the tire by about 2-1/2". This is also with a pretty fat tire; a 2.1" Town & Country street slick.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JoeOxfordCT's Avatar
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    So the V rack sits closest to the rear tire, then the E rack which sits higher, and the A rack highest, or farthest away from the rear tire.....I get it
    If you had gone with the E rack how much farther away from your rear tire would it have been ?

    I know, I know, I just have to find a store near me that stocks the racks. We don't have any REI close by. We do have an Eastern Mountain Sport though....I'll have to check into it.

    Thanks !

    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Fart
    I went into REI (which also means I probably payed top dollar for the set) and they had all three styles to test fit on my bike.

    My frame is an 18", the seat tube measures 19-1/2" to the top of the clamp. With the V-style rack sitting right on top of the seat clamp the rack clears the tire by about 2-1/2". This is also with a pretty fat tire; a 2.1" Town & Country street slick.

  10. #10
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    Lunch

    Hi,

    Do you have somewhere secure to leave your bike at work ? If not then one alternative to a removable rack might be the Stratos range of backpacks from Osprey(see www.osprey.com for stockists) which claim to reduce perspiration by having an open mesh layer between the bag and your back.

    However if theft of removable items from your bike while you are at work isn't a problem (I'm lucky that my employer provides a secure cycle shed) then I put my lunch in 2 plastic bags which I can remove in about one second from this brilliant bag:

    http://www.carradice.co.uk/sqr-saddl...ddlepack.shtml

  11. #11
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I like my Topeak beam rack. I use it on several bikes including an MTB with rear suspension.

    However, I had to replace the slippery plastic-like shim that came with the rack in favor of a peice of extra-thick inner tube, because the stock shim allowed the rack to rotate on the post too easily. With the inner tube shim, it won't rotate.

    I also bought the topeak snap-on bag, but I cut off the rear bottle holder to make space for some rear reflectors. I also added a rear lamp.

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