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Old 12-01-07, 09:13 AM   #1
madfiNch
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Rack Recommendations

I'm going to have some birthday money to spend and I think I'm going to spend it on a good rack and some panniers. The bike in question is an 80's fixed conversion that has a rack on it already, but that rack is bent in a couple places and I'm thinking it's not structurally sound anymore!!
I have a lot of heel strike issues with the current rack, so I'm hoping that the new rack can either be tall or maybe set back?
The other thing is that I'm an engineering student. I carry lots of huge, heavy books and a laptop with me. I need a very solid rack that can take a lot of weight and isn't going to bend this time!

The panniers I'm thinking about are the Axiom Typhoons. They're big, waterproof, and reasonably priced. Does anyone have other suggestions? I have one rule about panniers - I will NEVER buy another set that isn't waterproof. Rain covers are worthless in a downpour.

Price really isn't an issue. I am willing to spend extra money for a decent set-up, so don't hold back!

Thanks
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Old 12-01-07, 09:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by madfiNch View Post
I'm going to have some birthday money to spend and I think I'm going to spend it on a good rack and some panniers. The bike in question is an 80's fixed conversion that has a rack on it already, but that rack is bent in a couple places and I'm thinking it's not structurally sound anymore!!
I have a lot of heel strike issues with the current rack, so I'm hoping that the new rack can either be tall or maybe set back?
The other thing is that I'm an engineering student. I carry lots of huge, heavy books and a laptop with me. I need a very solid rack that can take a lot of weight and isn't going to bend this time!

The panniers I'm thinking about are the Axiom Typhoons. They're big, waterproof, and reasonably priced. Does anyone have other suggestions? I have one rule about panniers - I will NEVER buy another set that isn't waterproof. Rain covers are worthless in a downpour.

Price really isn't an issue. I am willing to spend extra money for a decent set-up, so don't hold back!

Thanks
First, the heel strikes are probably a bike problem not a rack problem. Chainstays that are short make for a quick, exciting ride but aren't that great for carrying stuff.

For a rack, look at Tubus. Rock solid, thermonuclear resistant, elephant carrying capacity! The two places to get them are Wallingford Bikes and The Touring Store. You can get them elsewhere but these two shops are great to work with. Wayne at The Touring Store is legendarily nice...he'll talk your ear off

I'd suggest either the Cargo (first picture below) or the Vega. I have both and they are excellent racks.





For truly water proof bags, it's hard to beat Ortliebs. The Classic Roller bags are the same material used for whitewater rafting that hang on your bike. Both stores carry them.
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Old 12-01-07, 02:17 PM   #3
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I agree with cyccommute, that Tubus racks are the best in the business and that Wayne at The Touring Store is the guy to buy them from. He will refuse to sell you something that he doesn't believe will work in your particular application. That saved me some bucks.

If you will carry both a trunk bag and panniers, the Tubus Cosmo is the way to go. It has a second set of side rails so you don't have to fight with mounting two bags on the same rail.

Only trouble is that Tubus racks are pricey.

A less expensive recommendation is the Jandd Expedition. I use this rack on my hybrid which has short chainstays and the resulting heel-strike issues. The Expedition is three inches longer than most racks, which lets me move the panniers further back to clear my heels.
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Old 12-01-07, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the recommendations. I know the heel clearance is a bike issue, but I love this bike a lot, so I really want to make it work. The biggest problem I've had is with a grocery bag sized pannier (actually the size and shape of a grocery bag, not just a bag holder!). I've used other panniers and they've worked, so I think I can make it work.
I was looking at those Tubus racks and my only issue is that the current rack on the bike connects to frame in one spot - where the rear brake hole is drilled. Which do you think is a better option - should I go with a Fly or a Luna, or is it better to go with one of the racks that you guys recommended and us p clamps? The Fly and Luna each only have two supports, and it seems like the ones with three would be a lot more stable, but does using p-clamps reduce stability?
Also, I had sort of written off Ortlieb because I couldn't figure out if their prices were for a single bag or for a pair. I see on the touring store that it's for a pair. I'll feel much better about dishing out that much for a pair!!

Thanks again!
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Old 12-01-07, 05:28 PM   #5
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I like the the Topeak Explorer rack. I load up with 30 pounds of groceries and it doesn't flex a bit.
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Old 12-01-07, 09:00 PM   #6
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Go to www.bgcycles.com and look at his racks. For price-no-object types they are the Gold Standard. I have a rear rack of his.
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Old 12-03-07, 04:12 AM   #7
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How about an 'I-Rack?'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw2nkoGLhrE

Sorry, I couldn't resist...

Seriously though, I have a Tubus Cargo rear rack, and although it's quite expensive, it's rock solid and I'm totally satisfied with it.
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Old 12-03-07, 04:30 AM   #8
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http://www.rei.com/REI-Outlet/product/760822

With free lock, and free shipping to local retail store.
Yay cheap! extra 20% off until 12/07/07! I totaled up to $25.

Last edited by Pepper Grinder; 12-03-07 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by madfiNch View Post
...I was looking at those Tubus racks and my only issue is that the current rack on the bike connects to frame in one spot - where the rear brake hole is drilled...
If you dig around on thetouringstore website you may find some accessories that may allow you to fit almost any rack to almost any bike.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:08 AM   #10
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I like the the Topeak Explorer rack.
I concur.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:10 AM   #11
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i rock a tubus fly. it really is "fly".
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Old 12-03-07, 11:20 AM   #12
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The other recommendations are good, but I would also consider the Nitto racks. Rivendell has a wide selection of them, but you might find at other places as well. Purely from an aesthetic standpoint, I think Nittos are the nicest. And I've never seen a Nitto product that wasn't well made. They are generally less expensive than the Tubus racks as well.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madfiNch View Post
Which do you think is a better option - should I go with a Fly or a Luna, or is it better to go with one of the racks that you guys recommended and us p clamps?
My wife's Fly is quite stable (w/in load limits that is). Very elegahnt. Generally low Tubus prices here.
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