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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-28-13, 04:54 PM   #1
BicycleCrazy
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Topeak Explorer Rack and Trunk Bag

Last week I ordered and received the Topeak Explorer Rack and MTX Trunk Bag from Amazon and absolutely love them!
The rack is secure and the trunk bag is so much better than the flimsy ones I've owned in the past.

The ability to just slide the bag off the rack and carry it with me is awesome! No straps, cords or anything like that to unbuckle.

I especially like the fact that the bag sides are stiff and don't droop or sag.

I enjoy photography while cycling and this setup is perfect for carrying my camera, cell phone, snacks etc...

Highly recommend!

Any other Topeak fans??

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Old 05-28-13, 06:19 PM   #2
megalowmatt
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Yes - Love it. I usually use the larger bag with panniers but this is from a ride around town with the smaller trunk bag. Most of the time this small bag is on my mountain bike with a Topeak beam rack.

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Old 05-28-13, 06:23 PM   #3
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I have the MTX bag and rack combo. I love them but they have a tendency to rattle a lot when I'm riding. Is there any way to fix the rattling?
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Old 05-28-13, 07:08 PM   #4
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so easy its almost stupid. love the combo. here's my bike with the rack and the bag that has the zip panniers for my work clothes and folder of papers. model name eludes me currently.
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Old 05-28-13, 07:39 PM   #5
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I have an Explorer DX rack with the same trunk bag. Great combo. It's on my wife's bike now. I think I'm going to give Ibera for the new bike.
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Old 05-28-13, 09:05 PM   #6
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I have the MTX bag and rack combo. I love them but they have a tendency to rattle a lot when I'm riding. Is there any way to fix the rattling?
Mine rattles a bit too but not enough to bother me. It tends to quiet when there is some weight in the bag.
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Old 05-28-13, 09:40 PM   #7
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If mine rattles I haven't noticed it.
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Old 05-28-13, 09:54 PM   #8
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I like it enough that I'm slowly moving all my bikes with racks over to this system.



I get the rattle when I have a light load. I carry around a shim that I stick in the back after the bag is loaded. It's an extra step, but it keeps things quiet.
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Old 05-28-13, 10:07 PM   #9
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LOVE your bike Andy! How do you like it?
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Old 05-29-13, 08:24 AM   #10
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I love the Topeak rack/bag combo. Makes the commute so much easier. I'll often leave my tail light attached to the bag as well, so I don't have an extra thing to remember to carry in, and so I'll have it regardless of which bike I take. I also love the rear basket. I'm looking for an excuse to get the rolling crate as well, but I haven't come up with a good reason yet.

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Old 05-29-13, 09:14 AM   #11
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Mine rattles a bit too but not enough to bother me. It tends to quiet when there is some weight in the bag.
This. If the contents of the bag are light as a feather, it's going to rattle. I'm not telling you to put an anvil in the bag or anything, but my commute loadout probably weighs about 10 extra pounds, and there is no rattling.

For the record: I have the Explorer racks on all of my bikes but two (Wald and Ventura on those two), and own two MTX bags, one with the foldout panniers...and that's the one I commute to work with. Love them!
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Old 05-29-13, 11:03 AM   #12
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I just put one on my mt bike but haven't bought the bag yet, it's good to see positive reviews so my next purchase will be the bag
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Old 05-29-13, 11:03 AM   #13
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The bag is perfect for me. I can expand or reduce capacity as needed, and even with the panniers deployed, the windage is not too bad - mostly behind my legs and body. I eliminated any rattling by adding a couple strips of cloth friction tape to the platform, which is all it takes to snug it up. Also added a small bungee that fits around the back of the track to add a little extra security so the entire bag is not held in place by a single clip in the front. Found a fitted rain cover at REI that fits over the bag without the panniers deployed. I also have a set of Ortlieb panniers front and rear, but they rarely see use for commuting . . . primarily used for touring.

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Old 05-29-13, 11:58 AM   #14
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No straps, cords or anything like that to unbuckle.
Then how does it stay on? I had to search a little bit, it looks like it's a system where the bag slides onto custom rails on a matching Topeak rack.

Is your trunk one of the ones that you can unzip side panniers?

Does it have velcro straps or clips or anything to attach to non-topeak racks?
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Old 05-29-13, 12:06 PM   #15
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Then how does it stay on? I had to search a little bit, it looks like it's a system where the bag slides onto custom rails on a matching Topeak rack.

Is your trunk one of the ones that you can unzip side panniers?

Does it have velcro straps or clips or anything to attach to non-topeak racks?
The bag has a spring-supported ABS plastic clip on the front, which latches upward onto the forward-most lateral bar of the Topeak rack. When it clips in place, it's connected/held down solidly. The MTX bags do not have any sort of clips or straps for non-Topeak racks, and therein lies the rub: Buying the MTX trunk bags without purchasing the MTX rack to go with them is not a good idea. Thanks to the plastic rail which runs along the bottom of the bags, they don't seat as well onto other rack types.
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Old 05-29-13, 12:28 PM   #16
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I've got a similar Topeak bag, and also bought it with photography in mind. Plenty of room for my 50D and up to a 70-300 zoom. The fold out panniers have been very handy to have on occasion. I bought the strap mounted version, however. I have multiple bikes and didn't relish the idea of needing to buy multiples of their proprietary rack.

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Old 05-29-13, 12:44 PM   #17
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It's a great trunk/pannier combo. I rode with one for several years and highly recommend it. With that said, if you do a lot of rain rides (I do) you need to remember to buy and pack the rain cover. I finally got tired of having to put the cover on/off and switched to an Ortlieb waterproof pannier that I also like very much. Both are great systems.
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Old 05-29-13, 12:51 PM   #18
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Here is a short video fron the Topeak Youtube Channel
[video=youtube_share;IkqwnpOVQh8]http://youtu.be/IkqwnpOVQh8[/video]
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Old 05-29-13, 12:53 PM   #19
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LOVE your bike Andy! How do you like it?
I'm really happy with it. It's my third Jake (I also have a 2008 Jake and a 2008 Major Jake) so I guess I'm a bit of a fan boy, but it has lived up to my expectations.

If you haven't already seen it, my "88-mile review" is here. I'm at around 1300 miles now, but my early impressions are still pretty reflective of what I think of it.
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Old 05-29-13, 03:31 PM   #20
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I'll probably end up buying one of these to go with my Topeak rack. My one and only pannier clips on the top-side part of the rack to install. The Topeak bag looks like it would block the use of that pannier when installed.
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Old 05-29-13, 04:02 PM   #21
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I'll probably end up buying one of these to go with my Topeak rack. My one and only pannier clips on the top-side part of the rack to install. The Topeak bag looks like it would block the use of that pannier when installed.
Yes, the trunk bag does block the pannier mounting rails. The Explorer rack will hold the trunk bag (with or w/o built in panniers) or independent panniers, but not both at the same time. Topeak has a Super Tourist rack that will allow mounting both independent panniers and the trunk bag at the same time. http://topeak.com/products/Racks/Sup...tDXTubularRack
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Old 05-30-13, 07:11 AM   #22
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Yes, the Super Tourist is the rack I use for exactly that reason. I replaced my original rack so that I could use the Topeak bag with panniers, although, in reality, I rarely do that. Still, even without using the Topeak bag, the Tourist rack makes for better pannier handling. It puts them a little lower and provides a little more material behind the pannier to keep it from sagging into the wheel. I use the same rack for touring that I use for commuting, but I never take the Topeak bag on tour. I got the one with the spring clip, which has another bonus (apart from the basic utility of a spring clip) in that the bag clips on to the spring clip, not the rack, which moves the trunk bag about an inch back. With my old rack, I could never click the basket in. I had to supplement it with bungees because it would hit the back of the seat before the clip met the end of the rack. It still worked, but it's much better now that the basket sits a little further back and has no problem clicking in.
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Old 05-30-13, 10:56 AM   #23
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I got a rack with my new bike and I am saving up to buy a trunk bag. Does anyone use it as a cooler for carrying their lunch? Right now, I just have an old lunch box bungeed to the top and my backpack/pannier hanging from the side...
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Old 05-30-13, 11:17 AM   #24
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I got a rack with my new bike and I am saving up to buy a trunk bag. Does anyone use it as a cooler for carrying their lunch? Right now, I just have an old lunch box bungeed to the top and my backpack/pannier hanging from the side...
Not exactly used as a cooler, but the MTX bag with fold-out panniers holds a Bento Box snugly in-between my work shoes, and that Bento holds plenty of food for one person's lunch. I wouldn't trust it to keep anything cold if the environment isn't just as cold.
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Old 06-02-13, 08:05 AM   #25
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I use a Topeak Office trunk bag for my laptop, nice for padding and balance. The rack system is very secure.

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