Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-05-08, 10:33 PM   #1
Yen
Surly Girly
Thread Starter
 
Yen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Bikes:
Posts: 4,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Topeak trunk bags

My latest cycling-related research project is a rear rack and trunk for the Surly LHT. I want to begin commuting around town or be able to carry more items on the group rides.

I've nearly settled on the Topeak MTX system of rack and trunk. However, the bags I see on-line appears to be more than I need, even without the fold-up panniers. Yet, I also don't want to end up with a trunk that's too small and wish I'd bought a larger one.

Anyone have a favorite Topeak trunk? I don't need the panniers and I don't plan to haul home this week's groceries -- just something large enough for a pair of shoes, a jacket, extra snacks, a strong U-lock, or some groceries, library books, or lunch. I like the Topeak products in general -- they always seem durable and well-designed yet not expensive.
__________________
Specialized Roubaix Expert
Surly Long Haul Trucker
Yen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 05:20 AM   #2
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
The Topeak system comes in at least 2 basic sizes (I believe the EX and MX series). The EX rack is intended for road bikes, or at least smaller lighter platforms where less capacity is needed. The MX series starts with a larger heavier rack and the larger bags (with or without the auxillary struts and folding paniers.) I have both racks and bags for both (without paniers or fold down pockets). Both series of bags fit on either rack. The MX rack is more beafy and comes with a QR clamp that fits a wider range of seatpost sizes. My EX rack must be attached to my 27.2mm seatpost with an allen bolt clamp. The smaller EX bag has approximately the volumn to hold something about the size of a sixpack in the main compartment with side pouches for tools and supplies such a tubes.

The principal advantage that I have found for day tripping with the system is that the bags also come with a shoulder strap. If it is necessary to lock up my bike where I might not have a direct view of it, I can hit the button on the bags quick release and take it with me, thus protecting camera's etc. (pop your computer off and slip it into the bag also). Topeak has an excellent online catalog to browse, a well deserved customer service reputation and pretty common availability through most LBS.

Edit: remember that either system will always have a top weight limit because of the seatpost mount and that neither is particularly suitable for carbon seatposts.
__________________
We are an empire. Use it wisely.
maddmaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 06:09 AM   #3
RonH
Life is good
 
RonH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not far from the Withlacoochee Trail. 🚴🏻
Bikes: My beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my 2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod
Posts: 16,111
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
I want to begin commuting around town or be able to carry more items on the group rides.
I've nearly settled on the Topeak MTX system of rack and trunk.
Anyone have a favorite Topeak trunk?
Why not ask the folks in Commuting forum?
__________________


The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalm 103:8
RonH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 06:18 AM   #4
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp frameset (custom build), 2015 Zukas custom road, 2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S
Posts: 13,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Why go with a seatpost mounted system on a bike like a LHT with plenty of eyelets for mounting such things?
BluesDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 06:50 AM   #5
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
One reason might be the ease of putting the system on or off the bike in seconds.
__________________
We are an empire. Use it wisely.
maddmaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 07:08 AM   #6
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp frameset (custom build), 2015 Zukas custom road, 2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S
Posts: 13,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
There are 4 sizes of MTX bags from 6.6 liters to 20.2 liters capacity. They fit on several rack options, both seatpost and frame mounted. For example, this rack with this bag.
The bags come off either type of rack with the push of a button.

Last edited by BluesDawg; 11-06-08 at 07:13 AM.
BluesDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 08:11 AM   #7
donheff
Senior Member
 
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Bikes: Specialized Tricross Comp
Posts: 1,313
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have the Topeak MTX rack and bag with zip-up panniers. It is perfect for an overnight to a B&B which my wife and I do now and then. I also almost always throw mine on the back for day trips. I carry a lock and chain, pump, tubes, enduralytes, sun screen, 1st aid kit -- everything but the kitchen sink. I may get a smaller bag for routine day use since I don't really need all the space I have in the MTX. I like the easy on-off attachment.
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 08:52 AM   #8
NOS88
Senior Member
 
NOS88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Bikes:
Posts: 6,490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you considered REI's Novara Commuter trunk? It has the added advantage of drop down bags and rain covers. http://www.rei.com/product/764699
__________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831
NOS88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 09:20 AM   #9
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In Central IN
Bikes: RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
Posts: 13,282
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
M
large enough for a pair of shoes, a jacket, extra snacks, a strong U-lock, or some groceries, library books, or lunch.
That's a lot of stuff that could add up to a big load, even assuming you don't mean all of that at once. I agree that you would be better served by a real rack and not a seatpost rack.
The Arkel Tailrider bag is a great racktop bag, altho I don't know how many library books you could carry in one.
JanMM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 11:39 AM   #10
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
That's a lot of stuff that could add up to a big load, even assuming you don't mean all of that at once. I agree that you would be better served by a real rack and not a seatpost rack.
The Arkel Tailrider bag is a great racktop bag, altho I don't know how many library books you could carry in one.
All I have is a seat post mounted rack as offroad- I would not need anything extra. I don't tour- Not going to do a major shop on a bike and would never need side panniers.

However- I have a couple of Top Bags for my seat post mounted rack and it will take up to 15lbs- and that has been tested offroad. Top bags come in a variety of sizes but be warned- A Big top bag fully loaded- will affect the C of G of the bike.

Attachments are of The small Bag I have fitted- and the Tandem shot is the large one. The large one will carry the big toolkit I use on the "T"- enough food for a couple of hours- Spare Topcoats and a lot more- but for 2 riders.

Just be warned that a big bag will carry a lot- and it will weigh a lot aswell.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg thudb.jpg (68.3 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg south downs way 2004 008.jpg (66.0 KB, 21 views)
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan

Last edited by stapfam; 11-06-08 at 11:44 AM.
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 12:38 PM   #11
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 18,556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Why go with a seatpost mounted system on a bike like a LHT with plenty of eyelets for mounting such things?
+1

I would get a standard rear rack, doesn't have to be super heavy duty. You'll be able to throw panniers on even with the simplest rack.

I have the Tubus Vega rack on mine.

roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 01:08 PM   #12
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 8,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I tried a large Topeak trunk bag with a seatpost rack and didn't find it worked out all that well for me. I much prefer a regular rack (the Blackburn EX-1 in nice) and one or more panniers. If you aren't carrying anything too heavy one pannier works out fine. The Nashbar (or Performance) waterproof front ones work out great for the back for around town.

Another possible option...
My daughter has been using combination pannier and messenger bag with good results. I think it was called the Transit Metro Pannier (from Performance). She said it has worked out very well for her.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 01:10 PM   #13
Digital Gee
I need more cowbell.
 
Digital Gee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Reno, Nevada
Bikes: 2015 Specialized Sirrus Elite, 2012 Masi Evoluzione
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
All I have is a seat post mounted rack as offroad- I would not need anything extra. I don't tour- Not going to do a major shop on a bike and would never need side panniers.

However- I have a couple of Top Bags for my seat post mounted rack and it will take up to 15lbs- and that has been tested offroad. Top bags come in a variety of sizes but be warned- A Big top bag fully loaded- will affect the C of G of the bike.

Attachments are of The small Bag I have fitted- and the Tandem shot is the large one. The large one will carry the big toolkit I use on the "T"- enough food for a couple of hours- Spare Topcoats and a lot more- but for 2 riders.

Just be warned that a big bag will carry a lot- and it will weigh a lot aswell.
Stap...that first bag is FILTHY! Shame on you!
__________________
2015 Sirrus Elite
2012 Masi Evoluzione

Proud member of the original Club Tombay
Digital Gee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 03:46 PM   #14
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
Stap...that first bag is FILTHY! Shame on you!
That's what you get when you go on the road. (Note the slick Tyres)

Off Road and and it gets camouflaged
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Clean the bike.JPG (43.3 KB, 20 views)
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 05:18 PM   #15
hotwired
Specialized Sirrus LTD
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Bikes: Secialized Sirrus Ltd
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yen: If the size is right you can attach the large Topeak saddle bag to a Brooks saddle by using the type of bungie cord that locks in place rather than the normal bungie cord that has a hook at each end. Cost for the bungie at a local Farm and Fleet store $1.59. Hotwired in Milwaukee
hotwired is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-08, 09:15 PM   #16
Yen
Surly Girly
Thread Starter
 
Yen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Bikes:
Posts: 4,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Why go with a seatpost mounted system on a bike like a LHT with plenty of eyelets for mounting such things?
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix
+1

I would get a standard rear rack, doesn't have to be super heavy duty. You'll be able to throw panniers on even with the simplest rack.

I have the Tubus Vega rack on mine.

I'm sorry... it was late and I was tired when I posted this last night. By MTX, I meant a trunk like this one that's compatible with a Topeak rack that mounts on the frame. I do not intend to buy a rack to mount on the seatpost of the LHT.

One thing I like about the Topeak system is that the trunk clips on and off the rack in a hurry, and I feel that Topeak products seem very well-made at an affordable price.

Is there a good reason to choose a Tubus (or other) rack over this one? Is there a big advantage to having a rack to which any trunk can attach? For example, if (let's say) I severely damage the trunk but not the rack, would I be limited to the type of trunk I can buy for the Topeak rack vs. another brand?
__________________
Specialized Roubaix Expert
Surly Long Haul Trucker
Yen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 02:16 AM   #17
Rowan
Has opinion, will express
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 14,654
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
I have several Topeak trunk bags, one of the original design, and a later model which looks the same on top. However, Topeak changed the spec of the aluminium extrusion on the rack, and hence the fitting under the bags.

Either way, I have found the bags to be extremely useful, primarily for the abiilty to segregate various items in the pockets. The large compartment is capable of taking clothing for a day's ride (including wet-weather gear). Tools and spares can go in the side pockets. Energy bars or a ht/cap or spare gloves in the top pocket. And the rear drinks pocket I use to put two 700C inner tubes so they are out of the way, but readily accessible. The main compartment is expandable thanks to a second zipper.

The bags are self-supporting, which is a definite advantage over some others I have seen. The bonus is that the sides are quite heavily insulated by the stiffeners, so you can keep some things cool for a while.

The bag slides on and off the rack easily, and the clip is very secure. I have been MTBing and had no problems. I have used the bags for extensive randonneuring events and again no issues after 1200km.

The original bag is still viable. It's around eight years old, I think, and the zips are still sound. The only deterioration has been a slight splitting of the fabric at the ends of the zips on the side pockets.

I have just come back from a ride to the post office in heavy rain. I covered the bag in a standard supermarket bag and the bag was totally dry. Just as well... I wanted the new bar-end shifters to be fitted to a bike before they got wet!!

Now, there is one downside. If you are using the Topeak rack specially designed for the bags with the extrusion, and you run your seat relatively low to the top tube, you may have to fiddle a bit with rack position to get the top of the front of the bag to fit under the seat. This is even more so with the Brooks B17 and the tabs on the back. The stiffener at the front of the bag is quite flexible and squeezing it back to get the lock to lock doesn't hurt the bag at all.

Expanding the bag is no problem, because the front is "hinged" as the back lifts up.

This issue also is possibly why Topeak introduced the wedge-shaped trunk bag (MTX). But I don't think the wedge-shaped bag is nearly as practical or attractive. I have serious doubts about the drop-down panniers, too, but again, I comment only from afar, and not from experience.

Topeak has added a new rack to its range, with additional pannier mounting rails about 1-1/2 inches below the top rails of the rack. This has overcome another issue for touring cyclists -- that you couldn't really use the trunk bag if you had panniers fitted on the standard rack. I have now acquired a new rack, and I have the best of both worlds. Again, it could be argued that the trunk bag is additional weight that 's not really needed with good panniers, and takes up space for the tent or whatnot... but at least I have the flexibility to decide.

Disclosure: I like Topeak products. I think the ones I have had, from handlebar bags to racks, and tools to trunk bags, have been thoughtfully designed and are very durable for the price.
Rowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 08:07 AM   #18
Trsnrtr
Nefarious Reprobate
 
Trsnrtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Bikes: Colnago CX, Giant Propel, Spec. Roubaix Pro, Co-Motion Supremo
Posts: 7,612
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
I know this isn't the type of bag that the OP was asking about, but I'll mention it anyway. I have a Topeak Dynapak on my trike. It's a smaller hardshell trunk that is still big enough to handle quite a bit. On Wednesday, I managed to squeeze a pair of tights, windshell, and arm warmers into besides three tubes, multi-tool, tire irons, CO2 inflator, wallet, car keys and phone.

http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/DynaPack

__________________
Dennis T
Trsnrtr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 11:05 AM   #19
Yen
Surly Girly
Thread Starter
 
Yen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Bikes:
Posts: 4,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Now, there is one downside. If you are using the Topeak rack specially designed for the bags with the extrusion, and you run your seat relatively low to the top tube, you may have to fiddle a bit with rack position to get the top of the front of the bag to fit under the seat. This is even more so with the Brooks B17 and the tabs on the back. The stiffener at the front of the bag is quite flexible and squeezing it back to get the lock to lock doesn't hurt the bag at all.

Expanding the bag is no problem, because the front is "hinged" as the back lifts up.

This issue also is possibly why Topeak introduced the wedge-shaped trunk bag (MTX). But I don't think the wedge-shaped bag is nearly as practical or attractive. I have serious doubts about the drop-down panniers, too, but again, I comment only from afar, and not from experience.
Rowan, which earlier bag are you comparing with the new wedge-shaped bag? Are you referring to one of the RX models (shown on this page at the Topeak site)?
__________________
Specialized Roubaix Expert
Surly Long Haul Trucker
Yen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 02:31 PM   #20
Editz
Senior Member
 
Editz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Bikes: Breezer Finesse
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have this model and find it works great. The fold down panniers seem rugged enough, but the heaviest thing I've carried in them is a full sized coffee thermos. These days I keep a shirt and pair of jeans in one side and a fleece pullover in the other. The main compartment is usually reserved for lunch, but it can also accommodate the thermos with the extension zipped out.

Only thing I don't like about it is where the handles are sewn in. I think they should be attached to the body instead of the hinge/cover so that you don't always have to keep the main compartment fully closed to pick it up. That, and the panniers need more reflective material on the rear to be seen by drivers approaching me from behind.
Editz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 08:55 PM   #21
Rowan
Has opinion, will express
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 14,654
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Hmmmm... it looks like Topeak have discontinued that line. Sorry Yen.

It's most similar to the trunk drybag. You might be able to pick up one on eBay or as NOS at a bike shop.

I'm not inclined to dash out and buy the newest version because the others are likely to last me a decade or more.
Rowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 09:14 PM   #22
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes:
Posts: 6,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get the big bag. The panniers don't come out unless you unzip the side pockets and pull them out. Plenty of room for a pair of shoes, jacket, sandwich, etc in the main compartment, which expands on the top. I had one, but gave it to a guy at the coffee shop whom only travels by bike.
Get the Topeak rack. The Topeak bags fit on it, and you can always attach other types of bags to it. My old trunk bag from Performance velcro straps right on it just like a rack that's not Topeak.
__________________
Silver Eagle Pilot
Dchiefransom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-08, 10:35 PM   #23
Yen
Surly Girly
Thread Starter
 
Yen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Bikes:
Posts: 4,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Rowan. Doesn't it always seem that a 'favorite' is the one that's discontinued?

Dchiefransom: We stopped by our favorite LBS this evening to check out their trunks. After discussing various options with the very helpful sales guy, I'm thinking of getting the big bag w/panniers; as you said they stay folded up until I unzip the pockets, and the expandable top is a plus. And if I can attach non-Topeak bags to the rack, that's another plus.

How do such bags usually attach to a rack -- by velcro straps, or ??
__________________
Specialized Roubaix Expert
Surly Long Haul Trucker
Yen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-08, 12:10 AM   #24
Rowan
Has opinion, will express
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 14,654
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Yes. Usually. The Topeak trunk bag I have also has the Velcro straps in each corner so it can be used on other non-Topeak racks, too.
Rowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:48 PM.