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  1. #1
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    Rear Pannier Rack

    I apologize for two things:
    1) I didn't search extensively before posting, so someone may have gone after this issue before
    2)SO far I ask a lot here and contribute much less. If anyone has any aerospace questions, I'll be ALL OVER them

    Weefay and I bought our Supremo co-pilot this spring with the intention of riding Portland OR to San Fransisco CA this September. We're planning on going halfway between self supported and credit card touring: i.e. Bringing a tent and sleeping bags etc, but planning on buying food cooked rather than bringing along cooking items/foodstuffs.

    With that in mind I'm looking for a rack that I can get to fit on the Supremo with the intended gear weight in the 25 lb range and an absolute max of 40 lbs. (3.5 lb tent, 7 lbs for both sleeping bags and mats) (team weight pre-diet is 290)

    I haven't the slightest clue what to look for/where to start with racks and Panniers, besides knowing that Ortlieb makes some pretty awesome (and waterproof) stuff. We're looking to get everything as out of the wind as possible and to keep the weight down. I wouldn't say price is not a variable, but we did just spend $9k on a bike, so I guess it really isn't (we're the go-fast type)

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    -Jason

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I'm planning a similar trip. Looked around some, seem to have settled on a Tubus rack:
    http://www.tubus.com/en/rear-carriers

    I think we'll get a Cargo because of the width of the top. We'll sometimes want to carry just a rack pack on top of the rack, for mountain rides and the like, and rack packs need a wide mounting area. That'll also make it easier to secure a tent or whatever on top. We'll probably take a very light daypack, stuff our tent and similarly shaped objects into it, and tie it down to the rack top. Tubus also makes a special rack for disc brake equipped bikes.

    The Ortlieb online store also sells Tubus. We'll get Ortlieb panniers, too. Our plan is to only have the rear panniers, a frame bag, and other small stuff scattered about on the bike. No bar bag or front rack. We will simply not take stuff that doesn't fit. We're going to purchase a new sleep system from Feathered Friends, like this:
    http://www.featheredfriends.com/Pica...undsheets.html

    We currently use an earlier version of this but their new stuff is lighter and more comfortable. We love the system, but you have to want to sleep close.

  3. #3
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    Have you ever looked into Big Agnes sleeping bags? The singles are nice, but we actually got a 2-person bag that is both warm and fantastically comfortable. My friends who backpack have had nothing but praise for all their products, so while we've yet to use it, I'd recommend it.

    edit: Do you think the Tubus Vega would fit with the wide rear spacing on a tandem? Also, how does one figure out of a particular set of panniers will work with a particular rack (i.e. would the Ortlieb panniers work with the Vega)
    Last edited by Oosbahnd&Weefay; 05-05-10 at 08:05 PM. Reason: New info, didn't want to doublepost

  4. #4
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    For more information about panniers, see crazyguyonabike reviews and adventure cycling association forums "gear".

    The first thing you have to decide about panniers is whether you want totally waterproof (never put in anything wet) or pre-organized (figure out what to put in each of the pockets that someone else thought would be right for you).

    The top panniers in those two categories are Ortlieb (Germany) and Arkel (Canada). I've no experience with Ortlieb, but have only heard good things about them (from the sort of people who don't want pockets but do want waterproof). Likewise the Arkels (which we have) are unimpeachable in terms of construction quality, and very well designed (if you like pockets).

    I got a good price on the panniers from bikebagshop.com. (they will special order other items not on their website that are from manufacturers they carry, and STILL give a more-than-competitive price). Many folks have recommended Wayne at TheTouringStore.com. I think that's where we got our rack. Both of these places sell racks, and are quite knowledgeable about them.

    Racks recommended and carried by these two have weight ratings, and you should be able to determine which rack will meet your needs. Panniers, on the other hand, are rated by volume. In the Arkel line, you're probably OK with the GT-54s, possibly adding a set of GT18s up front (front low-riders increase stability, rear, not so much).

    Team weight should not be a factor in selecting a rack, unless you intend to ride on the rack rather than the saddle ;-)

  5. #5
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    Tubus racks are great, but pricey. Blackburn racks are also pretty good for the money, and can be found used for really low prices. The Expedition rack is the best one from Blackburn.

  6. #6
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    I just put team weight so as to point out that I don't think we'll be overloading the rear wheel, which is one of TG's favorite (sarcasm drip starts here) 'everyday racing wheels' from Rolf.

  7. #7
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Looking into it some more, it seems there might be a clearance issue with the Tubus support arm that bolts to the NDS seatstay and the Travel Agent used with V-brakes. The OP has calipers, so no problem for them. Some say it makes a Tubus unworkable, some say you can just bend the arm to get it around the Travel Agent. Some say you can get around it by installing a Problem Solvers Travel Agent (inline). Anyone?

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    Have you ever looked into Big Agnes sleeping bags? The singles are nice, but we actually got a 2-person bag that is both warm and fantastically comfortable. My friends who backpack have had nothing but praise for all their products, so while we've yet to use it, I'd recommend it.

    edit: Do you think the Tubus Vega would fit with the wide rear spacing on a tandem? Also, how does one figure out of a particular set of panniers will work with a particular rack (i.e. would the Ortlieb panniers work with the Vega)
    Yes, but the FF system is two ounces less than a BA down bag, including the Therma-Rests. Will pack smaller, too.

    The Tubus racks are steel tubing, and you just bend them out a bit to fit a tandem. Apparently that's no problem.

    For the last question, you should probably ask Ortlieb.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
    Tubus racks are great, but pricey. Blackburn racks are also pretty good for the money, and can be found used for really low prices. The Expedition rack is the best one from Blackburn.


    Ditto. Blackburn Expedition EX-1 rack is well built and sturdy.

    The Blackburn EX-1 Expedition Rack is the créme de la créme of Blackburn's bike racks. What sets this rack apart from the rest is the center strut which enables this rack to carry a heavier load but also adds rigidity to the rack. It also fits both 700c and 26" bikes and comes with Blackburn's legendary quality and lifetime warranty.

    Features:

    Fits 26"- and 700c-wheeled frames
    3/8"center strut maximizes load control
    Air craft quality alloy construction for uncompromising strength
    Fits virtually all adult sizes of road, mountain, and hybrid bikes
    703g
    rear stay allows for up to 2.75" tire width
    carry up to 40lbs

    http://www.artscyclery.com/descpage-32027.html

  10. #10
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    Thanks. With that in mind, I looked at what racks I thought were best, and ended up with the Tubus Logo and Ortlieb Rear Roller Plus. As for the FF system, it sounds nice, what sort of temperature is it rated down to (won't matter this trip, but future ones could be colder).

  11. #11
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    Do you think the Tubus Vega would fit with the wide rear spacing on a tandem?
    Most of them have enough flex to spread the extra distance. It is not uncommon for touring singles to have 135 mm rear spacing. So it isn't all that much of a stretch. Now if you were riding a Santana, you'd have to get your rack from them. But you're not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    Also, how does one figure out of a particular set of panniers will work with a particular rack (i.e. would the Ortlieb panniers work with the Vega)
    Both the Ortliebs and the Arkels have mounts that adjust to avoid colliding with a cross member of a rack. Others - it varies. If you get a set with adjustable mounts you shouldn't have to worry about compatibility.

  12. #12
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebsterBikeMan View Post
    ...Now if you were riding a Santana, you'd have to get your rack from them.
    Not so. I bought a used Santana that came with a (forgot the brand) rack. Very much like a Blackburn aluminium rack. Great for a trunk bag, but I would not use with loaded panniers. The bike's stoker seat-post clamp is also unusual in that it has a—for lack of a better term—"hanger" for the rack stays to avoid the issues with the cantilevers. I don't doubt that a Tubus would fit just as easily. The Old Man Mountain solution isn't my cup of tea.
    None.

  13. #13
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oosbahnd&Weefay View Post
    Thanks. With that in mind, I looked at what racks I thought were best, and ended up with the Tubus Logo and Ortlieb Rear Roller Plus. As for the FF system, it sounds nice, what sort of temperature is it rated down to (won't matter this trip, but future ones could be colder).
    I think we'll go with the Roller Plus, too.

    You'll have to look at the FF website. They have several bags that work with their several groundsheet systems. For summer touring, I'd get a lighter bag than the weight I quoted, but we'll be using the system for long September backpacks in the mountains, too. I have to say that having down under you as well as on top of you is more cozy, but other than cozy, the down under you is pretty useless and it costs money and weighs something.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    ... it seems there might be a clearance issue with the Tubus support arm that bolts to the NDS seatstay and the Travel Agent used with V-brakes... Anyone?
    Yes the travel agent can get in the way. The solution that worked for our tandem was to order extra long (350 mm) stays and bend around the travel agent. Got them from the The Touring Store. The stays are solid aluminum rod and so not a problem to bend.

  15. #15
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    U da man, GC. That looks like a Cargo. Happy?

  16. #16
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    U da man, GC. That looks like a Cargo. Happy?
    Cargo? - yes. Happy? - yes. Can't beat the strength to weight ratio of the Cargo. Make sure you use Loctite (the 242 blue) on the screws mounting a rack. I never needed it on other bike parts, but I learned the hard way with the rack.

  17. #17
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    I was considering Old Man Mountain racks for our Co-motion, but now I see that a lot of people here prefer other systems. Is it just the look or does the OMM system have any real inconveniences of that I should know of? Could you please develop little bit...

    Thanks,

    Pavel

  18. #18
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    We've had no problems spreading a Blackburn Expedition to fit the 160mm spacing of our Santanas. Have used them on several.

  19. #19
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeFSQ View Post
    I was considering Old Man Mountain racks for our Co-motion, but now I see that a lot of people here prefer other systems. Is it just the look or does the OMM system have any real inconveniences of that I should know of? Could you please develop little bit...

    Thanks,

    Pavel
    I'm using an OMM AC Lowrider (now discontinued, but design picked up by Arkel) on the front. I think I wound up putting a Tubus Cargo on the rear. No complaints with either one.

  20. #20
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Since we live pretty close to Germany, Tubus and Ortlieb are the main brands around here. Ortliebs are not only good because they are so waterproof, but I've also found that their attachment system is hard to beat - it is very versatile and fits any rack well. As for the rack stays and a travel agent, this can be a problem, but Tubus offer a lot of different stays in different shapes, and some stays from other manufacturers also work on their racks, so I've found a pair of stays that had the right bends we needed for every bike I've put a rack on so far, without needing to add any bends myself.
    Last edited by Chris_W; 05-10-10 at 01:57 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ScottCarney's Avatar
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    I really like Surly Nice Racks. Commuter, tourer and tandem are all mounted with these. Orlieb panniers, bar bag and dry duffles are standard too. Ortieb is waterproof, yes, but also durable and nicely engineered. I would vote Blackburn for a lighter and less expensive. The Surly is like the big Tubus racks, probably overbuilt for your needs, but totally indestructible.

  22. #22
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    OMM rack on the canti bosses worked going across the US on our tandem with Ortlieb front and rear bags. They're worth the money. Zero problems with any of them.
    Now the rack is off and we run a lighter one just to carry a rack bag for jackets and food.

  23. #23
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    This is the seat clamp with the hanger do-hickie that I had mentioned earlier:

    None.

  24. #24
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    That's a really cool rack hanger! I've never seen one of those before. Anyone know more about them, where to purchase, etc.?

  25. #25
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    I wish I could tell you more. It came on the bike when we bought it (used). I didn't know what it really was until I decided to put the rack on. I'm fairly certain the bike was put together at Gear-To-Go Tandems in NY state: http://www.gtgtandems.com/ and that that piece was put on it by them. The bike was bought and outfitted for loaded touring, though, I wouldn't put loaded panniers on that particular rack (original owners had a trailer for it). It does fine for a trunk bag.
    None.

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