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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 01-02-06, 06:49 PM   #1
eric von zipper
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is this a good rack for touring?

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

if not, can someone give me some pointers on what to look for in a touring rear rack.

thank you and happy new year
eric
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Old 01-03-06, 10:30 AM   #2
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I have had luck with the Jandd rack, it's sturdy and has a solid plate that you can pile stuff onto without worryinng about it falling through. It also doubles as a fender and keeps your butt dry. I think I picked mine up for $50-60 but it was worth it.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric von zipper
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

if not, can someone give me some pointers on what to look for in a touring rear rack.

thank you and happy new year
eric
That rack looks like it's bolted together instead of welded or brazed. It might flex more than you want, and you might have to re-tighten the nuts and bolts every so often. It looks more like a rack for shopping and commuting than for heavy loads. It is a very good price, though, and if you're willing to watch the nuts and bolts holding it together you could probably get a lot of use out of it.

The standard touring rack seems to be the Blackburn, very sturdy but reasonably lightweight. Some people like steel racks for heavy loads, they don't flex as much and steel is inherently more durable than aluminum. Steel racks also cost 2-3 times as much as aluminum, which puts a lot of people off. Lots of people have crossed the US on Blackburn aluminum racks, so a heavy steel rack isn't a necessity. Lots of people have been stranded when their expensive but badly designed steel rack broke, so more money and more weight doesn't always guarantee a more durable rack.

FWIW, I love my Nitto steel rack.
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Old 01-03-06, 02:13 PM   #4
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That rack looks crap. There's usually a resaon for bike parts being sold of that cheaply - they are actually crap!

Steel racks aren't easily welded, but they at least can be welded to some extent round the world. You should never be stranded with a broken rack anyway. Racks are the easiest things to bodge back together unless they break at the eyelets. Even a breakage at the eyelets can be bodged with some big washers, cable ties and a bit of ingenuity. Cable ties, spare spokes or tent pegs, hose clamps and duct tape are enough to fix almost any breakage. I'd have been eaten by lions last year if a broken rack had left me stranded!

I haven't had much luck with any rack, but certainly wouldn't take something like a Blackburn on a big trip. Having said that, for a cheap rack for moderate trips mostly on good roads the Blackburn Expedition will be more than up to it.

Tortec now make an Expedition steel rack, which is a bit cheaper than the likes of Tubus and can carry big weights apparently.

Spending a bit extra on a descent rack is a good investment. That rack on nashbar definitely is not!
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Old 01-03-06, 02:37 PM   #5
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Too complicated! I wouldn't go more than a couple of hours from home with that rack.

Unfortunately, in America, bikes are toys so manufacturers make items to meet a toy-buyer's budget. To get real equipment one is foced to go abroud and spend substantially more (but hey, you get what you pay for).

The best racks available here in the US - Tubus

http://www.tubus.net/eng/produkte/hi...eger/cargo.php

It's not just about strngth and materials, though. There are subteties of design that the "made in Tiwan" racks lack. You can't really spot them until you see the rack in person and know what you're looking for. Cheap rack designs often don't recognize that you're actually going to put panniers on the rack or use fenders with stays.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:02 PM   #6
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If you're looking for something in that range, I'd instead go with something simple like the Delta rear rack. Inexpensive and available at REI & Nashbar.

Last edited by roadfix; 01-03-06 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:32 PM   #7
eric von zipper
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thanks for the replies. v. helpful. my g/f hooked me up with a gift cert. to nashbar...so that was the reason i was thinking about getting one from there. but i can always get a better rack from somewhere else and buy something else that i need from there...say decent rain gear.
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Old 01-03-06, 05:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric von zipper
thanks for the replies. v. helpful. my g/f hooked me up with a gift cert. to nashbar...so that was the reason i was thinking about getting one from there. but i can always get a better rack from somewhere else and buy something else that i need from there...say decent rain gear.
...Or save your gift cert for spare parts, or tools. If you keep an eye on nashbar they do have some nice specials on drivetrain parts (chains, cassettes etc). Buy a couple on special, you'll need to replace them eventualy.

As an example I have a "stockpile" of nice 9spd SRAM chains I bought from them on sale. Most of my bikes are 9spd, and I've no interest in upgrading to 10spd.

-As for raingear. You similarly get what you pay for. I'd stear away from mail order (esp for a first time purchase), at least untill you know your fit and the quality/durability of the clothing.

My best cycling specific raingear purchases have been found at stores (local bike shop, REI, Eastern Mountain Sports). REI and Eastern Mountain Sports regularly have closeout racks, which are particularly worth a look at end of seasons.
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Old 01-03-06, 07:54 PM   #9
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Another quality steel rack to concider is Bruce Gordons
I ended up with Tubus racks when we bought the new tandem but I have always admired the simple design of Bruces racks.
A good rack is money well spent. Aluminium breaks much easier than steel and is a much harder to repair.
Blackburn do break.

Cheers

Geoff
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Old 01-03-06, 08:33 PM   #10
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I have the Jandd Extreme racks on my "off-road" touring bike that I'm building, but unfortunately haven't put them to any significant use yet. They sure look rugged, seem well made, and the ratings are good. One benefit is the rear rack is 3" longer than most, so it helps bring the panniers rearward to help clear your feet on bikes that have less than optimal chainstay length, which is one reason I put them on my mtn bike setup. As mentioned they also have shelves, and the front rack will allow hi or lo pannier mounting. Well thought-out and approx $60-70 ea.

On my Trek 520 I have a Blackburn Expedition that I've put a lot of use to, and I think it is an excellent rack for $45-50 at most shops. Many used for long distance touring, and perfectly capable for loads up to 40lbs or so, beyond that it flexes a bit when I stand up out of the seat.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:59 PM   #11
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I second what mtnroads says about the Jandd Racks.

You pay more for them, but what you get is a solid rack with many mounting options.

I have strapped all sorts of odd shaped and heavy things (like complete hub, bearing and rotor off my truck) to them with everything from 1/2inch webbing to 1inch rachet straps, to bungie netting. I have my lights, both front and rear mounted to them. With the shelf and the net thingy I hold my battery on the shelf for the headlight. The high and low mounts on the front are handy, but also provide stability for when I strap a dry bag onto the side.

This is my first front rack, but I have 3 other nashbar and lbs racks under my bench that will stay there until they go to the dump. There either flimsy, cracked welds, not well thought out, stupid light mountings, etc, etc.

I just cannot say enough about the Jandds.


Jon
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Old 01-03-06, 11:52 PM   #12
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If you're planning on a two week tour that rack will work out fine. It might even work OK on a trip across the USA. But it wouldn't be good on a trip around Europe for 9 months.

Aluminum racks wear out pretty easy. The metal is soft and gets friction wear easily, the racks are built for minimal weight rather than ultimate lifespan and they're usually build in a factory where output is more important than care. Minimum weight also means minimum material cost so the gauge of the metal is just sufficient and no more.

On the other hand I've never broken one myself though my tours are usually a week or so. And they are very cheap and you can get them in 2 days anywhere in the USA by calling up Nashbar.

You get what you pay for but the aluminum racks are a lot of rack for the money.
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Old 01-04-06, 01:26 AM   #13
SteveFox
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Im using a jandd low rider on the front of my bike and a homemade steel one on the back. I like my steel one becuase it is very strong, even if it is grossly heavy compared to most racks. I also made it out of scrap steel bars, so it was free.

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