Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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It's a good rack, but with limitations.
It is definitely adequate for commuting or light touring. If you tour with rigid panniers (i.e. those with a back plate) and if you split your load between front and rear panniers, you will be ok for loaded touring.
– You will learn that you should never climb out of the saddle, unless you want to loose control of your bike and break a few things.
– You may or may not have the rack break at some unforeseen moment. I had one rear Blackburn rack on my commuter bike that carried my lunch, groceries and even a baby seat. Then one day, the vertical strut broke off from the shelf just after I had unloaded the bike. I also had a MEC Lowrider that felt wiggly on the tandem; once I removed it, I discovered there was a crack in the hoop.
Finally, check carefully the height of the MEC rear rack. I bought one for my daughter, thought it would sit very high and it didn't. It's only after I had installed it that I measured it and realized it would fit only on a bike with 26" wheels, and NOT on a 700c bike with fenders. That rack is 2 years old so things may have changed. But if you install it on a bike with 700c wheels, measure carefully for clearance.
As for me? Let's say I don't have aluminium racks anymore on my single and tandem touring bikes.
My rear racks are the Burley rack that came with the Piccolo trailercycle. If I didn't have those, I would either go with the Tubus Cargo or Bruce Gordon rear rack.
My front racks are Bruce Gordon's Lowriders. The Tubus Duo or Tara are great options if you have the appropriate mid-fork brazeons, but one of my bikes didn't, and I was not totally comfortable with two independent sides à la Duo, nor did I like the open design with many edges of the Tara (I'll scratch myself when panniers are not there).