This is likely a question for the Canadians out thereÖ
I recently purchased a Blackburn Expedition rack for my new touring bike. Iíve always had Blackburn and trust their quality for fully-loaded touring. Plus, I have to cut down the upright, rounded cross-support piece at the front of the rack so that my seat bag will fit on my small-frame bike. I trust the quality of blackburnís welds to hold the rack together without this piece and had no problems after doing so on my old touring bikeís Blackburn. However, the Expedition rack is taller than regular racks and this is causing a problem with some of my MEC panniers and the clearance for the seat bag so I need to replace the rack on my new bike.
Iím considering switching to the MEC Seatstay Rear Cycling Rack. At a fraction of the price of Blackburn, and not knowing its quality, Iím concerned if it will be strong enough for fully-loaded touring particularly when the cross piece is cut off. I know Iíll need to replace the hardware with stainless steel because Iíve read the reviews that the MEC hardware will rust at the sight of rain (and this is Vancouver!). The design of the MEC and Blackburn racks look very similar. Does anyone have any comments about the MEC rack and whether I should be concerned about the modification?