I recently purchased and installed a LandRider Rear Rack for my commuter bike, which is a 2004 Specialized Sirrus, and thought it might be useful for others to hear about the choices out there.
For an extended version of the review with more photos visit here.
I wanted a rack that would allow for easy mounting of a set of panniers and a rack-top trunk, which meant looking at the relatively small set of racks with lower mounting rails.
Scouring this forum and others1, I narrowed my choices down to this short list:
Tubus Logo and Cosmo (~$120 and ~$160) [the new outrageously expensive and sexy titanium Logo Titan wasnít available when I was looking]
Massload CL-476/LandRider Rear Rack (~$60)
Topeak Super Tourist DX (~$40)
Tortec Expedition (~$50) [I was unable to find an official Tortec site]
I ended up buying the LandRider Rear Rack. This is a rebranded Massload CL-476 rack from Taiwan.
The aluminum construction of the rack is pretty solid. The struts arenít triangulated but it held up well to a completely arbitrary ďcan I bend itĒ test.
The struts that attach to the seat stays slide side-to-side and pivot up and down.
The dropout mounts are adjustable for height, and have a place on which to hook a pannier.
To adjust for height you remove both screws on each side and slide the bracket up and down. You cannot do this without completely taking apart the lower mount. There are three parts to the dropout mounts:
Adjusting these for height is not easily done (actually, nearly impossible) while the rack is on the bike, so I had to go through a couple iterations of putting it on, test-fitting it, and then taking it off to adjust the height.
The rackís deck measures about 16 inches by 5 inches. The lower pannier rails are each about three-quarters of an inch out from the rack, meaning the pannier rails are about 7 inches apart.
The height of the rack (dropouts to deck) depends on mounting.
Getting the rack to fit required bending the seat-stay struts. Luckily theyíre easily removed thanks to the mounting system and bent in a vice without difficulty. I found it easier to mount the struts to the seat stays first, and then attach them to the rack. This ended up putting the rack slightly off-center on the bike, but itís not affected handling or the usability of the rack.
Mounting Ortlieb panniers and the trunk worked out nicely. Hereís a closeup of the deck and lower mounting rails with the trunk and panniers installed.
Final Thoughts Iíve had the rack on the bike for the past month of commuting, and itís worked out well. I havenít tested the maximum load yet, but Iíve easily had 40 pounds on there without a problem. The height-adjustable dropout brackets are a pain to adjust but do offer a lot of mounting flexibility. On balance itís a fair tradeoff as long as you donít have to leave too much of the mounting bracket exposed.
The seat-stay struts are very adjustable and well-done. Iíve never seen a rear rack that didnít require some bending of the struts to fit, so needing to bend these is par for the course.
If youíre looking for a relatively inexpensive rack with a big deck and lower mounting rails, the LandRider Rear Rack fits the bill. Definitely recommended.
Note to mods: Posted in the Touring forum as that seems to be where the most rack-related reviews are; move as appropriate.