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Topeak Trunk Bag purchase

Old 01-10-12, 10:21 AM
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Topeak Trunk Bag purchase

I just bought the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP with side panniers along with the Topeak explorer rack. I got both for about $100 on Amazon, which seems like a good deal. The Trunk Bag by itself is advertised as $125 on REI's website. I ride a Kona Dew and have noticed that with most decent sized panniers there is some heel-kick unless I position them exactly right all the way in the rear of the rack. Right now I am using some smaller Trek panniers, but they are kind of a pain to fasten and have bounced completely off in traffic on two occasions now. Anyway, the trunk bag seems like a good option for the hybrid style bike and I like that it will be secure on the rack. Anybody else use this?

Happy commuting everybody
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Old 01-10-12, 10:29 AM
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I had that bag when I started commuting. Topeak's system works fine. The trunk bag is insulated, which is a nice feature, and the fold out panniers can hold a bit of stuff. It's definitely not the setup you want if you plan to do any sort of shopping, because the panniers aren't large enough.

It didn't survive when I was hit from behind by a truck. The rack bent and the one of the panniers tore off. Now I use a Tubus rack and Carradice panniers.
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Old 01-10-12, 10:57 AM
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I am currently using the Topeak system for my commute and I love it.

As far as your 'heel kick' worries I really only hit the panniers if I adjust my footing mid-rotation or if I have them stuffed to the point of breaking.

To help the situation you can hook the panniers to the rear 'fork' of the rack to keep them from possibly sliding forward. You'll see what I'm talking about when you receive your order.

Last edited by channeleaton; 01-10-12 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 01-10-12, 11:33 AM
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I have it and it worked great but it rattles and drove me crazy.
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Old 01-10-12, 11:48 AM
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I graduated from backpack to Topeka rack trunk a couple years ago and loved it. Now that I'm taking grad classes in the evenings a few nights a week, I found that I needed a little more room for books and tablet PC plus regular work stuff, so I now use the pair of Axiom Casals panniers I had around for other types of riding.the Topeka trunks are nice though. I still use mine on some weekend rides when I want a few snacks, drinks, and tools with me but don't feel like rearranging my panniers. I'll probably return to it when I have a lighter load to carry. I did find the space limited for grocery runs, but if I knew ahead of time I needed to stop I'd just throw my empty panniers on the front rack and have them ready to go when I stopped at the store on the way home. Hope you enjoy your trunk as much as I did mine!
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Old 01-10-12, 11:51 AM
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Watch out though if you have disc brakes in the rear. A friend of mine had the Topeak rack specifically made for disc brakes installed. There was very little room between the 700C tire and the rack. He's got to figure out another way to install a rear fender. I think Topeak didn't think this one through. Disc brakes will eventually be the standard.
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Old 01-10-12, 12:43 PM
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I have a Topeak disc-specific rack and non-pannier trunk bag. Leave my shoes, belt and jacket at work. Holds everything else except the occasional days when the temperature range is 30-40 degrees. For this, a stuff sack with extra clothing bungeed to the top provides extra capacity. The best feature is the ability to slide the bag off in 2 seconds and bring it with me.
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Old 01-10-12, 01:00 PM
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Thank you, everybody, for the helpful comments. I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 01-10-12, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
The best feature is the ability to slide the bag off in 2 seconds and bring it with me.
Agreed. I have a Topeak bag and rack. One of my panniers in the bag ripped, and the trunk space alone often doesn't hold everything I need to carry, so I plan on upgrading to a larger size. I like the fold out panniers for occasional use, but having them deployed negates the easy-on, easy-off nature of the bag, so when the bag stopped being sufficient for most trips without deploying the panniers, I stopped using it. Fortunately it was easy enough to slide on the Topeak basket. Now I throw a regular shoulder bag in the basket and usually just leave the basket on, but it has the same easy attachment system, so if it's full of stuff I want to take with me, I just take the whole thing with me.

The other change I made was to change the regular rack for the Super Tourist DX, which has a 2nd, lower top rail. This makes it lots easier to use regular panniers or my grocery bag panniers and still use the top of the rack. And when I'm doing a short tour or overnight trip, the Topeak accessories stay behind, but the rack works fine as a touring rack. The Topeak rack has turned out to be one of my more versatile bike purchases.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:01 PM
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In 1998, I bought a Topeak MTX DX bag and 3 racks (2 normal, and 1 seatpost) for my various commuter bikes. After nearly 14 years, this setup is still used every day. Zippers still work, no tears in the fabric, and the bag still slides on/off easily in a second or two. The only "problem" is the molded panels eventually lost their support so the bag became lopsided. I put a sturdy cardboard box inside mine to keep its shape and it works well. It's not glamorous looking, but it's well made.
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Old 01-10-12, 02:49 PM
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Just reinforcing the positive experience with the Topeak system. I too switched from a backpack to this system and have really enjoyed it.

As a couple others have mentioned the panniers are a little on the small side. The more dependent I become on my bike I realize the limitations of their carrying capacity.

The only think I would change would be the availability of finishes..a polished metal would look better.
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Old 01-10-12, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin
In 1998, I bought a Topeak MTX DX bag and 3 racks (2 normal, and 1 seatpost) for my various commuter bikes. After nearly 14 years, this setup is still used every day. Zippers still work, no tears in the fabric, and the bag still slides on/off easily in a second or two. The only "problem" is the molded panels eventually lost their support so the bag became lopsided. I put a sturdy cardboard box inside mine to keep its shape and it works well. It's not glamorous looking, but it's well made.
That's impressive! I had a Topeak EXP bag with Panniers that I picked up from Sports Chalet a few years back, and it has held up pretty well too. I use it to carry a change of clothes, u-lock and cable, pump, spare tube and a magazine or two, for my 10 mile commute. I haven't had any issues with heel strike on the panniers, but the wheelbase of my bike is a bit longer and it is set up towards the rear of the rack mounts, so it hasn't really been a problem. Biggest drawback is that pannier space is a bit limited for groceries. Still beats having to carry around a backpack every day though . . .

I'll second jdefran's comment too - the black finish does take a beating and the paint wears off pretty easily. Polished metal would be nice.
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Old 01-10-12, 06:55 PM
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Use one and love it, strong and easy to put on-off your rack.

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Old 01-10-12, 07:12 PM
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I've been using one of these for three years. I have the disc brake version and it was no problem to install the rack and mount fenders.
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Old 01-11-12, 10:34 AM
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I have used mine for a couple years now, although I think yours is the one with the rigid panels on the sides.

Anyway, it has held up well. holds my lunch, fruit and whatever else in the main compartment and tools and tablet computer in the panniers. Works great.

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Old 01-11-12, 10:47 AM
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Had my Topeak bag with panniers for about 3 years or so, all my bikes have topeak racks so I can tranfer from one to the other. No problems with the bag or panniers so far. Pic shows bag on seat post rack, don't have the panniers down though.

Last edited by curly666; 01-17-17 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 01-11-12, 11:16 AM
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I use the one with the deployable panniers. It's a solid bag, and I love that I can take it off and put it back on so easily. I also like that I have the pannier space if needed. When I use this bag, I have the Cygolite Hotshot that I clip to the back of the bag, and the two seem to work well together.

That being said:

1- it's not waterproof, only water resistant. If you plan on riding in the rain, you'll need a cover or put your things inside plastic bags.
2- the side pockets are nearly entirely consumed by the panniers, but there is a little extra space in there. Unfortunately, it's all in the same compartment, so say you put your phone and keys in there because the top is full and you wanted quick access. Later in the day you take your jacket off, but you need to deploy a pannier to hold it. First, after unzipping the pocket, you must remove your phone and keys, deploy your pannier, and then stow your phone, keys, and jacket. I wished there was a separate, thin zippered pocket between the pannier and the main compartment for small items to remain in the side pocket even when the pannier is deployed.
3- after riding in the rain, the rail can get grit in it, so it'll need to be washed out occasionally.
4- make sure the bag is in the rail. It's easy to slide the bag on top of the rail and not get a secure connection.
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Old 01-11-12, 11:27 AM
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Topeak makes a yellow rain cover for $6 at REI, which rolls up and takes very little space. Doesn't fit the pannier version, but there may be a cover for that, as well. Definitely works best with fenders, as the bag is not waterproof

Use a bungee around the back to keep the bag secure from an accidental release and from rattling, which doubles to secure a stuff sack on top, when needed. You do need to be careful to make sure the bag is in the track.

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Old 01-11-12, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Topeak makes a yellow rain cover for $6 at REI, which rolls up and takes very little space. Doesn't fit the pannier version, but there may be a cover for that, as well. Definitely works best with fenders, as the bag is not waterproof.
My panniered version came with a cover IIRC. If not it was purchased as an additional accessory and given to me all as one gift. They are out there. That said, the trunk does hold up well to your run of the mill shower or sprinkle even without the rain cover. Not, waterproof, but it keeps things dry enough. Even when I used my Topeak trunk every day, I rarely used my rain cover.
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Old 01-11-12, 01:37 PM
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I have a Kona Dew Deluxe myself and used the very same bag from April - December. It's a good bag, although, I learned the hard way one day, that you should NOT rely on the plastic clip alone to secure the bag to the rack. (Maybe that's obvious to everyone but me). One day I had it heavily loaded secured only with the quick click or whatever they call it, and hit a big bump in the road going pretty quick, and it fell off. Ever since I started making sure to use the velcro straps as well and never had another problem.

I had the rain cover too, and it worked well for me.

I did end up switching to the Ortlieb rollers (bought them for myself for Christmas). Mostly because I just needed more space (carrying my laptop, clothes, etc. etc) and really liked the fact that it's waterproof without having to use a separate cover.
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Old 01-11-12, 02:25 PM
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Hmmm, I wonder if the clip is different now. On my old Topeak bag (from 1998, see above), it's very secure. It locks tightly to the rack. No rattling, and of course, it's never even come close to falling off accidentally.
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Old 01-11-12, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by shriekingmonkey
I have a Kona Dew Deluxe myself and used the very same bag from April - December. It's a good bag, although, I learned the hard way one day, that you should NOT rely on the plastic clip alone to secure the bag to the rack. (Maybe that's obvious to everyone but me). One day I had it heavily loaded secured only with the quick click or whatever they call it, and hit a big bump in the road going pretty quick, and it fell off. Ever since I started making sure to use the velcro straps as well and never had another problem.
I have never had that issue. If I had, I would likely not recommend them. What I like about about them is the ease with which you can remove the bags. If I had to use the velcro, I would just go with a trunk bag that attached using just velcro. Were you using on a Topeak rack?

I have had issues with my basket hitting the seat before engaging the clip on one bike. In that case, I ran a bungee around the seat and to the basket, making it impossible for the basket to slide off, and that kept it fine.

I believe some bags currently available don't even have the velcro straps. Mine does, but the only time I have used the straps is when attaching the bag to a non-Topeak rack.
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Old 01-11-12, 02:34 PM
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It may depend on where you ride, but my route is pretty rough. Never had the bag fall off or come unclipped, but just don't want to rely on a single plastic clip to hold a bag that contains precious cargo (phone, keys, wallet). My bag doesn't rattle, but an earlier poster complained of rattling, which a bungee would solve. Hope you didn't just jinx yourself!
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Old 01-11-12, 02:42 PM
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Nice thing about a bungee is you just pull it over the back of the rack and it's out of the way to remove the bag, and then after reinstalling the bag, just pull it up and let it go under the bag for 100% security and peace of mind.
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Old 01-11-12, 06:46 PM
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I almost purchased the same bag and rack as the OP from Amazon, but then found a similar alternative at an LBS. The bag and rack are Sunlite/IBERA PakRak products. The bag is similar in size and function to the Topeak DXP bag with foldout panniers. The reason I went with the Sunlite setup was that I liked its quick release setup better than the rail setup on the Topeak bag/rack. It seems to be well made, is secure, and doesn't rattle when I ride over rough patches. I'm curious to see if it holds up as well as the Topeak products. The few reviews I could find online for the Sunlite bag and rack seem to be positive.
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