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Bike Noob -- Need a cargo rack

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Bike Noob -- Need a cargo rack

Old 10-15-12, 01:28 PM
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Bike Noob -- Need a cargo rack

I just ordered my first bicycle as an adult - a very exciting day - and I'm looking for a cargo rack.

A bit of background: I don't anticipate becoming a heavy bicyclist. The purchase was part of a bit to get a bit of exercise and, more importantly, to do some "around town" commuting (to stop driving my car so much).

I ordered the 2013 Giant Escape 0

The first purchase I'd like to make is for a cargo rack for the back. I was leaning towards a Topeak so I could take advantage of the "QuickTrack" system of trunk bags.

Some thoughts any questions for the community:
  • I lean towards avoiding the "BeamRack" system. It seems like the standard racks would be more stable as they attach to more than just the seat post.
  • Of the non-beamrack choices, I can't tell the difference between the Explorer and the Super Tourist
  • With the explorer and super tourist, what is the difference between with and without a spring?
  • In your experience, is this a good rack? Should I be going a different route? I don't want to spend a fortune, but I'd rather spend some extra dollars now and have something that will be sturdy and last...

Thank you all for any input you can share,

J
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Old 10-15-12, 01:38 PM
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I've used the Topeak Explorer for several years now and it does everything I need. I don't use any of their "Quick Track" bags, and have been able to use a rack trunk with a pannier without much trouble (both use the same rail of the rack for mounting), although I'd rather have a rack with a separate rail for the panniers.

BTW, there's a longtime member here named jsharr, he'll buy you ice cream if you vote the right way too. What do you have to offer?
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Old 10-15-12, 01:44 PM
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I don't have any experience other than my current rack and bag, which is a Topeak Explorer rack + Topeak MTX EXP bag (with expandable panniers). I like it, I can carry my laptop comfortably in one pannier, clothes in the other and lunch and toolkit, puncture kit, phone charger in the main compartment.

One issue I saw was when I wasn't using the panniers - the bag can rattle a bit in the rack. Not too many people seem to have reported it, and I solved it by simply inserting a piece of folded paper between the rack and bag when sliding the bag in. Since I don't often use the bag without the panniers, this doesn't bother me much. The panniers tie down to the rack - that probably helps the bag to not rattle in the rack.
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Old 10-15-12, 01:46 PM
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I spent $40 at my LBS for their cheapest rack and I'm happy with it. I just bungee my backpack to it, although the QuickTrack system looks nice. It does lock you in, no pun intended) to Topeak bags, however.

Honestly, just check the weight limits and make sure it will work for you (mine is 25 lbs.) and that it will fit your bike. You'll learn what works and what doesn't, and you'll be in a much better position for your next rack purchase.
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Old 10-15-12, 02:42 PM
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I'll add another vote for the Topeak Quicktrack setup. My wife and I have them on out Giant Escape 3s, and it's nice to be able change from a the trunkbag to the grocery crate in seconds.
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Old 10-15-12, 03:57 PM
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If you're considering a Topeak rack, consider getting the SuperTourist DX (non-disc specific). Treefort is about the only place I've found that actually has the non disc version. https://www.treefortbikes.com/home#na...22373790___448

This rack will allow you to use all Topeak bags equipped with the MTX system, virtually all other non-QR bags from other brands, and makes mounting panniers easier with a trunk bag on top.
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Old 10-15-12, 04:31 PM
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I have both the Topeak Explorer and a beam rack. The beam rack is great to swap between bikes for light loads but I prefer the explorer.

The Topeak mounting system is really nice.

This is one of my commuters with the Explorer and a Topeak trunk bag with panniers.

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Old 10-15-12, 04:40 PM
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i have the topeak explorer too. i think its rated at 40-50 pounds. i have the topeak bag with fold out panniers and a smaller topeak bag i uses. the track system is pretty cool. i have found the bag does bounce a little when not loaded so i put a small bungee over it problem solved, im currently using a good sized blackburn bag on it. so im gonna say you can put almost any bag on it.
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Old 10-15-12, 05:17 PM
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So what is the difference between the explorer and the super tourist?
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Old 10-15-12, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jshorr
So what is the difference between the explorer and the super tourist?
At least with the super tourist dx, you get a second lower bar for hanging your panniers. Thus, you can have a top bag as well as pair of panniers. Also "lowers the center of gravity"

I got a racktime rack on mine. It's the competitor to the super tourist - I felt I was more likely to buy racktime stuff vs topeak stuff, so I got the racktime instead. It's normally $60 but you can get 20% off @ REI today if you're a member.

https://www.rei.com/product/799755/ra...rear-bike-rack
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Old 10-15-12, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jshorr
So what is the difference between the explorer and the super tourist?
Primary differences are the platform dimensions and the design of the rear rack strut. The SuperTourist with the 'dog leg' look is a bit better design when using panniers, IMO. Also, that 'dog leg' makes it easier to mount rear blinkies to the rack- besides just the center mounted one.
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Old 10-15-12, 06:17 PM
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What about the DX vs the regular super tourist? Just heavier duty? I see that it still holds the same amount of weight.

Do I care about the spring (which is an option in the standard, but not the DX?
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Old 10-15-12, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jshorr
What about the DX vs the regular super tourist? Just heavier duty? I see that it still holds the same amount of weight.

Do I care about the spring (which is an option in the standard, but not the DX?
You get the second bar for lowered center of gravity + additional cargo options

DX:
https://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Super-T.../dp/B000ZKHN6Y

NonDX:
https://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Tourist...+Super+Tourist
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Old 10-15-12, 06:39 PM
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If considering the SuperTourist, the DX is a more versatile design. You may not be contemplating doing anything but commuting at this point, but you may decide to do some light touring some day. Or you might get to the point where you're commuting and then decide (get tasked) to stop by the store on the way home. Those occasions, your normal load can go in a trunk bag and you can bring along a couple of utility/grocery panniers- leave those folded up until you need them.

As far as the spring- some people like them, others question the sanity of the ones who do. Can be handy to secure a jacket or a ball, could help secure saddlebag panniers, think I've seen a couple of products (baskets mostly) on Amazon that are designed to slide onto the spring arm- even saw a youtube vid of a guy who made some DIY panniers using boating dry boxes that placed the hooks under the spring arm and then used a Kryptonite to lock the spring arm to the rack.
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Old 10-15-12, 06:54 PM
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These are all excellent suggestions, but I wouldn't spend a dime until you have heard from the cat.

The cat knows more than anybody on the forum, and has the post count to back it up.
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Old 10-16-12, 09:01 AM
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The cat?
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Old 10-16-12, 10:58 AM
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Xtracycle long tail kit?
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Old 10-16-12, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jshorr
The cat?
It's a reference to a BF member who has a black cat for an avatar.
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Old 10-16-12, 01:28 PM
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I personally have this one and love it. Great thing is you can buy different attachtment for the rails. If you need another photo to understand what i mean let me know.

This is my rack even though its only holding my helmet at this time lol.
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Old 10-16-12, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by spivonious
I spent $40 at my LBS for their cheapest rack and I'm happy with it. I just bungee my backpack to it, although the QuickTrack system looks nice. It does lock you in, no pun intended) to Topeak bags, however.

Honestly, just check the weight limits and make sure it will work for you (mine is 25 lbs.) and that it will fit your bike. You'll learn what works and what doesn't, and you'll be in a much better position for your next rack purchase.
Hmmm... I just spent 24.99 at my LBS for their cheapest rack. Planet Bike. Extensive mounting options. 55lb. weight limit. Everything else their cost $40+.

H
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Old 10-16-12, 02:30 PM
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I'm surprised that Axiom Journey racks don't receive tons of press around here. I have not yet purchased one myself, but they seem like an awesome deal for a super sturdy, basic rack. $28 for 150lb capacity.

https://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Journey-...m+journey+rack
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Old 10-16-12, 04:11 PM
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did a lot of research for my first rear rack purchase I look at all of the above. Ended up with Soma Deco.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00
[h=1][/h]
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