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Your favourite rack top bag

Old 04-16-12, 12:15 AM
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Commodus
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Your favourite rack top bag

Hi guys, looks like I might be doing a Fleche after all. I have only a small handlebar bag I use for the 200s, and I want more carrying capacity for this event. My bike's geometry isn't well suited to a heavier load up there, so I'm thinking to get a rack and a bag for on top.

Recommendations? I don't need a ton of room, just some clothing. I'll still be using the handlebar bag as well, of course. I've seen them from Axiom, MEC, Arkel and Ortlieb.

I like Arkel stuff but it's always so damned heavy. The Axiom and MEC stuff is a bit 'hit-and-miss' in terms of quality. Never had Ortlieb anything, but I hear good things.

Thanks in advance,
Com.
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Old 04-16-12, 09:28 AM
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unterhausen
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I really like Ortlieb stuff. Haven't seen their rack top bag though.
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Old 04-16-12, 09:42 AM
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I always had a liking for Lone Peak bags; they make a couple of rack top bags that are very good quality.

https://www.bikebagshop.com/lone-peak...ag-p-1669.html

Alan

Last edited by oldskoolwrench; 04-16-12 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 04-16-12, 04:11 PM
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We're using a Detours Transit Box on our tandem:
https://detours.us/store/rack-bags/transit-box/

Waterproof or almost and came with a yellow condom. Works great.
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Old 04-18-12, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Hi guys, ...so I'm thinking to get a rack and a bag for on top.
...I like Arkel stuff but it's always so damned heavy...
Com.
The Arkel handlebar bags and panniers are heavy, but the Arkel Tailrider weighs only about a pound and I can't think of any racktop bags that are lighter or have more volume at that weight. The Tailrider can hold a good deal of stuff and you can bungy more on top if you need to. But it also can be quite trim if you're not carrying a lot in it. Comes with a built-in raincover.
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Old 04-18-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
The Arkel handlebar bags and panniers are heavy, but the Arkel Tailrider weighs only about a pound and I can't think of any racktop bags that are lighter or have more volume at that weight. The Tailrider can hold a good deal of stuff and you can bungy more on top if you need to. But it also can be quite trim if you're not carrying a lot in it. Comes with a built-in raincover.
Wow you're totally right. The Arkel bag is actually really light, and I've always been impressed with the quality of the construction from them.

I think we have a winner!
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Old 04-18-12, 03:41 PM
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I really like the Carradice Pendle for shorter rides and Carradice Nelson Longflap for longer rides.
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Old 04-18-12, 04:12 PM
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One of my rando friends came out for a spin a couple days before his 600 and he had that Arkel. It looked really good. Best I've seen. I can't believe it's that light, but I guess it is. Plenty roomy!
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Old 04-18-12, 04:20 PM
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This is the one I got for the tandem:
https://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/trunkbagdxp_strap
For my single bike, I'm using a fabric toolbag that came from Northern Tool for $5 or so a couple of years ago. I had to add straps myself.
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Old 04-18-12, 06:14 PM
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I was in the LBS yesterday, and they had an OP rack top compression bag that looked really nice. If I were getting a rack bag, I probably wouldn't be searching through it much, so a compression bag might be perfect.
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Old 04-19-12, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I really like the Carradice Pendle for shorter rides and Carradice Nelson Longflap for longer rides.
Yea...to be honest I was planning on going that way initially. But my budget constraints are suddenly considerable and I do not already own a suitable saddle. I could buy one of the supports, but I already own the rack, so...
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Old 04-19-12, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Yea...to be honest I was planning on going that way initially. But my budget constraints are suddenly considerable and I do not already own a suitable saddle. I could buy one of the supports, but I already own the rack, so...
Well, that's a different matter :-)

You can buy saddle loops for pretty cheap. Wallingford has saddle loops for $18 (https://www.wallbike.com/parts-and-br...yclo-bag-loops) and the Barley for $108 or Nelson Longflap for $139. You may be able to shave something off those prices looking around the web. You don't really need a rack for the Carradice's, in my experience. I've ridden thousands of miles with either a Lowsaddle Longflap or a Barley hanging from my saddle loops. Your thighs touch the bag on the downstroke, but it isn't bothersome. And because the saddlebag sits right near your center of gravity, it diminishes the effect on handling. I much prefer saddlebags. Plus I think they're more aerodynamic since they are sitting right in the windshadow of your thighs, instead of having to sit on a rack that has lots of bits of metal that are adding to what has to be pushed through the wind. Finally, the saddlebags hanging directly off the saddle are much more efficient when it comes to carrying capacity per gram. The Tailrider on my Blackburn rack has 8.1 liters per kilogram, while my Lowsaddle Longflap hold 19.3 liters per kg, more than twice as much. A Nelson Longflap would be even better but I don't have enough room for it! Maybe pasting the following table into a spreadsheet will make it legible :-)

Bags weight (kg) volume (l) liter/kg
Tailrider + Blackburn rack 1.208 9.8 8.1532
Tailrider + Arkel rando rack 1.053 9.8 9.3534
Carradice Barley 0.55 7.0 12.7273
Carradice Lowsaddle longflap on saddle 0.778 15.0 19.2802
Carradice Nelson Longflap 0.85 18.0 21.1765

Nick
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Old 04-22-12, 02:23 AM
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I have a Carradice Carradura racktop bag. Inexpensive (about $50), lightweight (634g), and big enough without being too big (10 liters normally, up to 11.5 liters with expansion unzipped). Even comes with a rain cover.
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Old 04-22-12, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
Yea...to be honest I was planning on going that way initially. But my budget constraints are suddenly considerable and I do not already own a suitable saddle. I could buy one of the supports, but I already own the rack, so...
I have Brooks saddles, and I loop the straps through those built-in tabs, but the bags just sit on my usual racks, not on a special support.
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Old 04-22-12, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
This is the one I got for the tandem:
https://www.topeak.com/products/Bags/trunkbagdxp_strap
For my single bike, I'm using a fabric toolbag that came from Northern Tool for $5 or so a couple of years ago. I had to add straps myself.
I'd vote for the Topeak range myself too ... Though I'd say the choice is easier to make if you've already a got a Topeak rack to fit it on, and can thus use the slide-in/out versions.
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Old 05-09-12, 02:50 AM
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you could try a nashbar rack top bag. i have had one for about 2 years and am quite happy with it, granted i've never used it for standardized anything, but i know for a fact that they're durable, water resistant (depends on how wet & how long), and can fit a shirt and shorts depending on how they're folded.

CLICK HERE!
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Old 05-09-12, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I really like the Carradice Pendle for shorter rides and Carradice Nelson Longflap for longer rides.
Those are probably the heaviest bags on the market.

Topeak makes a large bag called the MTX rear bag that has 1380 cubic inches of storage space that is fairly light, it's water resistant but nothing like the Ortliebs in that regard, and it cost about $90. https://www.campmor.com/topeak-mtx-re...ci_sku=56643WC
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Old 05-09-12, 08:06 AM
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I ended up using one of these from MEC:

It's adequate, but heavy for the volume and unnecessarily awkward to get into. BUT I got it for free - borrowed it from a friend.

After checking out everyone else's setups on the Super Big Ride (Fleche) I'm pretty sure I'm going to go for a Arkel Tailrider. Its pretty light and I like the design and the volume is enough for my needs. Probably the performance leader is this guy:



from Moots, but for this bike I think I'm going to stick with a rack.

Thanks for the input guys!
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Old 05-09-12, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Those are probably the heaviest bags on the market.

Topeak makes a large bag called the MTX rear bag that has 1380 cubic inches of storage space that is fairly light, it's water resistant but nothing like the Ortliebs in that regard, and it cost about $90. https://www.campmor.com/topeak-mtx-re...ci_sku=56643WC
You've got to include the weight of the rack if you're using a bag that requires a rack. The Carradice bags don't require a rack, so they are typically a better volume to weight ratio than any bags that require a rack.
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Old 05-13-12, 06:25 PM
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After using a rack-top bag at PBP in 2007 I gave up on racks and rear bags. The total combined weight of the two along with the position of the load made them unacceptable to me after having used them for a number of longer rides. I now use a handlebar bag and a larger seat bag. Much better weight distribution and easier access to your gear. For longer brevets you often have access to a drop bag so you can get away with carrying less. If you are touring that may be a different story but for most brevets or grand randonnee's you wont need more storage if you are efficient!
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Old 05-13-12, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldairhead View Post
After using a rack-top bag at PBP in 2007 I gave up on racks and rear bags. The total combined weight of the two along with the position of the load made them unacceptable to me after having used them for a number of longer rides. I now use a handlebar bag and a larger seat bag. Much better weight distribution and easier access to your gear. For longer brevets you often have access to a drop bag so you can get away with carrying less. If you are touring that may be a different story but for most brevets or grand randonnee's you wont need more storage if you are efficient!
Thank you for your input!

To be honest this was my first thought as well. I was mostly entertaining the rack+bag idea because I didn't have a suitable seat bag and didn't want to spend money until I was sure which way I wanted to go. In the mean time, I've decided that I just can't deal with the handlebar bag - on my bike it affects the handling too much.

I suspect the real answer to my dilemma is a new bike. I see a Boulder Brevet in my future...or maybe an All Road.
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Old 05-13-12, 11:21 PM
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On a slightly odd note, BQ found that the single piece of equipment most closely associated with finishing at PBP was a rack and pannier. That would not have been my guess, but thinking about it, it does make sense.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:04 PM
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That Moots bag is bad ass. That's going on my Christmas wish list.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:22 PM
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I use an ortlieb seat bag or a carridace nelson but Relevate have some interesting stuff....

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Old 05-15-12, 07:42 PM
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That's some capacity -- the seatposts look like they're bending!
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