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Which of these two racks?

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Which of these two racks?

Old 04-01-15, 09:27 PM
  #1  
willydstyle
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Which of these two racks?

Planet Bike Eco Rack
(Also, what does it mean "pre-installed hardware?")

or

Blackburn TRX-1 Ultimate Touring Rack

The Planet Bike rack claims a 55 pound capacity, and I get free shipping, but TBH does not look as beefy as the Blackburn which claims a 40 pound capacity. I can get the planet bike rack in silver which would look better on my '79 Fuji America too.

So which is a better deal, or are both junk?
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Old 04-01-15, 10:13 PM
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cale
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I've got the Planet Bike Eco rack and it's a good rack but it is rather heavy. The installed hardware holds the side rails in place.
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Old 04-01-15, 10:43 PM
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If you plan on using panniers on this I'd go with the Blackburn for the second top rail position. Having the second top rail lets you get your weight down a little lower and makes strapping things to the deck easier. The lower panniers also allow you to possibly strap things across the rack.
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Old 04-02-15, 12:02 AM
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Only other deciding factor I could think of is if you ever planned to use a trunk-style bag. Might have trouble on the narrow topped blackburn.

But if you do buy the blackburn, go right to the nashbar site (I just did) to buy it rather than amazon. It's same price (24$), but if you buy 49$, you get another 20% off and free shipping.

Blackburn TRX-1 Ultimate Touring Rack

And no, no affiliation with Nashbar here, its just that I needed tires and ordered some and seeing your post and the price on that rack, I added one on, just because for $19 for that rack, I'll find a use for it.
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Old 04-02-15, 08:34 AM
  #5  
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Check out the Jandd "Expedition" Long/wide/well built. Holds my panniers & trunck bag. Never had any problems with it.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:09 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
Check out the Jandd "Expedition" Long/wide/well built. Holds my panniers & trunck bag. Never had any problems with it.
Yes, that is a nice-looking rack, but it also costs 4x as much, and I'm on a budget.
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Old 04-02-15, 09:35 AM
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How will you afford the costs of the tour Itself? got a 3 job earning plan to save it up?
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Old 04-02-15, 09:47 AM
  #8  
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I have the Blackburn. One thing you should know about it is that if you plan to use rack eyelets, the connecting hardware is waaaaay too long, and won't adjust short enough. The other mounting option that they provide goes through the center - which would not work due to cantilever brakes on my bike, and with the bike having rack eyelets I would rather use them than the seatpost clamp. I ended up making my own brackets, which was not too big a deal, but... I don't understand at all why the rack and hardware is made the way it is. it would be so easy to design it a bit differently so it would adjust and fit most (maybe even all) bikes with rack mounts.

Given the choice between the two racks you mention, I would still take the Blackburn.
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Old 04-02-15, 10:28 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
I have the Blackburn. One thing you should know about it is that if you plan to use rack eyelets, the connecting hardware is waaaaay too long, and won't adjust short enough. The other mounting option that they provide goes through the center - which would not work due to cantilever brakes on my bike, and with the bike having rack eyelets I would rather use them than the seatpost clamp. I ended up making my own brackets, which was not too big a deal, but... I don't understand at all why the rack and hardware is made the way it is. it would be so easy to design it a bit differently so it would adjust and fit most (maybe even all) bikes with rack mounts.

Given the choice between the two racks you mention, I would still take the Blackburn.
How difficult would it be to mount on this?

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Old 04-02-15, 10:38 AM
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I don't see rack mounts. If it does not have rack mounts/eyelets, and it does not look like your brakes will get in the way of the seatpost mount you should be fine.

If it does have rack eyelets/holes that I am not seeing, you may have to fabricate two 3"-5" long X 3/4" wide mounts out of aluminum or steel with a hole in each end. If this is the case, please let me know and I will post a pict (this evening) of the ones I made.
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Old 04-02-15, 11:30 AM
  #11  
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It has eyelets on the dropouts, but no rack mounts on the seat stays.
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Old 04-02-15, 08:38 PM
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That's a sweet looking bike. Good on the eyelets on the dropouts that will make mounting it much easier. There is a lot going on in the photo below. I have the mounting brackets I fabricated to the downtube mounting holes/screws. Yours does not have the holes, so you could use loops (one is in the photo) and a fabricated bracket. Much easier would be to use the included mounting bracket that goes to the brake boss. Looking at the photo of your bike and brakes, the included bracket should work to the brake boss as your cable comes from the side. Mine is dead center and in the way.

I did not take a photo of the other bracket, but it would not work for you anyway as it attaches to the downtube eyelets and is about 2.5 times too long. My rack was almost at a 45 degree angle when I tried to use that bracket.

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Old 04-03-15, 09:17 PM
  #13  
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The Blackburn looks like a much more touring-friendly rack, to me. And weight capacity probably won't matter much. You probably won't put 40lbs on there anyway. Even if you do, it might be fine, or it might not. I got an Axiom that was rated for 100lbs+ that started slowly bending off to one side ~1/2 way through my tour. It was terribly lopsided by the end. I took it to the bike shop and they said that there's no way any of the rack companies would warranty a rack for a bend, only for a weld defect, because they'll just argue that you bent the rack somehow or overloaded it. No matter which rack you get, weight probably isn't a huge concerning factor. The one with the best mounting and protection from things going into your wheels are good factors to think about.
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Old 04-06-15, 06:10 PM
  #14  
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On the seatstays you can use p-clamps from Ace Hardware that are wrapped in rubber. Your bike has short chainstays so to avoid heel-strike if you have big feet you'll need a rack that can hold bags aft of the rear axle like the Blackburn you linked to or like the Axiom racks with brackets on the bottom. Use thread-locking goop on all the bolts. It might also be a good idea to buy panniers that are angled like the seatstays, for example the vintage trapezoid-shaped Cannondale panniers.

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Old 04-07-15, 08:20 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
The Blackburn looks like a much more touring-friendly rack, to me. And weight capacity probably won't matter much. You probably won't put 40lbs on there anyway. Even if you do, it might be fine, or it might not. I got an Axiom that was rated for 100lbs+ that started slowly bending off to one side ~1/2 way through my tour. It was terribly lopsided by the end. I took it to the bike shop and they said that there's no way any of the rack companies would warranty a rack for a bend, only for a weld defect, because they'll just argue that you bent the rack somehow or overloaded it. No matter which rack you get, weight probably isn't a huge concerning factor. The one with the best mounting and protection from things going into your wheels are good factors to think about.
Both racks have some serious warts. The Blackburn has a better rack stay mounting system...although there are better ones around...but the deck is really narrow. A tent and sleeping bag are going to teeter on that narrow of a deck and that increases the chance of them slipping off while you ride. I find that a wider deck is much better.

The Planet bike rack has flat stays which are more difficult to mount. Bending the flat stays to fit can be difficult and since p-clamps have to be used, it's even more difficult. The Planet Bike K.O.K.O. uses a better mounting system that is easier to adjust to fit any bike.

By far the best touring rack is a Tubus. I'm partial to the Tubus Cargo. They aren't cheap but they are extremely rugged. I've never loaded mine even close to the 80 kg (176 lb) limit nor do I ever plan to but at least I know it's capable of handling anything I can throw at it.

I would also suggest the Tubus stay mounting clamps (see item 3) over p-clips. With the two bolt system, you don't have to pinch the clamp in and hold it while feeding the bolt through and threading on the nut. They are easier to use and much more stable.
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Old 04-07-15, 10:59 PM
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^ You're correct that they do both have their issues, but I sense that the OP doesn't have a Tubus budget since they're looking at $25 racks. $140 is quite a stretch from that price range... Unfortunately I've only tried a couple racks, so I don't have a vast knowledge of the market offerings. I only know the practical aspects of what to look for in a rack based on the fact that I have used a couple for many loaded miles. I know you have a lot more experience than I do, and therefore probably a better knowledge of what's out there. Any suggestions for OP in the <$50 range?
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Old 04-08-15, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
^ You're correct that they do both have their issues, but I sense that the OP doesn't have a Tubus budget since they're looking at $25 racks. $140 is quite a stretch from that price range... Unfortunately I've only tried a couple racks, so I don't have a vast knowledge of the market offerings. I only know the practical aspects of what to look for in a rack based on the fact that I have used a couple for many loaded miles. I know you have a lot more experience than I do, and therefore probably a better knowledge of what's out there. Any suggestions for OP in the <$50 range?
That's why I suggested the K.O.K.O. The mount is similar to the Tubus and is a lot easier to mount than the flat stay racks and has more freedom of movement (i.e. more adjustment) than the Blackburn. It also has a wider more useful deck.

Yes, the Tubus is expensive but if you really need to carry weight, it's the best way to go. One thing I forgot to mention is that the Tubus is much more rigid than any aluminum rack. That means that the tail doesn't wag the dog as badly.
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Old 04-08-15, 12:33 PM
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Sorry, I somehow didn't see that KOKO part the first time. That does look like a better option than the other two.
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Old 04-08-15, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Sorry, I somehow didn't see that KOKO part the first time. That does look like a better option than the other two.
Yea, it's easy to miss. Sometimes I wish that links were a different color than the baby blue color.
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Old 04-08-15, 01:33 PM
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I've wanted a fuji america for a long time; nice bike. If the chain stays are short, you can (a) get a longer rack like the Jandd expedition (very strong) and/or (b) get rear panniers that are not too wide. Alternatively, lighten your load (take a look at some ultra light touring sites) and you may not even need a rear rack:

Ultralight Touring | Adventure Cyclist | Adventure Cycling Association
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