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Just installed a Tubus Fly Evo: Impressions

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Just installed a Tubus Fly Evo: Impressions

Old 09-28-18, 09:35 PM
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Just installed a Tubus Fly Evo: Impressions

I have a Cannondale Synapse with an aluminum frame. I like this frame because its geometry is conducive to long rides, and because it doesn't mind being loaded up with a lightweight rack and a set of panniers for errands, day-trips, and commuting.

Over the years I've used a cheap 9mm aluminum rack with the bike. This worked well enough, but was always a little on the flimsy side, and it really annoyed me that it has a solid piece of metal laying flat on the top that serves no purpose other than to catch crosswinds and add weight. I didn't care for the look. We've all seen them -- the cheapest option at most bike shops. The rack weighed about two pounds, but was still not very strong. I used this rack for commuting with some Ortlieb Bike Shopper panniers, and occasionally for a trip to the store, or even for a family ride where I needed to bring along lunch for everyone.

I craved an upgrade, as is often the case with bikes and bike accessories. After some research I ended up purchasing a Tubus Fly Evo rack. The rack weighs about 350 grams, plus about 67 grams for mounting hardware, which might be reduced further depending on your configuration.

The Fly Evo is designed to be attached by bolts near the drop-outs, and then at the top by a mounting bracket attached to the brake bridge between the upper portion of the seat stays. If you need it to attach to bosses ON the seat stays you'll need an additional adapter. There is a segment of tubing that goes between the rack and the brake bracket that can be bent to the appropriate angle, and even cut down shorter (to save weight) once the configuration has been settled upon.

The rack uses 10mm tubing. It is a minimalist design, yet very sturdy. There is no ugly top plate. For this reason it's not designed to be used with trunks. In fact it is probably too narrow for most trunks. I consider this narrow size to be an advantage as it keeps the weight down more, and puts the strength right where it's needed. The rack can support a couple of panniers, and is perfectly matched to my Ortlieb panniers. It holds up to 20kg (44 pounds). It has a small plate at the back for attaching a rear light, if you're inclined to do so.

The design of the Evo model is supposed to absorb shock and load better than the previous model. From what I can tell when I load it up with a couple panniers (not heavy ones, just typical of when I use my bike for commuting) it handles the loads great, and seems to be forgiving of road vibrations.

What impresses me most is just the minimal but sturdy design. When the panniers are not attached, I can't even tell the rack is back there -- it just doesn't seem to affect my handling and bike agility at all. Unlike my old cheap-o rack that rattled, caught the wind, and wasn't very well suited to any load over ten pounds, this one is up to the job of commuting, trips to the store, and day treks.

If you're looking for a lightweight rack that attaches at the brake bridge, this one fits the ticket. I paid 75 for mine online. There is an even lighter-weight model made of titanium: the Tubus Airy, at more than twice the price. And there are more heavy duty models for touring bikes, full utility bikes, and heavier hybrid bikes: The Tubus Cargo, Tubus Vega, and Tubus Logo come to mind. But for a road-bike rack at a decent price I'm pretty happy with the Fly Evo.
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Old 09-29-18, 05:20 AM
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Photo would be nice. Nice write up. Thanks.

You said you commute with it, thus it might get more than average amount of wear and chaffing. If yours is black, I use black nail polish to touch up the wear spots on my racks.
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Old 09-29-18, 07:20 AM
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I would also recommend putting either some strong , tough tape over the contact points. Do you use the inserts in your Ortlieb panniers? Even if you do, a bit of hockey tape or gorilla tape or whatever will stop rubbing over time, and there's no downside to putting some on.
I started thinking about this aspect of pannier/rack contact points when setting up a bike for a long tough trip, and wanted to reduce the movement of my ortliebs against my racks, so I ended up going the whole "remove inserts and adding rubber tubing" route onto both my rear and front racks. A bit of a pain in the rear to get the thickness right and all that, but it meant that even when bouncing over very rough roads, it eliminated the panniers from moving around and wearing away the rack itself.
Downside is that when using other bikes, not having the inserts meant I had to "thicken up" those racks also, which I did on one of my other bikes.

Last edited by djb; 09-29-18 at 07:25 AM.
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