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Opinions on Racktime vs. Topeak rack/bag ecosystems?

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Opinions on Racktime vs. Topeak rack/bag ecosystems?

Old 09-14-20, 11:59 AM
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jfoobar
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Opinions on Racktime vs. Topeak rack/bag ecosystems?

I am considering adding a rear rack from one of these two ecosystems that has the proprietary connectors for trunk bags, baskets, etc. Topeak seems to be far more popular in the U.S. (REI, some local LBS, etc.) and I already own one of their bags and a non-touring rack and it worked reasonably well for the time I used it on a bike that I no longer ride. However, I don't consider this a strong reason to stay with Topeak, especially since I cannot use the rack I already have for panniers. Both make touring-oriented tacks ("Super Tourist" line for Topeak, "Tourit"/"Addit" from Racktime that I could use when I only wanted to use a trunk bag for light touring but put rear panniers on later if I want to. Both racks are aluminum instead of steel. Tubus makes the Racktime racks IIRC.

Anyone have any comparitive experience or thoughts between the two? It seems that Specialized has started including Racktime-compatible racks on some of their newer e-bikes so the availability of Racktime stuff in the U.S. will probably be improving.
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Old 09-14-20, 12:08 PM
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I cannot comment on Racktime.

I first dealt with the Topeak "track rack" some years ago with our trikes. I still have one of the bags from that time and it's as sturdy as ever if a bit more purple than black now. I have never had a rack break on me outside of normal usage issues that would be common to any rack, and even then was only related to a lower screw that was easily replaced. The racks themselves have never failed me. I use one on each of my and wife "cruiser" bikes. One is the GIANT trunk bag that she puts all manner of goodies in. Mine is a bit smaller with some (mostly worthless) little panniers that fold out of pockets on the side. I have not found anything wrong enough with them to consider going to a different system. With that said, I also utilize an under seat bag they have that clips on and off. It works in wonderful concert with the smaller of the two rack bags, given my seat height.

The smaller of the bags would likely be good as a small front rack bag, but probably not worthwhile taking up a whole rack for touring with unless CC. The larger bag is of a useful size for an overnight bag, a day of food, that manner of thing.
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Old 09-14-20, 02:17 PM
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I never used a Toppeak rack.

I have a couple AddIt racks, very happy with them. Well made. Addit is rated for 30 kg which is over 60 pounds so they are built to be solid.

I picked up a hard sided bag that attaches to the Racktime racks at a swap meet, it was really cheap. But I have never found a reason to use it. But it appears to attach and detach quite easily, but I never tried it in adverse conditions.

For a while there were no RackTime dealers in USA, it will be nice if the brand comes back. A few years ago REI sold a couple of their racks.

I know that you can't see the AddIt rack in the photo, but I included anyway because it shows that the rack will carry a load. I use the AddIt rack on that bike for touring.



And, yes it was chilly that day. Thus the long pants, rain jacket, rain cover on helmet.
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Old 09-14-20, 04:19 PM
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I have two MTX trunk bags (one with expandable panniers and one without) two MTX rear racks (Explorer and Super Tourist) and the beam rack with the side-frame. It's a pretty good system if you are taking the bag on and off the rack all the time and using a few different bikes. I used it a lot when I was mostly-car-free for a few years, removing the bag several times a day, and riding different bikes depending on the distance and weather. It's not exactly delicate, and I haven't had any problems with it, but it doesn't seem to be as durable as things designed specifically for touring. I only use my bikes for leisure these days so don't use them at all anymore.
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Old 09-14-20, 04:27 PM
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You don’t have to choose. Nor do you have to use Topeak racks. Topeak is making an add-on called the Omani Quicktrack adapter for their bag system. It bolts onto other racks so you can use the Topeak bag on just about any rack. I’m not a fan of Topeak’s racks because they use flat metal upper stays. They work but they aren’t very adjustable. Tubus Racktime and Tubus racks have round stays that have more adjustment ability with less fuss.

I use a Racktime bag and have for about 15 to 20 years. It’s a very good bag but I also have Tubus racks which won’t work with the AddIt system. My solution was to use an Ortlieb trunk bag adapter on the rack and a basket adapter on the bag. It took a bit more work initially and the Ortlieb rack adapter isn’t cheap but it works extremely well. I even use on for my micropanniers on my bikepacking bike

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

Topeak hasn’t made their adapter until just now. If I had to do it again, I’d use their adapter since it is a little cheaper and their bags already have the fittings.
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Old 09-14-20, 05:54 PM
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I had the Addit on my commuter/tourer for a few years. Sturdy rack with round stays, as cyccommute notes. Before this I had an old Blackburn rack with flat stays and they definitely left something to be desired. The Addit works well with Ortlieb bags, which are sturdier than the Racktime bags, and don’t have quite the same price premium Tubus has over Racktime. I purchased a Racktime top bag that clips in the mount, but found it to be not well suited to my commuting needs. Too tall and not waterproof or as sturdy in construction as the Ortlieb bags. Clipping in and out was a nice feature, but not as useful as I thought it would be. About the only time it was useful was for small family outings to tote along drinks and snacks, that sort of thing. That’s my two cents worth.

Pretty sure I ordered the Addit from one of the German bike retailers, as I could not find it in the US at the time. The bags, oddly enough did pop up in the US, often on Sierra Trading post (also a good source for Ortlieb bags).
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Old 09-14-20, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by But its me View Post
Too tall and not waterproof or as sturdy in construction as the Ortlieb bags. Clipping in and out was a nice feature, but not as useful as I thought it would be. About the only time it was useful was for small family outings to tote along drinks and snacks, that sort of thing. Thatís my two cents worth.
One thing that Racktime has over Topeak is that all or most of their bags have built in rain covers, which is nice. In my case, I would use a clip-in trunk bag along with my handlebar bag for single overnight trips (hotel) where even front panniers would be overkill. I might also use it for longer credit card tours where the use of rear panniers is still overkill. Another option is to just use a handlebar bag and Salsa fork cages and forego a trunk bag altogether for short trips.
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Old 09-14-20, 08:24 PM
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Only Topeak I've seen, the LBS carries because it is integrated with a removable baby seat,,
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Old 09-15-20, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
...I might also use it for longer credit card tours where the use of rear panniers is still overkill...
I wouldn't use the topeak racks or bags for actual touring. I don't think they're designed for that. The material on the bags doesn't seem that tough and the zippers feel like they are just waiting to fail.
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Old 09-19-20, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You donít have to choose. Nor do you have to use Topeak racks. Topeak is making an add-on called the Omani Quicktrack adapter for their bag system.
Man, that's a great idea, but a few years too late for me. I have a perfectly good Avenir rack sitting on a shelf because I had to buy the Topeak Explorer rack to hold my quick-release MTX bag a few years ago.

Anyway, this is good news and a good recommendation for the OP.
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Old 09-19-20, 06:33 PM
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Having seen and used both I much prefer the Racktime system as it is also compatible with bags for MIK (Mounting Is Key) which unlocks a ton of possibilities (granted you will need to swap the bottom plate). So far I have only seen Topeak bags for Topeak systems and they are fine bags and basket but I have seen more options for Racktime. Plus potentially I can get a Racktime adaptor and build a custom set of bags as well with two panniers or pretty much anything I could drill and put some screws into.

I do like the Omni system though that is a game changer and could allow one to use a nice rack from Tubus and if you already have the bag it makes sense.

I do love a lot of Topeak stuff though and use quite a bit of it on my bikes so nothing against Topeak at all.
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Old 09-22-20, 08:38 PM
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I have an Addit on a LHT and an old hybrid. I also have a Racktime Frontit (I think that's the proper name) on the hybrid. Very sturdy and I've never had a problem. I don't use the clip-in stuff as I'm happy with the trunk bag straps and a cargo net. I'm always worried that a plastic piece will break rendering the clip-in system useless.
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Old 09-23-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
... I also have a Racktime Frontit (I think that's the proper name) on the hybrid. Very sturdy and I've never had a problem. ....
I am guessing you mean a Top-It, I bought one from REI when they sold them.
https://www.rei.com/product/852184/r...ront-bike-rack
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Old 09-23-20, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I am guessing you mean a Top-It, I bought one from REI when they sold them.
https://www.rei.com/product/852184/r...ront-bike-rack
You are correct, it is the Top-it.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:49 PM
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I’ve been using Topeak racks for years and never had an issue. Just the standard Explorer rack with Ortlieb panniers. Use a Topeak bag for commuting, but not touring. It is not waterproof.
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Old 09-23-20, 05:17 PM
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Thanks for the advice, folks. I am about 98% sure I am going to go with the Racktime Addit coupled with an Odin bag (w/ rain cover just in case) for 1-2 night trips.
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