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New cargo rack- is this too tall? Should I get a touring model?

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New cargo rack- is this too tall? Should I get a touring model?

Old 03-04-21, 03:49 AM
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New cargo rack- is this too tall? Should I get a touring model?

New bike and I could use some help from the experts as I've never had a rack nor panniers before. I'm not touring, but moving to Japan without a car, so the bike will be my grocery getter and shopping machine. I bought the Racktime lightIT made for 28" wheels, but it's pretty darn tall. I could get the 26" version that's an inch lower and it'll look better. Or, there's the lightIT touring model which has a lower rail for the panniers that would let me keep the top rack open for possibly tying down a box or something from the post office, or adding a top bag or basket. Or just leave it as-is. Thoughts?

Here's the touring model with lower pannier rail: https://www.racktime.com/fileadmin/u...0_Tour_1.0.pdf




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Old 03-04-21, 06:36 AM
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I'd get rack with the lower rails, then wait to you get to Japan to buy a basket to bolt on top, while still being able to attach the panniers. Can recommend OGK brand baskets, super quality plastic. I rode about a mile with a friend sitting in mine. You can also buy cheap basket covers at Daiso and cargo nets. The covers are handy for your shopping, the crows know there are goodies in baskets, so they can be pretty ruthless. They stole my collection of konimbi bendy straws, but weren't real keen on the BBQ charcoal.
I'd also grab a set of fenders, it rains a lot in Japan at times. It might also be worth getting a frame lock and plug in cable, bike theft isn't super bad in Japan, you just need something convenient mostly, but with a bit of security like a Trelock or Abus, you can buy seat stay mounts to retro fit them. https://mobil.abus.com/uk/on-road/Locks/Frame-Locks
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Old 03-04-21, 07:45 AM
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first of all, that is an interesting adventure to have the opportunity to live in Japan for a while, pretty neat.

My wifes bike had this problem, her bike has 26in wheels, and also is XS, extra small, so the rack was rather high. She found it very tippy with full panniers, as they were rather high up. I tried getting a Racktime model with the two sets of rails, lower rails for panniers, but was unable to find them here in Canada.
I ended up buying a very similar double rail rack made my Trek, a small version for smaller bikes, and this helped a lot.

If it is easy for you to get the Racktime double rail version, I think you will appreciate it, groceries can be very very heavy, much heavier than touring stuff.
I also second the recommendation of fenders, as commuting in rain is common and its nice not to get mud, dirt and wet all over your back and face, especially the back as it will stain jackets and shirts easily. I suspect it will be much much cheaper to find fenders in Italy than in Japan.
good luck with your time there.
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Old 03-04-21, 01:18 PM
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Is that a 26 inch bike? I would get the 26 inch version if it is.

That is a narrow platform on top, it may be hard to strap much on such a narrow platform.
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Old 03-04-21, 04:10 PM
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$.02 that bike with very short chainstays would not be on my list for rear pannier loads. Can you ride it without heels hitting the bag? Even with lots of set back you get a twitchy front end. I’d go for rear rack closer to tire and basket attached on top with smaller front panniers on small front rack like Nitto or similar.
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Old 03-05-21, 12:59 PM
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That's a narrow rack you have there. If you're going to try something different, you might as well go for more than just lower. On my 700c utility bicycle I have a Salsa Wanderlust HD with a wire basket securely strapped to it. Very low and wide. Has lower rails for panniers. Might be far enough back to avoid the problem with short chainstays that LeeG is warning about. On the front I have a Surly rack with a wire basket securely strapped to it. Also low, wide and lower rails for panniers. The baskets still stick out over the sides of these racks. I've never used panniers plus baskets on this particular setup so, don't know how I'd approach doing that. Another shopping setup, that I was using previously, consisted of a cheap rack (came with the bicycle) that is so wide that I can fit a basket on top, plus Wald wire basket panniers hanging from the top rails .

+1 on the fenders. I try to have those on all of my bicycles.

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Old 03-05-21, 07:24 PM
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That does seem a little too high to me.
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Old 03-14-21, 12:12 AM
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It looks like you're going to have heel contact unless you move your panniers back. (It looks like you have +/-3".) A lower rack may be a bit more stable under load. As for aesthetics, that's up to you.
For what it's worth if you decide to change, I have the Racktime Addit on two bikes and I'm very happy with the racks. The bikes both have 27" wheels so I'm not sure how they would fit on your bike. Amazon has a different two level Racktime rack that's actually cheaper and comes in a few wheel sizes.

Good luck.
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Old 03-14-21, 09:18 AM
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I wouldnt rely on panniers only for grocery shopping, i grocery shop on my bike because the grocery store is on my way home from work. I find it easier to to put glass and the denser things in my handlebar bag and the softer groceries in the panniers. I recently ordered a Blackburn everyday basket w/bungee net and that will hopefully make the grocery shopping shopping even easier since I can just keep my shopping basket/bag strapped to the basket, it will also mean I can keep both my panniers open for carrying work junk
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Old 03-14-21, 09:35 AM
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Take a look at the Jannd "Expedition".. Its the only one I own and works well with my panniers
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Old 03-14-21, 09:54 AM
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Sort of off topic but I would strongly recommend bar ends, to give you more hand positions. Two is a hundred percent more than one.
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