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Experience with Surly "Nice Racks"?

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Experience with Surly "Nice Racks"?

Old 12-14-05, 03:50 PM
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Experience with Surly "Nice Racks"?

New to the forum. "Hi to all". It's nice to be here...I'm building up a recently acquired, near mint '83 Specialized Expedition and am installing Surly "Nice Racks" (https://www.surlybikes.com/parts/nicerack_pop.html) front and rear. These appear to be incredibly well-made, heavy-duty, expedition-grade racks, but I'm just wondering if anyone has any practicle experience touring with them?

Thanks ahead of time for your input.

Ted
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Old 12-14-05, 04:33 PM
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They look like nice racks and I use a chromo rear rack myself (Tubus), but manafacturers claims that their racks can be welded anywhere in the world are nonsense. Try getting tubular steel welded in Africa - I did and it was a disaster.

From my experience almost any break can be bodged extremely well with cable ties and/or hose clamps.

So really I don't think steel for racks is a big deal. OMM racks IMO are massively under-rated with regard the weight they can carry, where as (for example) Tubus are massively optimistic with their weight ratings.
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Old 12-14-05, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by amaferanga
They look like nice racks and I use a chromo rear rack myself (Tubus), but manafacturers claims that their racks can be welded anywhere in the world are nonsense. Try getting tubular steel welded in Africa - I did and it was a disaster.

From my experience almost any break can be bodged extremely well with cable ties and/or hose clamps.

So really I don't think steel for racks is a big deal. OMM racks IMO are massively under-rated with regard the weight they can carry, where as (for example) Tubus are massively optimistic with their weight ratings.
The fact that they, like Tubus and some other quality racks, are made of chromoly was certainly a draw. However, I also like the integrated shelf on the front rack, (similar to Jandd), where I plan to use a smallish trunk-type pack (instead of a handlebar bag) together with front lowriders. It's also nice that they are available in a beautiful satiny silver finish. The installation is a little more involved than the average "Blackburn-style" racks, but they are very adjustable providing a beautiful fit.

I'm just hoping that their function is as excellent as their form.

Ted
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Old 12-15-05, 09:20 AM
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I have both on my LHT and they are asome... Very Heavy duty and they are easy setups. I had my front bags on and a girl sat on the front rack for a mile or to. So it really can live up to it's quality. Plus the glorious part about them is there sweet name .


Cheers,

Coconut
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Old 12-15-05, 01:31 PM
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Thanks coconut. Yeah, the name is a bit tongue-in-cheek. They certainly appear to be heavy duty, with 10 mm chromoly tube and all. In fact they would be a beautiful compliment to your LHT. Any problems with any of the M5 screws coming loose while on tour? Did you further rust proof the racks with linseed oil or anything? With all the LHT owners on this forum I'm sure other have experiences with the Surly racks. I'd love to hear more.

Ted
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Old 12-16-05, 08:34 AM
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Never had a problem with any thing coming loose... every year in the spring I re-spray paint the racks to keep them rust proof just because of the constant beating they take... Other than that... They are Golden!
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Old 12-16-05, 09:19 AM
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That front rack looks great but man... what's the weight on that thing? Heebus...
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Old 12-16-05, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew A Brown
That front rack looks great but man... what's the weight on that thing? Heebus...
The Surly front rack is no light weight, but imagine a front rack with a carrying capacity of 70 lbs! Of course, I can't imagine putting 70 lbs. on the front and back combined, but it's good to know that it will not be straining under normal loads. Racks like these (and Tubus, Bruce Gordon, and a few others) are a measure of insurance for 3rd World touring--probably overkill in most circumstances here in the states.

From the Surly website:

Front:

* Pannier support area: 781 cm² (121 in²) per side
* Rack width: 178mm outside to outside
* Weight: 1.34 kg (2.95 lb) with all the bolts and hardware as set up on a Long Haul Trucker
* Height: Adjustable to accomodate 26” to 29” wheels
* Tubing diameter: 10mm
* Tubing: 100% 4130 cro-moly tubing, two thicknesses throughout rack
* Hardware: all stainless steel bolts, nuts, washers and attachment plates, aluminum spacers
* Load weight limit: 32 kg (70 lbs)
* Surface finish: phosphate coated inside and out, powdercoated exterior

Rear:

* Pannier support area: 616 cm² (95 in²) per side
* Rack width: 160mm (6.3 in.) outside to outside
* Weight: 1.11 kg (2.45 lb.) with all hardware and bolts
* Height: Adjustable to accomodate 26”, 700c and 29” wheels
* Tubing diameter: 10mm
* Tubing: 100% 4130 cro-moly tubing, three thicknesses throughout rack
* Hardware: all stainless steel bolts, washers, tubing pieces and castings
* Load weight limit: 36 kg (80 lbs)
* Surface finish: phosphate coated inside and out, powdercoated exterior

Ted
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Old 12-16-05, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew A Brown
That front rack looks great but man... what's the weight on that thing? Heebus...

Weight? ok we are in the Touring forum right? I think if your doing a extended stay on the road... a pound here a pound there should be the least of your concern... I would be more worried on strength and durability. Ok ok ok and the color... to bad they don't make them in Hot pink. Back to the weight problem.... I didn't notice any difference when I went from a crappy front rack to that bad boy. Plus the thing looks so damn beefy when you are riding with it on it looks like a cattle guard....I fear no Deer with that thing on

Cheers,

Coconut.
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Old 12-20-05, 03:34 PM
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I got a silver nice rack on the front. The finish has gottenrubbed off in some spots, otherwise it's a great rack.
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Old 12-20-05, 04:04 PM
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they seem to be one of the most expensive racks out there.more so than omm and tubus.are they worth the extra money?
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Old 12-20-05, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mgilman
they seem to be one of the most expensive racks out there.more so than omm and tubus.are they worth the extra money?
That's a good question. Actually, they are pricey, but no more than Tubus and not as much as Bruce Gordon. The Surly's are available at Alfred E. Bike. I just got a set of the Surly's and attached them to a newly restored Specialized Expedition and I have to say they are impressive. It is my initial belief that they are on par with the other top-tier racks, but what I really would like to hear are some reports from other actual owners under real-world touring conditions. How do they carry the load? Are they constantly coming loose? Are they rock solid and are they worth the money?

Thanks, mgilman, for your observation.

Ted
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Old 12-21-05, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tphelps
That's a good question. Actually, they are pricey, but no more than Tubus and not as much as Bruce Gordon. The Surly's are available at Alfred E. Bike. I just got a set of the Surly's and attached them to a newly restored Specialized Expedition and I have to say they are impressive. It is my initial belief that they are on par with the other top-tier racks, but what I really would like to hear are some reports from other actual owners under real-world touring conditions. How do they carry the load? Are they constantly coming loose? Are they rock solid and are they worth the money?

Thanks, mgilman, for your observation.

Ted
In general Tubus or OMM can be had for less.

The MSRP on the rear Nice Rack is $139! I have no idea why it's so high as the rack is made in Taiwan. If Tubus and OMM can use expensive Western labour and and crank out racks for less money I tend to think that you are paying more for the Surly brand name than for the rack.

BTW, I have a Tubus Cosmo and love it! It puts the weight very low on the rack. It's a super stable set up.
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Old 12-21-05, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ziemas
In general Tubus or OMM can be had for less.

The MSRP on the rear Nice Rack is $139! I have no idea why it's so high as the rack is made in Taiwan. If Tubus and OMM can use expensive Western labour and and crank out racks for less money I tend to think that you are paying more for the Surly brand name than for the rack.

BTW, I have a Tubus Cosmo and love it! It puts the weight very low on the rack. It's a super stable set up.
More good points. The Cosmo is a beautiful piece of equipment. Of course the Surly racks sell for $90.00 at Alfred E. Bike, making them considerably less than the Cosmo (msrp $140.00), the Logo (msrp $110.00), and even the Cargo (msrp $100.00).

My reasons for purchasing the Surly were: 1) the adjustability. (The front fork braze-ons on my '83 Expedition are not at the now standard height from the dropout eyelets, so the Tubus and others would not fit without clamps. The Surly fits beautifully.) 2) the built-in shelf on the front rack permits me to mount low-riders as well as use a trunk-type pack on the shelf instead of a handlebar bag. 3) made of chromoly (like Tubus, etc.) for strength.

My real desire is not to debate costs and western vs. eastern labor, or even one company vs. another. I just want to know if there are people who have the Surly racks and what their experiences are with them.

Ted
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Old 12-21-05, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by coconut in IA
Weight? ok we are in the Touring forum right?

Well, yes... but weight has different effects in different places. On the trailer, on one's back, over the front wheel, over the rear wheel, etc. Kinda obvious, I guess, but yeah.

I could see myself picking this guy up through the LBS more towards summer, and it looks right about perfect aside from being slightly heavier than My Ideal Front Rack. It's a silly gripe, I'll admit. Engineer's dilemma and all...

ramberamble...
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