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Rear Rack

Old 06-16-22, 11:43 PM
  #1  
Frenzen
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Rear Rack

I found a rack named Topeak Explorer Bike Rack and it is very inexpensive. What impressed me was that the capacity was 26 kg / 57 lb compared to other racks I looked. Has anyone toured with this rack, and what capacity should I seek a.k.a. a minimum weight at least.

Cheers
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Old 06-17-22, 06:46 AM
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Have you checked the Jandd "Expedition"? Been using it for touring for several years. Never had a problem.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:11 PM
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I wouldn’t pick one rack over another because of it’s stated max load was higher. If you were loading that much weight on the bike it’s probably more than the bike can ride comfortably with. Manufacturers of a lot of products know people shop by numbers, price and specs so the product may or may not reflect those specs and if they do that may not actually mean it works better. I’ve used the Explorer and it works fine.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:27 PM
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If you load the rear rack to anything near 57 lbs, you are doing something wrong. Thats just way to much stuff to put on the rear so I wouldn't worry about rack capacity
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Old 06-17-22, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
If you load the rear rack to anything near 57 lbs, you are doing something wrong. Thats just way to much stuff to put on the rear so I wouldn't worry about rack capacity
so how much weight do you load in total. I assume itís best to have same amount of weight on rear and front to balance it
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Old 06-17-22, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenzen View Post
so how much weight do you load in total. I assume itís best to have same amount of weight on rear and front to balance it
Someone on a forum (I do not recall if this one or not) commented that in Europe a rack has to have a rating that exceeds a certain weight rating to be used for child seats. And Tubus downgraded their ratings because they did not want kiddie seats to be used on their racks. My Tubus Logo is rated at 40kg, but is now rated at 26 kg. My Racktime Addit is rated at 30 kg, but is now rated at 25 kg.
https://www.tubus.com/en/products/re...oduct/logo-evo
https://www.racktime.com/en/racktime...-product/addit

Also, some companies let the marketing departments assign things like weight ratings.

I have had good luck with some of the Toppeak products that I have bought, but I have not used any of their racks.

Thorn in the UK rates one of their racks at 40 kg, but raises that rating to 60 kg if M6 bolts are used in the mounts instead of M5 which is the norm. So, in the upper ranges of ratings, the bolts may be the limiting factor. I have two Thorn bikes, one uses M5 bolts, the other bike is more heavy duty and that bike uses M6 bolts.

I agree with LeeG, there is more to a rack than a weight rating.

For touring, I want the lower rails to drop the panniers to a lower level, I also want a narrow platform for touring. But for riding around near home, I like a wider platform. Thus, my touring racks are only installed on the bikes for touring and removed after that. While price is important, that is the least important thing I look at when buying a rack for touring.
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Old 06-17-22, 06:36 PM
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What bike is the rack going on and what will be attached to the rack?

There are material differences. Topeak racks will be TIG-welded aluminum tubing. They're light and strong, but have less fatigue life. Eventually, they'll crack.

I have a Topeak beam rack and it's worked on two tours without issue. I've also used a variety of Topeak bags and panniers. Generally, I would assess Topeak as a good brand but not outstanding. It's a Taiwan-based brand that outsources 100% of its production to at least 70 different contractors, most of whom are in Taiwan and the rest in China. They are affordable without being cheap.

I have a Bontrager deluxe rack that is also tubular aluminum. I bought it for a specific fit to a Trek bike with disc brakes (Bontrager is Trek's accessory brand). I like it because it has lower side rails below the tire that I can mount Ortlieb panniers to and they sit far enough back to avoid heel-strike.

I had an Ortlieb Rack 3 rack. This one is also welded aluminum tubing. I don't think it's made in Germany like the Ortlieb bags, but I don't recall. It did not fit disc brake frames on two bikes I have, so it's been moved on, but it seemed good and had the lower rails I prefer for that style pannier.

I had a Tubus rack, the Cargo EVO. This one is brazed with Chromoly steel tubing, in Taiwan. This is a heavy-duty rack that will hold a lot of weight. It's been 'tested' to 88 pounds, but Tubus won't rate it that high because European regulations would then expect it to be suitable for a child carrier as mentioned above. I didn't like the way it fit my steel, rim-braked bike. It was too tall. So it's also been moved on.

Tubus also makes welded stainless steel racks, as does Nitto and whatever Taiwanese contractor Velo Orange uses.

Tubus also makes a couple of welded Titanium racks.

I have a welded solid steel wire rack that Dawes sold as a standard with the bike. It's a bit heavy but tough and fits perfectly. It's not ideal for modern clip-on style panniers, (it works but the bags rattle). It works well with the older style leather straps and spring-hook or the one-piece leather-strapped panniers that lay across the top like saddlebags on a horse.

So depending on your frame style and width, disc brakes or rim, and what bags or panniers you want to mount, you can find a good option, but not all rear racks are equal or compatible.
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Old 06-17-22, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Frenzen View Post
so how much weight do you load in total. I assume itís best to have same amount of weight on rear and front to balance it
My basic load for an overnight was about 15 lbs, plus pannier weight. Never weighed the total, I think bike and load was about 45 lbs. I have room to add food as needed. One online site stated try to do about 50/50 front to rear, I do more rear as the larger pannier (Ortleib Back Rollers) can take heavier and bulkier items so I think I have more weight in back. I don't pay too much attention, the bike handles fine.
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Old 06-17-22, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Someone on a forum (I do not recall if this one or not) commented that in Europe a rack has to have a rating that exceeds a certain weight rating to be used for child seats. And Tubus downgraded their ratings because they did not want kiddie seats to be used on their racks. My Tubus Logo is rated at 40kg, but is now rated at 26 kg. My Racktime Addit is rated at 30 kg, but is now rated at 25 kg.
https://www.tubus.com/en/products/re...oduct/logo-evo
https://www.racktime.com/en/racktime...-product/addit

Also, some companies let the marketing departments assign things like weight ratings.

I have had good luck with some of the Toppeak products that I have bought, but I have not used any of their racks.

Thorn in the UK rates one of their racks at 40 kg, but raises that rating to 60 kg if M6 bolts are used in the mounts instead of M5 which is the norm. So, in the upper ranges of ratings, the bolts may be the limiting factor. I have two Thorn bikes, one uses M5 bolts, the other bike is more heavy duty and that bike uses M6 bolts.

I agree with LeeG, there is more to a rack than a weight rating.

For touring, I want the lower rails to drop the panniers to a lower level, I also want a narrow platform for touring. But for riding around near home, I like a wider platform. Thus, my touring racks are only installed on the bikes for touring and removed after that. While price is important, that is the least important thing I look at when buying a rack for touring.
Could you show me the difference between what you use for touring vs riding around home (I am more of a visual person). Ideally, I would like to just have install a rack once and forget about it!
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Old 06-17-22, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
What bike is the rack going on and what will be attached to the rack?

There are material differences. Topeak racks will be TIG-welded aluminum tubing. They're light and strong, but have less fatigue life. Eventually, they'll crack.

I have a Topeak beam rack and it's worked on two tours without issue. I've also used a variety of Topeak bags and panniers. Generally, I would assess Topeak as a good brand but not outstanding. It's a Taiwan-based brand that outsources 100% of its production to at least 70 different contractors, most of whom are in Taiwan and the rest in China. They are affordable without being cheap.

I have a Bontrager deluxe rack that is also tubular aluminum. I bought it for a specific fit to a Trek bike with disc brakes (Bontrager is Trek's accessory brand). I like it because it has lower side rails below the tire that I can mount Ortlieb panniers to and they sit far enough back to avoid heel-strike.

I had an Ortlieb Rack 3 rack. This one is also welded aluminum tubing. I don't think it's made in Germany like the Ortlieb bags, but I don't recall. It did not fit disc brake frames on two bikes I have, so it's been moved on, but it seemed good and had the lower rails I prefer for that style pannier.

I had a Tubus rack, the Cargo EVO. This one is brazed with Chromoly steel tubing, in Taiwan. This is a heavy-duty rack that will hold a lot of weight. It's been 'tested' to 88 pounds, but Tubus won't rate it that high because European regulations would then expect it to be suitable for a child carrier as mentioned above. I didn't like the way it fit my steel, rim-braked bike. It was too tall. So it's also been moved on.

Tubus also makes welded stainless steel racks, as does Nitto and whatever Taiwanese contractor Velo Orange uses.

Tubus also makes a couple of welded Titanium racks.

I have a welded solid steel wire rack that Dawes sold as a standard with the bike. It's a bit heavy but tough and fits perfectly. It's not ideal for modern clip-on style panniers, (it works but the bags rattle). It works well with the older style leather straps and spring-hook or the one-piece leather-strapped panniers that lay across the top like saddlebags on a horse.

So depending on your frame style and width, disc brakes or rim, and what bags or panniers you want to mount, you can find a good option, but not all rear racks are equal or compatible.
The bike is a Mikado touring bike from the 80s, and for the time being panniers will be on the back rack? I am not exactly sure as once I have the rack, I will buy stuff accordingly. I am doing things a bit backwards
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Old 06-17-22, 09:05 PM
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For that bike, consider a Tubus Logo EVO and some Ortlieb Back Roller Classics. This is a good place to get them from: https://www.bike-components.de

The shipping from Germany costs something, but your total will still probably be less than buying from a US or Canadian importer. Combine the shipping with other items you need like the Back Roller Classics, and it can be a good deal. For the record, the Logo EVO is 71 Euros, but out of stock, and the Ortlieb Rack 3 is 67 Euros, whereas a pair of Back Roller Classics 100 Euros. Shipping to Canada is about 40 Euros for a total of 207 Euros or about $216 or CAD284. This combination will beat anything Topeak makes easily.

There are more stylish options from Berthoud, Brooks, or Carradice, and there are other good options from makes like Arkel, but none of those will be bargains unless you find them used.
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Old 06-18-22, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
For that bike, consider a Tubus Logo EVO and some Ortlieb Back Roller Classics. This is a good place to get them from: https://www.bike-components.de
....
FYI

Several years ago Ortlieb added a restriction on their sellers to not ship retail sales to other countries, thus ifyou are in Canada (like the OP), you can't buy Ortliebs from Germany.

Other than that, I agree on European sellers having better deals. One of my Tubus racks and one of my Racktime racks came from Europe or the pre-Brexit UK. My Ortliebs came from the UK over a decade ago before Ortlieb added that restriction on their sellers.

More recently, Shimano also added that restriction, which is most unfortunate for many of us in USA.
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Old 06-18-22, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Frenzen View Post
Could you show me the difference between what you use for touring vs riding around home (I am more of a visual person). Ideally, I would like to just have install a rack once and forget about it!
I have three touring bikes. On my medium and heavy duty touring bikes, for touring I use the Tubus Logo EVO.

When I built up my Lynskey, a titanium touring bike, I made the mistake of assuming that an aluminum rack would be lighter than steel, I ordered a Racktime Addit for that bike and later realized that the aluminum one weighed more, but the difference was small enough that I use the Racktime on that bike for touring.

Addit rack below:



For around home I use a Nitto rack (below) that is actually much heavier than it looks, has a slightly wider platform. This one has a much lower weight capacity but I would never use this rack for touring. The black thing in the middle of the rack is a velcro strap.



This is the Tubus Logo with a very narrow platform on my medium duty touring bike, below:



This has more info on the shape of the Tubus Logo EVO.
https://www.tubus.com/fileadmin/user...Evo_TZ_2.0.pdf

I think the Logo EVO is a fantastic rack for carrying panniers, but a very poor rack if you just want to have a pack or bag strapped on top of the platform, which is why I only use it for touring. And that is why I use different racks for around home than for touring.

Near home, I use a much lower cost rack because the weight capacity can be much less. (The Nitto rack shown above is an expensive rack, but I got it used at a swap meet for a cheap price.) But for around home, I often put a racktop bag or a dry bag on top, need a wider platform for that.

Another photo of my Tubus Logo, this is on my heavy duty touring bike, shows how an Ortlieb Backroller hangs on the rack, only one pannier on the rack for the photo. I am storing some short velcro straps on the rack platform, they are not part of the rack. I added some clear plastic hose from a hardware store over the rack to prevent chaffing. This photo shows the advantage of those lower rails for hanging a pannier lower to lower the center of gravity.

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Old 06-18-22, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
FYI

Several years ago Ortlieb added a restriction on their sellers to not ship retail sales to other countries, thus ifyou are in Canada (like the OP), you can't buy Ortliebs from Germany.

Other than that, I agree on European sellers having better deals. One of my Tubus racks and one of my Racktime racks came from Europe or the pre-Brexit UK. My Ortliebs came from the UK over a decade ago before Ortlieb added that restriction on their sellers.

More recently, Shimano also added that restriction, which is most unfortunate for many of us in USA.
Those are excellent photos of some good racks. Also, your point about having a wider platform on top versus low-rider bars for panniers is salient. For odd errands, the wide shelf on top is versatile, whereas the lower pannier mounts are best suited for that single purpose. Panniers have more utility than just touring, but if you want to haul something that doesn't fit in them, say a box from the store, then the narrow platform above the pannier mounts is less than ideal.

As for the sales restrictions, I found the website to show a warning for shipping Ortlieb to the US, though its not clear that it won't actually happen. However, there is no warning or any prohibition in effect for shipping Ortlieb from bike-components.de to Canada where Frenzen shows to be in Quebec.

Last edited by greatbasin; 06-18-22 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 06-18-22, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
...
As for the sales restrictions, I found the website to show a warning for shipping Ortlieb to the US, though its not clear that it won't actually happen. However, there is no warning or any prohibition in effect for shipping Ortlieb from bike-components.de to Canada where Frenzen shows to be in Quebec.
Thank you for correcting me, I hate to say something wrong and have that not get corrected. In the past the Ortlieb restriction has been portrayed as a global thing, but it was precipitated by too many USA buyers were trying to bypass some of the high cost distribution channels in USA. Perhaps it only is a USA restriction?

I am used to shopping around. The last bike I built up, I placed three orders for parts, one from a USA seller, one from a German seller and one from a UK seller. When I ordered a Rohloff hub eight years ago, I saved about $500 USD by buying from a German seller for just that single part by itself.
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Old 06-18-22, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have three touring bikes. On my medium and heavy duty touring bikes, for touring I use the Tubus Logo EVO.

When I built up my Lynskey, a titanium touring bike, I made the mistake of assuming that an aluminum rack would be lighter than steel, I ordered a Racktime Addit for that bike and later realized that the aluminum one weighed more, but the difference was small enough that I use the Racktime on that bike for touring.

Addit rack below:



For around home I use a Nitto rack (below) that is actually much heavier than it looks, has a slightly wider platform. This one has a much lower weight capacity but I would never use this rack for touring. The black thing in the middle of the rack is a velcro strap.



This is the Tubus Logo with a very narrow platform on my medium duty touring bike, below:



This has more info on the shape of the Tubus Logo EVO.
https://www.tubus.com/fileadmin/user...Evo_TZ_2.0.pdf

I think the Logo EVO is a fantastic rack for carrying panniers, but a very poor rack if you just want to have a pack or bag strapped on top of the platform, which is why I only use it for touring. And that is why I use different racks for around home than for touring.

Near home, I use a much lower cost rack because the weight capacity can be much less. (The Nitto rack shown above is an expensive rack, but I got it used at a swap meet for a cheap price.) But for around home, I often put a racktop bag or a dry bag on top, need a wider platform for that.

Another photo of my Tubus Logo, this is on my heavy duty touring bike, shows how an Ortlieb Backroller hangs on the rack, only one pannier on the rack for the photo. I am storing some short velcro straps on the rack platform, they are not part of the rack. I added some clear plastic hose from a hardware store over the rack to prevent chaffing. This photo shows the advantage of those lower rails for hanging a pannier lower to lower the center of gravity.

Appreciate it, and it makes sense I actually never used the top of my daily bike rack except to put my lock as I always use pannier bags. I found a local shop that sells the evo rear rack for $200 and will be $230 with taxes. However, it is out of stock but I am sure I can find it somewhere else https://www.clcycle.ca/en/porte-baga...-logo-evo.html Here is another rack I found https://www.clcycle.ca/en/rack-rear-...evo-black.html by the same company but out of stock and cargo rack by the same company https://www.clcycle.ca/en/porte-baga...cargo-evo.html which is in stock!

I was looking up the evo rack
and found this video, the guy makes good points and he had it for 10 years.
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Old 06-18-22, 11:52 AM
  #17  
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That video says you can use the upper or lower rails for the panniers. No. Upper rails are too narrow, most panniers will not work on the upper rails. Maybe some would work, but most won't. But, I can't think of a reason to use the upper rails for a pannier.

There are two versions, the EVO is the second version, I bought mine about a decade ago so I am not sure what the differences are. Some other Tubus racks also have the EVO label too.
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Old 06-18-22, 11:24 PM
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EVO designates a three-dimensional lug at the bottom of the rack to attach to the eyelets on the dropouts, as opposed to the planar plates in the original designs.


EVO "feet"

Non-EVO feet:

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Old 06-19-22, 10:01 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
EVO designates a three-dimensional lug at the bottom of the rack to attach to the eyelets on the dropouts, as opposed to the planar plates in the original designs.


EVO "feet"

Non-EVO feet:

Got it.

I think that the small bump on the aft part of the lower rails was not on the original too, but it was a decade ago since I knew this stuff, could be wrong. At one time I put one pannier hook that far back but do not do that any more.
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Old 06-19-22, 02:17 PM
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Interesting points about racks.


I have a 40 year old aluminum Blackburn rack, on my 40 year old Stumpjumper. The bike was a mountain bike, a touring bike, a commuter bike, an urban pathway bike and now is an ebike. The rack has tens of thousands of kilometres on it, many as a fully loaded tourer. The racks shows some wear from pannier hooks but is till going strong.


I have Surly Nice rack on my Jones Plus, It is big and wide and heavy. It may not suit everybody.


On my Tumbleweed Prospector, I have an Ortlieb rack 3 which I hate. It was the only rack I could find locally that could accomodate 3 inch tires. The platform is small. Which doesn't work well for strapping bags onto it on tour. More importantly the rails are short. Arkell panniers have cams that swing way outboard , as you clamp them on. The angles of the struts interfere with the cams and the pannier hooks have to be moved very close together, which works, but is less stable.


Pretty hard to source Tubus racks these days. Local specialty bike shop says the distributor will not even give them a timeline for new orders.


I also like bikecomponents.de,, they do appear to have tubus in stock. I have a tubus that doesn't clear the 3" tires on my heavy duty bikes.

I have a Nitto on my Riv Atlantis, which works well and looks great.


A friend that toured alot in south East Asia a few years back said that no-name aluminum racks constantly failed him and he had trouble sourcing name brand quality racks at the time.

Last edited by skookum; 06-19-22 at 02:18 PM. Reason: spolling
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Old 06-19-22, 02:38 PM
  #21  
Germany_chris
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I have a Vega evo the newer mounting style is better if you have fenders.
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Old 06-19-22, 06:59 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
...
I have Surly Nice rack on my Jones Plus, It is big and wide and heavy. It may not suit everybody.
...
A friend that toured alot in south East Asia a few years back said that no-name aluminum racks constantly failed him and he had trouble sourcing name brand quality racks at the time.
I used Surly racks front and rear on my first tour. The front Surly rack was donated to charity and replaced with a (discontinued) Tubus Ergo. The rear Surly rack is used for around town on my heavy duty touring bike, but I remove it and put on the Tubus Logo EVO for touring. The two positive things I can say on the Surly rear rack is (1) really wide platform, and (2) adjustable rack height. Adjustable height is rare.

Several years ago a neighbor put an 1980s bike out in the garbage, I picked it up and have it on my indoor trainer. That had a REALLY cheap aluminum rack. The photo below shows the poor quality welds that I would expect to fail if there was much weight on the rack. I do not recall if I donated that rack to charity or put it in the recycle bin, but I am not using it.

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Old 06-23-22, 04:39 PM
  #23  
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Bruce Gordon racks are nice. They are welded, chrome-molybdenum tubing, light and sturdy. I don't know how easily they would mount on another brand of bike.
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Old 06-23-22, 06:24 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
Bruce Gordon racks are nice. They are welded, chrome-molybdenum tubing, light and sturdy. I don't know how easily they would mount on another brand of bike.
Too bad you can no longer ask him. He passed away not long after retiring from the business.

Personally, I have had Nitto Big front and rear racks since 2011. Nickel plated CrMo that still look close to new. Iíve strapped large bundles of firewood to both several times. But not inexpensive.

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Old 06-24-22, 02:48 PM
  #25  
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Yeah, I know. I spoke to him by phone shortly before his demise. He never really got the recognition and remuneration he deserved, IMHO.
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