Rack on Road

rack I got a recent comment about a road rain bike and rack capability. I’ve ridden a ton of different bikes, and I can say with some certainty that I will never put a rack on a road bike again. With a pure road bike, the handling is thrown off badly by a rear rack and it just looks off to me. If you want a rack - get a touring bike. Something with long chain stays, comfortable geometry, and mounts intended for that use. Something that will be less effected by having 30lbs dragging off your rear end. There are a TON of good companies out there making very nice bikes intended for that use. I’m sure plenty of folks disagree, but I’m holding my line here!



6 Comments

I totally agree with you, Andrew.  I have 5 bikes, one of them being a dedicated winter commuter.

But, as a professional mechanic I have outfitted many road bikes with racks and fenders, without an eyelet in sight, for people who don’t want two bikes or can’t afford two bikes.  It is not ideal, but with a little kung-fu, a lot of zip-ties, and even more profanity it is possible to throw a rack on the back of almost anything.  Ideal?  No.  Possible?  Most def.  I like to keep them on the road and always do my best to keep the costs as low as possible.

Doesn’t mean I am going to put a rack on your full carbon rear triangle, however.  In that case, get a bigger backpack or a new bike. :)

I’ve loaded a road bike up with a Tubus Butterfly rack, so it looks just fine, and when it was all loaded down it handled just fine too. More importantly, when you’re touring, who cares how it handles: you’re pedaling it on roads, that’s it.

I have that rack on a dedicated commuter now, but if I go touring anytime soon I’ll throw it on my roadie without a second thought.

When Pam and I toured SE Alaska, we used [Carradice seat packs](http://www.flickr.com/photos/huggerindustries/2129525518/in/set-72157603519935696/) that worked very well—centering the weight behind the seat and a quick release. We tour credit card style and just carried what we wore, plus some essentials.

I have a nice road bike with a custom frame. One of the things I like most about my road bike is its “feel”. I don’t want to mess with that in any way. A rear rack completely changes the geometry of the rear end of the bike and reduces the ride quality and my enjoyment.

I have a dedicated commuter also with a nice custom frame but I need to bring home the extra layer of clothes I wear on the ride in, in the morning. So I have a seat post rack bag, (like fenders and lights) it adds weight but doesn’t change the ride.

Some riders seem to go out of their way to carry as much as they can on a ride. I don’t but if I had to carry more, I’d pull a trailer before I’d add a rack.

I’m not dissing anyone elses’ choices, this is how I look at my rides.

Hmm, I was going to ask “What sort of rack is in that picture (and don’t tell me it’s a Tubus)?” but guessing from the link… it sure looks like a Tubus.

Why oh why won’t anybody clone the Logo rack?  Three digits seems a little pricey for a commuter, but those low pannier rails drop the bike’s center of gravity, and help a ton if you use a trunk and are trying to hook up a bag, especially with Ortlieb/Arkel type hooks.

That’s the beauty of a 700C longtail, btw, with it’s built-in rack .. . get that laptop and change of clothes off your back. The Cargonistas can hate and diss, but there’s a bike between road, cargo, and touring or that has a built in rack, [like this](http://www.flickr.com/photos/2kings/2888045983/in/set-72157607476413781/).

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