racktop duffle ?
So, many here use the extendable seatbags (e.g. Relevate) for carrying part of the load in the backcountry instead of traditional panniers. In rugged terrain, these bags are better than panniers but keep one from moving behind the saddle, prompting some to use backpacks instead. But I wonder if the best solution is to keep weight off one's shoulders and move it, in part, to a rack-top duffle (think 8-10" dia, 20-25" long) mounted lengthways so as to not stick out wider than the rider. The result would give the rider a means to:
- move behind saddle when things get steep. I'm assuming there's substantial amount of exposed seatpost (>7").
- keep the weight lower on the bike. The idea would be to have the rack <2" higher than top of tire.
- grab & go with the duffle. Take it off the bike with greater ease than extendable seatbags.
I know this solution isn't needed on the GDR and rail trails which don't see steeps, but the hut-to-hut crowd or those self supported in places like BC's Chilcotin range would benefit.
Anyways, I doubt I'm first to consider this approach, so is anybody running such a setup? I was thinking about a rigid recktangle in the bag's bottom to support the duffle portion that might hang past rack...
Could a be cool for the 24SO that include some singletrack (think PNW, not Walnut Cr).
Lots of people use a rack and single drybag strapped to the deck (instead of panniers) to backpack. If you search, for example, for info here and at bikepacking.net for anything related to the Freeload rack, you will see many have used them for the TD and in New Zealand/Australia where there is also some very taxing terrain (the Freeload company was from New Zealand, but they were bought recently by Thule who has yet to re-release the rack in the US yet).
I've also noticed that the rack and drybag combo seems to be especially popular in Europe and less so in the States. Not sure why.
I'm trying to get a hold of a Freeload rack myself. I think being able to carry bags of differing sizes on the rear rack works better for my variety of uses than a seatbag. And for the record, Revelate and some of the other established seatbag companies specifically design their products to allow you to slip behind your saddle when needed.
Many other hardy rack options out there beyond the Freeload, of course. Old Man Moiuntain, Tubus, Surly and Salsa all make quality racks. My issue is that I have no braze-ons up top and my disc brake interferes with the drop-out connection and so the Freeload seems like the best option. Its also great for FS bikes...
I saw recently a duffel/rack system just like you described. The bag was specifically designed to sit on a rack and the handles doubled as connections to the deck to secure it. Can't recall the manufacturer, though.
I went with a OMM rear rack so I could use a Drybag for more techy stuff or panniers for rails to trails.
I have never had any real issue getting behind the seat (enough) with my seat bag but I don't doubt some people do. I have recently been thinking about a rack system that would be built into the frame and keep fairly close tolerances to the rear tire and have some minimal panniers. Just to make use of every bit of space while keeping the weight fairly centralized. One of my teachers at Barnett's, John Hurley, had something like this on his GDR bike. Although I never got to see it loaded (pics anybody?).
I also like the idea of it being easy to take off and carry. That's one of the biggest reasons I like Topeak's trunk bags so much. Now to just to combine all these ideas.
On a full-suspension bike, the rack and gear are unsuspended weight. Seat bags are suspended weight. Having ridden the same bike both ways, I can testify that the difference is significant--which is why I don't use a rack on my FS bike. On hard-tails, racks are pretty nice, if slightly heavier.
I bolted a duffel bag to my seatpost beam rack. Used small bolts with big fender washers to spread the load. If I need to take it inside a store or my tent, I unhook the rack and use the duffel's original shoulder strap. Topeak makes a whole line of these. Google Topeak MTX. I made my own to save money.
I'm seriously thinking about buying a Topeak's trunk pack to help spread the load for commuting. I'm also thiking about buying an extra seat and set post for a quick change set up. Just swap set post an remove frame packs for trail riding.
Originally Posted by TobyGadd
Did you have to do much adjustments to the rear shock for the added weight of the seat bag?
I've used this Jandd duffel (Duffel Rack Pack) for easy trails, but it might for what you want.
Yep. I load up all of the gear that I'll be carrying (handlebar bag, seat bag, frame bag, hydration bag, water, and me), and then adjust the pressure until the sag is about 20-25%. I do the same for the front shock too. With all the extra weight, I also speed up rebound a little bit.
Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr
Thanks that makes sense.
Originally Posted by TobyGadd
I'm not a trail racer just a rec bikepacker and recently installed a new OMM sherpa rear rack on my FS 29er. Haven't bikepacked with it yet but have been working on several configurations for different types of trips.
Rails to trails setup (bike touring mode)
OP hope this gives you some ideas for your rig.
I like your setup. Its what I am trying to achieve as well (with the option of just the drybag on the deck or the drybag and panniers together)
Do you have any pics of how the rack mounts on the disc brake side? It looks like you used the lower skewer mounts, yes? My rear brake sits above my lower bracket mounts and I am trying to figure out if the skewer mount will work as the mechanism still sticks out away from the dropouts a good deal. I'm not convinced its going to fit.
I've been scouring the web looking for good images of this. What I am looking for is a shot from behind the bike and from the non-drive side to see if this will work with how my brake mounts.
My other option was a freeload rack, but now that Thule has purchased the company, they are out of stock everywhere. Not sure when they will re-release them.
Here you go. I had no clearance issues with the silver brackets mounted in either direction. hth
Originally Posted by wahday
Perfect! That tells me just what I needed to know.
Good discussion so far here. I hadn't considered the suspended vs unsuspended weight aspect in my original thinking so thanks for that contribution. The picture of the big red dryback on that Rocky shows that with a bigger diameter bag and minimal exposed post that one could move back, but not behind the saddle as so often required for the steeps. If that's the primary concrern, the rider would need to lower the rack to be closer to top of tire or reduce the diameter of the sack.
The weight issue of rack over seatbag is certainly there with OMM racks, but I submit that they're overkill. If you've got seatstay brazeon's like my Karate Monkey (above caliper), a std rear rack w/single strut in vertical plane) should keep the weight down and still provide sufficient support for the bag's weight.
I could not agree with you more.
Originally Posted by islander
The OMM is way over kill IMO there is just not a lot of choices out there if one needs a thru axle attachment. I first bought a Freeloader but had mounting issues.
For me I like the load off my shocks. Then I don't have to keep adjusting my shocks sag based on how much I am carrying that day. Again I don't race and if you do listen to Toby because i have no racing experience.
I'm pretty happy with my Speci Blacklite dropper post. The "cruiser" setting takes the edge off the full-leg-stroke post height enough to bolster confidence on tech terrain. FWIW...
a few years ago eric at (then epic) revelate designs made some fantastic bags for me that were essentially expandable 'pockets with straps that were used to cinch a dry bag onto the top of OMM racks. I still have them, they worked extremely well. i tend to use the rackless bags now a days... when i was less confident i tended to bring quite a lot of stuff along with me!....but ill try and dig out some pictures.
edit: yeah! here we go!...
I agree with islander that the OMM racks are certainly capable of hauling way more than I ever plan to. But in my case, mounting options were limited (and I had just converted to disc brakes, to the canti bosses were suddenly available). I was very interested in the Freeload rack, but since the were bought by Thule and have not been re-released yet, they've been hard to come by. They anticipate US release in April or so, but I plan to be ready to roll by then. They may be available in Europe now.
For me, I let price decide, Found the rack for $50 so I went for it. Could easily have gone another direction (freeload rack or bag) had I found a better deal.
Another thing to consider with the racks is that its only partly about carrying capacity. Over time, you are subjecting it to a lot of bumps and rattles and torque and a poor/cheap weld can leave you in a lurch far from help. That was the other thing I thought about with respect to the rack - the cumulative impact of hard riding and its ability to hold up. I will also say the thing is surprisingly light. Its about the same as the Blackburn rack I used on my older bike (but which will not mount to my current ride).
In terms of getting off the back of the seat, I notice that STL's rack sits a good deal higher than mine. I also have a 26er so it can sit lower already. But I really only have about 1-1.5 inches clearance between the top of the tire and the underside of the rack. Its really ideal for my setup.
I also am hoping to do some trips with my 12 year old son this summer and I may have to help him out in carrying some gear, so I like the options of panniers if I need some more room. Otherwise, its bag on top of rack, bar bag and a light pack. That gives me more than enough capacity for warmer weather riding. Panniers allow me to carry more for colder weather if I need it, but I can still probably fit most everything without them.
This time of year I actually use both a Revelate seatbag and the rack with a small stuff sack to carry extra clothes. I'd rather have a little extra weight with the rack rather than be cold in camp. I also carry a Crazy Creek chair most of the time, so I'm not that worried about weight anyway.
Check out the bike/moto micro duffel bag here: The Waterproof Store: waterproof cases, bags, and backpacks
It has tie down straps and 100% waterproof. I bought one for my Salsa Vaya racktop and I think its going to be great.