please recommend a rack and pannier- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    please recommend a rack and pannier

    Hey everyone,

    Can someone recommend a decent but reasonable rear rack and pannier? I've never used a rack and do not know if you need a specific size. This will be going on a 26'' hard tail for the time being, but (if possible) I may be moving it to a 29er. I will only be carrying a laptop (12''x10''x1''), a coffee thermos, lunch, and maybe a light change of clothes for the warmer afternoon ride home.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I've done fine with fairly basic Blackburn ones. Tubus racks are really nice, but significantly more expensive. If you're using a 29er with fat tires, you may have problems with moving the rack from one bike to the other, so I'd be inclined not to spend too much on this one.

    Do you have disc brakes? They can make it a lot harder to mount a rack.

    Panniers actually just came up on the "post your commuter photos" thread.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    No disc brakes on the current bike, and I'm not sure about the new one that the rack may be moving too. Its going to probably be a cross bike, so there is a slight chance, but most likely no.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I think hypotheticals are a waste of time.

    Get a real rack to fit the real bike that you really have.

    If you get a 'cross bike, a rack that fits a 26" hardtail will "probably" fit fine. But, the way that racks mount varies from bike to bike, so I don't think trying to future-proof this purchase will actually do much to improve your chances of having it move to the next bike.

    EDIT: Especially since your hypothetical future bike has changed class once already in the last several minutes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    If you are referring to me using 29er and cross bike (700c) interchangeably, and I am incorrect, I apologize. I'm just starting to get into the world of "non 26'' wheel" bikes.

    But thanks for answering my question. I was unsure if racks were a fit-any-bike type thing or you had to buy one for a specific bike.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    One's a mountain bike and one's a road bike. They're a lot more different from each other than the 29er is from your 26" mountain bike. They just happen to share a rim diameter. (In practice, though, outside diameter of the wheel is usually quite different, unless you set up a 29er with skinny road slicks. Which I think is silly...)

    Most racks are supposed to be universal, at least to bikes with either 700C (and "normal" width for a road tire) wheels and 26" wheels. The outside diameter of a 26" wheel with a mountain bike tire happens to be very close to the outside diameter of a 700C with a road tire, unless it's something really fat. You can ride a 29er with road tires if you want to, but you can also ride a 26" bike with 700C wheels and road tires and get less messed up handling and a more compact platform. You'd need either disc brakes or a weird adapter, though, and the disc brakes make mounting a rack a lot harder. Anyway, it means that to fit a 29er with MTB tires, a rack needs longer stays than what are typical on a rack meant for a bike with 26" wheels and MTB tires or 700C wheels and road tires.

    IMO, the racks that mount to the seat post suck. Get a real rack, with stays that go to the dropouts and the seatstays. IME, P-clamps and stays to the seatstays are better than a single stay bolted to the brake bridge.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I have been looking into this as well and think I have finally decided on the Nashbar Universal Mountain rack and Nashbar Waterproof Panniers.

    Nashbar Universal Fit Mountain Rack - Normal Shipping Ground
    and
    Nashbar Waterproof Rear Panniers - Normal Shipping Ground

    I will be putting these on my Nashbar Steel CX bike as well. I will be sure to post a pic and short review once I actually decide to place the order and get them installed.
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  8. #8
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    Beware of cheap panniers. If the attachment hardware sucks, you're not going to be very happy with it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    How about an Old Man Mountain Sherpa? Fits a 26" or 29er.
    I have no experience with this myself, but have always heard great things about these racks.

    OMM Rear Racks

    Woody

  10. #10
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    I've said it before and I'll say it again: +1 on Old Man Mountain racks. Totally bomb-proof! I have the Cold Springs model, the only caveat is I'd recommend some of those after-market canti-stud bolts.

    My big question for you is how big are you/your feet. If you're large then you should consider the heel-strike issue and this will drive which rack you want to get.

    There are a dizzying array of panniers out there, making it hard for me to recommend one without knowing even more about your situation including the style of your bike and yourself (tweed, canvas, rubber, etc?) and the climate and whether you ride in the rain.

    +1 on the "avoid cheap panniers because of their sub-par attachment systems" sentiment. It totally sucks to have your bag jump ship and drop off into traffic! One of the worst sounds on a bike is hearing your pannier hit the pavement and skid along and then having to fear it getting run over before you can make it back to it and get it out of the road! I can recommend NOT getting the Sunlight Fortress for this very reason. I'm leery of any of them that have a bungee hook at the bottom rather than firm clips at the top.

  11. #11
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    The Old Man Mountain racks look great but I just can't afford another $150 right now for just a rack. I'm sure its a great design and understand its made in the usa, but I just can't see spending that much. I ended up getting a new bike, a 700C cross bike. So the rack will be going on this bike.

    I'll be traveling 12-18 miles (all road vs all gravel path), and its relatively flat. Foot size is 11. I don't care much about the material but would prefer for it to be waterproof. I'm not into anything flashy. Thanks.

  12. #12
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    I have had just fine experience with both Axiom and Blackburn steel racks. Cheap and should be fine for light duty.If you want a step up, but not as pricey as OMM look into Jandd racks. Also bombproof and quality but cheaper

    I have used basic model Axiom panniers. They were fine for beginning but wore out over time. I now have "Racktime" brand panniers and they are just cheaper versions of Ortlieb (made by same company) and I like those-haven't had then long enough for full durability test though

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