Author Topic: Panniers = racks= bike  (Read 2861 times)

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Offline popeyespal

Panniers = racks= bike
« on: March 29, 2011, 06:31:09 pm »
I own a 60 com Surly LHT.

I believe I want to buy the  front/rear panniers from Seattle Sports...either the Rain or Titan.

What is the best quality rack that is guaranteed to work with both the bike and bags?

Looking for a heavy duty rack that I won't have to give any thought to once it is installed. No more than 40lbs on the rear or 20 on the front.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 12:18:27 pm »
There are lots of sources for quality aluminum racks:  Blackburn, JanD, and Old Man Mountain, just to name a few.

None of these should give you any problems on a short trip.  If you are planning a longer expeditions, some people prefer to go with steel racks like those made by Tubus.  At one time Surly was also making a steel rack.  There are also some high end sources for steel racks that have long lead times and probably aren't available at your local bike store, so I won't go into them.

In theory, steel is a tougher material than aluminum.  Tougness is a material sciences term that sometimes matches the common interpretation for what toughness means.  Lots of people use aluminum racks and do just fine.

For the record, my current racks are made by Tubus, but I have previously owned racks made by Blackburn and JanD.
Danno

Offline rvklassen

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 01:14:36 pm »
I own a 60 com Surly LHT.

I believe I want to buy the  front/rear panniers from Seattle Sports...either the Rain or Titan.

What is the best quality rack that is guaranteed to work with both the bike and bags?

Guaranteed to work with the bags is a bit tough.  What makes a rack not work with a particular bag is that the separation between the rack hooks is such that the hooks interfere with the cross-members of the rack.  Generally there's some location where it won't interfere, but that might move it forward to the point of heel strike - unless you have particularly long chainstays (I think so) and particularly short feet (I doubt it), you want to be able to mount the pannier toward the back of the rack.

Your best bet may be to get the panniers in hand and then measure the separation between the hooks.  Armed with that information, you can contact the folks at BikeBagShop.com or Wayne at TheTouringStore.com, and they will know whether a given rack fits. 

High end panniers are adjustable to fit most any rack.  These ones don't say how far apart the hooks are.

As for compatibility with the bike, you can use any rack that is not designed for a suspension frame.  Actually those might work too, but you'd be wasting your money on a feature, and potentially extra weight, you don't need.

Offline lonerider

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 05:24:35 am »
Surprisingly I have been using an inexpensive rack made by Giant Bicycles for about 6 years without any sign of failure. Mainly a commuting rack, but have on several occasions loaded it with gear for touring.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 07:03:57 am »
.... you want to be able to mount the pannier toward the back of the rack.

Assuming heel strike is not an issue, why is it preferable to mount panniers toward BACK of the rack?

Thanks,
Michael
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline John Nelson

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 09:56:27 am »
.... you want to be able to mount the pannier toward the back of the rack.

Assuming heel strike is not an issue, why is it preferable to mount panniers toward BACK of the rack?

Thanks,
Michael
Unless necessary to avoid heel strike, moving the weight back is absolutely not preferable. In fact, moving the center of mass of your panniers behind the center of the rear hub is dangerous. If you must do it to avoid heel strike (which likely means you're not riding a touring bike), then it is important to have front panniers for balance.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 09:58:48 am by John Nelson »

Offline indyfabz

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 11:31:38 am »
Just put a set of Rivendell Big racks (made for Rivendell by Nitto) on my 60cm Surly.  The rear (large size) fits perfectly with the long, straight stays supplied with the rack.  The front uses the fork eyelets and clamps up top and fits great.  Strong, beautiful nickel plated steel.  Not for you if: (1) keeping weight to a minimum is important, (2) spending as little as possible is important (3) you don't want a front platform.

They take a little extra effort to put on, but it's not am issue for me.  I like a platform up front and a long platform in the rear.  The latter helps when you are carrying a 3P tent.  And you can align your gear lengthwise rather than across the top of the panniers.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 10:31:52 pm »
I use Tubus but alumium racks are more than fine. Have you considered the Surly Racks? They are chromoly, sturdy, can hold alot of weight, and made for your bike. Not inexpensive, but I like their front rack. It can be used as a low rider and can be used higher when you need clearance. It has a front shelf that you put your sleeping bag on. 12 pounds is what I use on the front but they can handle more. In the rear their design is similiar to the Tubus Cargo. I like the wider top shelf. I think 1100cc maybe too small for rear panniers. Here is another resource if you want to further explore panniers. www.bikebagshop.com.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 06:46:45 am »
I use Tubus but alumium racks are more than fine. Have you considered the Surly Racks? They are chromoly, sturdy, can hold alot of weight, and made for your bike. Not inexpensive, but I like their front rack. It can be used as a low rider and can be used higher when you need clearance. It has a front shelf that you put your sleeping bag on. 12 pounds is what I use on the front but they can handle more. In the rear their design is similiar to the Tubus Cargo. I like the wider top shelf. I think 1100cc maybe too small for rear panniers. Here is another resource if you want to further explore panniers. www.bikebagshop.com.
Not sure how much the OP cares about weight, but I think that it should be mentioned that the Surley front rack weighs a very hefty 3 pounds.  That is enough to disqualify it for me.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 06:54:36 am »
Staehpj1, they are heavy but I know a couple of people who, who have LHT's, like you are "serious" touring cyclists, and really like these racks. They certainly are robust. I used aluminium racks for 25 plus years and only had a crack in the front rack. (never knew the difference or cared) Now that I use Ortliebs my LBS talked me into the Tubus. They work well together.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 04:44:05 pm »
.... you want to be able to mount the pannier toward the back of the rack.

Assuming heel strike is not an issue, why is it preferable to mount panniers toward BACK of the rack?

Thanks,
Michael
Unless necessary to avoid heel strike, moving the weight back is absolutely not preferable. In fact, moving the center of mass of your panniers behind the center of the rear hub is dangerous. If you must do it to avoid heel strike (which likely means you're not riding a touring bike), then it is important to have front panniers for balance.

OP is riding a 60 cm LHT, which is the second largest size.  From this I extrapolate that the rider is not particularly short.  It is probable, but not guaranteed, that a person who rides a 60 cm frame, has longer than average shoes.

The LHT geometry has the same length chain stay regardless of size.  Hence there is the very real possibility of heel strike, depending on the actual shoe size and the specific choice of pannier.   Whether you consider the LHT a touring bike is up to you, but the OP has the bike, and isn't likely to be replacing the bike because of a response to a question about rack compatibility.  (Most would consider the LHT a fine touring bike).

Moving the pannier back as far as possible does not necessarily mean moving the centre of mass of the load to behind the axle.  There remains the mass of anything on the rack, and the possibility of putting denser cargo toward the front of the pannier.   

More importantly, when I indicated that you want to be able to move the pannier back on the rack this was as opposed to forward, when your first choice might be blocked by interference between non-adjustable hooks and struts on the rack.  There may be a range of positions without heel strike, but some of that range is likely to be taken up with interference.  You want to be sure not all of the range is.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 06:12:29 pm »
Staehpj1, they are heavy but I know a couple of people who, who have LHT's, like you are "serious" touring cyclists, and really like these racks. They certainly are robust. I used aluminium racks for 25 plus years and only had a crack in the front rack. (never knew the difference or cared) Now that I use Ortliebs my LBS talked me into the Tubus. They work well together.
Yep, note that I didn't say don't buy it.  Not everyone cares about the extra weight.  I just figure that it should at least be factored in to the decision.  For me it is a non starter, for someone else it might be the first choice.

Offline hpscott

Re: Panniers = racks= bike
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 07:57:20 am »
Not everyone cares about the extra weight.  I just figure that it should at least be factored in to the decision.  For me it is a non starter, for someone else it might be the first choice.

I agree with staehpj1: whether or not the weight matters depends on what you want to do.  And, I don't think of it as being just the weight of the rack -- the Surly rack provides a platform for carrying extra gear above the rear wheel.  If I were doing something for which I needed that extra capacity, it would be a good choice.  But, for my on-road tours in the U.S., I've never had the need for it: four panniers (front and rear) has been more than enough capacity. Perhaps it is a silly argument, but knowing myself, if I did have that platform I'd end up carrying yet more stuff... stuff that I don't really need.  So, the weight would become differential would be even greater!  ;)

Seriously though, there's that old adage about making things as simple as possible, but not more so and, IMHO, that applies here.  The Surly rack is just too much for many tourers, so why take that extra stuff along?  Again, some may need it, and in that case of course go for it but, if not, why bother?