Friday, 9 October 2009

Racking The Changes

I already have a Blackburn rear pannier rack which has been adequate for my needs for the last few years carrying smallish, often half empty panniers. However, I have found my new Ortlieb panniers, when full, sometimes catch on my heel which is really annoying. I can't move the bags any further back and so had already decided to get a Tubus Logo rear rack with the new bike. It allows panniers to hang further and lower over the rear wheel, so lowering the centre of gravity and stabilizing the load. It also seems to be the one for most touring set-ups. As I have already got a new Brooks B17 saddle for transfer to the new bike (a report to follow in a few weeks or so) I decided to get a new rack and fit it to the Marin for now. What a difference!

The rack was easy to fit in about 10 mins, looks like it could hold a smallish mountain, is lightish (not much different to the Blackburn) and really changes the bag position. The result is no more heel catching and a significant improvement in the feel of the bike, particularly when pushing or going slowly. I did balk at the price (£83.00!!) but am really pleased with it now I have it. As a bonus it also has a plate to fit a rear light to which is very useful. I now have a second rear horizontal rear flasher to complement the vertical one on my seatpost and the difference in visibility to traffic is dramatically improved.

I always think you can't be too visible for some motorists and with lots of dark night and early morning commutes over the next few months it will make me feel just that bit safer. I have certainly noticed some traffic giving me slightly more room when overtaking, so that's not a bad thing.

One more step nearer to my dream bike.


  1. Good choice Darrell ! I've got the same set-up on my 'touring' bike (the Cannondale Lefty at the top of my blog) and it's seen me very happily through several thousand miles without a hitch so far.

    The Germans do these things properly...

  2. Cheers Matthew.

    I see you have the back rollers in red - nice choice. I've gone for yellow myself for added visibility!

    Did you find these alone enough for touring or did you supplement at all with a rack bag or back pack?