I think it is easy enough to search around for bike racks if you know their names, so we’re just going to introduce a large variety of models, their prices, quality, and load capacity. We’re also only going to look at the strongest and best designed (for touring) models each manufacturer offers. If you have reason to differ in opinion, feel free to let me know via comment. Choose your racks by yourself based on your own research or by our mini bike rating.
Cycling at REI
(In alphabetical order)
Extreme Front Rack:
Width 15cm / Length 34cm
Weight: 37 ounces
Capacity: 25 pounds
Strength: 3/8 inch aluminum
Est. Price: $70.00
Expedition Rear Rack:
Width 15cm / Length 41cm
Weight: 36 ounces
Capacity: 50 pounds
Strength: 3/8 inch aluminum
Est. Price: $75.00
Jandd Expedition Rack
As far as ratings and issues with the Jandd racks, I have not experienced or come across much in the form of problems with these racks. I would say overall, this rack gets highly favorable ratings around the cycling community. I think there have been a very normal amount of problems with mounting the front rack, and issue solved by an email I saw posted on the bulletin board from Jandd themselves:
“Our racks fit a majority of bikes, however there is not a standardized
distance for fork eyelets so we do run into this problem occasionally.
Since our racks are constructed of solid rod and not tubing, you can
manipulate it if necessary. The lower arms that attach to the lower eyelets
can be bent up to shorten the distance between the rack eyelets and the
above slots. Before you bend the arms, we recommend heating up the rack a
bit. Simply leaving it in the sunlight will do the trick. Next secure the
lower part of the rack as to not put too much stress on the weld when you go
to bend the arm. Finally, bend it up to achieve the desired distance. If
you have any other questions, let me know.”
Surly Nice Racks (Front and Rear)
A look at the bike manufacturer’s brand pack racks. http://www.surlybikes.com
It’s time to move onto racks. Before we get into our full rack reviews (coming next), I’m going to spotlight my own, the Surly Nice Racks. Don’t forget to stop by the bike ride page to learn more about my charity ride from South Korea to Portugal on my Surly Long Haul Trucker bike. Donations and sponsors much appreciated!
Surly Nice Racks
- The Surly Nice Racks are made from Cro-moly steel for ease of repair.
- Front rack is designed to be loaded high and low. Low mounted racks provide more stability, and higher mounted racks provide clearance on rocky or bad roads.
- Cargo rack on top for gear like your tent, stove, camera, etc. Extra storage!
- Front rack mounts to mid-blade fork eyelets that is on the Long Haul Trucker and other touring bikes. Mounting gear for bikes without this eyelet is included.
- Height-adjustable like the front rack
- Lots of room
- Numerous mounts for extra stability
- Powder coated available in black and silver.
- Not really compatible with disc brakes
- The Surly Front racks tend to be more expensive (but they offer more storage options that competitors)
The average retail price for these racks are about $125.00. I picked up both of my racks for 250,000 won in Korea, which is a little more than $250.00. That price included installation.
If you are installing on your own, here’s the link to the instruction manual.
What makes them different?
- The Surly Nice Racks allow you to load gear all over the bike. A lot of other models of racks do not have front racks that allow top-loading. The other manufacturers usually offer low-load racks that keep weight low. These are use to ensure greater stability, but if you are on a seriously long ride, you need that extra space on top of the front wheel for storage. Look at the comparison between the Tubus Tara and the Surly Nice Rack. Granted, these are just some options.
Tubus Tara Front Rack
Surly Nice Front Rack
See how the Tubus Tara rack has a single bar over the top of the tire? The Surly has a full rack which can hold lightweight goods (sleeping bag, mat, clothes) that won’t weigh down the front-end and effect steering, but will free up space on other areas of the bike. Even if you don’t like the Surly racks, look for a rack with over-the-tire space if you are going on a long tour.
Find products with Free Shipping at REI
Have a look at the racks mounted to my Surly Long Haul Trucker!
Surly Front Rack Full
Mid-blade Mounting Bracket
Front-fork Connection (with SKS Fender Mount)
If you want to read more about Surly gear, and my Surly Long Haul Trucker, head over to the My Bike