Friday, June 11, 2010

How to choose a good rack

If you are travelling with your panniers, choosing the right rack is very important. Pictured above is my rear rack recently fixed to my touring folding bike. I will briefly explain to you why I think this rack is a good rack.

Even though Steel is the best material for the rack because it is stiffer, mine is made of an Aluminium. It's lighter but to provide the same stiffness as the steel, the tube is thicker, i.e., 10mm in diameter. And it is less expensive.

The design of the vertical support of V-shaped stay will feed the loads of the panniers directly into the dropouts. The straight stay will provide effective trangulation therefore it won't flex.

A good rack also need to keep it from moving back and forth. To prevent this movement, it is fixed to the seat stay, i.e., the nearest to the frame. The shortest connection support the better for optimum stiffeness.

It is also important that the support prevents the rack from swaying from side to side. A single support, normally clamped to the seatpost has to resist both compression and tension within small width. While two supports that in line with the rack and fixed to both seat stays separate the compression and tension as far as possible making the rack much more stable.

In addition, I love the two tier horizontal supports because I can fixed both my panniers and the rack bag together.

A well design rack is stiff, lightweight and strong. It makes your load intergral with your bike, minimizing its negative impacts on overall handling. So, to choose a good rack, look for a large-diameter tubing, good triangulation and strong attachments. A good rack like Tubus meets all these design criterias but it is very expensive. So look for the one that comes closest to the deal.

Source: Adventure Cyclist Magazine- Mecahnical Advantage, Jan Heine.


Oldyonfoldy said...

That is v nice rack u hv on the S8. Did u get it in Spore?

mat touring said...

Your fav shop- My Bike Shop, Clementi.

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