Bike accessory reviews

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There is a vast array of bike racks on the market, so the models chosen for this test are only a representation of the different varieties available, where we aim to highlight the issues and/or limitations involved.

Racks attach to the framework of the bike and are used to carry baggage like rear mounted baskets and/or panniers. In this test we looked at two different types of rear racks. While the racks we looked at are reasonably priced, the Tubus Cosmo Stainless Steel stands out at $289. This rack is designed for serious expedition trailing, so if you're not a serious rider and only need to carry a small pannier or basket, cheaper racks will do the job.

The Topeak MTX BeamRack V-type attaches to the seat post of the bike via a lever mechanism. This type of rack is designed to be easily removed, especially when leaving the bike in public places. While this is a useful feature, it doesn't fit as securely as a rack that is fitted with screws, and has a comparatively low loading weight. When our tester took the bike for a ride, he found that there was slight sideways movement of the rack when cornering.

All the other racks are attached to the bike with screws which allows for a more secure attachment. While they score lower for attachment and removal (as its more time consuming and fiddly), this type of rack is usually only fitted to the bike once and stays permanently fixed to the bike. It also sits very securely allowing no movement of the rack in any direction. However, keep in mind that some racks may need to be manipulated to fit, depending on the build on the bike. This may need to be done at a bike store which can be a hassle.

Bike Racks
Brand / product Ease of attachment Ease of removal Maximum loading weight (kg) Position of rack Price ($)
Topeak MTX BeamRack V-type (TA2096V)559Seat post90
Tioga Rear Alloy Touring Carrier3325Rear40
Topeak Explorer Rack (TA2026B)339Rear50
Tubus Cosmo Stainless Steel3340Rear289
Velogear 15kg Rear Rack Dh3093315Rear44

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Using the table

Scores There is no overall score for bike racks, only a rating for ease of attachment and removal. Price Recommended retail as of March 2010.

How we test

Our tester, Peter Horvath, assesses the bike racks and baskets primarily on their ease of use. He looks at how easy they are to attach and remove from the bike and in the case of baskets he also assesses their stability when riding and their ease of carrying when they are taken off. He follows the maximum loading weights where specified.

Profile pictures

Topeak MTX BeamRack V-type (TA2096V)02-topeak-MTX-TA2096V

Price $90




Tioga Rear Alloy Touring Carrier01-tioga-rear-alloy

Price $40





Topeak Explorer Rack (TA2026B)03-topeakexplorer-TA2026B

Price $50




Tubus Cosmo Stainless Steel04-tubus-cosmo

Price $289




Velogear 15kg Rear Rack dH30905-velogear-dH309

Price $44


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