Author Topic: Need bicycle cargo advice  (Read 1869 times)

Travis

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Need bicycle cargo advice
« on: February 21, 2018, 11:10:56 PM »
I'm trying to use my bike for more local errands and commuting, but I need to add some cargo capacity.  I have a simple basket in the front that holds roughly the same volume as a grocery store basket, but I have nothing on the rear.  The bike didn't come with a rack.  I'd like to find a rack that fits my bike type and saddle bags or another basket for more groceries.  It's a Trek mountain bike with disc brakes.  The brakes seem to limit the type of rack I can mount back there.  I found this on Amazon, but I'm not sure if it's the right type:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WS4KX3/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I22AJ2LZXSOUA9&colid=2Q1JOY9D61YMS&psc=1

I found some panniers that could go with it, but it doesn't seem to have much in the way of volume.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ESLVDIU/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=ICIYENELVF88T&colid=2Q1JOY9D61YMS&psc=0

If I wanted to hold a couple reusable grocery bags worth of stuff, what would be a good choice?

2Cent

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 06:15:37 AM »
https://www.amazon.com/bike-cargo-trailers/b?ie=UTF8&node=6389518011
this will expand your bike to haul much larger loads and can be detached when you don't need it.
Don't load too much on the front as that will interfere with stearing.

vhalros

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 01:29:31 PM »
I have this rear rack: https://www.amazon.com/RackTime-Addit-Universal-Rear-Black/dp/B00AFG1Z7G/

The key feature of that rack is the second set of lower rails that will let panniers sit lower, and also keeps the top free for additional cargo while panniers are loaded.

For panniers, I have the Ortlieb backroller classic:

https://www.rei.com/product/885299/ortlieb-back-roller-classic-panniers-pair

They are expensive, but they are a real buy-it-for-life item; mine are like six years old now and still going. They are water proof, durable, and hold a lot of stuff.

Trailers, as 2Cent suggests, can be useful. But most of the time I find they are overkill and using one or two panniers is more convenient. I use my trailer only once every other month or so.


vhalros

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 01:32:16 PM »
Also, looking at the rack you linked, I am really doubtful it could actually safely carry 115 lbs as it claims.

Travis

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 06:17:12 PM »
Also, looking at the rack you linked, I am really doubtful it could actually safely carry 115 lbs as it claims.

I wouldn't ever attempt it.  I'm thinking no more than 30 pounds of items. 

mattytee

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 09:08:07 AM »
I can highly recommend folding baskets if you get a disc-compatible rear rack:

https://www.amazon.com/Wald-Folding-Bicycle-Basket-12-75/dp/B0012DZEBY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519401883&sr=8-1&keywords=wald+baskets

I've had a set of these through 3 bikes over the past 7 or 8 years, and they're still going strong.

robartsd

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2018, 12:10:59 PM »
I have this rear rack: https://www.amazon.com/RackTime-Addit-Universal-Rear-Black/dp/B00AFG1Z7G/

The key feature of that rack is the second set of lower rails that will let panniers sit lower, and also keeps the top free for additional cargo while panniers are loaded.
Adding a rack is great. I Have an old Blackburn Mnt-2 that I "inherited" when my dad stopped communing by bike. (Also still using the trunk bag and one pannier that dad used - not sure where the other pannier went).

I would like more heel clearance, so I've looked for racks that would move the load further back (low and centered on the hub is best for stability, but I don't load up that much most of the time). That Addit rack has come up as a possibility for myself many times, but I've failed to bite the bullet and buy something when I'm not sure how much more heel clearance a particular rack would give me. The Amazon page lists the Addit rack as 30kg (66 lbs) max load - which is probably about right. I've seen people with one of those folding baskets on one side of the rack and a pannier on the other side which looks like a great solution for carrying a variety of loads.


jgoody

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 01:21:29 PM »
Slee_stack's blackburn find on Nashbar looks like a killer value, but it needs to mount on rear rack braze-ons (can't tell from your picture if your bike has them or not).  Also, it doesn't specify that it is disc brake compatible.  Having fitted 4 disc bikes with rear racks, I can tell you even many of the "disc compatible" racks may not be compatible with YOUR discs.  In other words, every bike seems to mount their discs and route their cables in slightly different ways and rack manufacturers are hard pressed to design something that takes every possible permutation into account.  Every one of my rack installations required shopping around for a rack that would actually fit my bike and then doing a little dremel work on the rack.

Your amazon rack looks promising as far as disc clearance, however given your bike is aluminum, I would be a little uneasy about clamping the seat-stays like they intend.  Steel bends, but Aluminum tends to break/

If you live somewhere with a decent bike shop or two, you may save yourself a lot of headache by shopping in person so you can actually hold all the pieces up against your bike and make sure it will work.  Because once you have a decent rear rack, you will be SO glad you have it.  It really increases the utility of your bike in a huge way.

As an aside, I'm not a big fan of rear trailers.  At least not inexpensive ones.  The ones I've tried really make the bike handle awkwardly and they are very big things to store when not in use.

robartsd

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2018, 01:34:24 PM »
We have a couple of these:

Blackburn TRX-2 Ultimate Commuter Rear Rack
It allows most panniers and even fits most u-locks for easy access.

Its 'heavy'...but who cares?  Its very solid.

DW found a basic, cheap pannier at Ikea that clips on and off easy...less than $10.
I noticed in a review that that rack sits way back. I think I may have to try it. How does the integrated fender mount work for you - I've seen some reviews that say it's not as sturdy as it should be.

Travis

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 01:58:12 PM »
Slee_stack's blackburn find on Nashbar looks like a killer value, but it needs to mount on rear rack braze-ons (can't tell from your picture if your bike has them or not).  Also, it doesn't specify that it is disc brake compatible.  Having fitted 4 disc bikes with rear racks, I can tell you even many of the "disc compatible" racks may not be compatible with YOUR discs.  In other words, every bike seems to mount their discs and route their cables in slightly different ways and rack manufacturers are hard pressed to design something that takes every possible permutation into account.  Every one of my rack installations required shopping around for a rack that would actually fit my bike and then doing a little dremel work on the rack.

Your amazon rack looks promising as far as disc clearance, however given your bike is aluminum, I would be a little uneasy about clamping the seat-stays like they intend.  Steel bends, but Aluminum tends to break/

If you live somewhere with a decent bike shop or two, you may save yourself a lot of headache by shopping in person so you can actually hold all the pieces up against your bike and make sure it will work.  Because once you have a decent rear rack, you will be SO glad you have it.  It really increases the utility of your bike in a huge way.

As an aside, I'm not a big fan of rear trailers.  At least not inexpensive ones.  The ones I've tried really make the bike handle awkwardly and they are very big things to store when not in use.

I'm not sure what you mean by "braze on" (I don't know bike lingo), but I do have a custom bike shop and an REI within a few minutes of the house.  The last time I was there I just bought a kickstand and browsed the store, but I remember the rear racks they were selling ran from $50-$100, and the same amount for baskets/bags.  Next weekend I'll go see one of them and determine the specs for what I can/should have installed to at least narrow my search parameters.  I've read a lot of complaints online about rear cargo setups getting in the way of pedaling, so that is on my mind. 

robartsd

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2018, 02:21:16 PM »
I'm not sure what you mean by "braze on" (I don't know bike lingo), but I do have a custom bike shop and an REI within a few minutes of the house.  The last time I was there I just bought a kickstand and browsed the store, but I remember the rear racks they were selling ran from $50-$100, and the same amount for baskets/bags.  Next weekend I'll go see one of them and determine the specs for what I can/should have installed to at least narrow my search parameters.  I've read a lot of complaints online about rear cargo setups getting in the way of pedaling, so that is on my mind.
"Braze on" refers to little threaded eyelets on the frame for attaching accessories. The name comes from the welding technique used in adding them to the frame. A custom bike shop that builds aluminum frames could probably add them (but most custom shops only do steel frames and I don't have any clue how much they'd charge for this).

jgoody

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2018, 03:03:46 PM »
I've read a lot of complaints online about rear cargo setups getting in the way of pedaling, so that is on my mind.

Yes.  There are a number of factors that can make this happen.  The longer your feet are, the more likely you will encounter heel-strike.  Also, racks that position your panniers too far forward can be a problem.  Many of the nicer (more expensive) panniers have adjustable mounting points that allow you to position the bags themselves further forward or back relative to the rack.  I have the Ortlieb Classic Back Rollers and they are awesome, allow you to position the bags further forward/back, but they're really expensive.  I use mine daily and think they were worth it, but if you're relatively handy, bike buckets are also pretty awesome and you can DIY the mounting to clear YOUR heel.  Google "bike bucket" and you should get a number of links on how to build them.  A number of sources sell completed ones or kits to build your own, but also most hardware stores will have the supplies to build your own for $15 or less.  The square bucket itself you can usually find free some way or another (my cat litter from Costco comes in a similar bucket).  These things are relatively lightweight, waterproof, have pretty low theft potential, and double as camp stools.  My wife swears by them.

robartsd

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2018, 10:17:39 AM »
We have a couple of these:

Blackburn TRX-2 Ultimate Commuter Rear Rack
It allows most panniers and even fits most u-locks for easy access.

Its 'heavy'...but who cares?  Its very solid.

DW found a basic, cheap pannier at Ikea that clips on and off easy...less than $10.
I noticed in a review that that rack sits way back. I think I may have to try it. How does the integrated fender mount work for you - I've seen some reviews that say it's not as sturdy as it should be.
Nashbar is doing a pretty good job marketing to me. An ad served here on the forum for a ~$95 Blackburn rack reminded me about this thread. I went back to the TRX-2 page and saw "Totally Free Shipping On Your Entire Order" instead of "Free shipping on orders over $49". The free shipping offer says that it is good for standard shipping 2/26/2018 to 3/4/2018.

Slee_stack

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 11:14:59 AM »
We have a couple of these:

Blackburn TRX-2 Ultimate Commuter Rear Rack
It allows most panniers and even fits most u-locks for easy access.

Its 'heavy'...but who cares?  Its very solid.

DW found a basic, cheap pannier at Ikea that clips on and off easy...less than $10.
I noticed in a review that that rack sits way back. I think I may have to try it. How does the integrated fender mount work for you - I've seen some reviews that say it's not as sturdy as it should be.
I've not had any issues with the rack....but its my around town bike and I don't put a ton of miles on it either.   The integrated fender seems sturdy enough.  There may have been an old version where the welded/brazed seam would crack...

I like the multiple locations you can bungee and clip to.  I've slid out and scuffed the rack, but it took the impact pretty well.

robartsd

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Re: Need bicycle cargo advice
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2018, 05:25:23 PM »
We have a couple of these:

Blackburn TRX-2 Ultimate Commuter Rear Rack
It allows most panniers and even fits most u-locks for easy access.

Its 'heavy'...but who cares?  Its very solid.

DW found a basic, cheap pannier at Ikea that clips on and off easy...less than $10.
I didn't order during the  promo free shipping, but put together an order qualifying for their regular $49 free shipping that arrived yesterday (I needed a helmet anyway and could use some spare tubes). The rack is not as heavy as I thought it would be based on what I read online - looks like it will be exactly what I wanted - a well back aluminum rack (though I would like to mount a full coverage fender - this design is much better than my old rack). I look forward to solving my heel clearance issues when I mount it on my bike.