Selection of Bicycle Accessory Products
Front and Rear Racks for Bicycle Touring and Commuting
After comparing cost, weight and other specifications I was pleasantly surprised to find the MT-4000SF front rack from Minoura. Not only is that rack disc brake compatible it comes with hardware for mounting to either standard or suspension forks, will fit 26" to 29" wheel sizes and mounts to the axle with an extra long skewer making installation easy yet very secure. Here's link to my review of that rack from three years ago.
I have had both of these racks for three years now and very much appreciate the quality steel front racks provided by Minoura with a price tag that is unmatched by anything comparable.
Here's a link to my initial review of this rack that I have installed on both a 26" Bridgestone MB-1 converted to a touring bike and my 700c touring bike.
Here's a link to another informative review of these racks shares some ideas of optionally mounting the rack to the a threaded touring bike fork rather than the brake bosses.
- A lightweight, low profile solution for mountain, commuting and fitness bikes
- Ultra-narrow profile improves aerodynamics, keeps load closer to center and greatly reduces bag "swing"
- Hand-welded 10.2mm tubular 6061 T6 alloy construction
- Fits 26" and 700C wheels
- Ample space for MTB and Hybrid/Trekking fenders
At our shop the most popular is the axiom Journey for bikes that don't have disc brakes.
Panniers and Bags for Bike Touring and Commuting
For example a handlebar bag which mounts with a quick release bracket can only be used on the bike to which the quick release clamp has been installed. Some manufacturers offer an additional clamp at additional cost of course. The same can be said about some panniers with locking mechanisms which limit the ability to swap panniers around to the front or rear racks as preferred or needed. This is not to say that some of the more popular products from Ortlieb, Arkel and the like are not of excellent quality but to say that there are some other options in affordable quality panniers that can lend some added versatility compared to others.
Photo above is of a very inexpensive handlebar bag that just so happens to fit most all my gear for "some" professional quality photography and blogging gadgets including a tripod, tablet, camera, cables and rechargeable power pack. Here's a link for a review of that handlebar bag. It's design provides a very convienient option for swapping the handlebar bag from my touring bike to my mountain bike for bike packing and even on a folding bike for travel. Very versatile indeed and after two years of lots of use it is holding together extremely well considering how rediculously affordable that bag is.
Axiom products continue to prove to be an exceptional choice of quality and value. Unfortunately, Axiom has discontinued their Cartier panniers (front panniers in photo at left) which are still providing dependable service after ten years of use. Fortunately they have introduced the Seymour DLX panniers available in two different sizes both of which can be used as front or rear bags and although those panniers now have the Rixen and Kaul latching mechanism for attaching the top of the pannier the very heavy duty steel hook and bungee are used to secure the bottom of the bag making for a versatile yet secure attachment system.
Another very impressive option in that same series is now available in a waterproof material called their "O Weave" series. It's a complete line of various panniers and bags of varying capacities for different uses. Another thoughtful idea is that the interieor of the waterproof design is a red interior for enhanced visibility inside their bags and panniers.
We're excited about testing a couple of these items based on our experience with axiom's innovative quality.
Rechargeable Lights for Bike Travel
We have found most if not all Cygolite products to outperform other bike lights based on battery run time, lighting options and overall brightness.
Last year I received a Blackburn 2 fer front or rear light for review which is also USB rechargeable and can be used as a headlight for camping. It's very small, lightweight design and multi mode functions make for a nice bit of kit just know that the battery time is lacking.
Rain Gear for Bicycle Touring and Bike Commuting
For the past couple years I have been more than satisfied with the performance of my Bellwether Storm Front Jacket with a drop down butt cover combined with a pair of Tenn Outdoors Waterproof Cycling Trousers. Photo at left shows how much rain we frequently receive along the Gulf Coast and having good quality rain gear makes it fun and easy to ride.
While I continue with this blog look for more fun and effective ways to improve your rides whether it's more bike commuting or bicycle touring we effort to have you covered.
Link related to this topic:
Multi day Bike Touring Kit