Monday, 20 January 2014

Topeak MTX Beam Rack

Here is something that I have acquired in preparation for my 'South Downs Easy Double' ride which I am planning on doing later in the year...

Topeak MTX Beam Rack

This is a Topeak MTX Beam Rack which clamps to the seatpost.

It is not practical to use a standard style of cycle rack on the MTB such as I have fitted on my touring bike, due to the risk of the panniers catching on rocks and branches etc... so for off road bikepacking all the bags need to be carried higher but closer  to the centre line of the bike.

The pannier bags will be left at home and I will be using waterproof drybags similar to the ones I use when backpacking.....

Close up view of the MTX Clamp fitting

I was a little concerned at first that the clamp would not be strong enough to hold the rack rigidly enough when fitted to the bike.....I need not have worried about it, as once fitted to the seatpost properly the entire rack is absolutely rock solid...

The beam rack is able to carry up to 20lbs (9kg) of weight....and as my total summer backpacking kit weight tips the scales at just under 16lbs and I intend to spread this weight across the bike I think that this rack will be more than man enough for the job.

My intention is to carry my Tent...Sleeping Bag...Thermarest (inflatable mattress) & some items of clothing on this rack. 
As the tent is the heaviest single item at approx 3lbs I estimate that the total weight that I will actually be carrying on the rack will be well under 8lbs max.

Topeak sell a small mudguard unit that fits underneath the rack and that seems a pretty good idea in order to help keep me, my kit and the bike clean..... needless to say I have placed an order for that too..... 

13 comments:

Steve A said...

I generally like Topeak stuff.

Anonymous said...

I've had mine for two years and it stays in place with help. I use old inner-tube rubber to create a gasket. The hard plastic that comes with it gives too much play. Also it helps to have a long seat stem to attach it to. My wife's was too short to raise it high enough over her back fender.

Trevor Woodford said...


I do too Steve..


Hi,
The gaskets of various sizes that came with the rack, seem to be made of a softer material than they used to be, but I will check it every so often....thanks for the comments.

Marsha said...

Trevor, I use this rack with the Ortlieb suitcase and I love the rack. Sturdy. Easy to take on and off as needed. You might want to check into the Revelate harness handlebar strapping system. I use it to carry a drybag up front, but I can imagine you'd find some very clever uses for it. Marsha (Florida by Bicycle)

Trevor Woodford said...

'Marsha'
Thanks for that Marsha..Good to hear that you like using this rack...
Useful info regarding the Revelate harness system..I will look into that....

coastkid said...

I have one of these racks Trevor. Works a treat. perfect to swap from bike to bike . I used it for cycling the Kyntyre Way and it worked fine. Will see more use this year on the Genesis Cdf!

Trevor Woodford said...

'Coastkid'
Interested to hear that you have found that this rack woks fine and that you used it on the Kyntyre Way.
Always good to get out in the field feedback..Thanks for your comments..

jeff said...

The mudguard sounds like a great idea. Can't wait to hear more about this adventure!

Trevor Woodford said...

'jeff'
Thanks for your comment Jeff...
I will certainly be posting all details of my preparation for the South Downs Double as well as the ride itself....
I will post a picture of the mudguard once I have fitted it....

John Horner said...

Trevor, Beth at Wildcat Gear makes an excellent range of gear for carrying kit, I would recommend the bar harness and custom frame bags. http://www.wildcatgear.co.uk/

J_on_tour said...

Wow, looks good and like that you've got the weight thing sorted.

Last year you enthused me, this year you educate me !I
I managed to get panniers fitted to my road bike at the time of purchase.

Trevor Woodford said...

'John Horner'
I've taken a look at the gear over at Wildcatgear John... It certainly looks like first class kit.
Thanks for the headsup on that John...


'J_on_tour'
The kit weight thing comes from all the years I spent backpacking.. In actual fact my summer backpacking weight is only 12lbs but I added a bit extra in my blog post to allow for bike tools etc.
I will also be out riding my pannier laden touring bike again this year when I do the Lon Las Cymru...

Spence said...

My Topeak kept swinging into the rear spokes, damaging them on turns.
I now ride with a torso pack and back pack instead. I do save a little weight as well. Those pannier bags sure held a lot though!