Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Product Review: Blackburn Cross Rack

When I purchased my Trek 1200, I knew right off the bat that I'd need a cargo rack to carry my gear. There were a few brands and models to choose from, but I'll admit that I got this strictly based on price compared to competing products. I actually had this rack installed before I even bought my bike. The bike shop did manage to twist the head off of one of the hex bolts that came with the kit, and it wasn't due to cross-threading. Installation was apparently a breeze, but the rack's frame required cold setting (read: "needed to be bent outward") in order to attach to the braze-on points on my rear dropouts.

There were two models that looked identical from Blackburn. The Cross Rack and the Mountain Rack. The mountain version had a black piece of sheetmetal forming the rack's ledge, and the cross version had a shiny silver piece of sheetmetal instead. Since my bike is black and silver, I chose the black and silver one, plain and simple.

The features I was looking for were braze-on mounting, tie-downs, and hooks at the bottom for attaching panniers or bungees. As it turns out, none of the racks I saw at the local bike shops had all three of these features. The seat-post mounted racks had tie downs but they lacked the frame or hooks to attach panniers to. The braze-on attachment racks all had hooks for panniers, but no built-in elastic tie-towns or bungees. Such is life.

I dealt with the rack (and some small bungees) for a few weeks without panniers. Overall, this rack carries a heavy load very well. I've loaded it down with groceries, all of my work gear, and plenty of other stuff. It seems to be able to support at least 30 pounds without any problems. My guess is that it could handle even more.

You can see I wrapped the frame with reflective black tape and placed a standard DOT reflector on the back of the rack. This is mostly just for some extra reflection when I don't have panniers on.

* Affordable
* Carries plenty of weight
* Attaches firmly to frame (if you have braze-on holes on your frame)
* Has built-in hooks to attach panniers or bungees for carrying even more stuff
* Drilled-out mounting bracket for rear reflector or blinking light (with some creative mounting)

* Not exactly a work of art
* May ship with mediocre bolts and fasteners
* No built-in tie downs, bring your own bungees!
* Requires some bending to make it fit standard rear drop-out braze-on points

No comments:

Privacy Policy

This site is driven by software that uses third-party cookies from Google (Blogger, AdSense, Feedburner and their associates.) Cookies are small pieces of non-executable data stored by your web browser, often for the purpose of storing preferences or data from previous visits to a site. No individual user is directly tracked by this or any other means, but I do use the aggregate data for statistics purposes.

By leaving a link or e-mail address in my comments (including your blogger profile or website URL), you acknowledge that the published comment and associated links will be available to the public and that they will likely be clicked on.