I have a 520 mm cro-mo vintage tsunado road bike. It has 27 inch wheels. I'm putting a pannier rack on the back *preferably steel, but I'll consider Al. It doesn't have the upper mounts but the dropouts have fenders so there are points there. I am going to be using it for touring, commuting, even picking up materials for the construction I'm doing (if anyone knows how to load a 3/4 inch sheet of ply onto bike, I'll be really surprised) I'm sure that I'd like to be able to load at least 25kg on that.

I'd be very interested in any pointers on what to get. I'd like to keep the price in the best bang for buck range, function/quality nothing fancy. If there any thoughts on bags I'm equally interested - Thanks

  • To a degree it depends on what works. But I see no reason to go with steel (which will rust) when there are excellent AL racks on the market. Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:32
  • @DanielRHicks - cro-mo steel racks typically have higher weight limits and wiggle less under high loads. After 3 yrs of commuting on dirt roads my panniers wore over half way through my AL rack on my summer commuter. I will need to replace it soon as it will fail soon. On my winter/tourer my steel racks are going strong 8 yrs later with only cosmetic paint wear. Rust is really a non-issue with good Cro-mo. I live on the "wet" coast with some of the highest rain falls in the world (especially where I used to live for most of those 8 service yrs). Maybe after 20 years rust might be an issue.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 16:53
  • The thing pushing toward steel is the numerous reports of aluminum racks failing abruptly.. also I tend to find myself in remote spots pretty often so durability and ease of repair seemed to recommend steel.
    – Brendan
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 0:02

1 Answer 1


Bang for buck would suggest an aluminum rack, but these typically don't support high loads. Once you start heading into the 20-30+ kg range steel performs better in terms of total load capacity and behavior under load (I.e., less flex which reduces the chance of a shimmy). In terms of steel I have had good luck with Tubus and hear good things about Surly racks. However neither of these racks are cheap.

About fenders

In terms of frame eyelets and fenders, some racks (usually the higher end ones) have additional mount points for fender struts. If you are handy you can often create your own mounting points.

About pulling building supplies

If your intent is to be in the transport building supplies such as plywood, you should really think about alternatives to racks such as a trailer. There are lots of different types of trailers. I've seen some flat bed like trailers for putting large awkward objects.

  • Apologies, I'll clear up my "Bang for Buck" as meaning "gets the job I need done properly". So my $120 8" chef knife which I've had 12 years meets this BFB criteria due to my needs and nothing less costly could perform adequately re: balance, form, steel, blade... I need the rack to hold up under stress. I'd also like to buy once if possible.
    – Brendan
    Commented Jul 5, 2015 at 0:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.