The winter was harsh and the wear on my beloved road bike and its incredibly fragile ultegra componentry was too much on my wallet and I'm starting to explore winter bike options. I've decided I want to keep the drop bars and have been looking at gravel bikes, I also am considering light bike touring as a use for this bike. Although my primary useage would be commuiting and I want to have a fun bike I can throwaround a bit.

My choices have narrowed to the following 2 bikes:

The grail comes in £150 cheaper, which I could use for winter gear or a bike fit so I am much more tempted to go for this bike. Spec wise the grail also seems to beat the Trek, the only disadvantage (aside from the Trek coming in a whacky colour) is the lack of pannier fixings on the Canyon.

Canyon sell a variety of bags for big touring but I would ideally like to have panniers on the bike for my commute to work, keeping my clothes dry and more space for shopping as I would like to do my weekly shop on the bike.

I've briefly looked into 'mountless' pannier racks and would like to get an opinion on whether they are worthwhile. From the looks of it I can mount a rack using the axle and then clips onto the seatstays / get an adapter for the seatpost to mount onto, or even use 'p-clips'.

What are peoples experiences with bikes that don't have dedicated fixings? is it worth risking it for a slightly cheaper + higher spec'd bike? Are the mountless racks sturdy? Do they make thru axle mounts?

  • Does this Q/A help?
    – mattnz
    Jun 9, 2020 at 21:07
  • it does! the tailfin looks excellent :) thanks
    – Axemasta
    Jun 9, 2020 at 21:28
  • There are a few racks that attach directly to your quick releases. Obviously this makes removing the wheel a PITA. Also be aware that many bikes lacking rack-mount eyelets also have short chainstays, and this makes heel-strike on your panniers a potential problem.
    – Adam Rice
    Jun 11, 2020 at 14:11
  • Thanks @AdamRice I think i'm going to talk to my local trusted bike shop who do custom builds about it and see what they recommend
    – Axemasta
    Jun 12, 2020 at 20:52


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