The Tortec Expedition rack is a good value option if you want your bike, rather than your back, to take the strain. Strong enough for a big load and and nicely constructed, it'll turn its hand to everything from the commute to a full-on tour.
This Tubus Vega Rack is a very sleek and stylish rack, but tourists and audaxers will probably want to look elsewhere.
Tubus describe this as a "low-profile carrier" for "daily use & weekend trips" which sounds about right to me. It still has a healthy 25kg load limit but the load deck is too narrow to be much use, tapering from 9.9cm down to 8.6cm. It's just not wide enough for rack-packs to perch comfortably, especially those with soft undersides, and there are no obvious hooking points for bungee cords or cargo nets.
Let's start with an invisible Venn diagram. More than half of UK households has at least one bike. Almost a quarter of UK households has at least one dog. If you find yourself in the middle of that diagram, then perhaps you'd like to be able to take your pet with you on a bike ride. That's where the Trixie Front Box dog basket comes in.
The Tortec Expedition front rack is a cleverly designed unit that allows a degree of flexibility in fitting without adding too much weight or complexity to the design. It's easy to fit, and in use is stable and reliable.
Beam racks like this Topeak RX are a handy compromise for bicycles that can't take a proper rack, enabling you to carry a modest load on your road bike for an audax or credit card tour.
Although it can be a fiddle to fit, Madison's Summit heavy duty rack is a quality item at a sensible price.
At £39.99 the Blackburn EX2 rack is a sturdy, good value piece of kit for commuting and touring alike. Made of aircraft quality aluminium with 4 supporting stays, the rack represents a stable and durable platform on which to carry either pannier bags or a child seat. The black anodised finish has shown to be neat and hard-wearing and, despite a good deal of bashing about and load carrying in some pretty bad weather, the rack has endured well this winter. A silver finish is also available for those that prefer it.
Topeak’s Super Tourist DX rack is something of a design classic, continuing Topeak’s tradition for keenly priced and innovative products. The super-tourist certainly manages to be most things to most riders. A 25Kg maximum payload should be enough for all but kitchen sink tourists, let alone commuters and weighing a reassuring 700g, it should satisfy all but the most particular of Audax competitors. Stick with steel for expedition touring though as aluminium is much harder to repair by the roadside.
A sturdy steel-framed performer that's easy to fit and fuss-free to use, the ETC Grand Tour is a good budget choice if you're looking for something a bit better built than an own-brand unit from the local auto superstore. It does put some load on the rear window though, and if you want to avoid that you'd be better off paying more for the high rise version.
Panniers are a great way to lug stuff about, but what do you do if you can't fit a rack? This QR carrier fits in seconds to your seatpost and it's an effective way of quickly adding carrying capacity to your steed, that you can just as easily remove.