Topeak RX Trunk bag EXP  £44.99

6/10

Well made bag, but better suited to day rides and limited by fitting system

Weight 715g   Contact  www.extrauk.co.uk

by rob_simmonds   May 21, 2010  

Topeak RX Trunk bag EXP

Topeak bill this as being "perfect for commuting, school and errands" but in reality it's better suited to day rides.

Don't get me wrong, it looks neat, it's very sturdy and the panniers that unzip from the side pods are cute but it simply doesn't hold enough stuff. Topeak quote it as having a capacity of 6l but this is spread over three distinct, and small, compartments. I'm not a complete pack rat but when I commute I at least need space for clothes, shoes and perhaps some files. And that's assuming I don't need to pop into the shops on the way home.

The RX has space for a shirt, clean pants, waterproof and a toolkit but that's about all. If you work as an underwear model then you'll be ok, but the rest of us will struggle. For day rides it's just fine though, with space for essentials and sensible organisation for things like tools and phones. Pumps are more problematic though and my Road-Morph only just wedged in. On the plus side, if you feel that your regular rack pack is holding you back and costing valuable seconds then Topeak are pleased to draw your attention to the "aerodynamic shape".

The other big problem is the mounting system. It's part of Topeak's modular QuickTrack system, which means that it only fits on Topeak QuickTrack racks (try saying that after a few large gins). The pack has a plastic rail fitted to the bottom which slots onto the rack. It's a secure system which pretty much guarantees that your pack won't bounce off or slide round into the wheels but if you already have a perfectly nice rack or you want a pack that can be swapped between, say, a road bike with a beam rack and an audax bike with a regular rack then you may as well look elsewhere.

Otherwise this is a good pack. Constructed from 600 Denier Polyester with Dupont Teflon Coating it sheds water nicely, although the zips aren't remotely waterproof and will leak eventually. The reflectives are well positioned and sturdy, not crappy iron-on transfers, and the light loop is also strong and versatile. A clip-on carry strap is a nice touch but the bungee webbing on top of the pack isn't something that you'd want to rely on to hold down anything more fragile than a pair of socks. The panniers that unzip from the side pods are more like extended pockets than panniers. To use them Topeak say that you'll need the optional side frames that come with their range of racks but in practice the shell of the pod is just about stiff enough to keep the pannier away from your wheel.

There are lots of things about this pack that I liked but it just doesn't have enough versatility to make it a sensible buy.

Verdict

Nice - so long as you have a dedicated Topeak rack and don't need to carry much.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Topeak RX Trunk bag EXP

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly, but I couldn't use it for commuting.

Would you consider buying the product? No - limited mounting options and not enough space

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No, probably not

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 5\' 8  Weight: er....86kg

I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion  My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

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