Tubus Vega Rack  £74.00

6/10

Nice rack within its limits, but very expensive

Weight 640g   Contact  www.lyon.co.uk, www.tubus.com

by rob_simmonds   September 29, 2012  

Tubus Vega Rack

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.

Tubus make plenty of bigger, wider, more practical racks, so I won't be too harsh. You just need to decide what you want from your rack before you buy and if all you want is a pannier hanger, it's just fine. After all, not everyone wants a rack that looks like the back end of their bike is being mounted by some randy scaffolding.

Fitting is very simple, with two arms that can be adjusted to suit and locked in position with allen bolts under the deck. They are tubular though, which means you can't bend them around awkwardly located bits of frame furniture.

Fitting the rack to the Surly Disc Trucker that I tested recently was no problem, but my old GT has braze-ons positioned in such a way that rack struts tend to foul on the rear brake. I managed to find a way round this by shimming out the strut with a fat washer (actually one of those noggins that go round the bottom of a tyre valve) but if you have to resort to this, make sure there is enough bolt actually inside the braze-on because you don't want 25kg of load supported by just a few delicate threads.

The rack has a rear plate to which you can attach a light bracket, a welcome touch, and there is a bewildering plethora of accessories available, including disc brake adapter kits and pump holders etc. Helpfully Tubus also supply 'bended' struts (they have a kink at the end) which might just about clear my brake arm.

Build quality is good, although the bolts have the type of domed top that often indicates that they are made of cheese. One of them has already started to round off, so be careful or dig some sturdier bolts out of your parts box. Hundreds of miles with a pannier on board has also rubbed the paint through, but that's my fault for not applying liberal quantities of electrical tape beforehand.

Within its limitations this is a nice rack to use and certainly looks smart, but the RRP is £75 and even at a reduced online price of £60 it's still pretty expensive. As a comparison, Tortec's very similar Ultralite rack will set you back a mere £27, and that's at full retail.

Verdict

Nice rack within its limits, but very expensive.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Tubus Vega Rack

Size tested: Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Tubus say: "You love the LOGO? But you only need a little load capacity?

In that case, the VEGA is for you. This carrier is as narrow as its big brother, but without the lower rail."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Lightweight CroMo rack.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

The rack is fine, but the bolts are poor quality and liable to round off.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

So long as you accept its limits (and Tubus make plenty of bigger, more practical racks) it's pretty good.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The only suspect bit is those cheesy bolts.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

At full retail it's nearly three times as expensive as a close rival and when you're only talking about some bent tubing that's too much.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Fine.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Rear plate for a light bracket.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Silly price, soft bolts.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? No, not at that price.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A nice enough rack, but far too expensive.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 5' 8  Weight: er....85kg

I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE, Carlton Corsa  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, Audax and long distance solo rides

 

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

You're definitely too harsh in your review.

You criticise Vega for the lack of mounting points for bungee cords while it DOES have them (and Tortec Ultralite, which you seem to like, does not).

And most probably you're the first person I know that rounded off stainless steel bolts in Tubus racks. Seriously, you're the first one. The bolts are just fine, you just need to know how to handle them and use quality tools, you know?

When it comes to dimensions, Vega is SUPPOSED to be narrow as it is not a flat-out expedition rack! It's definitely a commuter rack so why the heck do you expect it to be like Cargo? Gosh, I can't resist the feeling that you can't choose the right product for your needs and then try to blame the whole world for that...

Personally I've been using Vega for some time now and I can say just one thing: it's a perfect rack for its actual application. If only you are aware of its limitations (which are a result of the rack's application so to me they are OK - if you want a rack without these drawbacks, just go for another model) it's a great choice.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

mikroos's picture

posted by mikroos [165 posts]
30th September 2012 - 11:21

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Oh, and somehow you forgot to mention that Tubus gives THIRTY YEAR warranty for its products. You get what you pay for but you also pay for what you get (which is just fine).

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

mikroos's picture

posted by mikroos [165 posts]
30th September 2012 - 11:23

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Not sure I agree entirely with the comparison to the Tortec product. The Tortec Ultralite is an aluminium rack. This rack (like all of Tubus' racks) is steel, which is well known to have much better fatigue properties than aluminium racks. The 30 year warranty and worldwide shipping of replacement parts is testament to the quality of Tubus products.

I've never had a problem with Tubus fitting parts, I've used their super-sturdy p-clips, screws and the through-axle quick release system and they have all been excellent quality.

posted by jackh [105 posts]
30th September 2012 - 12:49

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mikroos wrote:
Personally I've been using Vega for some time now and I can say just one thing: it's a perfect rack for its actual application. If only you are aware of its limitations (which are a result of the rack's application so to me they are OK - if you want a rack without these drawbacks, just go for another model) it's a great choice.

That's pretty much what I said in the review.

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [250 posts]
30th September 2012 - 17:50

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But still, at least in my opinion, it does not in any way justify a very harsh rating of just 3 stars.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

mikroos's picture

posted by mikroos [165 posts]
9th October 2012 - 19:21

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