The Axiom Flip Flop DLX is the flagship model in a range of quick release, seatpost mounted racks aimed at commuters and others seeking to lug light to moderate loads without using traditional three/four point racks.
First and foremost, the fifteen kilo load capacity is quite a bit, creeping close to half the capacity of my mono-wheel Yak clone trailer. When it comes to racks, I'm firmly of the opinion that they should be welded together, so I was quite surprised that the Flip Flop DLX is a two piece, detachable design.
This enables the beam to rotate, theoretically accommodating most types of bike, though getting it to sit low proved difficult. The main body is welded from tubular T6 6061 aluminium to Axiom's usual, very high standard, and the satin black powder coat finish is also very good. It comes with a lifetime warrantee against manufacturing defects.
A generous top platform doubles as a reasonably competent splash guard, while offering a solid mount for bigger trunk bags. The pannier frames at the sides comfortably accommodate 16 litre Rixen Kaul bags, though a layer or so of electrical tape where they make contact helps prevent premature wear. However, a two tier rack is more convenient if you combine panniers and trunk bag.
The clamps on racks like this tend to be agricultural and the DLX is no exception, though its quick release cam closure is a reasonably secure fit around most seatpost diameters. Despite the decent rubberised shim supplied, I'm not overly happy heavily loading a carbon fibre seatpost or the prospect of some long suffering A&E nurse extracting shards from my derriere. I've therefore limited my use of the Axiom Flip Flop DLX to sturdy aluminium alloy and titanium posts.
Overall performance has been middling. The Axiom Flip Flop DLX works best on smaller mountain/semi compact geometry framesets with healthy amounts of exposed post. The luggage is still placed relatively high, which can do interesting things to your bike's handling, especially during long, steady canters through exposed areas with strong crosswinds.
While I'm confident the rack's structure will hold the full 15kg claimed load capacity, a four-bolt stem-type clamp would make this more of a practical proposition. In practice, following my usual tentative bedding-in outings with a couple of evenly balanced kilos, I still found myself stopping eight times to realign the rack and nip the clamo tight during a forty mile run with half the maximum payload.
Here's a video from Axiom explaining the DLX and the rest of the Flip Flop range.
Imaginative design that works well enough with lighter loads but needs a more substantial clamp
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Make and model: Axiom Flip-Flop DLX post rack
Size tested: n/a
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?
"One rack fits all sizes of bike frames and wheel sizes
Quick-release bracket fits 25.4- 33mm seatposts
Patent pending flip-flop design allows support bar to be mounted in a high or low position
Quick-release lever system allows trunk bags to be removed while remaining attached to the platform, as well as being able to slide the platform in when not in use
Ideal for rear suspension bicycles".
Felt adequate in some contexts but disappointing by Axiom's usual standards of design.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hand-welded tubular 6061 T6 aluminium construction
Double-welded for added strength
245mm tall side support stays allow for use of traditional pannier bags
325mm x 125 platform area
Reflector bracket included
General quality of materials, welding and finish are to Axiom's usual high standards.
Convenient to whip on/off in the proverbial trice but places loads quite high, which has an effect on handling/comfort beyond a certain point, especially combining smaller panniers and trunk bag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, this has been one of the better post clamping designs and fine for occasional hauling of larger, lighter loads-especially in situations where traditional 3/4point racks aren't compatible with machines or rider taste.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Convenient to fit, nice welds and finish.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Places weight too high, which can adversely affect handling and I feel a four bolt stem-type clamping system would be a better choice for the loads suggested.
Did you enjoy using the product? Disappointing overall.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not in its present guise.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)