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.
Sturdy 10.2mm 6061 aluminium rods are neatly TIG welded to provide a strong and moreover rigid platform. Dedicated pannier rails positioned beneath the top frame overcomes compatibility woes with trunk bags and make the whole un/loading process a lot simpler, while still offering adequate heel clearance on smaller framesets.
Elsewhere, the splashguard/top plate incorporates clever guttering designed for use with the firm’s integrated quick track retention system, meaning dedicated trunk bags slot into the guttering and lock firmly around the looped top-rail. However, it accommodates more conventional Velcro types just as securely. The comprehensive stainless steel fitting kit makes for corrosion free, almost universal compatibility with framesets ranging from 14 to 25 inches, although mounting to wishbone seat-stays can still present a few challenges. Resin LED mounts provide surprisingly secure tenure for both dynamo and battery lamps but a little thread lock is good insurance.
My own has seen 18 months continuous, trouble free service with no obvious signs of fatigue. Even the glossy powder coat finish hasn’t tired despite constant attachment and removal of Klick fix luggage, the beefy tubes being just the right diameter for most brands to date. Binding electrical tape around the main contact points is an inexpensive means of extending the racks’ life further but crucially aluminium doesn’t have nearly the same fatigue life as steel so avoid habitually laying a heavily laden bike on the pannier frame at rest stops.
Well designed rack for everything bar expedition use
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Make and model: Topeak Super Tourist DX 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?
The Super Tourist DX is a well made alloy touring rack capable of everything from commuting to full on mtb duties thanks to solid construction, moderate weight and a disc compatible option. I have used one consistently for 18 months with only slight-tell tale signs of paint wear.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
TIG welded 6061 hollow alloy rod, stainless steel fittings, claimed 25 kilo (55lb) maximum payload, powder coated finish,splashguard designed with integrated track for use with Topeak trunk bags. Seperate pannier rail eliminates rack bag/pannier compatibility hassles.
A reassuringly solid 700g
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As its name suggests, the Super Tourist DX is a versatile and capable do-all rack that does most things very well. Even loaded close to the limit it feels surprisingly rigid and the beefy rods entertain most panniers and seems genuinely compatible with frames from 14-25 inches, although wishbone stays can prove a little tricky. Finish seems better than most with only the slightest traces of wear but this is easily overcome with a layer of electrical tape. For all this, I would stop short of expedition touring- only because in the event of breakage, roadside repair of aluminium is tricky at best.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid, rigid with some really nice design and good finish.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 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)