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Although it can be a fiddle to fit, Madison's Summit heavy duty rack is a quality item at a sensible price.
Without being too crude, my Kona Dew Drop has a big fat bum. That makes finding a suitable rack a bit of a chore, especially as manufacturers don't tend to give you the width between the struts. Happily the Summit has a much wider profile than most others, at 160mm, and fitted perfectly, with no unpleasant bending or stretching. Madison claim that the wide base offers greater stability and while that may be a bit of marketing spin, the rack certainly does feel very solid.
The most unusual feature of the Summit is the way the struts attach to the frame. Rather than the usual arrangement of a single bolt hole at the end of each strut the Summit comes with a separate footplate which the strut bolts onto. In fact you get a choice of two different footplates to allow for varying frame designs. That's all jolly good but each struts attaches with a pair of rather long nuts and bolts. Again Madison make a bold claim, that this design "dramatically increases strength and lifespan" and while they may be right, it can also make the rack more awkward to fit with the long bolts potentially fouling mudguard stays. It's not the end of the world, but was the cause of a few early medieval oaths during the fitting process.
The rest of the spec is more straightforward. The frame is built from 10mm TIG welded alloy and panniers mount up on a lowered rail which drops the centre of gravity a little and frees up the top deck for extra luggage. I've read some reports of people who found that their (presumably very large and very full) panniers fouled the rear mech but if this is a problem then you can always hang your panniers off the top deck instead.
You'll be hard pressed to take full advantage of all this rack real estate as the weight limit is a hefty 30kg, although if you need to strap down a big and bulky load then the feet have cargo strap mounts built in.
If all that isn't enough, you also get a 5 year no-quibble warranty and a universal rear light mount thrown in as an added bonus.
Overall this is a very nice rack and at only £29.99 it's a bargain, especially as you can find it discounted to £22 if you search around.
Well built, looks great and very well priced for a heavy duty rack. Even better if you can find it discounted.
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Make and model: Madison Summit rack
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
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,