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Bristol designed carbon fibre rack and pannier system launches on Kickstarter

A Bristol-based company has launched the Tailfin, a carbon fibre rack and pannier system that aims to be a modern alternative to the traditional bicycle rack. It launches on Kickstarter with a production date of October and a starting price of £132 for the rack and £45 for the pannier. 

The key benefit of using carbon fibre is that it is lightweight. The company claims the rack weighs just 275g, about half the weight of a regular rack made from aluminium. 

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To fit a conventional rack to a road bike requires a frame with rack mounts, but the Tailfin has been designed to fit any road bike - it doesn’t use traditional rack mounts. Instead, the top of the rack connects to the seatpost with a quick release lever, and the main supporting struts are connected to a longer skewer, which replaces the regular quick release skewer in the rear wheel.

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The rack can be fitted and removed in seconds, and being made from carbon fibre you’re probably going to want to remove it if leaving the bike outside. The company has thought of this, and locking screws can be used to deter easy removal. 

As well as the rack, the company has also developed its own panniers, though regular panniers are also compatible with the rack. The panniers, like the rack, have been designed with weight in mind and come in at a claimed 600g. 

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The panniers feature a rigid backbone to provide support, with a roll-top opening and made from a waterproof material. Each pannier has a 24-litre capacity and is large enough to take a 17in laptop, making them ideal for commuting.

“Creating a light and elegant product was important, but it was critical that the product function was as also better than existing racks & panniers,” says Tailfin founder Nick Broadbent, a cyclist and mechanical engineer. “Fundamentally, I wanted to enable every rider’s journey to be effortless, by designing the most advanced rack and pannier system ever. The aim is to ride fast, with more.”

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Interested? Head to the Tailfin Kickstarter page to see more. The company is looking for £50,000 funding to make the product a reality.

- Related: Your guide to racks and panniers — all your bike luggage possibilities from low riders to convertible backpacks

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.