Monday, February 28, 2011

Freeload Rack Review

When I headed off on my first cycle touring adventure a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have had Tim and the team at Freeload hook me up with one of their sturdy, versatile racks to carry my huge load on. I received my rack the week of the event (having left it too late like many other things) and although there was a bit of assembly to do, I was surprised at just how easily I was set up and on my way testing them out.

The assembly side of the freeload rack is just one of the things that makes it so versatile. The rack comes with the sport platform, but I replaced the sport platform with one of Freeload's new touring platforms with side supports for larger panniers. The touring platform gave me more room to strap stuff on the top and the racks allowed me to use a full-size Ortlieb pannier on the back. It also gave me HEAPS of options of where to strap things on, which is handy when you are packing up to go in the morning and you don't have to be so precious about how you pack things up. I set mine up on a hardtail mountain bike, but the design also works with a full-suspension bike. To my knowledge, it is the only rack on the market compatible with a full-suspension bike. The same rack I used on the back of my bike can also be set up on the front of the bike, so there's heaps of different options. The versatility was just one of the things I loved so much about the rack.

The one thing I was unsure of with the Freeload rack when I first put it on was how well it would stay put. I was carrying a lot of weight, and throwing it from side to side as I descended down trails and all I had to hold the whole thing on my bike was 4 bits of webbing around the chainstay??? I was seriously eating my words after day 2 of the tour, when I spent a good 2 hours hauling my bike and my load along a rough walking track, up slick rock and through muddy creek crossings and the Freeload rack stayed put the whole time. The only change I had to make to the rack in testing was that I had to strap the panniers around the rack to stop them swaying from side to side, although I think this had much more to do with the weight of my load than the design of the rack itself.

The other thing I was quite impressed with was that the Freeload rack looks noticeably cooler than any other rack on the market (and looking cool is important right?). The rack was reliable so I didn't need to worry about losing my load and at the end of the four days, the rack seemed to have withstood the battering much better than my body did!

All-in-all, I was highly impressed with my new Freeload rack. I think this will be the beginning of a new a beautiful relationship with my bike!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your review and for posting pictures of the pannier platform. It's been very difficult to find photos of these on the web, and the Freeload website has been out of stock for a good while now. Despite this I've ordered a couple of racks for my Montague folding bike, which I use to commute to work on. The bike has a hard time coping with standard racks, the front fork is a suspension model, and I'm hoping these racks won't interfere with the folding of the bike.

    Thanks again,

    Vince Frost