Topeak beam rack

Aron B

Maximum Pace
Mar 24, 2012
342
211
73
Nerima-ku, Tokyo
abeekman.nl
#1
First week of August, we're doing a four-day tour in Aomori and Akita, riding during the day and joining festivals at night. We have small backpacks but we figure we need a bit more space to bring our yukata as well.

I am considering purchasing a Topeak Beam Rack (Amazon, Topeak) and simply putting a bag with clothes on top with rope and/or plastic bands.

Does anyone have experience with this or related products, or have other tips?

Thanks in advance.
 
Jun 15, 2014
1
1
3
25
London, United Kingdom
#2
I've got the MTB version which is slightly larger and able to take more weight (9kg) and
will take that for a 6 week tour of Jp next month!! They're perfect for light short tours and
I'd really recommend the mtb version especially if you're taking your yukata mate.
 
Likes: Aron B

snoogly

Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
695
48
48
Machida, Tokyo
#3
For free, gratis, I can let you have a carbon Beamrack RX:

http://www.topeak.com/products/Racks/RXBeamRackCarbon

Never used, and I have totally forgotten how I got it - a gift maybe. You'd need a bag (or stash your stuff with a bungee), but it can only take 7kg.

PM me if you'd like it, and I'll post it to you early next week (off to hospital for the weekend, to have a little bit more of my face hacked out :( ).
 
Likes: Aron B
May 22, 2007
3,590
1,416
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#4
Much prefer to get everything off my back and into a trunk. It's so liberating.

I have used three types of Topeak rack over tens of thousands of kilometers. Started with the RX rack you are considering. That is nice for small amounts of stuff. Needed more capacity so I moved to the MTX rack that Matt_payne202 mentioned. This served me well except that I would constantly overload and abuse it so the first one split at the seams and I had to replace it. The quick-release seatpost fastener on the MTX rack is especially useful if you have a tight-fitting rinko bag! Nowadays I use the tubular rack that bolts on - I don't have to worry about overloading my rack or my seatpost any more.

My thoughts:

The cantilever effect of these beam racks places considerable strain on the seatpost. They are contraindicated for carbon fiber seatposts. They'll fit, of course, but if your bike breaks as a result of use Topeak will not be interested in compensating you and you will face riding with no seat while trying to carry the stuff that was on your rack! The carbon Beamrack snoogly mentions is nice - I haven't seen that before. But even this is "not suitable or intended to be used with carbon fiber seatposts".

The key advantage of the Topeak range is their track system for mounting Topeak trunk bags and other accessories. I use the Topeak trunk bag with deployable panniers. Although this adds even more extra weight it is much more convenient than messing around with bungee cords and plastic bags. Click-swish-done - trunk is securely on or off in less than a second. If you're not planning to use a Topeak trunk then frankly you could use a cheaper, lighter beam rack like the Tioga or the Broadway or the Giza.

Have a great trip, whatever you decide!
 
Last edited:
Likes: Aron B

Aron B

Maximum Pace
Mar 24, 2012
342
211
73
Nerima-ku, Tokyo
abeekman.nl
#5
Thanks for the advice everyone.

The rack breaking at the weld seems to be a common occurrence, judging by several online reviews, but I gather heavy loading has a lot to do with that. Since for us it will be for occasional use only, I'll take my chances. Same for the carbon seatpost.

Will try @snoogly's kind offer, and will post back about our experiences. So looking forward to this trip. It's going to be: Aomori nebuta festival, Hirosaki neputa festival, and Akita kantou festival.
 
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#6
I used the beam rack for a few months but switched to a backpack that is mostly suspended away from the back.

With the seat post beam rack and loaded pack, the bicycle handling becomes significantly slow. It's fine for touring but you have to keep in mind the extra mass when out of the saddle or trying to quickly change directions. I also had trouble with the beam skewing when the bicycle is tossed around.

If possible, instead of the beam rack, the tubular rack works better. It's more stable and sturdy. I modified the tioga rinko bag with a series of eyelets so that I can lace shut instead of the using the zipper.

Topeak has a new rack: http://www.topeak.com/products/Racks/roadie_rack_bk
This seems like a better design then the beam rack.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,659
477
103
Japan
#8
Much prefer to get everything off my back and into a trunk. It's so liberating.
beam rack for a few months but switched to a backpack that is mostly suspended away from the back.
With the seat post beam rack and loaded pack, the bicycle handling becomes significantly slow. It's fine for touring but you have to keep in mind the extra mass when out of the saddle or trying to quickly change directions.
My thoughts are the same as Jack. Suspended weight on a quick handling roadie sucks. Touring frames correctly have the weight suspended as low as possible. I found the beams throw off the handling of a road bike so using one is less fun and even dangerous. Quality back pack all the way. You lock up your bike and carry your stuff with you. It's easier to access and also easier to protect from weather and road grime. But HFM makes some good points.

So looking forward to this trip. It's going to be: Aomori nebuta festival, Hirosaki neputa festival, and Akita kantou festival.
What no Hachinohe Sanshataisai? Actually I find the festivals all over hyped but I live up here and probably have become blasé about the whole thing. Have fun and give us some feedback on what worked for you.
 
May 22, 2007
3,590
1,416
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#9
Suspended weight on a quick handling roadie sucks.
I've grown so used to it… riding my other bike seems twitchy and weird for the first few km. Horses for courses. I have a good backpack too (Deuter Alpine 30 with the helmet clips and integral rain cover and Camelbak pouch etc.) that I use when transporting my laptop but despite its patented wind channel doo-da it makes me sweaty as feck.