11 May 2023

Tubus Rack FAQ

A Tubus Fat rack in black powdercoated steel hangs from a concrete wall

Read our Tubus Rack FAQ to wrap your head around just how much better your life could be with a Tubus carrier rack on your bike!


How do I know which rack I need?

The main concern when choosing racks is whether it can be mounted to your bike, so for rear racks you want to check out the drop-outs or frame of your rear triangle to see if you have mounting holes or eyelets for the rack to mount on. If you don’t have mounting holes you can still have a rack, you just need to choose one of Tubus Classic models and pair it with a Quick Release Adapter.

The second compatibility issue is what type of brakes you have. As disc brakes are still fairly recent in the world of bikes, and they come in a number of different rotor sizes and caliper mounting positions, sometimes finding a rack to work can be tricky. Tubus make Evo versions of their racks with mounting feet further apart to allow for better disc brake rotor clearance and they make racks like the Disco for road bikes that have brake rotors mounted on the seat stays.


What is the difference between rear rack models?

Tubus rear racks come in single & double rail options, the double rail option having a wide top platform allowing you to mount a basket or a rack-top bag. The single rail rack is great for those just wanting to carry panniers without a load on top. The single rail design can also be mounted with a single seat stay for those wanting the minimalist look.


Single rail rear rack options

Single rail rear racks are great for commuters who are running a single pannier, or two panniers for those days where you are picking up a few things on the way home. They are narrow on the top so you don’t have far to throw your leg over the back, and they look great on gravel & road bikes that are running narrower tyres. Tubus racks are compatible with almost every pannier mounting system in the world (including of course Ortlieb’s mounting systems), so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when you get to the stage of buying pannier bags.


What are the differences between the single rail racks?

Within Tubus range of single rail rack options there are slight differences between the models. The differences are often in the ‘feet’ of the rack, which is where the rack mounts on to the axle or drop out or rear stays of the bike. Another difference in Tubus single rail racks is the design at the top of the rack where the mounting roundstays attach to the rack itself.

The Tubus Fly Classic is an example of a streamlined single rail rack, it uses a singular roundstay to attach to the seat stay of the bike, has a very small upper platform and the feet of the rack work with both rim brake and disc brake bikes, and will work with a Quick Release adaptor. Meaning if your bike has no mounting holes on the frame, you can use a Tubus Quick Release Adapter to install this rack. The Tubus Fly Evo is designed with the same singular roundstay however it has different feet that are suited to a wider range of disc brake bikes but it will not work with a Quick Release adaptor, so you need to have mounting holes in your drop out / frame to install this rack.

Double rail rear rack options

Double rail rear racks are designed with the intention of carrying more things. They have a lower rail, along the outside and usually about an inch below the upper platform of the rack allowing you to carry panniers and also rack-top bags. Because rack-top bags or baskets use a locking system onto the platform, where you need to access the sides of the rack. Having the panniers hanging on to the rack by a different, lower rail makes everything easier to access, and means that you don’t need to remove the rack-top bag in order to remove a pannier, or vice versa. This is great for touring or just for ease of use if you are taking advantage of all the carrying capacity of a rack.


What are the differences between double rail rear racks?

The same differences between single rail racks apply to the double rail; namely the ‘feet’ of the rack where it mounts to either the frame of your bike or the rear axle of your bike are different, and the roundstays that attach to the seat stays of your bike are different where they mount to the rack itself.

By way of an example, the Tubus Logo Classic is a dual rail rack with a wide upper platform for mounting your racktop bags and carrying panniers easily as well. The Logo Classic is designed to suit both rim brake and disc brake bikes, and if you do not have mounting holes in your seat stays / frame of your bike then you can use the Quick Release Adapter to make this rack work on your bike. The Tubus Logo Evo is the same rack, just with slightly different mounting feet making it disc-brake specific, but it is not compatible with a Quick Release adaptor, so this rack is for those lucky enough to have mounting holes in their frame for installing a rack.


Compatibility notes when buying a Tubus rear rack

As a general rule, if you have disc brakes, an Evo version of a Tubus rack is better suited to your bike. The Evo models have their mounting feet further apart, allowing a bit more ‘wiggle room’ when installing around disc brake rotors. If you don’t have mounting holes in your frame / dropouts, ie your bike wasn’t necessarily designed for carrying a rear rack, then you need a Classic model Tubus rack, paired with the Quick Release Adaptor.


What is a Lowrider?

The Lowrider is the pannier carrying solution for your front fork. A great use of the real estate at the front end of your bike on a long tour, carrying panniers over the front wheel provides a stabilising effect on the steering & handling of your bike which is especially apparently when you are loaded up on the rear or frame of the bike as well.

Pushing weight can often feel easier than pulling weight so using a front carrier on your bike can be a real improvement to your riding experience, and allows you to spread the load over your bike rather than adding too much weight & stressors to your rear wheel.

Lowriders mount to your fork, either on the outside eyelets such as for the Tubus Tara, or with both inside & outside eyelets as is (less) commonly found on touring specific bikes, with the Tubus Duo.

If you want to run a Lowrider but don’t have eyeletted forks you can use Tubus’ adapter clamps, however this should only be done on a steel or aluminium rigid fork as carbon forks or spring forks are not as stable or as robust.

Tubus make all their lowrider racks in steel, but they also make the Tara in Stainless Steel for those expecting their bike to take a battering on tour. And if you are one of the many folks who are running an extremely light gravel bike in carbon or titanium, Tubus has made the Tara in Titanium.

Lowriders allow you to carry panniers on your front wheel, however they do not provide a flat surface on top so they are not front racks. If you are needing to carry panniers and also have a rack-top bag, Tubus have the Grand Expedition.