Review: Ortlieb Quick Rack
Ortlieb Quick Rack RRP £90
Ortlieb’s new Quick Rack is a much cheaper, slightly heavier alternative to the Tailfin. Like that, it’s a three-point fitting pannier rack that can be removed in seconds when you’d rather ride your bike without it. The top fixing uses a similar kind of collar to attach to the seat tube or seatpost.
The lower fixings are different. The Tailfin typically attaches to a longer, replacement rear axle. By default, the Quick Rack attaches to plastic studs that screw into your bike’s rear dropout eyelets. This gave me pause. If your bike has eyelets, why not just fit a normal pannier rack (with P-clips or an eyeleted seat tube clamp if it’s missing the upper eyelets)? You can fit or remove a conventional rear rack with an Allen key in a few minutes. That’s longer than the Quick Rack’s 15 seconds, admittedly, but I’ve never been in a situation where it would matter.
The Quick Rack makes more sense (to me) if you also buy the Quick Rack Seat Stay Adapter (£15). This is a pair of plastic blocks that fasten to the seatstays – as long as they’re not carbon – to provide mounting points there. While they look a bit like a couple of Duplo blocks, which I’m sure will infuriate fashionistas, the Quick Rack can then be used on a bike without any frame eyelets.
Whichever way the Quick Rack’s studs are mounted to your bike, the rack’s U-shaped lower jaws sit on top of them. It’s prevented from jumping off the studs by walking-stick-shaped latches each side, which rotate to lock the rack in position. This was the source of the only problem I had with the Quick Rack: the drive-side latch fouled my bike’s Microshift Advent derailleur. I couldn’t fully open the latch, which made fitting and removal fiddly.
I suspect this will be a problem with other derailleurs that have a direct cable path – and thus a stop for the cable housing at the top of the mech. Traditional-style derailleurs, where the cable housing loops around the back of the mech to a barrel adjuster lower down, should be fine.
The Quick Rack feels sturdy once fitted and is rated for a 20kg load – or 10kg for mono-pannier usage. It comes with QL3.1 mounts for Ortlieb bags but also works without them with standard hook-and- cleat panniers. There’s an optional Quick Rack mudguard (£20) that fixes to the rack and goes on and off with it. It’s not full length so won’t offer full-mudguard protection.
The Quick Rack weighs 593g, plus a few grammes for each stud. There’s also a Quick Rack Light that’s 440g. Maximum tyre size for either is 60-622.
As long as it doesn’t foul your bike’s derailleur, this sturdy rear carrier is a neat solution for the cyclist who wants to be able to fit and remove a pannier rack on a whim. I’d just use a normal rack – or a big saddlebag on bikes that won’t take one – but the Quick Rack works as intended.
Seatpost mount, which stays in situ, for a big Carradice saddlebag such as a Barley (9 litres) or a Camper Longflap (23 litres). Max recommended load: 10kg.