Adapting my Surly Rear Rack to work with Topeak MTX bags & baskets

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So I bought a brand new Surly Disc Truck­er in June, fit­ted it out with Surly front and rear racks, and now use this bike as my pri­ma­ry com­mut­ing bike, and when COVID-19 is past us/travel is open to us Vic­to­ri­ans again, I hope to take her on some tours, both local­ly and abroad.

My pre­vi­ous ride is a Giant< hybrid com­muter that I had fit­ted out with a Topeak MTX Beam­rack, which was fan­tas­tic for me to use with my every­day MTX EXP “trunk bag”, my Trol­ley­ToteI don’t make up the names for these! — which I used for gro­ceries and oth­er items that did­n’t fit in my trunk bag, and anoth­er open wire-style bas­ket I’d orig­i­nal­ly had first but still fit and some­times got a run for light trips like get­ting bread and milk. Hav­ing invest­ed in this lit­tle ecosys­tem of Topeak prod­ucts I still want­ed to use them on my Surly for com­mut­ing around town, as well as be able to use my Ortlieb pan­niers for touring.

So I grabbed a “Omni­track Adapter”, which I had to pur­chase online from Frank­furt, Ger­many in the mid­dle of the ini­tial COVID cycling gear short­age as every oth­er dis­trib­u­tor in the world that I could find was sold out. I wait­ed weeks and weeks for it to arrive, and lo and behold, I was foiled by some­thing as sim­ple as: the mount­ing brack­ets only fit to rack bars that run par­al­lel to the bicy­cle, not per­pen­dic­u­lar. I got past my first instinct (scrap the lot and just use my Ortliebs, say­ing good­bye to Topeak’s sys­tem for­ev­er) and jury rigged a nice lit­tle brack­et that I’m quite proud of, so I thought I’d post it up in case any­body else ever got some use out of it.

How I adapted my adapter

Topeak MTX bag on the rack
Appro­pri­ate clear­ance for Ortlieb QL2.1 pan­nier clips along­side Topeak adapter
Rack can now car­ry either Topeak MTX bags/carts/etc or Ortlieb pan­niers with­out chang­ing setup.
Category: Cycling
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