Topeak EXP Bag on Vado 4.0 Rack?

jwehman

Member
Looking to get a commute bag, and the Topeak EXP seems like it would be a good fit for my needs. It is the model with the pannier bags that unzip and hang down.

I know you can get an "MTX" adapter for the Racktime rack to fit the sliding lock mechanism, but I was curious about the hanging pannier length, and the attachment method of the bags.

Would the default rack be able to securely fit the hanging bag elastic straps using those "eyelets" near the bottom of the rack on either side? Or would another rack have to be installed?

Thanks!
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Looking to get a commute bag, and the Topeak EXP seems like it would be a good fit for my needs. It is the model with the pannier bags that unzip and hang down.

I know you can get an "MTX" adapter for the Racktime rack to fit the sliding lock mechanism, but I was curious about the hanging pannier length, and the attachment method of the bags.

Would the default rack be able to securely fit the hanging bag elastic straps using those "eyelets" near the bottom of the rack on either side? Or would another rack have to be installed?

Thanks!
Changing the standard Racktime rack on a Vado is problematic. Not only does it provide support for the rear fender (and vice versa), there are no frame inserts to accept the 'standard' rack arms. Also, the main rack support struts have threaded cones at their ends that mate with dimples in the Vado frame and accept the frame attachment bolts.

As far as panniers in general, we routinely use the Ortlieb Classic panniers for errands, etc. They clip onto the top rail of the Racktime rack and have a 'C' shaped bracket that slides over the rearmost rack strut. Very secure and rattle-free.

Have you taken a look at Racktime compatible bags, https://www.racktime.com/en/racktime-products ? Others have reported good results with their pannier pairs and trunk bags. Their Odin and Talis Plus bags attach directly to the rack and are equipped with side bags like the Topeak EXP. We got the best prices on our Racktime bags from online Euro bike shops, even with shipping.
 

BEC111

Active Member
Looking to get a commute bag, and the Topeak EXP seems like it would be a good fit for my needs. It is the model with the pannier bags that unzip and hang down.

I know you can get an "MTX" adapter for the Racktime rack to fit the sliding lock mechanism, but I was curious about the hanging pannier length, and the attachment method of the bags.
Would the default rack be able to securely fit the hanging bag elastic straps using those "eyelets" near the bottom of the rack on either side? Or would another rack have to be installed?

Thanks!
The adapter will allow you to use any MTX accessories you may own. It’s on back order until some time in July. I need one myself.

As Sierratim points out, panniers don’t require the quick release features.
 

jwehman

Member
The adapter will allow you to use any MTX accessories you may own. It’s on back order until some time in July. I need one myself.

As Sierratim points out, panniers don’t require the quick release features.

Thank you. I know how to fit the bag on the rack with the MTX adapter.

What I was really after was whether the built in panniers on the specific bag I referenced would be able to strap down and be secured on the default rack systems rack. The tie downs on the bags seem to be a bit long for the eyelets on the rack.
 
B

BarryS

Guest
Am I understanding correctly I have a Bontrager Back that has a Quick mount attach system That unscrews from the bag. Sooooo If I understand I can use this racktime snapit On the bottom of this bag?
 

BEC111

Active Member
Thank you. I know how to fit the bag on the rack with the MTX adapter.

What I was really after was whether the built in panniers on the specific bag I referenced would be able to strap down and be secured on the default rack systems rack. The tie downs on the bags seem to be a bit long for the eyelets on the rack.
The Vado SL rack doesn’t have hooks for tying down panniers. I have other panniers (Banjo Boys) that came with hooks that are attached to the lower rack mount bolts. Using those and the tie downs on the panniers I was able to carry groceries home today. If you don’t have hooks, I’m sure something can be improvised.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
Am I understanding correctly I have a Bontrager Back that has a Quick mount attach system That unscrews from the bag. Sooooo If I understand I can use this racktime snapit On the bottom of this bag?
Yes.
 
B

BarryS

Guest
After posting If I take this bag apart all the inside bracing come with it : There's a metal re-enforcement on the inside : There must be other bags I can purchase that aren't ridiculously priced :
2G4fVf1.jpg
 
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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I suppose it depends on your definition of ridiculously priced...🤔. I like the Racktime bags and often use their Talis model. Domestically, I'd call it pricey. I bought ours from a Euro based online supplier for a price I found attractive, even after adding some shipping though I bought more 'stuff' at the same time that spread the flat rate shipping out.

Wiggle in the UK offers a nice looking Racktime compatible bag for under $58. Shipping is free for orders over $106, and no sales tax.
 
B

BarryS

Guest
I suppose it depends on your definition of ridiculously priced...🤔. I like the Racktime bags and often use their Talis model. Domestically, I'd call it pricey. I bought ours from a Euro based online supplier for a price I found attractive, even after adding some shipping though I bought more 'stuff' at the same time that spread the flat rate shipping out.

Wiggle in the UK offers a nice looking Racktime compatible bag for under $58. Shipping is free for orders over $106, and no sales tax.
I see wiggle has Topeak and Rixen kaul (appears to be all set for racktime) I already own panniers that I have never used : Christmas Gift : SO I just want a Bag for 25-55 mile rides : Mainly for carrying Extra Water I can keep cold and Tire Repair stuff : Maybe take a Jacket off : Although last year I noticed as teh weather cooled I actually needed less Gear.

Lucky to live in a High Tourism Area near lake Michigan but in the country : If I hit a Good Drive I can land in Lake Michigan : Consequently all of the Bike Trails have stores every 5-10 miles : Mainly Food : SO I don't need a bag to put the kitchen sink in so to speak. I would buy a Talis if I could find a shop that carries one .

 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
We use panniers as well, mostly for grocery shopping and errands but also for out of the area rides. Our Ortlieb panniers clip onto the top rail of the Vado rear rack and clip off with a simple pull. Nice, but the pannier clips do interfere with our Racktime bags as they need to sit flush on the top rail. So, for us, it's either panniers or Racktime bags, not both...😕

With the virus, trail side water fountains have been shut off so we also carry more water. The Talis bag is great for this and still has room for trail snacks.
 

BEC111

Active Member
When I got the Topeak adapter I had to have it installed since I needed to remove the fender to fit it on. I didn’t have the right tool to reach one of the bolts. This presented me with a problem. The adapter covered the rails so I couldn’t attach my Banjo Boys panniers. With a bit of experimentation I figured out that I could release the adapter slightly, mount the panniers and tighten done the adapter giving me the ability to mount two panniers and use my MTX trunk bag too.

This means the panniers can’t be quickly removed, but there’re unlikely to be stolen as it would require removing the adapter and so forth. Secure enough for me.

I could also remove the adapter, bindIng the mounting plates so they don’t fall off and get full use of the rack. This isn’t the most convenient approach, but it only adds a few minutes to the ride prep.

I’d gone through all this because Racktime bags, etc, were hard to get and more expensive than I wanted. Also the Racktime quick mount adapter cost more that the Topeak adapter meaning I not only saved on having to buy a new trunk bag, I also saved on the adapter.

Annoying, but not too bad.
 

El_Kati

New Member
Looking to get a commute bag, and the Topeak EXP seems like it would be a good fit for my needs. It is the model with the pannier bags that unzip and hang down.

I know you can get an "MTX" adapter for the Racktime rack to fit the sliding lock mechanism, but I was curious about the hanging pannier length, and the attachment method of the bags.

Would the default rack be able to securely fit the hanging bag elastic straps using those "eyelets" near the bottom of the rack on either side? Or would another rack have to be installed?

Thanks!
Hello everyone. Joined this morning. This is my first blog ever. Hope I've got the etiquette right.

I've been looking for a way to mount both a trunk bag and dedicated panniers at the same time on the slim Racktime supplied with Vado's. The Racktime Snapit© mounts must be twisted to the narrow gauge making a Racktime trunk bag or any Racktime Snapit© adapter tippy (I know this - I bought one by mistake and it’s for sale). Worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be a way to use a trunk bag and dedicated panniers at the same time.

Here’s my solution. I’m not handy. Someone out there can probably do better.

I purchased a Topeak adapter plate ($30) to accept Topeak trunk bags. I cut a pair of 1x2 pine spacers the width of the rack and attached them using zip ties. This raises the Topeak plate 1.5” above the rack allowing enough space underneath to use almost any pannier. You’ll just need to replace the included Topeak screws with longer ones to span the spacers (10-24 x 3” flathead). Result: Very stable trunk bag, no wobble! Now I can add panniers without removing the trunk bag. I thought the trunk bag on stilts would look goofy – but it’s not bad.

Any thoughts?
 

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BEC111

Active Member
Hello everyone. Joined this morning. This is my first blog ever. Hope I've got the etiquette right.

I've been looking for a way to mount both a trunk bag and dedicated panniers at the same time on the slim Racktime supplied with Vado's. The Racktime Snapit© mounts must be twisted to the narrow gauge making a Racktime trunk bag or any Racktime Snapit© adapter tippy (I know this - I bought one by mistake and it’s for sale). Worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be a way to use a trunk bag and dedicated panniers at the same time.

Here’s my solution. I’m not handy. Someone out there can probably do better.

I purchased a Topeak adapter plate ($30) to accept Topeak trunk bags. I cut a pair of 1x2 pine spacers the width of the rack and attached them using zip ties. This raises the Topeak plate 1.5” above the rack allowing enough space underneath to use almost any pannier. You’ll just need to replace the included Topeak screws with longer ones to span the spacers (10-24 x 3” flathead). Result: Very stable trunk bag, no wobble! Now I can add panniers without removing the trunk bag. I thought the trunk bag on stilts would look goofy – but it’s not bad.

Any thoughts?
Interesting idea. I too have the Topeak adapter on which I mount my Topeak EXP bag. When I need a differently designed pannier (I have Banjo Boys Grocery ones) I have to remove the adapter using small bungee cords to keep the adapter mounts from getting lost. I’d had my LBS set it up because I’d didn’t have a allen key that would fit to allow me to remove the fender, unfortunately necessary.
I may look into your idea next spring as it would be much less hassle.