Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Review of Blackburn Lowriders (boring post, FYI)

A Note from Jon: Warning, this is a boring post. I am just trying to do a good deed by spreading useful information to the internet. I bought a Blackburn lowrider front bike rack for my tour on and submitted a review since it was not compatible with my panniers. This is the review. I'm blogging it just to make sure it gets out there to the internets, hoping that it will prevent other cyclists from making the same mistake I made. Here it is:

Product: Blackburn FL-1 Front Lowrider Front Bike Rack by Blackburn
Submitted at: Bike Wagon

Doesn't work with decent panniers

by Jon the Dissappointed from Denver, CO on 5/4/2011
Annoying to assemble, Not compatible
Describe Yourself:
Casual/ Recreational
Cycling Style:
Comfort Oriented
Was this a gift?:
I bought this rack because it was cheap, it was a lowrider, and it had a stabilizing bar. All good things in my book. I installed the rack with a good amount of effort. It's pretty annoying that the stabilizing bar isn't already connected to the side racks. In the long run, that wouldn't be that big of a deal though.

I tried out my Ortlieb panniers on the rack to see if they fit. They didn't. There's a stupid metal plate under the top bar that prevents the Ortlieb panniers from clipping onto the bar. I went to go buy my Arkel panniers that I was actually going to use for the front, hoping that they would work with the rack. They didn't. The Arkel attachment system is similar to the Ortlieb one, so it also had a hard time grasping onto the bottom side of the bar.

In conclusion, the rack is incompatible with two of the top names in panniers, Ortlieb and Arkel. If you're using some other random pannier that has a very different attachment system, then this rack would probably work great for someone on a budget. But if you want some nice panniers, do not buy this rack.

I am returning the rack, but I believe I won't get refunded the shipping cost (which is probably fair since there's nothing wrong with the rack itself). So I am at a loss because I bought this rack, expecting it to be compatible with decent panniers.

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