Topeak Uni Super Tourist Rack (Disc) review

Easy to fit, top quality rack

Topeak Uni Super Tourist Rack (Disc)
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

A super rack that really does come close to fulfilling the description, 'one-size-fits-all'. The Uni Super Tourist is a durable, aluminium tubular rack equipped with adjustable legs to fit most 24” to 29” wheel MTB and 700C touring bikes with disc brakes. It's just as good for commuting and running errands, as it is for long-distance touring. While the top plate is designed to be compatible with Topeak's own luggage system, it can also accommodate a wide range of racks and panniers. The initial setup isn't difficult and, once on, it looks slick and resists wear better than some cheaper options.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very adaptable

  • +

    Well-made

  • +

    Intuitive and easy to mount

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Nothing to note

In the not too distant past, you could be quite certain that any pannier rack (opens in new tab) would fit pretty much all bikes. But with standards having evolved at such a pace in recent years, producing a 'one size fits all' design has become an increasingly difficult task.

Yet it's one which Topeak has tackled head on, with the Uni Super Tourist coming out on top for compatibility, against the racks I've been testing. This makes it a wise choice for anyone wishing to obviate the chance of any frustrating surprises when setting up – and for those wanting to keep their options open for swapping between bikes.

The construction: Topeak Uni Super Tourist Rack (Disc)

The Uni Super Tourist is made from 6061 T-6 hollow aluminium, with the welding and finishing maintaining a high quality throughout. In comparison to some others I’ve been testing, the the Uni Super Tourist is much more robust in its construction, resisting scratches and abrasions that others haven’t.

The rack is equipped with adjustable legs to ‘fit most 24” to 29” wheel MTB and 700C touring bikes with disc brakes’. The chrome plated stainless steel arms, on the other hand, flex accordingly to meet the bike frame’s mounting points.

On top, the TX QuickTrack® plate is compatible with any Topeak MTX TrunkBag (Topeak has a huge range (opens in new tab)), or MTX rear basket (of which there are two (opens in new tab)). I’ve had no issues fitting any of my own panniers, or those I’ve been testing.

At the rear, there is a plate for mounting a light, with the racking being compatible with a Topeak Redlite (opens in new tab), unsurprisingly.

The ride

Mounting the rack is intuitive and doesn’t take long. I’ve had the Uni Super Tourist on and off several bikes without issue, you can see in the photos above mounted on a Triban RC520 (opens in new tab) and a Whyte Clifton ER7 (opens in new tab).

The rack is set at its lowest height on the Triban, fitted with 700 x 32c tubeless tyres. On the ER7, it’s still on the lowest height setting, with 700 x 40c tubeless tyres, plus a substantial mudguard. 

Considering there are two more height settings that I haven't used – and plenty of arm length to play with – there's a lot of scope for larger tyres and smaller frame sizes, making clearance issues of little concern. At the other end, with 26" touring wheels, you may end up with a sizable gap between the rack and the rear wheel – but at worst that would only be an aesthetic issue.

I’ve not tested any of the Topeak's compatible luggage system, but I've had no issues attaching a whole range of panniers to the rack – including items from Ortlieb, Cube, Altura, Chrome Industries, Brooks and Topeak's standard pannier bags. 

Many panniers come with adapters for attachment points, offering a more secure fit and reducing the chance of abrasion. Otherwise, a bit of insulating tape can prolong the aesthetic life, if you are keen to do that. The rack looks slick, and feels sturdy and durable. Although I've not used any tape through the test period, there has been no abrasion to note, which is quite impressive.

The 26kg capacity adds to the versatility of the rack; it’s not confined to commuting purposes, and can be easily swapped onto a touring bike. I felt confident loading it up during urban errands, with heavy shopping causing no concern.

If you happen to ride without mudguards, the plate offers some degree of protection from road spray. While it’s not huge, it’s certainly better than an 'open-top-rack' design.

Value and conclusion

At £44.99 / $73.49, the Topeak Uni Super Tourist fairs well against other brands with similar reputations for quality. Blackburn’s Ex 1 (opens in new tab) is £54.99 / $54.95 and Tubus’ Disco (opens in new tab)  has an RRP of £135.99 / $135.99, though perhaps it’s not a perfect comparison; it’s made of steel, so it’s likely to last longer and is repairable too.

The ease of mounting, coupled with the deserving 'one-size-fits-all' tag, make it easy to recommend the Uni Super Tourist. It's a competitively priced option for anyone wanting a versatile, well-made rack.

Specs

  • Attachment: Frame rack bosses
  • Material: 6061 T-6 hollow aluminum
  • Compatibility: MTX TrunkBags / MTX rear baskets
  • Max Weight Capacity: 26 kg / 57 lb, Meets EN 14872 / ISO 11243
  • Added Features: 
    • Includes mounting bracket (26.5 cm)
    • Adjustable length, Solid fender top
    • RedLite® Mount, Tail Light Mount
  • Size: 41 x 34 x 25 cm /1 6.1” x 13.4” x 9.8”
  • Weight: 820 g / 1.81 lb
  • Adjustable height:
    • Shorten:  339 mm  (±3 mm)
    • Middle:    359 mm  (±3 mm)
    • Longer:    379 mm  (±3 mm)

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