Racks & Bags

freeloaders_X2_installedXtracycle manufactures two types of rack tubing to mount to their FreeRadical framework, the V-rack & the P-rack.  The V is the standard rack used with all three versions of their original FreeLoader bags as well as the newer X1 and X2 FreeLoader models.  The P-rack has an added rail for use with most existing pannier systems such as the Ortlieb or Vaude. This allows two large rear panniers to be attached to each side of the Xtracycle for a total of four panniers on the back.  For those using panniers exclusively, this means six panniers:  two on the front and four on the back.  I will be using a combination of two Ortlieb Bikepacker panniers on the non-drive side of my bike and  an Xtracycle X2 FreeLoader bag on the drive-side. This allows me the option of strapping on large items like surfboards or bicycle boxes with the FreeLoader while maintaining the waterproofing and convenience of the Ortlieb panniers.

freeloadersTwo other items of interest from Xtracycle are their WideLoaders and LongLoader tubes. These snap into the FreeRadical framework and provide a platform for wide loads also allowing clearance for the riders’ pedaling by directing the load outward at a slight angle. I personally have found the stock WideLoaders to be too wide for safe handling especially on a loaded tour.  They have a tendency to snag on tree branches and don’t fit through some bridge walkways or single-track.  I do like the LongLoader feature but it needs a WideLoader for attachment.  So to remedy this problem I cut 4″ from each end of a WideLoader to narrow it up a bit but not so much as to hinder the use of one LongLoader on the drive-side of my bike.  The bike is no wider than my handlebars now and I have no trouble squeezing through those tight spots even with a load. This modification took a little DIYing to move over the little brass detents that keeps the tubing in place.  A couple of holes needed to be drilled and the plastic tube covers replaced. Not a big deal, however, Xtracycle has recently started offering a shortened more beefed up version of the WideLoader tube that they call U-Tubes which seem to be the exact size needed for touring. These are sold as foot supports for passengers or cargo decks.

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