This Tubus Vega Rack is a very sleek and stylish rack, but tourists and audaxers will probably want to look elsewhere.
Tubus describe this as a "low-profile carrier" for "daily use & weekend trips" which sounds about right to me. It still has a healthy 25kg load limit but the load deck is too narrow to be much use, tapering from 9.9cm down to 8.6cm. It's just not wide enough for rack-packs to perch comfortably, especially those with soft undersides, and there are no obvious hooking points for bungee cords or cargo nets.
Tubus make plenty of bigger, wider, more practical racks, so I won't be too harsh. You just need to decide what you want from your rack before you buy and if all you want is a pannier hanger, it's just fine. After all, not everyone wants a rack that looks like the back end of their bike is being mounted by some randy scaffolding.
Fitting is very simple, with two arms that can be adjusted to suit and locked in position with allen bolts under the deck. They are tubular though, which means you can't bend them around awkwardly located bits of frame furniture.
Fitting the rack to the Surly Disc Trucker that I tested recently was no problem, but my old GT has braze-ons positioned in such a way that rack struts tend to foul on the rear brake. I managed to find a way round this by shimming out the strut with a fat washer (actually one of those noggins that go round the bottom of a tyre valve) but if you have to resort to this, make sure there is enough bolt actually inside the braze-on because you don't want 25kg of load supported by just a few delicate threads.
The rack has a rear plate to which you can attach a light bracket, a welcome touch, and there is a bewildering plethora of accessories available, including disc brake adapter kits and pump holders etc. Helpfully Tubus also supply 'bended' struts (they have a kink at the end) which might just about clear my brake arm.
Build quality is good, although the bolts have the type of domed top that often indicates that they are made of cheese. One of them has already started to round off, so be careful or dig some sturdier bolts out of your parts box. Hundreds of miles with a pannier on board has also rubbed the paint through, but that's my fault for not applying liberal quantities of electrical tape beforehand.
Within its limitations this is a nice rack to use and certainly looks smart, but the RRP is £75 and even at a reduced online price of £60 it's still pretty expensive. As a comparison, Tortec's very similar Ultralite rack will set you back a mere £27, and that's at full retail.
Nice rack within its limits, but very expensive.
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Make and model: Tubus Vega Rack
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Tubus say: "You love the LOGO? But you only need a little load capacity?
In that case, the VEGA is for you. This carrier is as narrow as its big brother, but without the lower rail."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight CroMo rack.
The rack is fine, but the bolts are poor quality and liable to round off.
So long as you accept its limits (and Tubus make plenty of bigger, more practical racks) it's pretty good.
The only suspect bit is those cheesy bolts.
At full retail it's nearly three times as expensive as a close rival and when you're only talking about some bent tubing that's too much.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Rear plate for a light bracket.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Silly price, soft bolts.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No, not at that price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A nice enough rack, but far too expensive.
Age: 42 Height: 5' 8 Weight: er....85kg
I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE, Carlton Corsa My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides