The Tortec Expedition rack is a good value option if you want your bike, rather than your back, to take the strain. Strong enough for a big load and and nicely constructed, it'll turn its hand to everything from the commute to a full-on tour.
The Expedition is built from 10mm tubular alloy, which is a step up from the solid bars you'll get on cheaper racks. the tubes also make for a stiffer structure. It's not as durable, or repairable, as a tubular steel rack, but something similar in steel from the likes of Tubus won't leave you with much change out of a hundred quid, whereas the Tortec is just £39.99 RRP, and a lot less online.
The pannier mounting bars are separate to the top rack - lower and a bit further back. That means there's more space for a top bag, and also for your feet if you have trouble with your heels striking your bags. The rails are long enough to allow a bit of fore-aft adjustment on smaller panniers too. At the back you get a light plate that'll take a standard dynamo unit, although we needed to drill the centre hole a bit bigger to get the chunky cable of a Supernova E3 rear light to fit.
Talking of fitting, it's a pretty simple job. The arms are simple to adjust for length, angle and width so we've had no issues fitting it to test bikes and getting it level. The mounting hardware is good quality too.
In use it's been pretty much flawless. It's not quite as stiff as some of the more expensive steel racks but it's coped with some heavy loads with very little fuss. Assuming that it's not sharing a lower mount with a mudguard I wouldn't have any worries about routinely loading it up with heavy bags; you'll do well to fit enough in your panniers to trouble the maximum rating of 35kg anyway.
Certainly if you're looking for a rack for anything from commuting to a fully laden road tour, the Expedition is an excellent choice. If you're venturing right off the beaten track for a dirt road tour somewhere remote, a steel rack gives you a bit of extra strength and the additional safety net that it can more easily be fixed if it breaks. Anything less than that and this is probably all the rack you need.
Well made rear rack that's strong and good value. Recommended.
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Make and model: Tortec Expedition rear rack
Size tested: n/a
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?
The Expedition is the rack of choice for touring cyclists needing to carry serious loads with maximum confidence. Built to last from 10mm alloy tubing, the design incorporates an additional, lower pannier rail, permitting the fitting of a rack pack without interfering with pannier hooks. Includes a rear light plate.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good quality rack for not a lot of cash.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could be a touch stiffer for heavier loads.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 102kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.