We’re fortunate that we have the opportunity to play with a wide variety of commuting gear. We’ve been particularly inundated with bags and racks this past year. As much as we enjoy testing new equipment, it’s been a little puzzling, and more than a little frustrating, that many of the panniers and rear racks we test are not compatible with one another. Some racks don’t accept closed loops, others don’t accept standard clip diameters, some aren’t compatible with loop straps, and so on. The one pannier rack that we’ve had in-house that accepts every bag in the bike room is the Rivendell/Nitto Big Back Rack.
Take a close look at the above photo to see why this rack is so versatile. At the bottom, near the dropout eyelet, you’ll notice a pin that accepts loop-style pannier connectors. Above that there’s a horizontal bar suitable for S-type connectors, and on top of the horizontal bar is a loop that can be used for strap-type connectors such as those found on some European panniers. There may be others out there, but this is the only rack we’ve seen that can accommodate all three types of pannier connectors. And unlike some of the European racks we’ve tested, the Nitto is made from small diameter tubing that accepts every type of upper rack attachment as well.
The Big Back Rack is manufactured by Nitto for Rivendell. It’s constructed from 9mm tubular chromoly, the joints are fillet-brazed, and the whole thing is nickel-plated. Besides being the most versatile rack we’ve tested, it’s also one of the strongest and most beautiful.
Note: A similar, if not identical, rack is sold under the Nitto label as the Campee R-32 Rear Rack.
Disclosure: Rivendell is a sponsor of this website.