After a few commutes to work, and figuring out how to carry my stuff with me on my back, I bought myself this Topeak rack and a pannier (another review for another time).
It was a challenge installing the rack at first, but after some maddening persistence, I got it installed and it has worked brilliantly for the last eight months or so.
(I’m also wondering if my challenges are related to my short stature. Even though I come in at about 5’2″, my seat post height seems to make things tricky in terms of the tool bag, rack mount, and potential fender—which has yet to be installed, let alone acquired.)
I have no qualms about the rack. It does what it’s supposed to do, and I haven’t had any problems with the screws and bolts coming loose since installing it. It also acts as a pretty decent fender on those muddy/rainy days, but only a little.
It has even been a casualty to some falls, so there are some scratches here and there but it’s still as sturdy as the day I took it out of its box.
Though, the only nuts and bolts and I did lose were the ones for the rear tail light. So that photo up there is actually incorrect, because, well, this happened.
I don’t know what more I can say about a rack. I mean… it’s a rack. It’s sturdy. It let’s me carry my things to work without it all being on my back. It turns my bike into a pack mule.