A Bristol-based company has just launched an innovative rear luggage rack on Kickstarter and has seen it raise nearly a hundred grand in a couple of days.
The Tailfin rack mounts to a rear skewer (even thru-axles, but more of that in a minute) and around the seatpost, using an alloy (or carbon) fork/hoop from the dropouts to support the rack suspended from the seatpost. There’s an integral waterproof roll-top bag and the whole assembly can be removed in seconds. Tailfin claims that that rack will work with full suspension bikes too and has been tested on bikes of up to 120mm… There’s even a natty GIF showing how it works…
The company has been seen before on road and gravel bikes, but this is its first mountain bike specific product. The idea is to replace the ‘traditional’ bikepacking seat-sausage with the Tailfin AeroPack.
Tailfin cites several advantages of going with its system, including the speed of fitting, a lack of ‘wagging’ of the load, better compatibility with dropper posts (whether you’re running a dropper or not) and it allows you to get back behind the saddle without sitting on your luggage.
There are three models in the AeroPack family. Each model shares a 20-litre waterproof roll-top pack with a built-in lightweight rigid backbone. They differ from each other in the way they attach to the bike. The three products available at launch are: AeroPack Carbon, AeroPack Alloy and the AeroPack Trunk
The AeroPack Carbon and the Aeropack Alloy both consist of an integrated bag and rack system, in which the rack is permanently connected to the bag for improved weight reduction. The AeroPack Carbon’s rack body is made from carbon fibre, while the AeroPack Alloy is constructed from 6061-T6 aluminium. The AeroPack Trunk consists of a bag only, which mounts securely to Tailfin’s original T1 carbon pannier rack.
The AeroPacks’ cleverness is in how they both attach to the bike. The front of the rack wraps around the seatpost with a steel-reinforced rubber strap, while the ‘dropouts’ attach to Tailfin’s own axle system. This replaces your traditional QR or most thru-axles with its own unit. There are extensions on either side of this axle that the carbon or alloy legs of the rack attach securely to. Tailfin lets you choose which axle system you’ll need when you order. Total weight capacity is 12kg (and 20L)
One of the clever things that Tailfin is promoting is the compatibility with full suspension bikes. As the rack only attaches to the dropouts and to the connector at the seatpost – all of which feature pivots) a fair amount of up-down movement is possible. And, while it’ll shake your bag contents around a fair amount, being sprung weight, it’s one of only a handful of systems to ever bother trying to make a rack system compatible with suspension.
With prices starting at £219 for the alloy rack and 20litre waterproof bag, they appear to be flying off the pre-order shelves, with Tailfin having secured nearly £100K sales in just a few days. We have one on order for testing as soon as they’re available, hopefully around April 2019.
And there’s a video…
Here’s that Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tailfin/tailfin-aeropack-the-fastest-way-to-carry-gear-on