Full disclosure: I was given the Tubus Logo by Lyon Equipment (Tubus’ UK distributor) as part of their Expedition Grant in 2007.
The German manufacturer Tubus’ range of racks might occupy the upper end of the pricing scale, but for good reason – the racks are immensely strong. The Logo is specifically designed for mountain-bike geometry, offering increased heel clearance for the panniers.
With a tubular steel construction, the rack is not only lightweight, rigid and durable, but is easily welded in case of a breakage. I have not encountered any problems so far, and 10 year guarantee speaks for the manufacturer’s commitment to quality.
The rack is powder-coated but Tubus also supply a number of protective patches that you can apply at points where an interface occurs between the tubing and your panniers. This prevents the coating from being worn and the metal exposed to the elements, where rust might occur. I recommend that you check where rubbing occurs and apply these patches as soon as possible. The most common areas are likely to be at the points where the pannier attaches to the rack (depending on your pannier system), and on the lower tubing where the bags will be resting against the sides of the rack.
Tubus supply a range of accessories to let you mount the rack on practically any frame you’d ever want to take on a tour, even if it lacks the standard bolt-holes and rack-mounts. The rack can interface with an axle-mounting kit for the rear wheel’s axle, which makes use of a special skewer replacing the standard skewer.
Tubus also make a range of clamps for the seat-stay attachment, with a number of options to suit the seat-stay diameter of your frame. These are easy to fit, being little more than thin steel strips that wrap around the seat-stays and which are bolted together. The system is simple and it works very well – in fact, with bolting being generally stronger than welding, it should actually be more secure than using brazed-on rack-mounts.
I’ve used the rack successfully with both Carradice Super C and Crosso panniers, but it’ll carry pretty much any pannier you might lay your hands on.
I have on occasion had the need to load the rack with a huge amount of weight – 750km was cycled through Bulgaria and Turkey with an entire repertoire of luggage and a spare wheel strapped to the Tubus Logo (including the entire contents of a broken trailer), and it didn’t complain.
For a long and arduous tour, you’d be well advised to choose the strongest steel rack you can go for, and the Tubus Logo fits the bill. It is especially suitable if you are planning on using a mountain-bike frame, where heel clearance and the availability of rack-mounting points may be an issue.
Tubus also make a number of similar steel racks that may be more suited to the geometry of other types of frame.