The Tortec Expedition front rack is a cleverly designed unit that allows a degree of flexibility in fitting without adding too much weight or complexity to the design. It's easy to fit, and in use is stable and reliable.
The fitting flexibility comes from a redesigned top mounting position. It's a circular insert drilled with three holes, that fits into a mount in the rack. You can bolt through any of the holes and also rotate the insert, meaning that you should be able to make the Expedition rack work with your low rider mounts even if they're a bit out from the usual position.
The rack itself is 10mm alloy tubing, welded into a figure-of-eight design as opposed to the more usual quadrilateral frame. An arch over the front wheels adds stiffness to the structure and stops the racks rotating on the mount points which can lead to failure.
In use, the Expedition rack was simple to fit and use. Okay, it's a bit more fiddly to put together than a standard rack with a simple bolt slot, but it's not like you need an engineering degree and the whole assembly was up and running in ten minutes. Strapping some panniers to the rack was also straightforward; the 10mm tube profile should fit most panniers and there's plenty of room to attach a bottom hook. Filled up with deliberately heavy stuff – more weight than you'd normally pack in your front panniers – the rack was well behaved and stable. The maximum load is 15kg which, mated with a 25kg rear rack, would give you 40kg of capacity; enough for a big tour.
The Expedition is a good performer and the adjustability makes it easy to fit. It's decent value too.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Tortec Expedition front 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?
Perfect for the serious tourer looking for maximum load-carrying capability, the Expedition front rack carries panniers at low height to minimize the effect on steering. Unique fork mounting plates allow fitting to a variety of forks and ensure an easy fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Heavy duty lightweight design
* Tig welded 10mm Alloy tubing
* Fits forks with or without braze ons
* Stainless steel fittings
* Multi adjust fittings
* Max load 15kg
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
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: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.