Please note:I have been in regular contact and exchange with Ortlieb for many years, which allows me to test new products in advance and also to give feedback from time to time. That's why this is also advertising.
Bikepacking was originally seen as the light version of bicycle travel: the bags strapped to the frame, tied down so that they don’t fall off or sway in rough terrain and to ensure sufficient ground clearance.
With the popularity of bikepacking, the demands and the need to be able to take more luggage with you, so that you can go longer and further. Or even more comfortable.
So it was only a matter of time before luggage racks returned to the bike. At the latest with the Tailfin System, racks were en vogue again, have proven themselves in use at ultra bikepacking races and have become a fixed component on the bike for many gravel fans.
Last year Ortlieb introduced the Quick Rack, an interesting and above all flexible solution for fast luggage transport. In essence, it is a very easy-to-mount luggage rack made of aluminium that can be attached or detached as needed.
And by quick, I really mean only a few seconds, which it takes to attach the carrier to the bike. Before that, you only need to do a few simple things: you attach so-called QL3/3.1 fasteners to both sides. These are bolts made of plastic to which the carrier is then clamped.
Clamping is very intuitive: once you have placed the rack on the bolts on both sides, you just click firmly and fix the rack to the frame.
At the top, a pole is mounted with a plastic clamp. This pole can then be shortened accordingly. Clamping is done by means of a rubber strap that is placed around the seat post and fixed in place.
I did not shorten the pole, because if you use the carrier on several bikes, the length can vary. By the way, this is also an advantage of the Quick Rack – it can easily be used on different bikes.
Once mounted, the rack is very strong and can take a lot of load. Officially, it is approved for a luggage weight of 20kg. That’s a lot for a Bikepacking tour and also allows you to carry small shopping items in everyday life.
The Quick Rack is available in two versions: Light and Normal. The normal version looks like a normal luggage rack with a support surface on top. The Light version does without the top surface and only offers the side mount. I have only used the Light version so far. Both carriers are designed for bags with Quick-Lock 1/2.1 and 3.1 attachment systems. With the normal Quick Lock, a trunk bag with Top-Lock system can also be attached at the top.
I used the Quick Rack in spring 2022 on my tour in Denmark. I mounted it on the Bombtrack Beyond. I used the Ortlieb Gravel Packs as bags (report to follow), which offered a lot of space. I was on the road with my youngest son, which is why I couldn’t ride in reduced bikepacking style here.
The rack is stable even when loaded, does not move, holds securely even off-road and on gravel. The advantage is obvious: if you want to leave the panniers in the camp and just ride without the rack, you can disconnect it in seconds. This is also very practical in everyday life: if I have to go to the office, I simply click on the carrier. And if I want to go for a sporty ride in the evening, I simply take it off.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind with the Quick Rack:
To mount the bolts, eyelets (M5 or M6 necessary) are required at the dropouts. For this, the luggage rack eyelets can be used, which are available on most bikes. Where this is not the case, Ortlieb offers separate brackets for the seat stays (Seat Stay Adapter), which can be attached to the frame using metal clamps.
But be careful with carbon frames: as the clamp exerts a lot of pressure on the seat stay, you should rather not consider this. And if you do, then only very carefully.
The seat stay adapters are mounted on the seat stay by means of two metal struts per adapter. To do this, they have to be shortened accordingly and are given a rubber coating. This is all explained very well in the adapter package and is easy to do. The assembly is a bit fiddly, but it works. The adapter consists of two parts, which are then screwed together and thus secured very firmly to the stays.
Ortlieb specifies for the maximum tyre width:
Suitable for 26″ – 28″ (limited suitability for 29″ wheels – up to max. 2.35″ tyres)
I mounted the carrier on the Bombtrack with a 29×2.0 inch to 2.2 inch wide tyre. That fits, but they should not be wider then. With wider tyres there are space problems from my point of view, or rather it was quite narrow on the right and left with 2.25 inches on my Fargo.
In addition, the Quick Rack is not always feasible on bikes with Boost standard. I wanted to mount it on my Salsa Fargo using the adapters, but this wasn’t really possible, as the lateral stays of the carrier have to be bent apart too much and the clamping doesn’t work. I think that’s a pity.
However, Ortlieb points out: when mounting the adapters, Ortlieb specifies an ideal distance of 125-155mm between the saddle stays. For the normal bolts, an ideal width of the dropouts of 145-185mm is recommended. So check this before you buy the Quick Rack.
In my opinion, the Ortlieb Quick Rack is interesting for all those who ride a normal gravel bike and ideally (especially with carbon frames) have the appropriate eyelets. For mountain bikes, you have to pay attention to the tyre width and the respective standard/width (Boost).
I like the fact that Ortlieb says the rack is also approved for bikes with suspension. Another good thing is the possibility of integrating mudguards. According to Ortlieb, this is possible with the corresponding Ortlieb models for Road with 38mm plate width (max. 32mm tyre width at 700c), Gravel/Trekking with 50mm plate width (max. 45mm width at 700c) and MTB with 72mm plate width (max 2.3 inches at 29 inches).
With the Quick Rack, Ortlieb has, in my opinion, a very interesting offer for all those who want to take more with them and then don’t have to do without the necessary flexibility. Or for all those who ride a small frame and then have no room for a saddle bag (ass rocket). Of course, you can always screw on a normal luggage rack in the classic way. However, the easy mounting and dismounting of the Quick Rack is very advantageous and allows short-term decisions regarding the luggage transport.
For example, you can travel to a gravel festival with a little more luggage and the appropriate rack, and then simply do the rides there without it.
The Quick Rack is priced at 90 euros and the Quick Rack Light at 85 euros.
Ortlieb states the weight of the Quick Rack at 580g. The Light version weighs 440g – 450g when reweighed.