Adapting my Surly Rear Rack to work with Topeak MTX bags & baskets

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So I bought a brand new Surly Disc Truck­er in June, fit­ted it out with Surly front and rear racks, and now use this bike as my pri­ma­ry com­mut­ing bike, and when COVID-19 is past us/travel is open to us Vic­to­ri­ans again, I hope to take her on some tours, both local­ly and abroad.

My pre­vi­ous ride is a Giant< hybrid com­muter that I had fit­ted out with a Topeak MTX Beam­rack, which was fan­tas­tic for me to use with my every­day MTX EXP “trunk bag”, my Trol­ley­ToteI don’t make up the names for these! — which I used for gro­ceries and oth­er items that did­n’t fit in my trunk bag, and anoth­er open wire-style bas­ket I’d orig­i­nal­ly had first but still fit and some­times got a run for light trips like get­ting bread and milk. Hav­ing invest­ed in this lit­tle ecosys­tem of Topeak prod­ucts I still want­ed to use them on my Surly for com­mut­ing around town, as well as be able to use my Ortlieb pan­niers for touring.

So I grabbed a “Omni­track Adapter”, which I had to pur­chase online from Frank­furt, Ger­many in the mid­dle of the ini­tial COVID cycling gear short­age as every oth­er dis­trib­u­tor in the world that I could find was sold out. I wait­ed weeks and weeks for it to arrive, and lo and behold, I was foiled by some­thing as sim­ple as: the mount­ing brack­ets only fit to rack bars that run par­al­lel to the bicy­cle, not per­pen­dic­u­lar. I got past my first instinct (scrap the lot and just use my Ortliebs, say­ing good­bye to Topeak’s sys­tem for­ev­er) and jury rigged a nice lit­tle brack­et that I’m quite proud of, so I thought I’d post it up in case any­body else ever got some use out of it.

How I adapted my adapter

Topeak MTX bag on the rack
Appro­pri­ate clear­ance for Ortlieb QL2.1 pan­nier clips along­side Topeak adapter
Rack can now car­ry either Topeak MTX bags/carts/etc or Ortlieb pan­niers with­out chang­ing setup.
Category: Cycling
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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Bob Szerszynski
    23 April 2022 11:14

    Pret­ty fun­ny that google would show me this arti­cle when I just came inside from installing this rack on my ebike. 

    The only thing I did dif­fer­ent­ly was to put a piece of PVC in place of the wood­en shelf the man­u­fac­tur­er installed. This way I still have that wood­en piece if I ever want to remove the Topeak slide.

  • Keith Fuller
    4 October 2022 07:47

    Thank you sir! I have *exact­ly* the same prob­lem and I intend to use your solution!

  • Any idea where you got your “pre-drilled steel spac­ers” — although I real­ize you lit­er­al­ly say you don’t.

    I’m try­ing to fig­ure out what to search for or even what kind of store to go to find some­thing like that.

    • I would sug­gest going to your local hard­ware store and just see­ing what they have avail­able. Take the Topeak part with you perhaps?

  • Thank You for your idea!
    Nice option.

  • Ken Pulverman
    26 February 2024 10:02


    I would like to put this on a tiny 10″ Stri­da rack. I Like the stock pieces you used. Do you remem­ber where you got them or what they are called? The holes reduce weight and it looks like an alloy mate­r­i­al that won’t rust.

  • Ken Pulverman
    26 February 2024 10:29

    Also, is there any rea­son you could­n’t have just strapped on the bars to the bike and used the stock sys­tem to just attach the bars? I am sure you con­sid­ered this and ruled it out for some, like­ly good reason.

    • I found the fact that the surly rack only has per­pen­dic­u­lar bars, and the Topeak adapter is rely­ing on par­al­lel, was a big lim­it­ing fac­tor. I could­n’t get any­thing to fix to at the points I need­ed it. The rest is basi­cal­ly just my way of pro­vid­ing those points. I think I just like to overengi­neer things. Where some guys just wrap every­thing in some zip ties and/or PVC pipe, I like to bolt things down to not move or vibrate and tend to over-strength­en things. I tend to over­do it, and end up rid­ing a behe­moth of a bike as a result. I’ve since moved to just using Ortlieb pan­niers and strap­ping a soft bag (such as my sleep­ing mat or some­thing sim­i­lar) using some Voile straps, so no longer use my Topeak bag in this man­ner. My part­ner has a great Tubus rack that has an “upper lev­el” that would fit this Topeak adapter per­fect­ly. Some­thing like this: I haven’t tried it out, but I imag­ine it would fit rather nicely.


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