Northern Europeans do a lot more commuting and city bike riding than we do. They are also, generally, wealthy and innovative folks. So it should be no surprise that there are numerous well designed modern accessories for city bikes made, or at least developed, in this part of Europe.
Among of the accessories I was impressed with at Eurobike was the selection of racks specifically designed for city bikes. As a result we've decided to start stocking one, the Pletscher Master rack. It's a very well made Swiss rack with many features including a removable basket attachment.
Make no mistake, these are not elegant rando racks, nor are they designed for massive camper loads and low-riders. Rather, they are modern, industrial looking, sturdy and functional racks that are ideal for shopping, commuting, and utility bikes.
That little spring latch on top is perfect for holding down a few books or other items on the store. There is also an optional lock for accessories, but we won't stock that. We will have the optional side rails which are only needed for very large panniers. A neat feature the ability to snap a shopping basket, or other accessory, into the top of the rack. There are three little holes in the rack platform with spring clips that accept the basket. A snap-on hard shell case for cameras, and the like, is also available. The light bracket is drilled for JOS/Spanninga, or similar, tail lights. The platform is quite large, 395 x 142mm, and the eyelet attachment allows the rack to be leveled.
A few more details from Pletscher's web site:
- TÜV-certified compliance with DIN 79120 and DIN 79121, capacity up to 25 kg
- Integral 3-point system for fast installation and reconfiguration of accessories
- Detent spring for locking accessories in place
- Spring-loaded clamp for securing cargo
- Two folding end plates to keep small and large items firmly in place
- Pannier/saddlebag side supports (optional)
- Diecast aluminum - no welded joints
- All bolts in rust-resistant stainless steel
- Suitable for carrying child seats
- Integral reflector bracket
Another item I was impressed with was the double leg kickstands. These are not cheap, but they are great for a loaded shopping bike.
The racks, baskets, and stands should arrive later this week. We'll have a few other parts later. Are there other Euro-style accessories that should be available here? And will the rather "industrial" style of many modern European parts be well received here?