Steel is real. This applies to frames obviously, but it applies to racks as well. As people have begun to use their bikes to carry things more and more stuff, the need for sturdy utility racks has grown. Fortunately there are a number of good choices out there nowadays. Last year we started making the Soma Porteur rack. It’s based on the classic French paperboy racks and allows you to carry lots of things such as pizza boxes, grocery bags, record crates, a pair of panniers, fire wood and just about anything else you can think to put on it. We also sell a removable fence to help you keep your load in place. Adjustable mounts allow you to attach it to braze-ons or directly to your front axle. Available in Black CrMo or Stainless Steel.
Our friends at Gamoh in Japan have begun making a great line steel racks. These are another great option for front or rear loads. Like the Soma Porteur the KCL series have a large open platform for oversized loads and mounting crates or containers. The Cargo Series features an integrated fence and wooden slats to keep your load from slipping out from the bottom. They make a great place to stash your purse or backpack and you can use a bungee strap on top for added security.
If you’re looking for unbeatable value in a simple, versatile rear rack you can’t go wrong with Wald. They’ve been making bike baskets in the USA since forever, but they also make the really excellent 215 rack as well. Recently they’ve begun making it with a woody top as well.
And of course everybody who knows nice racks know Nitto. They make some of the prettiest components around and their racks are no exception. The Campee series is the premier rack for touring and camping bikes, with demountable pannier frames for when you don’t need the extra load carrying capability. The super low placement of the panniers makes them very stable and keeps them out of the way of heels and toes. You can also mount a Wald basket to the top with zip ties for an extra place to stow items that you want to keep within reach. They are made in different sizes to fit 26", 650b and 700c wheeled bikes.
So don't be scared to take your bike on your next grocery run. Maybe even to Costco?