25 May 2012

more rack love: PAUL's Flatbed

image via PAUL
I recently spotted one of these flatbed racks by PAUL locked up in front of my gym - and the owner was raving about it to me. What a functional beauty!  

California-based bike component company PAUL makes these tubular anodized aluminum racks -- which I can't help compare it to the GAMOH front rack by Minoura of Japan. While similar in, here is how the two racks compare:

Disclaimer: I have never tested a Paul rack though have owned a GAMOH for a couple years and wrote this review in 2010
 PAUL Flatbed rack  
  • 18" x 14.5" x 2.75" platform
  • 6061 Aluminum Frame w/ anodized black or silver
  • Poplar hardwood slats
  • Max load 25 lbs.
  • rack weighs 3 lbs.
  • mounts on fork eyelets and stem
  • Fits 700c wheels
  • $199 (here)

GAMOH front rack
  • 18" x 12.5" x 4.25" platform
  • steel tubing with black powdercoat finish
  • wood slats
  • Max load 40 lbs. (Ben's Cycles recommends no more then 25 lbs.)
  • rack weighs 5 lbs. 10 oz (2550 grams)
  • mounts on fork eyelets and front breaks 
  • Fits 700c wheels
  • $114 (here)    

In this case I feel you get what you pay for. Yes, Paul's rack is nearly twice the cost but weighs 2 lbs. less due to the aluminum frame. Another important difference with the two is the way they mount onto your bike, though each with a three point connection. PAUL's Flatbed mounts to the stem and fork eyelets. The stem clamp is adjustable for different frame sizes and works with threaded or threadless tubes. With the GAMOH the rack mounts to the front brakes with a steel mounting bracket -- which makes for a cleaner look BUT I had an issue with the bracket snapping in half.

Either rack you go with -- they offer a nice large surface to lug around stuff. Just don't forget to protect those nice wood slats. I opt for regular applications of tung oil!  
my GAMOH rack with bungee around stem to help keep some weight off the bracket
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