With a name that says it all, the Surly 24-Pack Rack has moved the proverbial bar up a notch. After opening up the package, I immediately could see the fine craftsmanship in each weld. Coated in all black, including a stylish Surly sticker on the top, this rack is butter smooth (black gold ~ texas tea).
Assembling the rack took me a total of one crushed beer to finish and with only a small hiccup, I had no real problems deciphering the rubric provided. Hardware is included to mount this on your steed, but I suggest laying everything out to help with assembly. (Like building Legos when I was a kid, it helps me to see all the pieces while I work.) Tools suggested are a non-marring hammer, a flat head screwdriver, grease, 4mm allen wrench and a tasty beverage.
Once assembled I realized I had the lower brackets on the wrong side, well son-of-a… “Sigh”, it’s not rocket science (the directions are not bike specific, which is a good thing) but it will take a bit of voodoo or concentration to build. I needed to remove the front wheel so I could loosely attach the rack to the fork. Now, with the wheel back on, I used my upgraded cybernetic eyes to level everything out and take care that the tire had enough clearance between itself and the rack (min 6mm for off-road use). I even tipped the rack slightly to the rear to compensate for the weight of beer it will most certainly hold. Snugg all the bolts up, using your Odin given muscles and boom! (the next thing you know ~ old Jed’s a millionaire) You now have a big bad front rack! Let’s go for a ride!
As you would expect the front end is now heavier, so the bars want to flop over at slower speeds. But what kind of test would this be without some cargo! I decided to attach a wine crate I “borrowed” from my lovely wife, load up, and hit it! I threw an assortment of items I’d use on the trail including tools, beer, beer mug (to drink beer from), a brat with mustard, cell phone, flask, the devils lettuce, and socks (no one likes wet feet). A crate with a lid would’ve been a stellar idea in retrospect, because on the first large descent I bounced out almost everything I put in. Finding my damn phone took more time than building the rack! So, what did we learn? Lids are good, or a get net perhaps. Main point is the rack held up to being loaded and sent at speed. I didn’t have any issue holding the bike steady even on the singletrack.
One thing I really appreciate is the flat base. It gives you limitless options on how you’re going to use it. I’ve seen other racks this size but they all have rails turning it more into a basket. The 24-Pack Rack is a rack, not a fucking basket. This is holding your camping gear, a packraft, your groceries, a briefcase for you office people, whatever your heart desires, this rack will hold it securely. This rack is the last front rack you’ll ever need in my opinion. Best part is when you’re not playing with that huge rack, you can easily remove it and set it aside for later.
I give the Surly 24-Pack Rack 5 out of 5 shrunken heads