First Impressions: Racktime Top-It Rack & QubeIt Bag

When you think of bike racks, you probably think of the rear racks commonly found on touring and utility bikes.  In recent years, however, front racks have found renewed popularity among a wide range of cyclists and disciplines.  For riders seeking an alternative to the ubiquitous rear carrier, Racktime offers the Top-It front rack.

GRAVELBIKE.com Racktime Top-It Salsa Vaya Campagnolo Planet Bike

Racktime’s Top-It mounted on the author’s Salsa Vaya.

The Top-It is constructed from 10mm diameter alloy tubing, and features a sturdy powdercoat finish.  Weight is a respectable 485 grams, and the maximum carrying capacity is 10kg (22 pounds).  Like the company’s other carriers, the Top-It is compatible with bags and accessories that use the Snap-It mounting system.

GRAELBIKE.com Racktime Top-It

The adjustable bracket fits a variety of bikes and forks.

Unlike other front racks that attach to the fork’s dropouts, the Top-It mounts to mid-fork (aka, low-rider) braze-ons (adapters are available for forks that lack such braze-ons).  A steel bracket secures the rack to the fork crown/steerer.  Installation was straightforward, and the rack didn’t interfere with my fender or disc brake caliper.  Once in place, I was impressed with the system’s rigidity.

GRAVELBIKE.com Racktime Top-It Qubeit Salsa Vaya

Early-morning commute with the Top-It and Cubeit.

Racktime’s Snap-It mounting system blends convenience and security in a single, easy-to-use format.  Our sample QubeIt bag could be quickly and easily removed, but remained securely attached even when ridden over bumpy dirt roads and trails.  Because of the Top-It’s height (compared to low-riders or a small rando-style rack), I did notice that very heavy loads affected my bike’s handling–producing a noticeable “wheel-flop” at slow speeds.  When paired with small panniers, however, the bike’s steering felt more natural.

GRAVELBIKE.com Racktime Snap-It QubeIt

The QubeIt can be attached or removed by lifting the green lever.

I found the QubeIt’s 18-litre capacity spacious enough for daily winter commuting.  On the rare occasions that I needed a little more room, the bag expansion straps easily accommodated larger, bulkier items.  For off-the-bike use, a padded shoulder strap is included, and a high-viz rain cover keeps the bag’s contents dry.

The Top-It is available in black or silver, and retails for $54.95.  Racktime offers the QubeIt in black, red, blue, silver, grey, or brown ($76.00 MSRP).

Disclosure: Ortlieb USA provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

10 thoughts on “First Impressions: Racktime Top-It Rack & QubeIt Bag

  1. I have a Racktime Top-It on my Kona Dr. Good commuting bike. On it rests a medium Wald basket In the basket rides a Sackville medium ShopSack. I also use a stretch net to hold everything tight. Works well for me.

      • Probably the most load I’ve carried up front was 10 lbs. I don’t seem to have any problems with wheel flop. The front end feels stable to me; though my riding style is fairly “conservative”. My tires are 700 x 40 Michelin City which I feel are helpful.

  2. A year and a half later… I just found this review. I have recently installed the same Racktime front rack, no Racktime bags/baskets purchased yet. I am considering this same Qubeit bag, or possibly the Racktime Bask-It SM (small size, 20 liter). Do you have further comments or experiences to share about the Racktime products you have tested/used? Thank you.

    • Quality-wise, the Racktime products were excellent. The front rack and high-mount bag didn’t work well with the Vaya’s geometry, but that would have been the case with almost any rack/bag of that type (low-riders and panniers would have been a better choice for that bike). Racktime has some really well-designed/implemented products, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use or recommend them.

      • Thank you for the follow-up. The rack is mounted to a 56cm Surly Long Haul Trucker road touring bike, used for day trips, occasional commuting, and general fun. I’ll be going with the small size Racktime Bask-It, typically to haul a small camera bag and a few light items on day trips. It’s winter now where I’m at; it will be several months before the gear is in operation.

    • Hi. I have purchased snap it adaptors off of ebay for a pelican case, a basket, and a tactical shoulder bag, and just screwed the snap it system to them so I could snap it into my Racktime front rack. I wish Racktime would make a Rando bag with a map case for their front rack or even make a few in different sizes. I guess I will have to do that myself too. None of their existing products seem appropriate for the front rack. The Cube It is comically large and has no side pockets or map/phone case. and the trunk bag isn’t very ideal for a front rack installation as far as I can tell. So my plan is to either get a ridiculously expensive Arkel handlebar bag, or find a used Randonneur Bag somewhere and bolt a Snap-it adaptor to it since Racktime doesn’t have the forsight to make one.

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