Be it for randonneuring, bikepacking, touring, commuting or cyclophotography, the handlebar bag can be either a nuisance or a godsend, depending on your equipment. While rack-less bag designs are convenient, they can often times flop and jostle all over, really ruining your otherwise pleasant and quiet ride. I’ve found when you put a heavy camera in one of these bags, getting it to stay put is quite the hassle. While a full-on touring, porteur or randonneuring rack can assist in this issue, sometimes they’re overkill and heavy. In my experience, all it takes is a simple bracket to hold the bag in place to really enhance your ride. The problem is, who makes such a product?
We’ve seen quite a few bracket designs for saddle packs, but what about handlebar packs? I’ve yet to find a good, reliable design. That is until I found the Tim Ras + Rek Ahead Steerer Rack.
The Tim Ras + Rek Ahead Steerer Rack comes in a few options: 1″ steerer, 22mm for quill stems or 1 1/8″ and in two tubing diameters; 8mm for racing or lightweight applications and 10mm for heavy duty riding. When I ordered mine, I requested the 1 1/8″, 10mm option. The rack attaches to your steerer via an aluminum clamp, replacing a 15mm spacer and is as set-n-forget as they come. Unfortunately, it’s only available in silver but I was able to paint it black after ten coats of primer spray paint and ample curing time (three weeks.)
Simplicity is key and the Ahead Steerer Rack is as simple as they come, while still maintaining a nearly universal fit. I could see this rack being used on a MTB, road, cross, tourer and even a track bike, for bikepacking bags, or randonneuring bags. It really does supply a secure fit for just about anything.
I’ve been using it on my Hunter with the Outer Shell 137 Basket Bag, which fits my Canon 1dx mkii and a 24-70 lens. This rack would have saved me countless hours of rattle-induced anxiety while racing through the Karoo Desert in South Africa during the Karoobaix.
Time will tell if this rack will break, or bend, but so far, I’ve yet to have any issues with it. I’ve mounted it to my drop bar and flat bar bikes, but the real application I’m stoked on is how this bike is currently set up.
The only bummer is the Tim Ras + Rek website is in Dutch, but they replied to my email quickly and made ordering a cinch. Pricing starts at €75.00. Contact them today if this rack looks like it’ll solve your problems like it did mine. Check out more photos below and feel free to ask any questions in the comments.