First Ride Review: Tumbleweed Titanium Mini Pannier Rack


First Ride Review: Tumbleweed Titanium Mini Pannier Rack

Today, Tumbleweed Bicycle Co launched a revamp to its Mini Pannier and T-Racks.  The CroMo racks (T-Rack $140 Mini Pannier $150) are lighter and stronger than the previous versions and have improved features. Today, we’re discussing the all-new Mini Pannier Titanium. Weighing in at only 258 grams (confirmed), Tumbleweed’s Titanium Mini Pannier Rack ($400) is a new option, now available, for those looking for an ultralight rear carrier option. John got one ahead of its release and has a First-Look Review below…


Back On trRack

As someone who began camping on his bicycle before there were “bikepacking” bags, I’ve long been a fan of the utilitarianism of front and rear racks. There’s something effortless and easy about using them, and it’s been fun watching more and more people begin to embrace them. That includes companies like Tumbleweed Bicycle Co, who bought the T-Rack design from Rat King Frames five years ago. The T-Rack has been my rack of choice ever since.

Racks have been a staple for off-road touring for over a century. Even mountain bikes in the late 1970s had racks. We looked at my early 80s Ritchey Everest with Blackburn racks last year, and those who recall my beloved Geekhouse Woodville will remember the custom racks I had built for it. Racks and off-road touring go together, hand in hand.

For the past few years, I’ve been using either the Tumbleweed T-Rack or Mini Pannier racks on my Sklar 29+, the “Desert Moose,” as it’s been called. Racks on dedicated tourers rule. You can strap as little or as much as you need to them. Be it an overnighter with just a sleeping pad or a full-on tour with panniers and creature comforts.

Tumbleweed’s T-Rack on the Stargazer touring bike from my review: Tumbleweed Stargazer Touring Bike 

If there was one way to improve the rear Mini Pannier rack, it would be to make it out of titanium, the lightest and most durable rack material. Which is what Tumbleweed just did with the Titanium Mini Pannier Rack.

Quick Hits: Newly-Designed Mini Pannier Rack in Titanium and CroMo

  • 355 mm (reviewed here) and 380 mm lengths to tune ride height and give safe and proper tire clearance
  • 4″ tire clearance
  • Vertical strut has 3-pack mounts for fitting bottles and gear
  • Additional stabilization loop for pannier and/or other gear support
  • Multiple light mounts to accommodate a variety of lights
  • 120 mm x 310 mm platform for mounting gear
  • Added internal dynamo wire port on the platform near light mounts
  • Spaced for up to 150 mm frames and forks with eyelets – simply “cold set” the struts.
  • Increased length of mounting struts from 300mm to 350mm
  • Additional offset 350 mm struts were added to every rack mounting kit to give more mounting flexibility.
  • Max weight load = 45 pounds

Even with the lighter CroMo racks, the titanium Mini Pannier rack comes in at less than half the weight!  The brand offered only the Mini Pannier in titanium as it is already lighter than the CroMo T-Rack and offers the most versatility between the two track models.

Weight of all Three Tumbleweed Racks

  • Titanium Mini Pannier rack ($400) no hardware: 258 grams
  • Titanium Mini Pannier rack with  hardware and uncut 350mm struts: 437 grams
  • T Rack CroMo ($140) platform with no hardware: 470 grams
  • T Rack CroMo with hardware and uncut 350mm struts: 649 grams
  • Mini Pannier CroMo rack ($150) with no hardware: 533 grams
  • Mini Pannier CroMo with hardware and uncut 350mm struts: 712 grams

The takeaway here is the Titanium Mini Pannier rack is 2x the cost but not even 1/2 the weight of the CroMo version.

About TiMe

The Tubus Airy was my go-to rear carrier for the longest time when I wanted an ultralight rear rack to use as a bag support. At 360 grams, including hardware, it weighs nothing. The problem with the Airy is the tire clearance. It barely clears a 2.3″ tire if you run it higher, as I did on my Hunqapillar above.

Another reason I wasn’t a huge fan of the Airy was its small platform, which is why it was primarily a rear bag support for me.

Enter the Tumbleweed Titanium Mini Pannier. While the hardware weight depends on your use case and bike of choice, we’ll call it an even competitor in weight, yet the Tumbleweed Ti T-Rack clears a massive tire, by my measurement at least a 4″ tire (4.75″ from strut to strut), and features a 3-pack cargo cage mount on the vertical strut.

The Titanium Mini Pannier features a 120 mm x 310 mm platform to strap your essentials to.

Overall, not only is the Mini Pannier Titanium lighter than its CroMo siblings, it’s more versatile, allowing for modern cargo cages and panniers, whereas the T-Rack is not designed for pannier use. 


You can install this rack on the front or rear of the bike on up to 150 mm wide spacing. When you install the bolts, the rack will “cold set” to whatever width you have. I decided to first use the Titanium Mini Pannier rack on my Rivendell Bombadil as a bag support for my Sackville bag. This makes for a quick-to-deploy S24O setup with a large sack for camping equipment and a more stable setup for when I carry heavy items back from the grocery store.

Tumbleweed offers 355 mm and 380 mm strut lengths to fit various rack mounts offered on your bike. The Bombadil has rack mounts on the seat stays and the dropout, so I could move the rack up 1 1/2″ to either location to find the best fit for the Sackville bag.

I usually like to keep my racks as close to the tire as possible on my installs, so at first, I had it mounted low, but it supported the Sackville bag better 1 1/2″ higher up on the seat stay mount. If I were to really load this down for a long-distance tour, I’d run a longer bolt here and use a nylock nut on the inside for extra security but for now, the 3/4″ length bolts supplied by Tumbleweed worked.

The Tumbleweed hardware makes moving the rack between bosses and any other adjustment a cinch since all you have to do is loosen the nuts on the black hardware that holds the struts (which I cut down) in place.

Use Case and Review

I’ll keep this rack on my Rivendell Bombadil until the upper mountain trails (and campsites) thaw out, at which time I’ll most likely swap it over to my Sklar tourer full-time. For this First-Look review, I wanted to compliment Tumbleweed on the ease of installation and the thought they put into this rack design.

The cargo bosses increase the Mini Pannier’s utility, and the nice pannier hook strut at the bottom makes using panniers even easier. There are multiple light mounts and internal dynamo routing for your lamp of choice. Having two rack lengths means you can measure your touring bike and get fit dialed in.

That brings up one point about racks like the Titanium Mini Pannier: there are no adjustable struts for the bottom attachment, only to the seat stays of your frame (or even a Salsa Rack Lock seat collar), so you have to be mindful about which length to buy. I used the 355 mm length in this review.

If you didn’t have rack mounts on your bike, you could use a Robert Axle/Old Man Mountain axle and a Salsa Rack Lock combination.

One thing to be mindful of with the 3-pack mounts on the strut legs is they can rub your panniers. If you’re planning on using an ultralight pannier like the Revelate Nano Panniers, then it’s best to put mastic tape over them…

Overall, there haven’t been many titanium racks on the market that fit a fat tire. If you wanted one, you had to ask a framebuilder to make you one to clear a 4″ tire like Black Sheep or Falconer, but now, you can order one of these mass-produced Titanium Mini Pannier racks from Tumbleweed.


  • Ultralight
  • Internal dynamo routing
  • 3-pack cargo mount
  • Easy for/aft adjustment with supplied hardware
  • Multiple light mounts
  • Pannier lower hook strut
  • Mass-produced, so there are no lead times when ordering
  • Cheaper than a custom titanium rack from a framebuilder, which can cost upwards of $1000


  • Only two lengths are available: 355 mm or 380 mm so unless your bike has multiple rack mounts, it’s hard to tune the fit
  • Expensive at $400. Over 2x the price for the CroMo version!

The redesigned rack lineup is available now at Tumbleweed Bicycle Co.