Rack Hack: Specialized Pizza Rack & Nashbar Waterproof Front Panniers

In Bikepacking How To by Brian Raines

Love or hate it – there seems to be very little in between.  Some adventure cyclists shun the Pizza Rack from Specialized as heavy, gaudy and just not aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  Others of us enjoy the quirky nature of the rack from it’s goofy name down to the functionality of a wide platform.

I fall into the latter camp.  The Specialized Pizza Rack is the perfect platform for my wife to sit on to ride along on adventures…just kidding.  It is actually the perfect size to carry a six-pack of beer…not kidding – been there, done that and have the pictures to prove it.  I appreciate the large surface area and larger than normal tubing.  I can strap over-sized items there and it serves as a great platform upon which to mount an extra POV camera.

But I also love my Nashbar Waterproof Front Panniers.  They are the right size for my gear setup, allow me to spread the weight out on my bike, and are solid waterproof as advertised.  And this presented a problem for me since the spacing of the bungee on the panniers didn’t fit the spacing of the cross bars on the Pizza Rack.  This required me to mount the racks higher and to also move the center of gravity away from the bike by using the outside tubing on the rack.  It worked, but looked a little off and impacted the handling of the bike with the higher center of gravity and the weight further out from the bike than optimal.

Enter my good bikepacking friend Tom who said, and I quote to the best of my recollection, “Hey dummy, move the connection points on the bungees on the bag. It’s what I did.”  So I did it too – and now Tom’s idea is being shared with any of you in the same place.  See Tom – I did give you all the credit.

Take a look at the pictures and you will be able to see the original mounting point for the bungees was the bottom most screw.  By simply moving the connection points higher I was able to create greater tension on the bungees allowing the bag hooks to rest on the center cross bar on the Pizza Rack.  All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver and a 7mm wrench to hold the nuts inside the bag while you unscrew and move the mounts.  It’s about a 10 minute job across both bags.  In the photos below you will see my pannier configuration from some previous trips, some photos of the panniers in their new positions, and some photos of the screw configuration.

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