It has arrived! The future is here at last. The postie from the future dropped off the tool that is going to become very important for riding in New Zealand and beyond over the next few years. It may currently be getting some points and giggles from the fashionistas at Vertigo Bikes in Queenstown but the Freeload rack is going to come into its own very soon and when the naysayers are carrying their overnight equipment on tweaked backs then I will be the one laughing.
With the national cycle network becoming a reality, the opportunity to do numerous self-supported overnight rides is going to become a tasty option for many riders. Overseas there are plenty of areas where riding self-supported is happening already. This summer - sorry, winter - I have already planned a series of self-supported overnighters in the Chilcotins, British Columbia. Check out this link of super photog Blake Jorgenson and Norco engineer PJ Hunton doing some epic missions in the Chilcotins HERE. The Freeload rack is going to make doing such missions a lot easier as you can spread the same amount of equipment between your backpack and the rack, rather than just crippling yourself carrying it on your back. More so, riding with a big backpack ruins the best part of every ride: the downhill.
I popped into Vertigo this morning and saw the box containing the rack so I ripped into it and fitted it straight away. The rack took five minutes to fit, no exaggeration. I'm a bit of a mechanically impatient muppet when it comes to bike stuff, but this thing is so simple to fit and very clearly designed. It went onto the Butcher like butter on toast. Once fitted I took it on a rip of the trails up Skyline (sans gondola usage; gotta remind yourself of the sweet suffering of the climb). I rode up and the extra little bit of weight helps keep the rear wheel planted on the steepest loose pitches of the climb but I knew the real test was going to be the downhill. As I have been entered in the Corona team for this weekend's Corona Dirt Masters DH race on Skyline Gondola (as part of the Queenstown Bike Festival) I decided to do a run of the track on the Butcher with the rack attached. Before I had even dropped in I had forgotten I had the rack on the bike and at half way I stopped to check it was still there. It was.
The rack may not have passed the image conscious judges of the local community but it passed the performance test. Now to take it out into the wild....
More about Freeload.
Freeload is the world’s first fully adjustable bicycle carrier rack that can be fitted to the front or rear of all types of bicycles, including full-suspension mountain bikes. This innovation is a major breakthrough for load-carrying on mountain bikes, especially in off-road touring situations. Designed and developed in New Zealand, home to some of the most challenging and beautiful off-road touring destinations, the Freeload system provides you with a truly flexible platform for adventure. www.freeload.co.nz