Rear racks and panniers may indeed be useful, but they're also one of those things that many self-proclaimed "bike snobs" would never mount on their glorious two-wheeled work of art. So, what's a snob to do if they've got gear to haul? Well, they could always try the Tailfin. It's an aerodynamic carbon fiber rack/pannier combo, that wouldn't look out of place in the Tour de France.
Given that many "fancy" bikes (at least of the road racing variety) don't even come with rack-mounting eyelets attached, the Tailfin doesn't need them. Instead, it clamps onto the seatpost at the top, and onto the wheel's quick-release skewer on either side at the bottom – the system ships with an extra-long skewer, which replaces the one already on the bike. This setup means that when the bike isn't being used for commuting, the rack can quickly be taken off.
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The two 24-liter sailcloth laminate panniers each incorporate a carbon fiber backbone, which allows them to hold their shape and resist swaying while attached. They snap on and off of the rack via a quick-release mechanism, while an adapter allows third-party bags to be used, too.
If you're the type of cyclist who would buy the Tailfin, though, then you're probably wondering how much it weighs. According to UK-based designer Nick Broadbent, the rack and both panniers tip the scales at a combined 875 g (1.9 lb). By contrast, he claims that a traditional setup weighs more in the neighborhood of 1,600 g (3.5 lb).
Want one? The Tailfin is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, which has already exceeded its funding goal. A pledge of US$350 will get you a complete setup in black, white or clear-coated carbon, assuming everything works out as it should. Smaller pledges will get you a single-pannier or rack-only package.
Source: KickstarterView gallery - 6 images