A lot happened at Tailfin HQ last year, but most of it was behind the scenes. We wanted to take this opportunity to tell you what happened in 2019 and why we’re excited about 2020…
TAKING A STEP BACK
The start of 2019 followed the completion of our successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to bring the AeroPack to production. The AeroPack is a competitor to the seat pack, offering a matched aerodynamic advantage but with improved usability and ride quality. The campaign was a massive success and was 100% funded within 36 hours of launch and went on to raise £170k / $220k in pre-orders.
Launching a product via a crowdfunding campaign offers various advantages; it allows us to ascertain demand and, more usefully, it enables us take on feedback and modify the design before pressing go on production tooling and moulds.
So that’s exactly what we did. After the end of the campaign, we took some time to take into account the feedback we’d received to make sure the product was as good as it could be, but also to make sure we weren’t just parachuting a random product into our product line-up. We wanted to be sure we had the right product for the every adventure, i.e. a complete product range for carrying gear on the back of your bike, no matter what type of riding you do.
A COMPLETE RANGE
The X Series was the natural evolution of the original T1 series and it became the most versatile of the product options, created for those needing more gear, for longer tours, or more comfort on their journeys, whether that was into the mountains or even, on a daily basis, with their laptop on the way to work. Designed to take one, two or three bags.
The S Series is almost identical to the X Series rack, but without the ability to mount side panniers, resulting in a rack that’s purely for mounting gear on the top either directly with straps or using the AeroPack Trunk. We believe this combo is great for those looking for aerodynamic advantage or those who like to bikepack lightly.
The AeroPack S combines the S Series arch and semi-permanently attaches it to a 20L roll top trunk bag. The focus of this product is weight reduction and design simplicity, aimed at and, as we saw in 2019, favoured by ultra endurance racers all over the globe.
The AeroPack X keeps the design simplicity of the AeroPack S, but adds the ability to carry side panniers if needed.
INNOVATIONS ALONG THE WAY
There were universal changes which were made to the original design aimed at improving usability, aesthetics and durability:
- The rack arches were totally redeveloped for strength, stiffness, aesthetics and modularity. All X racks have side mounts, S racks do not.
- Previously we only offered carbon fibre – we now offer aluminium racks too.
- The fast release dropouts were redesigned to be removable so that a) racks could be screwed directly to frame mountings and b) if they were damaged they could be replaced.
- Tyre clearances were widened to suit all riding disciplines: our racks are now compatible with the largest of tyre sizes, up to 4” width on 26” tyres, and 3” on 29ers.
- We increased capacity for longer tours: X racks can carry up to 27kg of weight, with a combined 64 litres of bag space capacity.
- The top stay was previously a singular aluminium extrusion. Although this looked great, nothing could be strapped to it. All our top stays are now parallel twin top stays which allow gear to be strapped to them. They are available in both carbon and aluminium depending on what model is selected.
- We reduced weight and improved aerodynamic advantage: grams needed to be shaved to enable us to stay competitive with seat packs and other luggage options while retaining build quality and rigidity.
- We engineered modular parts throughout, so that if you break anything on the bike, you can replace that single part. We wrote a blog on this a while back.
- Design aesthetics: as always, we know our gear won’t look out of place on your beautifully-crafted bicycle.
- The Super Light and Ultra Durable pannier bags have an updated internal chassis which is now lighter and stiffer.
The bottom line was that our products must always be innovative, incredibly usable and aesthetically pleasing. The new line-up was no different.
Since the official launch of the new range of products, we’ve shipped thousands of orders all over the globe, helping those riders succeed in race events, amateur tours, personal journeys and their daily commute.
A big thank you goes out to all of you that have backed us over the past three years, with a special mention to those who have taken the time to drop a review on our products. Your comments and feedback are as important as they are appreciated, and your responses after we sent out the request for reviews in January has been overwhelming. Here’s a snapshot of some of the reviews…
X Series (read 100+ reviews)
“I own a carbon-framed Cannondale Topstone gravel bike. Every bike store in Melbourne that I went to said it was impossible to fit a pannier rack system to my frame… not so! Enter, the Tailfin, an elegant, easy-to-use rack that fits neatly onto my frame. I can now use my bike as a speedy commuter, or take it out on weekends for bike-packing. Remember, quality remains long after the price is forgotten. Do yourself a favour and buy a Tailfin.”Christian Slattery
S Series (read 15+ reviews)
“Such a well designed piece of bike equipment. The designers and engineers have done a sterling job. Easy to fit in just seconds! With additional wheel skewers/axles it’s so easy to transfer across all my bikes. Such a great designed and manufactured bag, loads of room with the 20lts. Support from Tailfin has been exceptional with Nick the engineer going out of his way to provide spares to ensure correct fitting on one of my bikes. When in use, it’s so secure with no sway at all and tucked away behind you, you forget it’s there. Easy access to all your gear with 2 openings & straps to secure even more gear. Used it on a 400 miler from Copenhagen to Berlin and knocked spots off anything I’ve used for long distance rides before. Highly rated!”Alan Hodson
AeroPack S (read 50+ reviews)
“Some would consider that bikepacking is not a sport, but a mindset… Some others, like me, approach it from the sporty side of things. No exclusion here, no segregation, since every motivation is a good one. I have found with the AeroPack probably the most efficient transportation piece of gear that exist on this emerging market. Light, stiff, roomy, practical, and aero! I rode a couple of ultras last year with it and I don’t regret this choice. This is the only pack that enabled me to ride my bike as if it was ‘naked’. And the proof is the maximum speed I achieved with the AeroPack loaded. 92km/h on the downhill of the Col du Grand Saint Bernard!
Thanks Tailfin, and keep the great work and the great ‘thinking out of the box’ going!”Jean-yves Couput
AeroPack X (read 10+ reviews)
“I purchased the Tailfin AeroPack after an extended bike trip using an Ortleib seatpack. There were many days on the road where a traditional seatpack will either sag or cause excess movement. The Tailfin is rock solid, and saves time when breaking down camp. For commuting, I’m able to leave the backpack at home and get the weight off my back. Great company, quality product. Would purchase again.”Matt
We’ve haven’t only received positive feedback from our customers, but also from Road.cc and Bikepacking.com, who have put the AeroPack through some pretty rigorous independent testing over the past few months. Check out both reviews here:
“Of course, the concept of a minimal rack and gear on top is nothing new – there have been plenty of racktop bags that have come and gone throughout the annals of bike touring history. It’s just that the AeroPack’s execution is so much better than anything I’ve ever seen.”
“The Tailfin AeroPack is about the neatest solution for adding some storage space to pretty much any bike. It’ll appeal to a wide range of riders: bikepackers, ultraracers, credit-card tourers, audaxers, and anyone with a posh bike that they want to carry stuff on.”
GEAR OF THE YEAR 2019
Continuing with bikepacking.com we were also delighted to hit the ‘TOP PICKS’ in Bikepacking.com’s 2019 Gear Of The Year Awards…
Our race packs have also been put through their paces by some of the most elite riders around the world in some of the the most gruelling ultra-endurance events, including the Transcontinental Race (Europe), Bike Nonstop (US) and Race Around Rwanda. With incredible riders such as Ben Davies, Peter Andersen and Niel Copeland taking podiums, we couldn’t be more proud to support them. To read more about these achievements check out this blog.