Author Topic: Front Racks  (Read 11111 times)

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Offline flounder

Front Racks
« on: January 01, 2009, 05:01:18 pm »
Hi! I've been looking for front racks for my trek bicycle for touring in April. I'm not sure which are good for touring that will hold enough weight.

I was looking at the Jandd Low Front Rack because it's pretty inexpensive (around $55). The others seem pretty expensive to me, I'd like to pay less than $100 if possible.

Any advice? Thanks!!!

-Flounder-


cyclesafe

  • Guest
Front Racks
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 02:23:44 pm »
You get what you pay for and you do NOT want a aluminum strut breaking.  Tubus Tara and Surly Nice front racks are made of cro-moly steel and the latter, although alot heavier, has a shelf.  BG has another model to look at.


Offline staehpj1

Front Racks
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 03:56:07 pm »
I will offer a dissenting opinion.  I don't think aluminum racks are any more likely to break and certainly find then good enough.  Personally I like the Nashbar and Performance clones of the classic Blackburn Lowrider.

Nashbar often on sale for $20:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=6000112&subcategory=60001079&brand=&sku=7723&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=Shop%20by%20Subcat%3A%20Racks

Two of us used the Nashbar rack for the TransAmerica and one used the Performance version.  They are very sturdy and held up well.

The steel racks can be more easily repaired in a third world country by anyone with a brazing torch, but for me that just isn't a big deal.  In the very unlikely event something does break on my aluminum rack I will cobble it together with sticks and tywraps if necessary.


Offline BC

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 11:27:41 pm »
I agree with cyclesafe that you often get what you pay for. If the ability to hold weight is a high priority for you, it's hard to beat the Tubus racks. I put a Tubus Tara on my Cannondale and was so impressed with it that I got their Cargo rear rack to replace the standard rack that came on the bike. They're elegantly simple, but bomb-proof. They'll last as long as your bike - no question. After a Northern Tier traverse, a PEI tour, and other cycle miles, I've never regretted choosing them.

Offline Rep

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 09:36:06 pm »
What using a less expensive front rack for lighter equipment?

I will be pulling a BOB for most of my equipment, but may want a front rack for rain gear, packing some food items and other easy to get to type of equipment.  Any thoughts on using less expensive racks for this type of usage?
Bicycling, Brewing & Backgammon...What a life.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 12:19:37 pm »
I see this as a risk management issue.

Aluminum things crack at the welds.  Its true for frames, and I suspect it is true for racks.  There is some correlation with overall life, so don't expect a new one to crack anytime soon. 

So the real issue is how does a crack affect you?

If you are on the Katy Trail, and your rack fails, its is probably no big deal.  You hide your stuff in the bushes, ride on to the next town with a bike shop, purchase a replacement,  and then ride back.

If you are on the Continental Divide route, and then nearest bike shop is three days off, then a cracked aluminum rack is a big deal.

You know your routes and usage.  I think you can decide what risk is right for you.

I started with aluminum racks (Blackburn Expedition in the rear, JandD something in the front).  I eventually migrated to Tubus racks.
Danno

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 02:05:36 pm »
"auminum things crack at the welds.  Its true for frames, and I suspect it is true for racks."

Do a seaarch on the internet and you will find uncountable pictures of steel frames broken at welds, lugs, dropouts, and brazeons.  Steel has a proven history of breaking.  And if steel tubular frames break, steel tubular racks will too.  Not sure where people get this belief steel racks/bikes are impervious to everything.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 09:29:32 pm »
Depending on the weight you will carry, and how serious you tour, I would look into the Tubus or Cold Springs. They both are more expensive than the aluminum racks by Jandd*. I believe both are steel, repairable and will last a very long time. The Cold Springs front rack, like the Jandd has the ability to do low riders, high riders (when you need ground clearance), and a convenient shelf to put your sleeping bag on. I also know someone who has the Surly racks. Very beefy but difficult to attach on the front. Not cheap either.

* I like Jandd. My handlebar bags and rack trunk bags are Jandd. In fact I have used one set for over 25 years. They are an excellent company my only concern is that they are made of alumium. I have not had luck with that material. I had one that broke 50 miles from nowhere. It was not fun and not repairable.

I am looking for front and rear bags for medium weight touring. Jandd bags are either too small or too big. I saw both the Arkels and Orliebs and each are different. I liked both but they go about their mission in different ways.
I am leaning toward the Arkels because I like the outsde pockets for organization. However, the Orliebs have one big compartment, waterproof (although I don't think they float), and for an extra charge you can add an extra small bag on the rear bags. I hope this helps. Good Luck. Bob

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2009, 12:22:26 pm »
Not sure where people get this belief steel racks/bikes are impervious to everything.

Aluminum is half the strength, and half the weight of steel.  Stress is concentrated at the points you identified, and that is why tubular metal constructs fail there.  Steel just takes more abuse than aluminum.  Titanium should take more more abuse than steel.  There are too many variables to make generalizations about carbon fiber.  And with the right amount of abuse, any frame or rack will fail.

I started out with aluminum racks because that is all my dealer carried.  I ended up with Tubus steel racks because the Tara front rack can be roof mounted on my car without removing the rack, and the Logo rear rack has a really low center of gravity for the pannier.  That the racks were made out of steel was a plus.  Aluminum racks are probably tough enough for any tour I would do (at least as long as I have a day job), because I could resupply as needed.

But if I was riding from Tierra del Fuego to Anchorage, I would probably take a steel rack by choice (and a bunch of tie raps to try and make repairs).
Danno

Offline MrBent

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2009, 10:17:44 am »
Hey, Paddleboy:  Half weight/half strength of aluminum depends.  In frames, the strength is a function of design, and there are plenty of super strong aluminum frames, which, as you say, are lighter.  Re. racks, did you break your aluminum racks?  I don't do off-road touring, which is the ultimate test to be sure, but in my several decades of cycling, I have yet to break a rack.  For road touring in North America, I figure aluminum is just fine. 

For rear racks, I really like the Super Tourist by Topeak: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/Topeak_Super_Tourist_DX_Rear_Rack/5360022940/

These are very well made, and there is a disc brake version as well.

Cheers,

Scott

Offline mtnroads

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 01:32:52 am »
I have the Jandd Extreme front rack on my T2000. It is strong and allows for high or low mounting of panniers - I prefer high. It also has a shelf which serves as a fender and carries my sleeping bag or a small trunk bag.  Tubus are very nice quality also but I prefer the lower price and versatility of the Jandd.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2009, 06:27:39 pm »
I have used both the original Blackburn low riders (both styles) and a Bruce Gordon rack.  Between the various racks I got over 30k miles of loaded touring on them.  While I had no problems with the Blackburns, I prefer the cro-moly racks due to the heavier capacity and the more solid feel of it.  Since neither has broke, I can't comment on that aspect but I highly suspect the cro-moly will stand up tremendously longer.  I have seen numerous broken aluminum racks but the only broken cro-mo rack was because a car backed over it.

Since I prefer reliability over cost/weight, I went with cro-mo but for light to medium duty touring, aluminum racks should suffice.  Just carry some hose clamps in case it does break.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline flounder

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 06:36:27 pm »
Hi, I'm still trying to figure out which front racks to use. I bought some and they didn't fit, they're some generic ones. I'm looking at the Nashbar Front Rack, but I was wondering if anyone is sure it'll fit my Trek 7.2 bike? I don't want to buy another and not have it fit. Our trip is being postponed because of this and I'd like to get them ASAP if they would work.

Thanks!

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2009, 07:00:45 pm »
Hi, I'm still trying to figure out which front racks to use. I bought some and they didn't fit, they're some generic ones. I'm looking at the Nashbar Front Rack, but I was wondering if anyone is sure it'll fit my Trek 7.2 bike? I don't want to buy another and not have it fit. Our trip is being postponed because of this and I'd like to get them ASAP if they would work.

Thanks!

I think this is one where buying a name brand rack from your local bike shop is your best route.  That way your not stuck with the rack if it won't fit.  If you don't have a local bike shop to work with, then I guess mail order is your next best bet.

What kind of fit problems were you having?  It looks like an easy fork to fit.  The JandD Low Front Rack should go on easy.

There is usually a lot that can be done with washers and bushings to make things work.
Danno

Offline flounder

Re: Front Racks
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2009, 07:42:03 pm »
Well, I got this one from a local shop, the local shops don't even have front racks around here, except for this one that luckily had two and they didn't work for our bikes. They are Performace TransIt Front Racks.

I was thinking about getting the Nashbar Front Rack and hoping it'll fit just fine?