Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: onionandpotato@gmail.com on May 05, 2017, 10:03:12 pm

 
Title: front rack questions
Post by: onionandpotato@gmail.com on May 05, 2017, 10:03:12 pm
I have toured for years and never used a front rack and am finally going to get one. I have a Trek 520 NOT the disc brakes. Just regular brakes. I saw some racks that were low riders - if I pack kind of light in the front are low riders important? I don't have a lot of gear. I am just tired of always rummaging through the two panniers with what I want always on the bottom. I thought the front panniers would keep me organized.

I do have a small handlebar bag - would that get in the way of the rack?

Any recommendations for a light weight and sturdy rack? Thanks.
Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: dkoloko on May 06, 2017, 09:56:41 am
Weight should be same on front as rear, or more on front, for best handling. Handlebar bag should not get in way of front rack. Definitive study showed weight is best carried high in back, low in front. Tubus is standard  in racks.
Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: DanE on May 06, 2017, 11:36:07 am
The Arkel AC lowrider front rider sold by Adventure Cycling in their Cyclosource section is a very nice rack. I find using this rack and moving my heaviest items to the front (stove, stove fuel, pots, tools, etc.) improves stability. I think this also has to do with the front end geometry of any given bike and you may need to try things out to find how your bike rides best.
Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: RussSeaton on May 06, 2017, 01:00:33 pm
I had an old Trek 520.  Used Blackburn braze on lowriders in front.  Worked perfectly for thousands of miles.  Always best to put as much weight as possible in the front lowriders.  Least in rear panniers.  I tour sometimes with only front lowriders.  No rear panniers at all.  Handlebar bags are up around the bars and stem.  Unless you have a front rack with a platform and have it piled high with gear, I don't think a front rack will interfere with a handlebar bag.
Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: staehpj1 on May 07, 2017, 07:26:57 am
I have had good luck with house brand Blackburn low rider clones from Nashbar or Performance.  I found them to be light, inexpensive, and quite adequate.  Our group of three used them on the Trans America fully loaded, I used them on other loaded tours.  Later as I went lighter I used only front panniers with them.  These days I have been going ultralight and have not used panniers at all so the low riders have been left home lately.
Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: etsisk on May 07, 2017, 04:42:59 pm
I've got a surly nice rack on the front, and am about to put one on the back, as well. I can hang the bags hi or low, the top platform is great for found treasures. There is no conflict wit my ortlieb handlebar bag

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Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: walks.in2.trees on June 18, 2017, 03:31:48 pm
I have toured for years and never used a front rack and am finally going to get one. I have a Trek 520 NOT the disc brakes. Just regular brakes. I saw some racks that were low riders - if I pack kind of light in the front are low riders important? I don't have a lot of gear. I am just tired of always rummaging through the two panniers with what I want always on the bottom. I thought the front panniers would keep me organized.

I do have a small handlebar bag - would that get in the way of the rack?

Any recommendations for a light weight and sturdy rack? Thanks.
I find that no matter how you pack things, you always have to dig for something!

Packing to distribute more weight, low in front is definitely better for steep climbs, and in general an even weight distribution (including your own weight) is better handling.

For the longest time I only had a rear rack, and when I finally decided to get a front rack (the one on Nashbar), I noticed the handling difference immediately after I installed it, and that was unloaded. Lately, I've been thinking of making a frame-bag for similar reasons.

A note about the racks and other products on Nashbar: on certain items I see complaints about fitting the item... Frames come in many shapes and tube sizes... There's​ no possible way they can know how yours is set up, so instead they try to make it as adjustable as possible. For instance, the front rack is designed with plates that have some pre-drilled holes for the most common fork shapes. However, if none match up with yours specifically, the reason there's a big, wide, metal plate is so you can drill your OWN holes exactly where you need them, which is what I did. Similarly, when bought a new bike, I was able to make it fit. The new bike has disc brakes, so I had to go to Lowe's and buy longer Allen bolts along with a bunch of nuts to use as spacers to keep the rack from interfering with the brakes. For the front top shelf, it's designed to mount where the brake pivots would mount, night up the fork on mountain bikes. I didn't want to drill holes in my forks, so I got the huge, heavy duty zip ties sold to electrical contractors. Note that these eventually weaken with exposure to the sun light.

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Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: hospengr on July 26, 2017, 03:33:03 pm
I had problems fitting a front rack on my  new Trek 520, with disc brakes.  Finally ended up with the Tubus Low Rider, after working with Wayne at thetouringstore.com
Title: Re: front rack questions
Post by: indyfabz on July 27, 2017, 02:46:12 pm
the top platform is great for found treasures.

I currently have Nitto Big racks fore and aft and have always toured with a front rack with a platform. The front platform is great for carrying a bundle of firewood, which I have done on several occasions. If I need extra capacity for food I can put the sleeping bag or mattress on the front rack instead of inside a pannier. Heading home during a three-day trip several years ago I picked up a home made pie from a NJ farm stand and duct taped it to the front platform. Made it home in one piece.