Author Topic: Front Platform Racks  (Read 7845 times)

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Offline dkoloko

Front Platform Racks
« on: August 11, 2013, 06:53:22 pm »
Anyone have experience with


? Or, with both, to compare?

I would not be mounting front panniers.

Offline BrettAustin

Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 03:08:40 am »

Your post was some months ago and I see no one has replied. I don;t have an answer - rather the same question. I'd be interested to know what you did in the end.
I'm looking to put panniers on the back but want to try and get away without them on front.  I had a Topeak handlebar bag on a previous trip but the frame broke after about 2 months, so I'm looking for something like what you have shown and thought I might strap on a bag with stuff in it.   Not sure how they go with suspension front forks.
If you can share anything else that would be great.

Offline mathieu

Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2013, 07:51:40 am »
Brett, I suppose that your question is related to another post, riding the Great Divide on a mountain bike. If this is a bike with front suspension, then I would like to point out that all front racks that are connected to the wheel axis or the lower fork legs are bad from a mechanical point of view. A front suspension fork is designed to enable a relatively low mass (wheel + lower fork legs, say 2.5-3 kg)  to move rapidly in adapting to surface roughnesses. Adding a significant load of rack with panniers to this unsprung mass would severely affect the operation of the fork.

With front suspension, the only sound design is one that is mounted on the fork crown or steering tube, such as the Tubus Swing
Unfortunately I saw that Tubus has stopped the production, but you may still find one in bike shops or on eBay.

I had bought a Tubus Swing for my GD ride, but in the end decided to go without front panniers and use a small frame bag for storing a few heavy tools. This worked fine, but next time I will take a bigger handlebar bag to get a better weight balance between front and rear.
Naively, I had mounted a bottle holder on the fork leg with zip ties. Just a few miles after leaving Banff on a mildly rough trail, the bottle + cage suddenly catapulted into the banks of the Spray river. Luckily I could retrieve the bottle. The zip ties had snapped. It shows that any mass connected to the fork legs is subjected to high accelaration forces, caused by the almost instantaneous movements over a few inches. It could easily have lead to collateral damage. See a current topic on,6135.0.html

Offline dkoloko

Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 09:07:03 am »
Went with Phantom Bags Map Case and Handlebar Bag; rackless bags. Like fact not on bike, except on trips. Use rack with panniers on back. Want rack on rear, as use rack for shopping. Road touring.

Offline BrettAustin

Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 02:47:49 pm »
Thanks for that dkoloko.

Hi Mathieu.  Thanks too for your comments.  The web link to was perfect.  Okay, I get the message - don't load up on suspension forks.

Actually this is small world.  I was thinking about the Great Divide some months ago.  Was searching Grazy Guy and came across your 2012 journal.  It is a wonderful journal.  It was in fact inspiring and so confirmed for me that I must do the GD.  I will be coming from New Zealand to ride it in 2014.  My last big ride was the supported Tour du Canada - a wonderful trip.  But now at 62 I'm planning the GD as a solo rider so it will be much more demanding than TdC.

I am starting to think about the bike.   Can I communicate with you through your "contact" email address on your Grazy Guy journal with other questions ?

Offline mathieu

Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 06:14:28 pm »
Hi Brett. I am sure you got the point, but for the casual reader I like to modify your catch phrase "don't load up on suspension forks". Suspension forks consist of two parts, linked by a 'spring'. You can load up on the part that is fixed to the frame and handlebar, but you shouldn't add load to the part fixed to the wheel.

If I can,  I am happy to answer further questions on my contact email or if you post them on this forum.

Offline BrettAustin

Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 03:03:19 am »
Thanks for that.
Here is my starting position : I rode the tour du canada on a near new $1200 standard production bike. Flat bar, fixed forks, v brakes, 28mm tyres, chromoly frame, just a day pack and on sealed roads.  The bike had no mechanical problems over the 8000kms.  My mechanical skills are not good.

The GD is quite different of course but I'm hoping that I can get away with a new inexpensive bike if I get it set up well enough.

A couple of things I'm looking at -

Will the rear hub take the weight. I'd like to set rather like you did- 2 rear panniers and something lighter on the front.  I'm thinking of a camelbak for extra water.  I'm 80kg. Back panniers plus bed roll, tent will be about 15kg at least I guess.  Do you think a standard hub/frame will take the strain or should I look to something more durable. 

Cable disk brakes which maybe easier to repair than hydraulic.

Schwalbe marathon plus tour 50mm tyres.

So any thought appreciated.


Offline waynemyer

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Re: Front Platform Racks
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 06:11:50 am »
Zombie thread!

For anyone interested, I have the TopIt rack. It's a bit weighty for a front rack but super durable. I also bought the QubeIt bag, which latches into the rack quite beautifully. I can't really suggest the bag for anything other than casual commuters. The rack, however, is gorgeous and adaptable. It's also tougher than nails. If you have braze-ons in the right place, I highly suggest the rack. It you have any doubts about fit, avoid this rack.  (user:waynemyer)