Author Topic: Where should the weight go?  (Read 5125 times)

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Offline James

Where should the weight go?
« on: January 28, 2009, 01:08:19 am »
I am considering another cross country tour and am interested in trying racks vs my bob trailer.  Seems like, at one point,  I read some info that suggests that more weight should be placed in the front panniers. True or not? has anyone tried that, how did the bike handle. better?  If so why are rear bags so large compared to front?  Just wondering.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Where should the weight go?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 06:36:50 am »
Hi James,
definately need weight in the front paniers and get them as low as possible. Several reasons, All weight at the back and possible danger of the bike rearing up likea horse, even if you don't get hurt sure as hell makes you look stupid!  Weight distribution all on the rear plus you - puts big strain on the rear wheel.

I like to get as much weight as sensible on the front as seems to give a more positive response to steering especially if needing to avoid something quick - this might just be me of course, be interested if this is based on any actually research.

I also think it helps with the braking again just feels better for me. 
Cheers
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Where should the weight go?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 06:42:08 am »
I put the most weight over the front wheel. It handles fine that way, or at least in 32.000 mils of touring I have not had a problem with it. Your rear wheel is dished. It takes the pressure from the drive train, and approximately 60 % of your bodily weight. I am usually on my third rear tire by the time I have to change the first front tire.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Where should the weight go?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 07:44:59 am »
Personally I didn't see all that big of a difference in handling as long as I didn't do anything really stupid.  I try to get a good bit of weight up front to reduce the load on the rear wheel when using panniers.

Back when I used a trailer I just put everything in the trailer.  I prefer panniers though so I sold the trailer.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Where should the weight go?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 06:03:41 pm »
I have toured on four single bikes and one tandem over about 30k of loaded touring in 30 years.  All have had different handling characteristics.  One didn't need anything over the front (other than a small handlebar bag), others needed 70% of the weight over the front.  I would try different setups and see what is best for you.

A good way to tell is if you are going downhill at 25+ mph does the bike shake.  If not, you are fine.  If it does, play around till you see what works.

Hope this helps!

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Where should the weight go?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 08:39:15 pm »
I am considering another cross country tour and am interested in trying racks vs my bob trailer.  Seems like, at one point,  I read some info that suggests that more weight should be placed in the front panniers. True or not? has anyone tried that, how did the bike handle. better?  If so why are rear bags so large compared to front?  Just wondering.

I put the bulky stuff in the rear panniers - tent, sleeping bag, and clothes.  The higher density stuff goes in the front panniers.  When it is just you on your bike, your weight is not evenly distributed between the wheels. I don't know what the ratio is, I would guess it is 60/40 or something like that, and I bet that most of you is supported by the rear wheel.  But packing stuff the way I do seems to work well for me.

Loaded, the bike is pigish compared to unloaded.  I have gotten so much weight over the front wheels that I thought that the steering was twitchy.

On road I prefer panniers, I just find it less work and I think the bike is easier to control.  Off road I prefer trailers as panniers make the bike too wide.
Danno

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Where should the weight go?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2009, 07:51:51 am »
Somebody asked a question similar to this. If the most weight should go over the front wheel, then why are  rear panniers larger than front panniers?

Certainly there are answers to that question. For one thing, some gear is small and weight-dense, and some gear is large and not weight-dense. For example, a 442 Featherlite stove filled, and a bottle or two of gas take only a little space, but weight about as much as or less than a given sleeping bag; the bag may take up more space than the stove and fuel. You can put lighter, bulkier items in the rear panniers, and heavier, more compact items in the front panniers. Larger capacity and more bulk do not necessarily mean more weight than more compact things.

Actually, you may load your bike/panniers any way you want to. Try to distribute the weight as evenly as you can, meaning if you have eight pounds in the left front pannier, try to have eight in the right front pannier. The same in the rear panniers. Six pounds on the left, and six pounds on the right, or as nearly as you can manage. Aside from the near evenness left and right, it is up to you to decide about weight fore and aft. It just seems to me the rear wheel and tires will last longer with less weight over them.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 07:55:00 am by Westinghouse »