Author Topic: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack  (Read 9460 times)

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Offline Tourista829

Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« on: December 28, 2008, 10:39:25 am »
I have recently purchased a Comotion Norwest Tour and was about to go with a set of Tubus racks. They look very sturdy and would look great on my bike. The front low rider would work but I was thinking of another option. Jandd makes a front rack that can be used as a low rider but has a shelf on top for a sleeping bag. It is rated at 25 pounds. They also have a rear rack rated at 50 pounds. Has anyone used these racks? Any other suggestions? I could mix and match. Thanks


cyclesafe

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Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 08:43:18 pm »
A shelf for the front rack comes in handy.  Also look at Surly and Bruce Gordon.  Both are higher end than Jadd as they are made of steel, not aluminum.  After wheels, racks are the first things to break on tour.  Not a place to economize.


Offline Westinghouse

Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 03:15:25 am »
I have used both regular front and rear racks, and low-riders on the front extensively on very long bicycle tours. I have my set opinions, and I am not arguing against anyone else's opinions. Nor am I here to refute anyone. In my own opinion, low-riders are just some sort of fashion. Yes, they do lower the center of gravity. Of that fact there cannot be any question whatsoever. The thing is, I simply have never been able to discern any advantage whatsoever to having such a slight lowering of my center of gravity while on my velocipede or off of it. In addition, I could not mount a light on low-riders. Also, on my many small treks off of the road and into the thickets for a place to lie down and sleep for the night, the bottoms of the panniers kept being bumped by rocks and low plants. The fact of the matter is I gave away my last set of lightweight low-riders, and I have no intention of ever using another set of Cannondale low-rider racks I had stored away and forgotten about. I use front and rear racks, and they are regular, flat-top racks. They are pefectly fine for touring, and I have had no problems with them where functionality is the matter.

Low-riders are functional. They will hold you panniers. They will lower your center of gravity. I just have never seen any advantage with them. If there were a real, feelable, discernable advantage, I think I would use them, but I do not use them. On the other hand, some people with more bicycle touring experience than I have may be able to give you glowing and convincing information for using low-riders. I can only speak from whatever experiences I have had, and I am only one person. Use low-riders. I am sure you will never regret it or be sorry you did.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 03:44:45 am »
I have recently purchased a Comotion Norwest Tour and was about to go with a set of Tubus racks. They look very sturdy and would look great on my bike. The front low rider would work but I was thinking of another option. Jandd makes a front rack that can be used as a low rider but has a shelf on top for a sleeping bag. It is rated at 25 pounds. They also have a rear rack rated at 50 pounds. Has anyone used these racks? Any other suggestions? I could mix and match. Thanks

I am not knowledgeable about the racks you mentioned. I used a seven dollar rack from Wal Mart rated at 15 pounds weight carriage. I had 40 punnds on it for about 4000 miles on one very hilly tour over sometimes some pretty bad surfaces. I also carried 80 pounds on it for a short distance. I have always used super cheap, department store racks on long long tours without any problem whatsoever. However, after a long tour is finished one must change the rack because it will probably not stand another such tour. The more expensive racks should last you through many loaded tours with no problems. Here is why I say this. I have one expensive front rack I have used extensively on fully loaded tours for about 27,000 miles or more, and it is still quite functional and useful. But when it comes to the cheap, department store racks I have found they will stand one long, loaded tour without a problem, but they break if you try to get another long loaded tour out of them. I have probably used maybe ten cheap rear racks to the one still useful front rack. Cheap racks are the way to go if you want to save money, and if you are planning on only one long tour, depending on the length of that long tour, but if you are going to be putting in the miles over and over as I have done, you will end up spending more money on cheap racks than you would spend on the more expensive, superior strength racks. In the long run, you will save time and money buying more expensive equipment, but the cheap, department store racks are not really such inferior articles, and can be depended upon within certain limits.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 03:52:41 am by Westinghouse »

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 12:19:27 pm »
There are a lot of ways to look at a front rack.  It think you should chose a rack based on what problems it solves for you.

I currently use a Tubus Tara as my front rack.  I like the Tara because the rack is stiff, and because I don't have to take the rack off to transport my bike.  My car has a fork mount roof rack, and the Tara works well with my set up.  I run long bars that overhand the car, so the bikes hang outside the car.  My Yakima towers would not provide enough height for the Tara if I placed the bike directly over the roof.

With every other front rack I have owned, I had to take the rack off to transport the bike.  And I find that annoying.

Other front racks I have owned are:

JandD Low Front Rack.  This is a really solid rack.  It just is bulky to pack.

MEC Low Rider Front Rack.  This could fold flat, so it packs very nicely.  You would think it is pretty flimsy, but it is pretty solid.  It is a knock off of a discontinued BlackBurn front rack.

For the most part, I think the JandD Extreme Front Rack, that you are enamored with, is an OK rack.  I think it carries the bags a little higher than the JandD Low Front Rack.  I like to keep my bag's CG as low as possible.  I have a friend that has used a JanD Low Front Rack, and he uses the shelf for his camp shoes, a light but bulky item.  I think this bike was intended for off road touring.

If you decide to get the JandD Extreme Front Rack, I don't know that I would keep my sleeping bag on it.  The sleeping bag should be protected from UV light and rain.  Putting your tent (sans poles) in a compression sack on the shelf is an interesting alternative.
Danno

Offline staehpj1

Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2009, 10:00:32 am »
It is just personal preference, but I like low riders.  I don't see a need for a platform in the front.  I have a handlebar bag that puts enough weight up there without stacking more stuff on a platform.  I keep small but heavy stuff in the front panniers and lighter, but bulkier stuff in the rear panniers and on top of the rear rack.

I like the inexpensive low riders from Nashbar or Performance (Blackburn clone).  They are cheap light and sturdy.  The Tubus racks are nice and if money is no object you might go that route, but I would buy the cheap Performance or Nashbar ones again if I didn't have any.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 04:22:41 am »
Neither do I want to have to take off the front rack for transporting in a bike box. I have done it several times. If I could transport without doing it, I would, but I cannot. The frame will not fit in the box with the front rack mounted. With the rear rack mounted, yes, but not with the front. But then again, it is not really any trouble to remount the front rack. It is just that when I reach my point to begin the trip I just want to put on the wheels, put on the handlebars, and go. The less there is holding me back the better.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 10:11:59 am »
Paddle Boy thank you for your thoughts and comments. I decided to purchase the Tubus Tara with the Tubus Cargo. I think they will work well. I may also purchase an inexpensive rack from MEC. I truly wish we had MEC in the states, it is the next step up from REI when it comes to touring gear. Next time I travel to Toronto, I will pay them a visit. There is almost never an Outdoor outfitter I didn't like.  Thank you all for your help, much appreciated.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Front Racks Low Rider vs Expedition Rack
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 07:39:11 pm »
I tried a Jandd Expedition on my Bianchi Volpe and  lost some of my turning radius. It is just that big. I need to get a set of the disk brake adapters and put it on my Novara Safari. I think that will make an amazing "Sport Utility Bike".

Ride safe,
Hans
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www.twowheeledexplorer.org
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