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...a wiggle theres a way
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks I would like to know what front bike racks you are using and also the bags.

I currently am utilizing a Topeak Explorer rear rack with the MTXtruckbag EXP it rocks for commuting to work and carrying a change of clothes, boots for the ride home, a book to read, and lunch.

I would like to install a front rack/bag so i can store extra 'common' items and more so to utilize the extra storage space when i go grocery shopping with that in mind any suggestions on racks and bags?

thank you
cheers and best regards
joe
 

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weirdo
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6,223 Posts
How big are you looking for and do you know whether you want pannier racks, handlebar bags, or platform?

Handlebar mounted bags get fairly big and are very convenient, but don`t behave well with heavy loads. I`ve had a few sets of Cannondale quick release bags (one big one and a couple small ones) for several years- they were my first method of carrying my crap around. They`re handy because I have plates mounted on different bikes and can grab which ever sized bag I need. If the C-dales ever wear out, I`ll probably go with the Topeak ones since I like their mounts better and they`re cheaper to boot.

I had a porteur style platform rack on my last commuter. It did pretty well and handled the weight better than the bar bags since it was lower and close to the steering axis, but still things got pretty wobbly the one time I tried it with a really heavy load (50# bag of bunny-chow). Up to the weight of a 12-pack of soda, it rode great. The biggest issue I had with it was that the corners stuck out and had a tendency to catch on gate posts and such.

My current commuter has a randoneur style rack and I like that best of all. I usually use one of a variety of different sized bags with it that clip on to a top rail with pannier mounts, but it also serves to tie bulky items when I don`t have a bag clipped on. I`ve never noticed any handling issues with it, but I don`t remember ever loading it up with more than about 6 or 7 pounds. One of these days I need to experiment with that.

The only front pannier rack I`ve used gives me definite wheel flop with about ten pounds, BUT I think that particular rack is badly designed- it puts the panniers too far forward and I suspect that handling would be much improved if the weight were closer to the steering axis. Also, it`s on a suspension fork, so that doesn`t help matters any. I imagine most commercial lowrider racks do a better job, especially on rigid forks.
 

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...a wiggle theres a way
Joined
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214 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i am looking for pannier racks and will probably put between 10-30pounds of stuff in the bags when i commute to work and have to use the rear rack for the notebook computer when i go to the grocery store it will just hold milk, juice, egg beaters, liquor.

I will be utilizing the front rack on my cross bike ('10 raleigh rx 1.0) if that makes any difference

did you make your own? or did you buy a commercially produced one?

thanks again for your help and suggestions.
joe
 

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weirdo
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6,223 Posts
Yeah, all my front racks have been homebrews. From what I hear though, most people have better luck with front panniers than I do- like I say, my lowrider is a bad design. Hopefully somebody with good experience will chime in with info on a different model. What is your bike setup like? Lowrider mount bosses in the forks? Smooth holes all the way through, or threaded on the outside only? Disk brakes? Those points will determine which racks you can use. Wayne at The Touring Store can help you out if you have a big budget. The guy is awesome both for recomendations and for after the sale service. The catch is that the only racks he sells are Tubus, which are supposedly excellent, but very expensive. Good luck with it- you`ll find something that will work and you`ll probably like it.
 
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