Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
I've owned a BJ World Tour for about 6 years, using it for commuting, touring and even unpaved trails. I've had a Nitto M-12 front rack on it the whole time. I don't often carry loads on the front rack but it rides fine when I do. However, I don't carry large loads on it and prefer to keep my view of front wheel unobscured. For loaded touring, I've got a Tubus Tara front rack and Cargo rear rack. I found that my BJ didn't handle well loaded unless I spread out the cargo front and rear. However it rides fine with the load just in back if it's not too heavy. Eg, I rode the entire GAP-C&O Canal trail on it last summer using rear panniers for most of my gear along with a small handlebar bag with tools and cable lock on front rack. I was carrying about 20 lbs of gear in the panniers.
The first time I tried to take a loaded trip on the BJ, I only had rear panniers and loaded about 40 lbs of gear on the back. It handled so poorly that it was unrideable and I had to call off that trip. That's when I ordered the front rack and panniers. Once I installed the Tara front rack and panniers, and balanced the load between the front and back, it rode very nicely.
That said, I don't think the BJ World Tour is the best frame for heavy loads. I recently bought a Soma Saga, which I plan to use for loaded tours in the future. Not only is the tubing stouter, but it has room for much larger tires. On the C&O trip, I would have preferred to use 35 mm CX tires, but the BJ didn't have space for the larger tires and fenders. I needed fenders as well, so opted for Panaracer Pasela 32s, and they fit fine with my fenders.
Last edited by tarwheel; 02-04-15 at 09:18 PM.