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Old 02-04-15, 08:37 PM   #1
Wiggles_dad
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Bob Jackson World Tour - Trail Measurement and Front Loading Characteristics

Hi Everyone,

So about a year and a half ago I built my dream bike, an off the peg Bob Jackson World Tour. It is my all-around bike: long road rides, commuting, and light touring (hopefully one day). I have yet to ride with a load, but I was considering putting a Nitto M18 or Nitto M1 (Mark's Rack) on it with a boxy Rando bag.

A friend of mine warned me about front loads without low trail geometry. He told me that his Rivendell Rambouillet did not handle well with a small front load because his bike did not have low trail. Does anyone have any experience with front loads on their Bob Jackson World Tour? How does it handle?

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-15, 08:48 PM   #2
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What trail does it have? This calculator will help.

Bicycle Trail Calculator | yojimg.net
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Old 02-04-15, 09:03 PM   #3
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...there's a dedicated touring section on Biekforums. I think I'd be inclined to ask in there. I have a Bob Jackson super tourer, and have no idea how to answer your question. I just generally assume that a bike that is tapped for lowrider racks on the fork will handle pretty well loaded with bags in the front unless demonstrated otherwise by practical experience.
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Old 02-04-15, 09:06 PM   #4
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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.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BJ - loaded for GAP tour.jpg (63.0 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg GAP 6.jpg (99.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg NRT-2.jpg (89.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg kerr - 4.jpg (90.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg BJ-tour build.jpg (90.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg BJ-front.jpg (83.2 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by tarwheel; 02-04-15 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 02-04-15, 09:11 PM   #5
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...I see now you're concerned about small front loads, not large ones. Every tour I've ever done requires some futzing around with the stuff in terms of balancing your loads, do it would seem to be a relatively simple matter to move some stuff from your rear bags to the front. Not sure I'd be inclined to set it up with just rear bags and a bar bag for this reason.
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