I am a lonely visitor
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Where even Richard Nixon has got soul
Bikes: Michelle Pfieffer, the Carbon Fiber Wonder Bike: A Kestrel 200 SCI Repainted in glorious mango; Old Paintless, A Litespeed Obed; The Bike With No Name: A Bianchi Eros; RegularBike: A Parkpre Comp Ltd rebuilt as a singlespeed.
You certainly can carry yoru load on a front rack, and maybe it will be the best solution for you. I'd have a couple of concerns about it, though.
1. Winter commuting with front panniers on a low rider, I'd be worried about my gear getting sloppy with road muck and salt.
2. As others have said, carrying a load low and in the front makes a bike stable. Stability is the opposite of agility. If you are negotiating much traffic on your commute, stability may not be your friend.
Jandd makes an expedition rear rack that is 3 inches longer than most. It solved my heel-strike issues. Since you are buying a new rack, anyway, you might consider this option.
Religion is a good thing for good people and a bad thing for bad people. --H. Richard Niebuhr