Lately, I've been thinking about having a go at some touring with my Swift. Any reason why I shouldn't try to fit a front rack on the stock fork? Would one of the Dahon racks fit? Any thoughts on what it might do the handling of the bike?
Get a bike trailer.. problem solved.. The Carry Freedom- City trailer in particular,
folds flat for transport , no loose parts
there is a bag that comes with it , but you can place another duffle bag or box on top of it for more space.
another larger, Burly Nomad, has a sewn compartment over the tube frame,
so you just put your stuff in it and go..[ 2 16" wheels Pop off for packing].
Their flatbed would let you put your back pack and hiking boots in there
for some back country excursions on your trip.
leaving the bike an trailer in the hotel/hostel/B&B ..
I generally find front panniers improve handling, except at really slow speeds. I have used the mini rack linked by cmcanulty and found it rather good. Just don't overload it and take too many bumps, mine broke whilst carrying way too much stuff and going off road
I currently use a front rack designed for a full sized wheel and find it keeps the panniers nice and high off the ground, I had to improvise the bracket to bolt it to the fork bridge though.
The Nashbar rack works great on a Swift, installs in 2 minutes tops and fits Ortlieb Front Roller panniers. That setup along with Xootr's own Crossrack and bag totals 51 liters (12.5 + 12.5 + 26) plus anything you want to bungee on top. You can also fit any rear pannier to the Crossrack; I thought the Xootr bag was pretty good, especially for the price ($83 shipped for rack and bag).
Thanks all. I'll look into the nashbar rack. Not sure how feasible or practical it is to try to get one in the UK, but I'll see if I can find the equivalent.
Feitsbob: I've already got a trailer that I could use. Most the 'tours' I'm planning on doing are 3 - 4 day affairs where I cycle to a train station and then hop on a train back home. It's just easier if everything's on the bike.