Here is my Tern Link C7.. I love the Biologic luggage truss that is added to the front frame above the fork.. It enable the cool bag to click on or off with a key lock !! Best part it doesn't effect steering at all because it's on the outside tube... I also love the Biologic rear rack.. It enables me to get creative with what I might be hauling.. I recently took my luggage truss and rack off because I took the big with me to San Francisco.. I felt naked without them.. 2homedepot.jpg
3 folders, 2 recumbents (1 is electric), 1 recumbent trike, 1 touring, 1 mountain, 1 road bike -- So many bicycles, so little time.
Originally Posted by fietsbob
My Why(?) small wheels and their inherent low trail steering Geometry
stability works better with a load on the front end ..
I agree. Carrying some load on the front improves the handling of my 20" folding bikes. Without the front load, I sometimes do wheelies (front wheel liftoff) when I take off from standing start in the uphill direction or when pedaling over speed bumps and uphill at the same time. With some front load, that doesn't happen. Also the steering is a little less twitchy when there's some mass on the front, still responsive and quick but less sensitive and tracks the direction of travel better.
AdventureCycling has touring tips, among which they say:
When touring with panniers, try to keep your total load between 15 and 45 pounds. Your bike will be most stable if you put more weight in your front panniers--roughly 60 percent of weight in front and 40 percent in back. Experiment with weight distribution to find the best handling results for your particular bike.
I have front and rear racks on my Dahon Mariner. The rear came with the bike, while the front rack, which is basically impossible to buy new from anywhere, came from another forum member to whom I am very grateful.
I commute on it daily, and on about half the days I only have the rear rack in use; I have the backpack strapped to it by using an S-Caribiner to clip the backpack's top handle to a seat rail, and then a bungee net to secure it to the rack. This way, I have no heel clearance issues, and I can get the backpack off the bike and on my back in around 30 seconds, which I need to do midway through my commute since folding the bike with the pack strapped on isn't really possible. I have a little saddlebag with tools and a tube always attached to the rear rack right up against the seatpost.
I use the front rack about half the time. Usually I just use one pannier up front or a rack-trunk on the top, so I can still fold the bike when they are attached. Occasionally I need to use both panniers up front, such as pictured here (I was bringing in two dozen donuts into work - one boxed- dozen in each bag), and when that's the case I need to unclip one pannier to get a fold, or I just don't fold (which I can get away with when the trains aren't crowded.)
Steering is obviously slower when there are bags installed up front, but really, it doesn't feel much different than a full-sized MTB; I find it takes around 30 seconds to get used to it.
A front rack along with the right bags really increases my commuting flexibility, and I recommend them if you can find them.