Originally posted by Merriwether
Is this the Cordo front carrier system? The site doesn't describe the racks, and that one looks to be the only plausible candidate for a heavy duty set-up.
Click on the site
and then 12 pages in you get the following text with pictures
26" Wheel Solo Cycle Brochure
When carrying loads, choosing the correct carrier for your requirements is as fundamental to your cycling experience as choosing the correct cycle ... A lightweight cycle purchased for fast touring day rides carrying light loads will be overweight with an “expedition suitable” carrier.
An even worse, but quite common, scenario is the heavily laden cycle with a flimsy carrier. NO MATTER HOW WELL DESIGNED AND BUILT THE CYCLE MAY BE, WITHOUT A PROPER CARRIER A HEAVY LOAD WILL MAKE IT FEEL HORRIBLE.
There are 5 materials commonly used in the manufacture of carriers :-
1. High quality tubular aluminium. This is very light, not very rigid and fails easily (we returned a huge percentage to Cannondale). This material builds into a carrier that is neither of use nor ornament!
2. Aerospace aluminium rod. This is fairly light, fairly stiff and lasts well with moderate loads and smooth roads. Blackburn carriers have a good reputation and an excellent guarantee. However when you are stuck in the back end of nowhere and nobody can weld aluminium without the specialist equipment and skills needed, then the guarantee is not going to help.
Blackburn carriers can and do fail when heavily loaded and used for extended tours on rough roads ... Most people are not going to use them hard enough to experience problems.
3. Aluminium rod. This is fairly light and is ok if very little weight is to be carried. It is much less stiff and even more prone to failure than aircraft-grade aluminium ... Not for serious applications.
4. Steel rod. This is very heavy and not very stiff. Lots of bracing has to be used to get sufficient stiffness, resulting in even more weight. It would have no application in the manufacture of carriers, except that it is easy to repair. Any small (Third World) village will have a blacksmith who can repair such a carrier.
5. Tubular steel. This is light, very stiff, comparatively easy to work with and can be repaired relatively easily. This is THE material for cycle carriers (as it is for cycles!). Tubular cro-mo is even better ... fine gauge Reynolds “531” is best of all! (ask Alex Moulton).
When we decided to make carriers we knew it would be foolish to use anything but the best! - and we decided to make them in the best way possible! We use straight tubes and join them with our own high quality, malleable steel lugs using low temperature braze ... if the correct carrier is chosen we don’t think they’ll break ... but if they do, they can be repaired.
If your touring bike suddenly can’t carry all your kit then, at best, your cycle touring holiday is over!
We have some nice design features. Andy Blance has been “messing around” with carriers for several years. Up until now he has been unable to design anything that cost less to make than it could be sold for! He now has extensive knowledge about carriers due to this process.
Our rear carriers have two exclusive (we think) design features (we don’t count the ability to reliably carry the stated load as a feature!) :-
1. We braze a 6mm boss “halfway” up the back of each rear carrier stay. These are used to attach the mudguard stays, saving (50g) weight, increasing stiffness and reducing clutter at the same time.
2. We braze two 5mm bosses at the rear of the carrier load platform. These have 90mm centres and alloy plates can be purchased to allow the fitting of one or two rear LED lights. We use a plate because every year or two a much better light comes onto the market (currently we like the new 300% brighter Vista Lite Nebula rear LED light the best) and it is more sensible to buy a new plate than buy a new carrier!
We list several carriers in our “options”. This is our opinion of them :-
Blackburn EX1 Expedition (692g)
This is pretty stiff, it has to be said, but it does carry the load too high for 26” wheels (or 700Cs come to that!). We recommend a new one after each “expedition”. Blackburn suggest a load limit of 18kg.
Blackburn MTN (621g)
Again fairly stiff and carries the weight nice and low ... it also weighs a bit less than the EX1 Expedition. Blackburn quote a load limit of 9kg (we’ve used the MTN with a 15kg load and it feels secure).
Blackburn Custom Lowrider
Lowriders need to be very adjustable ... Blackburn has ignored the fact that a pivot around a fixed point describes an arc - not a straight line! The ‘P’ clips will slip if rough roads are attempted.
Thorn “531” adjustable standard rear carrier (684g).
This uses 9.5mm, 0.9mm thick “531” material. This carrier weighs less than a Blackburn EX1 Expedition and is as least as stiff whilst being repairable. This carrier has been tested on rough gravel mountain roads and is fine with up to 15kg. Ideal capacity up to 15kg - max : 25kg.
Thorn adjustable reinforced rear carrier (794g).
This again uses 9.5mm, 0.9mm thick “531” material. The reinforcement makes the carrier exceptionally rigid and we would prefer to use it ourselves when the load was regularly expected to exceed 18kg. Ideal capacity up to 25kg - max : 35kg.
Front lo loaders.
We are delighted with our design as it is impossible for our carriers to slip round - a problem with Blackburn and copies. The “open” design at the rear not only allows the angle to be reset, should your forks not have been accurately built, but also allows quality forks to absorb road shock. Our design also allows modern panniers with large plastic mountings to be fitted. You should note that the MK IV only accepts modern panniers with anti sway side mounting and is designed for 4kg per side.
Our MK III heavy duty model will carry any weight you could wish to place on your bicycles forks!
MKIV Ultra lightweight lo loader - weight: 415g, capacity per side: 4kg
MKIII Heavy-duty lo loader - weight: 645g
New:- Available NOW!. Thorn ultra-light “531” adjustable rear carrier with “cut to fit” stainless steel stays (weight: 310 to 350g). This is designed to carry a rack pack or a small pair of panniers. Total load must not exceed 6kg... the ultra-light should appeal to Audax riders.
Thorn "531" adjustable Standard rear carrier
Thorn "531" adjustable reinforced rear carrier
Thorn Single LED bracket
Thorn "531" MKIII Heavy duty lo loader
Thorn "531" MKIV Ultra lightweight lo loader
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Thorn Cycles Ltd, 91-93 St John Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5HX, England
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