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Is it possible to have front panniers with front shocks?
I have a Raleigh M60 I had planned to add front panniers but just realized that with a front shock that may not be possible. Am I right?
Yes - front shocks and front panniers are a tough combo.
There are 3 ways to fix it.
1. Use a trailer/bob.
2. Use a standard fork - maybe with a flexi-stem.
3. Test drive one of the specialty racks for front suspension.
I've looked at #3 possibilities. I'm concerned about stability and ride because they all have to use upper frame and handlebar points to connect the front rack. You should see if there's anybody out there who has actually used a suspension front rack.
I have a Trek 7200 with a suspension fork and use panniers with it. The panniers I use are small and probably don't weigh more than 15 pounds loaded.
I have around 1000 miles on various road conditons with this setup and haven't had any problems. The front rack is just a cheap Nashbar thing I think cost around $15.
Looking at the Raleigh site, it doesn't seem the '04 M60 fork has mounting for fenders or panniers like mine does. The '03 M60 does though. The fork on my Trek is very heavy and cheap. I've thought about replacing it to save some weight, but I doubt I will since I use this bike a lot on washed out dirt roads.
Do a search for Old Man Mountain racks. They make rack for suspension forks I believe.
These guys they both have suspension forks with Faiv lowriders, I think this one is better than the Tubus one because its center of gravity is lower.
Being there, doing that
Check out my solution to this problem here:
Tips and Tricks
The King of Bonk
Old Man Mountain makes racks for bikes with front suspension forks. They are a high quality rack that will fit flawlessly. I don't have a front fork, but I have their racks on my ride and they are great. www.oldmanmountain.com
I used a front rack on my suspension fork on my long time trip. For that purpose I had fixed a home made construction to my fork (view photo). I used a front rack made by Zefal and fixed it with thread sticks which go around the fork. I never had any problems with it but I think in the end the suspension didn't really work very well anymore.
The other solution made by Tubus is very good, too. The disadvantage of the "Swing" is that the weight is a bit too high plus it starts swinging when loaded up with heavy bags.
As for my next tour I will be using a normal non-suspension fork again to reduce my bike's weight.
... 2 1/2 years cycling from Australia to Germany via New Zealand, South East Asia, China, Europe... I'M TOURING AGAIN!