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  1. #1
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    purpose of double eyelets on forks

    This may sound silly, but on forks with double eyelets (one "in front" of each blade and one "behind" each blade), what is the purpose of the "front" eyelet? On most set-ups that I've seen where the bike had both fenders and a lowrider rack, only the eyelets "behind" the fork blades were used. In what situation(s) would you use the "front" eyelets?

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    Using only one eyelet forces an answer to the question....do I put the racks or fenders on first? I prefer the racks, since the load of the racks will be closer to the frame. But if I need to adjust the rack I might have to remove the wheels, brakes, fenders, etc. Then again to adjust a fender means I must loosen the rack.

    Two eyelets makes a more simple set up.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

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    hmm... that makes sense, but most of the racks I've seen seem to be designed to use the set of eyelets on the behind the fork blades. Which racks are made to be mounted on the front eyelets?

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    My Blackburn lo-rider rack can be attached to the front eyelets using long bolts and leaving the rear eyelets free for the mudguards/fenders. But I spread the load by placing the hoop that goes over the wheel and stops the rack from spreading, on one set of eyelets. The main rack part then goes on the other eyelets. The mudguard/fender mounts go on rear eyelets, on the *outside* for the reasons Monoborracho identified... meaning there is metal against metal, rather than creating a plastic sandwich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    ]meaning there is metal against metal, rather than creating a plastic sandwich.
    I have a Jannd lowrider on front, on a one-eyelet Schwinn. Aside from the plastic sandwich (a good point, though I have Gilles Berthoud steel fenders and aluminum mounts) putting the frame next to the fork puts less bending moment ...i.e., stress, on the bolts/studs/screws that go into the eyelet, therefore less chance of breaking a bolt. This could be a catastrophe, if something drops into the spokes.

    Rather than using those little silver allen head screw/bolts that come with the racks & fenders, I strongly recommend 5mm allen head machine bolts, which can be bought in all lengths at auto parts, Lowes, etc., and secured with blue Loc-Tite.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

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    They're for mounting one of these.
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...ubcat:%20Racks
    I have one of these Bor Yueh Front Racks and it's wonderful. I bungee a small plastic basket from the dollar store on top of it so a cell phone, snacks, flashlight, and other stuff is handy and never requires stopping for access to that sort of stuff.

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    eccentric tourer WestOz's Avatar
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    Here in Australia we can only get junk front racks if at all. The rack will bolt to the rear eyelet, but the hoop is usually not long enough to go over the wheel so it has to go on the front eyelet to give some clearance over the wheel.

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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I've got a Bor Yueh AND a Jannd lowrider, and fenders, on my 'heavy' touring bike and needed both eyelets.

    . I've seen people with standard rear racks mounted on the front of the bike and utilizing the front eyelets, and a Blackburn EX-1 rack bent, cut and tweaked to make a GREAT front rack that utilized the front eyelets and one of the triple stays to mount at the midfork- very snazzy.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by WestOz
    Here in Australia we can only get junk front racks if at all. The rack will bolt to the rear eyelet, but the hoop is usually not long enough to go over the wheel so it has to go on the front eyelet to give some clearance over the wheel.
    That's a bit broadbrush about the junk front racks. Blackburn is available, along with Tubus. Maybe in WA you might have trouble sourcing stuff, but Fleets in Fremantle should be able to help...

    Are you trying to fit a rack meant for MTBs over a 700C wheel? Your scenario sounds remarkably odd.

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    The top mount is mostly to add extra stays for your fenders. Almost all the nice fenders I have seen for sale use only one stay at the back position, along with the rack, so the forward eyelet is not useful. But I have seen olde looking touring bikes with as many as three/four struts to the fender. Two wires per eyelet.

    The nicest custom set-up is for the lower rack mount to be on the blade itself just like the upper rack mount, and for the fenders to be attached to the racks not the eyelet on the drop out. So on a really nice custom these days there isn't any reason to have any eyelets. The main function of double eyelets is they identify the fork as being touring inspired. What you really need on a stock touring bike are the back eyelets and the rack mount on the upper fork, the front eyelets are useless, though they might be nice to have if something broke.

    On my stock fork I mount the rack to the inside of the rear eyelet, and the fender to the outside. I use a special wire for the fender with a welded on bar/eyelet so that the fender wire can never spread leving the rack improperly supported and break something up front. Overkill but a nice sanitary approach.

    The rear drop does need two eyelets.

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    A question that is semi-related...

    In looking down at the front hub (mounted to a steel fork for argument's sake) while riding over, say, chipseal, you can normally see the ends of the fork working, whether backwards and forward or up and down. This to me is the suspension system that forks provide -- decreasing the transmission of vibration through to the hands.

    Now, if you put on a rack like a low-rider that has an attachment at the dropouts and another at a braze-on half-way up the forks, is there a different in that "suspension system". Does the method of attaching the forks actually negate the action of the forks, so the ride is in fact harsher through to the hands?

    Some practical experience by me and another rider suggests so. Any other opinions?

  12. #12
    eccentric tourer WestOz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    That's a bit broadbrush about the junk front racks. Blackburn is available, along with Tubus. Maybe in WA you might have trouble sourcing stuff, but Fleets in Fremantle should be able to help...

    Are you trying to fit a rack meant for MTBs over a 700C wheel? Your scenario sounds remarkably odd.
    The rack is an el cheapo $30 special. It''s supposed to fit a 700c, but on the other bike without the eyelets and with high profile tyres, it wouldn't fit. It fits my tourer, but with two loaded panniers on, it twists out of shape. WA is hard to get racks or anything to do with touring parts. I did go into Fleet and two guys in there did not even know what a front lowrider rack was. They tried to sell me the side bits from a rear seatpost rack.

    I walked out after that. Another shop has had a Surly front rack on order for god knows how long. I also tried calling a shop in Sydney, and leaving a message on their answering machine and they never ring back.

    I finally found a shop in in Melbourne who are shipping me a Tubus Tara Rack, and it should be here tomorrow

  13. #13
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    hey, rowan, i think any weight on the forks actually dampens the ride out even more, providing additional shock absorption, not less.

    I've ridden some of my bikes with nothing more than two pounds of water bottle attached to each fork blade, and i felt there was additional dampening to the road vibration. same effect when i ride with front panniers with half my gear hanging off the forks.

    now, for the HEAVILY overloaded touring bike, maybe too much weight on the front end has a counterproductive effect but i haven't approached THAT critical mass yet....

    in the 1980-s touring era, more racks used to be made to utilize the front eyelets. now its down to the Bor Yueh racks in the US at least....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-17-06 at 11:14 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by WestOz
    I finally found a shop in in Melbourne who are shipping me a Tubus Tara Rack, and it should be here tomorrow
    Let me guess... St Kilda Cycles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    hey, rowan, i think any weight on the forks actually dampens the ride out even more, providing additional shock absorption, not less.
    Yes, sorry, maybe I should have related to ride when *unloaded*.

  16. #16
    eccentric tourer WestOz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Let me guess... St Kilda Cycles?
    Yes excellent guess, and it just arrived and within 5 minutes it was on the bike, and now the Ortliebs sit properly. It's time to go touring

  17. #17
    sth
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    my custom fork has eyelets on both the frt and rear of the blade. i use a old man mountain frt low rider that mounts to the skewer. i also use a cheap light weight frt rack from mec that carrys tent poles and sleeping pad. this rack uses the front eyelets. the rears are for the fender stays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n4zou
    I have one of these Bor Yueh Front Racks and it's wonderful. I bungee a small plastic basket from the dollar store on top of it so a cell phone, snacks, flashlight, and other stuff is handy and never requires stopping for access to that sort of stuff.

    I am very, very careful about any kind of bungee cord on or near the front wheel. Also, any kind of strap. If something come loose and gets into a spoke, its "Endo City" (end-over-end). I formerly used bungees around my front panniers until I read a story about some guy who had a loose bungee get into the front wheel. No more for me!
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

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    That's an agument against using a loose bungees on the rack. The only time something similar happened to me it was from the panier one of those little hooks came loose and stopped the rear wheel.

    I think a properly attached bungee is no problem at all. It has to be under correct tension, and well hooked, the strap needs to be good quality not all rusted out and popping threads. There are other things like cordlocks on cords, or fastex buckles that could cause problems, so the key is to pack preperly.

    It may be that the webbing and buckle unit is better still. I'm making my own rack and intend to have keepers for those built in.

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