I am thinking of using some lowrider front panniers on my jamis nova. Performance has the transit pannier and rack package, I thought that would be a good easy choice. I am using it for commuting and errands, I don't like the idea of carrying all the wt on the rear wheel and don't have the room or desire for a large handlebar bag.
My nova has a carbon fork, will that matter? Are there any handling issues I should be aware of? It's not a touring bike but I can ride it with no hands, even around curves, and it's pretty comfy. I notice that since I put a headlight on my handlebars that I do not ride in a straight line but "weave". It's wierd because the bike feels so stable and easy to ride, even with no hands. I don't know if maybe everybody rides like this, it was not noticable until I put the light on and noticed it bobbing at night. I don't know if this means it will handle differently with a loaded front.
Anyway, I was just wondering if anybody toured with a loaded jamis nova.
I don't think I would put a rack on that carbon fibre fork, at least not a conventional one.
If I were to take a chance, it would be with an Old Man Mountain rack. The wheel skewer passes through the rack's lower mounts. In other words, the lower mounts don't attach to the fork. The weight is supported by the skewer, not the fork. The upper mounts attach to the cantilever studs. It doesn't affect braking at all. Don't worry, it works.
I do mountain bike rides at night on technical singletrack with an HID light. The rides frequently start with a long fire road climb. I don't normally use the light on the climb. I notice that climbing in the dark feels strange. My eyes can't see the grade as well and it's harder to judge. There is more wobbling because it takes longer to adjust my weight distribution in response to the steepening and lessening of the grade. Turning on the light exaggerates it because the beam is going all over the place.
It just takes time to get adjusted to riding with a light. I don't think the weight of the light on the handlebar is material enough to be the cause, if that's what your thinking. I have toured with front panniers on my Cannondale cyclocross bike with no handling problems. Mine has a steel fork, but it is the geometry of the fork not the material it's made of that counts.