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View Poll Results: Front rack - Lowrider or top shelf?
Lowrider 18 58.06%
Top shelf 11 35.48%
Neither 2 6.45%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-06-07, 12:16 PM   #1
FidelCastrovich
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Lowrider or top shelf?

Which do you have on your tourer for loaded touring?
Reasons for your choice?
Do you regret your choice and wish you chose the other option?
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Old 02-06-07, 12:28 PM   #2
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OMM Cold Springs front rack with a big top shelf. I rarely use 4 panniers. I use the top shelf for heavy items and two rear panniers.
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Old 02-06-07, 12:36 PM   #3
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I don't think it matters if the weight of your gear is kept low. I've a pair small panniers up frount and I try to keep the weight down to 12 pounds, including bags.

If you're taking everything but the kitchen sink, go low rider, it will help with your bike's handling.

I would advise however, not to take that kind of weight on tour.
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Old 02-06-07, 01:15 PM   #4
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Lowrider. And if I were to only carry two bags, I'd put them there first. But I usually carry all 4 bags...I don't know how anyone could get by with only a 12 lb touring load (including bags). Heck my bags weigh almost that much
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Old 02-06-07, 01:57 PM   #5
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You would think the lowrider would be more stable but I had both a Blackburn Mt Rack and the lowrider and there was absolutely no difference in handling. I thought the salesman was pulling my leg when he recommended the Mt. Rack but he was right. Plus you get the shelf and don't bang up the bottom of your panniers as much. And yes I was carrying heavy loads in my front panniers.

Those of you who recommend lowrider, I am curious if you have tried both.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:02 PM   #6
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If you're not camping, you can get by with 12 lbs, maybe a little more. Two small panniers up front, on a low rider rack works fine.

My camping set-up-- tent, pad, ground cloth, sleeping, weighs around 12lbs as well (without the panniers it fits into)

so two more small panniers on the back rack (same size as pack).

A also have a handlebar bag and trunk, I can use if a need be.


The advice I'd give is use smaller panniers, mount them as low as you can, even weight front to back, take as little as possible.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:04 PM   #7
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I put all the heavy items I had on the top shelf of my OMM front rack and my LHT was totally solid on the road. I know weight that high should be a problem, but in my experience it wasn't at all. I also had a handlebar bag that had a lot of heavy-ish items in it. That should have been a double No No, but it was fine.

Conventional wisdom is great as a guideline, but in the end if you really want to know if something works for you the only way to be sure is to try it.
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Old 02-06-07, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomee
If you're not camping, you can get by with 12 lbs, maybe a little more. Two small panniers up front, on a low rider rack works fine.

My camping set-up-- tent, pad, ground cloth, sleeping, weighs around 12lbs as well (without the panniers it fits into)

so two more small panniers on the back rack (same size as pack).

A also have a handlebar bag and trunk, I can use if a need be.


The advice I'd give is use smaller panniers, mount them as low as you can, even weight front to back, take as little as possible.
Ah...you're cheating That's how you can get away with 12 lbs. I always carry camping gear and cooking gear so my weight is higher then yours. I also carry at least 3 days of clothes (I hate doing laundry), a film SLR ('cause a digital SLR is way too expensive), a couple of books, a tool kit, a first aid kit, usually a few days of food and other stuff. 12 lbs for a motelling tour is probably okay. I just like having a bit more stuff along. Looks kinda like this when it all explodes out of the bags.

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Old 02-06-07, 09:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacomee
If you're not camping, you can get by with 12 lbs, maybe a little more. Two small panniers up front, on a low rider rack works fine.

My camping set-up-- tent, pad, ground cloth, sleeping, weighs around 12lbs as well (without the panniers it fits into)

The advice I'd give is use smaller panniers, mount them as low as you can, even weight front to back, take as little as possible.
Off Topic, my camp set-up: Slumber Jack bivy, SJ Minaret bag/liner, Thermarest ultralite, groundsheet, total less than 9lbs. But then, I live in Equatorial zone. BTW No cooking! Oh the joy of travelling light.
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Old 02-06-07, 09:54 PM   #10
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You need to add "both" to your choices. My Jandd Extreme Front Rack has bars for hanging panniers high or low, and still has the top shelf.

I haven't used it yet, but I'm excited to. And I'll probably be hanging the panniers low.
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Old 02-07-07, 12:12 AM   #11
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I'm in the ""BOTH" camp as well, I actually have two front racks on my heavy tourer(Jannd lowrider for the panniers, and a Chen Shin or somesuch trad over the wheel, high-shelf front rack to hold supplementals, jackets, newspapers to read while riding, and as a backup);

Also, a brake boss top shelf rack on my light tourer.
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Old 02-07-07, 01:39 AM   #12
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My core camping gear weighs about 9 pounds. It's the stuff I could theoretically drop in a go lite backpack and disappear down the trail for months with, if I could still walk. It still works out to a lot of stuff. Tent (or alternatives), sleeping bag, and I like to carry a 3/8" foam mat. Those are three things that don't fit into my paniers, so they end up getting strapped the back rack which is not large enough for them. And there can be extra items that get attached there also. So I prefer the top shelf on the front rack. Beko's approach is smart, I wish I had thought of that, because by themselves the small mountain racks would not be enough for me. I'm looking at something like the pic below. I don't like the transverse mounting postion, but the high low idea is good. Beckman makes a front rack called the Low/High Front Rack, but it doesn't get the bags as low as they can be on ashphalt.
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Old 02-07-07, 02:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornchops
You need to add "both" to your choices. My Jandd Extreme Front Rack has bars for hanging panniers high or low, and still has the top shelf.

I haven't used it yet, but I'm excited to. And I'll probably be hanging the panniers low.

Hmm, i didn't think there were "both" people. Thanks for the tip...Not that i know how to edit this poll.
Anyways, i'm looking to buy some good racks, and wanted to see what most of the people here use.

I like the extra carrying capability of the top shelf and think i'll go with that. Even though most bikes at fullyloadedgallery seem to have lowriders.

Many thanks to all!
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Old 02-07-07, 02:28 AM   #14
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There are our bikes on the picture below at the end of the two weeks tour of Finland and Russian Karelia. There are no official campgrounds and hotels in the Russian part of the route at all, total wilderness just after Russian border crossing. We camped out almost all the way and did laundry often. We did it usually when it was suitable water source nearby not while was camping. I remember that I carried 24 kg (52.91 lbs) plus food. Perhaps a lowrider was more suitable for my front panniers, but I hadnít one and just hung the panniers up on my usual front rack. The top shelf was empty.
BTW. Yes, I carried all our stuff and that increased our daily mileage, but that would not be good idea for mountains. I think to shorten the route is better option in this case for us.
So I have voted neither.

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Old 02-07-07, 02:11 PM   #15
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Ah, finally, i made the decision. Called up Arkel, ordered a pair of T28s to go with my T42s, and a pair of OMM racks(front+rear). Went with the Sherpa in the front, so i guess i joined the "top shelf" camp.
Anybody wanna guess how much shipping to Israel was?
$80!!!!!!That's like two pairs of panniers of a cheaper brand. But hey, nothing compares to Arkel.

Thanks for replying, everybody.
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Old 02-07-07, 03:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCastrovich
Ah, finally, i made the decision. Called up Arkel, ordered a pair of T28s to go with my T42s, and a pair of OMM racks(front+rear). Went with the Sherpa in the front, so i guess i joined the "top shelf" camp.
Anybody wanna guess how much shipping to Israel was?
$80!!!!!!That's like two pairs of panniers of a cheaper brand. But hey, nothing compares to Arkel.

Thanks for replying, everybody.
Congrats on the Arkels and OMM racks. You should be really happy with both. Don't feel too bad about shipping. It often costs me $15-$20 to get a small parcel from the US to Canada -sometimes from a state right across the border.
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