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  1. #1
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Front bags - do they mount different vs rear bags

    I want to add a front rack for bags and am trying to understand if they mount any differently than rear bags since the geometry on a front rack looks so different from the rear rack. I have some smaller bags I used perviously on the rear that I would like to use on a front rack if they will work but I have not purchased a front rack yet so I can not see if they would work.

    Assuming sufficient ground clearance, can any bag be used on front or rear rack or are bags specific for the front? If the answer is yes/no depending on the brand of rack, what brand of rack should I look at that will let me use any bag?
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

  2. #2
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Mine attach the same way, with hooks over the rack. I can use either front or rear bags on my rear rack. Lone Peaks hooks.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  3. #3
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    as far as I know there is no difference.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    And our Jandds and Arkels are identical front to back.

  5. #5
    A long distance Newbie wiles9's Avatar
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    I just bought some yesterday, front and back, orteliebs back roller, with Q2 locking system...

    The things are AMAZING for fit and simplicity of use...

    The front and back bags fitted nicely onto both front and back racks... no ground clearence problems ( i dont think )on the lowrider front racks either. So you could buy rear racks, and put them on the front and back as far as i know... a more experienced tourer might say otherwise.

    I still ended up buying the smaller bags for the front anyway, due to the fact that i run of the opinion that "The more space you have, the more space you will fill".. so with smaller bags.. its impossible for me to carry more weight.. :-) Probably the same reason some tourers only carry rear panniers..

    Remember this is all opinions from a complete newbie, but i research a lot!!!

  6. #6
    Year-round cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldokie
    I want to add a front rack for bags and am trying to understand if they mount any differently than rear bags since the geometry on a front rack looks so different from the rear rack. I have some smaller bags I used perviously on the rear that I would like to use on a front rack if they will work but I have not purchased a front rack yet so I can not see if they would work.

    Assuming sufficient ground clearance, can any bag be used on front or rear rack or are bags specific for the front? If the answer is yes/no depending on the brand of rack, what brand of rack should I look at that will let me use any bag?
    Front and rear mounting is usually similar, but not identical. And many rear panniers may be used in front. Note that I said "usually" and "may". So here are things to look for:

    – Mounting is similar, but front racks have a shorter platform. So if you have panniers with adjustable hooks, you'll have to adjust them closer. If not, you might have to drill holes to move the hooks closer to each other.

    – Make sure the panniers you install won't sag too low and don't have straps and other dangling items.


    BTW, I routinely use Arkel's T-42 on my front rack when I tour. According to Arkel, they are classified as "light-duty" rear touring panniers.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My rear panniers don't mount differently than my front panniers, but then my rear panniers ARE my front panniers ... I switch them back and forth as I desire.

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