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  1. #1
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    Front racks with platforms?

    I know of Surly's Nice Rack, Jandd's (how do you pronounce Jandd anyway?) Extreme, and Old Man Mountain's Sherpa (not counting the Cold Springs because it's out of my price range). Are there any others? I'm going for a platformed rack because it's more useful, not just when touring, but all the time. Also, I'm going to be making my own panniers, and I'd like front panniers that can hold a sleeping bag, tent, and thermarest. I'm not sure if you can make bags big enough that fit a low rider. Also, I'm not too sure about the OMM, because it has such a short platform.

    Or, there's the budget option: the Pletscher 2B or 4B. Can mount on front (or back), has a limit of 55lb. I know people don't usually use it for touring, but pretty much all I'd have on it would be my sleeping bag, tent, and thermarest. I think it would work, but I'd like to know what all y'all think before I do something stupid ;-)

  2. #2
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    See this thread for a discussion of front racks with a shelf:

    front rack with shelf

    My solution was to use a rear rack in the font -- see post #5 of that thread.

  3. #3
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
    See this thread for a discussion of front racks with a shelf:

    front rack with shelf

    My solution was to use a rear rack in the font -- see post #5 of that thread.
    I've done the same thing. I found I prefer using a rear rack up front as apposed to low riders and that sort of thing. I can reach into my front "gas mask" panniers and get stuff like snacks out without stopping.

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    Using a rear rack up front sounds like a very good idea. bwgride, you say, in that other thread, "you simply need one [rack] where the main leg of the rack is angled backwards, not straight down, to give the front brake cable room." What do you mean by "main leg?" I'll probably get the Blackburn EX-1, because it's cheap and has a good warranty. It has three "legs" on each side. What's the "main leg" on it?

    bwgride, it looks like you have the Jandd Expedition on the front. n4zou, I can't tell what you have. If the Blackburn doesn't work out, I'll get one of those for the front (Jandd's more expensive, so I'd rather not if I needn't).

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    The main leg should be the one that is continuous from the frame to the rack platform. On some racks it is also the only one.

    I built this rack for my last trip, and it solved all my problems with racks before. It's wider than practical if you travel on trains and such, much, since it won't fit in a cardboard bike box.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    And for what it's worth, there's a shot of my Jandd Extreme as used for our tour of Alaska. Half the time I had my sleeping on the top platform. The other half of the tour I was carrying bulk food containers on the platform and had the sleeping bag lashed to the top lid on one of my Ortliebs. I like this rack but as with most other front racks of this kind, fitting is more hit and miss. While being a perfect fit for the RMB Sherpa, it doesn't fit my Thorn Nomad at all.
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  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    You can get a Bor Yueh front rack for under 20 bucks. inexpensive tubular aluminum, medium duty. Available from MEC in canada, sometimes thru Nashbar, and orderable from your LBS.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iain.dalton View Post
    (how do you pronounce Jandd anyway?)
    It is pronounced J and d, the first letters of the first names of the company's founders.

  9. #9
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iain.dalton View Post
    Using a rear rack up front sounds like a very good idea. bwgride, you say, in that other thread, "you simply need one [rack] where the main leg of the rack is angled backwards, not straight down, to give the front brake cable room." What do you mean by "main leg?" I'll probably get the Blackburn EX-1, because it's cheap and has a good warranty. It has three "legs" on each side. What's the "main leg" on it?

    bwgride, it looks like you have the Jandd Expedition on the front. n4zou, I can't tell what you have. If the Blackburn doesn't work out, I'll get one of those for the front (Jandd's more expensive, so I'd rather not if I needn't).

    As noted above by Peterpan1, the main leg is the one to which the rack attaches the dropout eyelet. I am not sure whether the Blackburn type racks will work well because the eyelet attachment leg may be too far "back" and thus place the rack platform too close to the head tube. If this is the case, you will have difficultly leveling the platform.

    I use a Tioga rear rack (cost about $18), but those are hard to find now. Based upon the looks, I think the Bor Yueh All-Paca Rear Rack, Tortec Tour Rear Rack, or Axiom Odyssee Rear Rack will work. I am sure many others will work too, but I know some do not. I don't know whether the Jandd racks will work. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    There's also these....

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    The platform is a little short though, so I'm not sure what kind of bag really fits on it other than, say, a small stuff sack.

  11. #11
    Seņor Member c_dinsmore's Avatar
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    i've realised there's no free solution to a front rack, like i got on my rear rack (blackburn expedition at a local bike coop (freeridepgh.org), where the only front rack had a platform, and also had been claimed already. DAMN!) so, the jandd extreme on ebay for 70/80? i'm very pleased to see my postulation about a rear rack in front is plausible. OR..... i just found this....

    http://www.cetmaracks.com

    the five bar version. looks kiiiiller to me. 100 USD, but... how about this one, guys?

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  12. #12
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    Without the low rider, if you load that thing on a regular touring geometry front end, it will be very floppy. The front end needs a lot more offset to ballance that rack. That is why the low riders on my set-up are so far back. My rack, mostly by accident has excellent neutral handling with the low riders, with the top full or empty, but with only the top it isn't so good.

  13. #13
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    I'm considering going the route of a rear rack up front with an IRD Jakar.
    Can anyone comment on the handling when front panniers are mounted high ?

  14. #14
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by iain.dalton View Post
    I know of Surly's Nice Rack, Jandd's (how do you pronounce Jandd anyway?) Extreme, and Old Man Mountain's Sherpa (not counting the Cold Springs because it's out of my price range). Are there any others? I'm going for a platformed rack because it's more useful, not just when touring, but all the time. Also, I'm going to be making my own panniers, and I'd like front panniers that can hold a sleeping bag, tent, and thermarest. I'm not sure if you can make bags big enough that fit a low rider. Also, I'm not too sure about the OMM, because it has such a short platform.

    Or, there's the budget option: the Pletscher 2B or 4B. Can mount on front (or back), has a limit of 55lb. I know people don't usually use it for touring, but pretty much all I'd have on it would be my sleeping bag, tent, and thermarest. I think it would work, but I'd like to know what all y'all think before I do something stupid ;-)
    Jandd is usually pronounced like and with a (standard) 'j' sound in front. The name was given to the company early on by its founder, David Sisson, while he was a still a student in Santa Barbara, Calif. (at UCSB). He gave his girlfriend ('J') first billing: Joyce and David >>>>>>> Jay and Dee >>>>>>> 'J' and 'D' >>>>>>> J-and-D >>>>>>> JandD >>>>>>> Jandd.

    *******
    Bruce Gordon makes excellent front racks with top platforms. I've used one for years; it's extremely well made, and has performed flawlessly. The strength-to-weight ratio and the reliability are exceptional. His racks are unusually light and strong and durable. [In the past Bruce received some complaints about his sensitivity or bedside manners when dealing with customers -- but he deserves considerable credit for acknowledging the issue, for listening (rather than denying, justifying, attacking or defending, as so many people commonly do in such situations), and for genuinely making improvements or changes to correct it. So it's now more likely to be a positive or enjoyable experience when buying from him. I don't work for BG -- he just does exceptionally good work, has some great product designs, and deserves some credit.] For some people, it's worth saving up a bit and buying something like this.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-29-08 at 01:44 PM.

  15. #15
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    I'm considering going the route of a rear rack up front with an IRD Jakar.
    Can anyone comment on the handling when front panniers are mounted high ?
    I prefer having the extra clearance (under the panniers), and having the top platform. Handling was not a major issue for me (after using lowriders for years previously to the top-platform/high-rail designs). It's one of those things (for some of us at least) that do feel a bit different at first, after which one tends to adapt rather quickly, and to the point of its becoming a non-issue.

    ***
    [Something to avoid, though, is a flexy or wobbly rack, especially with a lot of weight on it, especially when the weight is up high, and especially with cheap aluminum.]
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-29-08 at 01:45 PM.

  16. #16
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by iain.dalton View Post
    I know of Surly's Nice Rack, Jandd's (how do you pronounce Jandd anyway?) Extreme, and Old Man Mountain's Sherpa (not counting the Cold Springs because it's out of my price range). Are there any others? I'm going for a platformed rack because it's more useful, not just when touring, but all the time. Also, I'm going to be making my own panniers, and I'd like front panniers that can hold a sleeping bag, tent, and thermarest. I'm not sure if you can make bags big enough that fit a low rider. Also, I'm not too sure about the OMM, because it has such a short platform.

    Or, there's the budget option: the Pletscher 2B or 4B. Can mount on front (or back), has a limit of 55lb. I know people don't usually use it for touring, but pretty much all I'd have on it would be my sleeping bag, tent, and thermarest. I think it would work, but I'd like to know what all y'all think before I do something stupid ;-)
    Jandd is usually pronounced like and with a (standard) 'j' sound in front. The name was given to the company early on by its founder, David Sisson, while he was a still a student in Santa Barbara, Calif. (at UCSB). He gave his girlfriend ('J') first billing: Joyce and David >>>>>>> Jay and Dee >>>>>>> 'J' and 'D' >>>>>>> J-and-D >>>>>>> JandD >>>>>>> Jandd.

    *******
    Bruce Gordon makes excellent front racks with top platforms. I've used one for years; it's extremely well made, and has performed flawlessly. The strength-to-weight ratio and the reliability are exceptional. His racks are unusually light and strong and durable. [In the past Bruce received some complaints about his sensitivity or bedside manners when dealing with customers -- but he deserves considerable credit for acknowledging the issue, for listening (rather than denying, justifying, attacking or defending, as so many people commonly do in such situations), and for genuinely making improvements or changes to correct it. So it's now more likely to be an enjoyable experience buying from him. No, I don't work for BG -- he just does exceptionally good work, has some great product designs, and deserves some credit.] For some people, it is worth saving up a bit and buying something like this.

  17. #17
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
    I'm considering going the route of a rear rack up front with an IRD Jakar.
    Can anyone comment on the handling when front panniers are mounted high ?
    I truly have not noticed any handling issues with this combination.

    On another note, I just saw a picture of the IRD Jakar and I'm not sure that rack will work well up front. I think I briefly discuss what I found to be successful type rear racks to use in the front above or in my earlier links.

  18. #18
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    i am going to go with this company pass & stow in sf for my front touring rack.


  19. #19
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    That seems like a good design, very neat use of materials and the mounting system might not be as tight as some, but it looks really versatile. It will be harder to ship though, that is one disadvantage to porteurs. It would be relatively easy to make them removable flat somehow, but that cuts into the whole idea of their being one piece custom made and bombproof, it would really have to be well made to interlock with bolts and still have that custom feel.

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