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Old 02-25-08, 03:12 PM   #1
SweetLou
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Performance Front Rack

Anyone have any experience with the Transit Front Rack? I'm looking for a new front rack. I was thinking about getting the Jandd Extreme, but then I saw these for $15. They say they can hold up to 40 lbs. This rack will supplement my rear rack for when I go grocery shopping. I'm not sure about taking it touring.
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Old 02-25-08, 04:31 PM   #2
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Anyone have any experience with the Transit Front Rack? I'm looking for a new front rack. I was thinking about getting the Jandd Extreme, but then I saw these for $15. They say they can hold up to 40 lbs. This rack will supplement my rear rack for when I go grocery shopping. I'm not sure about taking it touring.
If you're going to take it touring for anythign longer than a weekend credit card tour, spend some real money and get a rack you can give to your grandchildren. (I have a Tubus Tara, and love it.)

For grocery shopping, something like this would be just fine.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
Anyone have any experience with the Transit Front Rack? I'm looking for a new front rack. I was thinking about getting the Jandd Extreme, but then I saw these for $15. They say they can hold up to 40 lbs. This rack will supplement my rear rack for when I go grocery shopping. I'm not sure about taking it touring.
One of us used this rack the other two used the Nashbar rack that is similar on our 73 day tour this past summer. They are both knock offs of the classic Blackburn Lowrider which is no longer in production. The Transit is the nicer of the two being a bit lighter and sturdier due to tubular construction, but both are light and sturdy. We did the transamerica fully loaded this past summer (4244 miles) and I am sure that I could use that rack to do the TA again every year for the rest of my life.

I see no need to spend more and would buy the same rack again if I needed another rack.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:56 PM   #4
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The Performance rack is a knock-off of the venerable Blackburn low-rider. Performance, Nashbar, other places all sell this model. I have the original Blackburn, a Nashbar knock-off, and a no-name brand, and except for the badge, there's no noticeable difference in construction or quality.

My wife and i have toured thousands of miles with these racks. They work, and work well. Not as fancy or pricey as newer designs, but i'd trust them for grocery runs or long tours. There are good reasons to go for top-tier brands, but in this case the low-rider rack wins for value, in my mind.

Pay attention to the mounting, use adequate bolts -- like anything else, they're as good as the effort you put into it. Search this forum for previous comments about these racks...

-- Mark
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Old 02-25-08, 07:10 PM   #5
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Hmm, I did a search from Google about these but I didn't see anything for the front rack.

Neilfein, Since you believe the Transit is not up to snuff, could you explain please? I mean are the welds not as good, the material used not as good, etc.
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Old 02-26-08, 08:03 AM   #6
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Neilfein, Since you believe the Transit is not up to snuff, could you explain please? I mean are the welds not as good, the material used not as good, etc.
I too would be curious what Neilfein has to say on this and whether he has actually used one or has some first or second hand knowledge of problems with one.

I suspect that some folks shy away because the price is low and they (incorrectly IMO) presume that means low quality.

The welds look great and construction is top notch IMO.

Some would prefer steel construction, the most common reason being given is the ability to repair it anywhere there is a brazing torch or welder. If I ever manage to break one of these lowrider clones, I can cobble it together using whatever wood metal or plastic is available along with tyraps, baling wire, hose clamps or whatever for long enough to get a replacement I figure that I am about as likely to be struck by lightning so it isn't something that keeps me up at night.

I think that they may also be a bit more fiddly to get installed properly. The proper amount of spacer needs to be put between the mid-fork braze-on and the rack on my bike.

The Tubus Tara has a longer cleaner area on the top where the pannier hooks go so there could possibly be a bit less likelihood of an oddball pannier not fitting correctly than with the Blackburn clone, but that is unlikely to be a problem.

Lots of long distance tourists have used these racks and I have heard of only one of these racks being broken, but that was in a collision with a car.
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Old 02-26-08, 08:28 AM   #7
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I have the Nashbar version that is 15 years old ( I think I paid $8 on sale in 1993) They have been used for both pavement and off-road touring with full panniers. No problems ever.

Tubus is nice but 4 times the cost for 1/2 as much material
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Old 02-26-08, 04:03 PM   #8
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I have the Transit front rack and have had no problems on week long rides. I have the old style Transit front panniers. Don't know how well other panniers will fit.
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Old 02-26-08, 04:51 PM   #9
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I too would be curious what Neilfein has to say on this and whether he has actually used one or has some first or second hand knowledge of problems with one.

I suspect that some folks shy away because the price is low and they (incorrectly IMO) presume that means low quality.
I never meant to imply that I have experience with it, I just love my tubus racks. expensive, but worth every penny.
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Old 02-26-08, 05:30 PM   #10
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I never meant to imply that I have experience with it, I just love my tubus racks. expensive, but worth every penny.
I would agree that the Tara is very elegant, but I don't see it as really being functionally all that much better. Weights are close. Both are tough and will last for many long tours. Not knocking the Tara, but If price is a factor and since I am a cheapskate, I'll take the Blackburn clones every time. Different strokes...
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Old 02-26-08, 05:48 PM   #11
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I have the Nashbar clone (two of them) and have had no problems with their construction. I don't like low-riders in general, but those have worked well. I can think of one problem with them, however. If your pannier uses the older-style hook attachment system it will be ok, but if your pannier uses an attachment system that goes completely around the rack rail like Ortlieb, then it will not work correctly on this low-rider because the top rail has a flat backing which you can see in the picture. If you have panniers with the completely around the rail system, find a different low-rider.
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Old 02-26-08, 06:33 PM   #12
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I have had them on my bike for couple of months now and they seem to be holding up. I may update you after our tour in couple weeks, but they seem like they will be fine.
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