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Old 04-17-08, 11:32 PM   #1
stevage
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Inexpensive lowrider rack with shelf

Any suggestions for a lowrider front pannier rack with "shelf" over the wheel? LBS's around here have lots of options for rear racks, but extremely few for the front. And somewhat scarily, they don't seem to have much idea how to actually put them on...

Price range would be $50-100.

Vbrakes, mounting points, no suspension, fwiw.

Steve
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Old 04-18-08, 02:49 AM   #2
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There was a Touring thread not so long ago that discussed, IIRC, using a rear rack on the front.

I am not sure about the low-rider with a shelf. The low-rider is designed specifically to place the panniers low and not comparatively higher up like on the rear racks. As a result, there usually is a hoop that connects the sides to stop them from turning into the front wheel. This is in essence the Blackburn low-rider rack design. The Tubus front racks are somewhat different and don't have the hoop.

Maybe this little rack (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....ayphotohosting** designed for MTBs and currently on Australian eBay might be useful. For less than $30, it's an experiment that wouldn't break the bank. Although, you would likely need mid-fork braze-ons, you still have the issue of panniers mounted higher than on a low-rider system, and you would need to watch the weight you loaded on to it.
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Old 04-18-08, 04:09 AM   #3
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On the way into work this morning I saw a guy with a blackburn mtb front platform rack and a low rider at the same time. So you could consider that option.
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Old 04-18-08, 06:13 AM   #4
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Mountain Equipment Co-op's lowrider rack comes with instructions that show how to properly install it on the bike with their shelfed model.

I've only used their lowrider rack, and have had no problems.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:27 AM   #5
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stevage,

You're right, there aren't enough options for front racks with a shelf, especially a low-rider. I've been using the Surly. It's chromoly, so it's on the heavy side, but it's solid as a rock when loaded. For me, I like the shelf because it eliminates the need for a handlebar bag, thus improving the bike's handling somewhat.

Safe journeys,
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Old 04-18-08, 11:54 PM   #6
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Ah, I hadn't realised that the photos of lowrider+shelf I'd seen were probably two separate racks. Well, since I"ve just bought a handlebar bag, I'll probably make do with just a standard lowrider then.

Steve
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Old 04-19-08, 02:47 AM   #7
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Maybe the Jandd Extreme Front Rack?
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Old 04-19-08, 02:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stevage View Post
Ah, I hadn't realised that the photos of lowrider+shelf I'd seen were probably two separate racks. Well, since I"ve just bought a handlebar bag, I'll probably make do with just a standard lowrider then.

Steve
The set-up you now have served me well. I think the main thing to remember is to avoid overloading the handlebar bag with weighty items -- keep it to valuables. Plus, the quick release should be efficient enough for you to just whip the bag off and take it with you when shopping or booking into accommodation.
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Old 04-19-08, 08:34 PM   #9
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Yep. I've got the Topeak tour guide handlebag DX:
http://www.topeak.com/products/detail/34

Still considering swapping it for the smaller version. I'm not crazy about what it does to the handling when fully loaded (I did a test run with 3 cans of baked beans and my slr ) Can't really decide whether it's making the handling more stable or less so: it becomes almost impossible to ride no hands, but when riding fast in straight lines it seems to make the bike want to go straight rather than wobble. I don't know whether that means I'm using more energy or less.

Still, I already love being able to reach maps, phones and keys without having to get off the bike. And having somewhere to tuck an outer layer is great too. So I'll probably end up using it for camera, phone, keys, wallet, jacket, maps, snacks - and try not to go overboard.

I do note that the smaller version has far more pockets though (including a good external one for a compact camera), and an internal divider.

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Old 04-19-08, 10:43 PM   #10
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I have the smaller one. The pockets are actually quite useful the way they are configured if you like having stuff in places that you can quickly put your hand to. For example, the outer side zip pockets have contained items such as small first-aid kit, the "waterproof" cover and pocketknife/stone. The front has housed my reflective bandolier and back-up lights and reflective anklets for randonneuring. The top pocket houses important documents (passport, wallet, brevet card). And the inside has space for cameras and other stuff as you sugget. I don't know about the bigger bag, but the small one has a stout carry handle, and I've never used the shoulder strap it came with.

The one significant issue I have with Topeak and Tioga and other various handlebar bags I've used is the plastic formers inside are not overly strong so they tend to sag around the mount if the bag is overloaded with weighty gear. Perhaps it's a design element suggesting that when the bag sags, it's overloaded and may affect your bike's handling.
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Old 04-20-08, 02:02 AM   #11
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The odd thing I notice about this one (possibly true for the smaller one too) is there are two internal zips that basically let you get into the lining - but I can't see what you would do in there? I think with an allen key you could take out the metal supports that give the bag shape, but...why? And there's nothing you could really wash.

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Old 04-20-08, 02:13 AM   #12
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Topeak offer replacement fittings for the handlebar mount, so it can provide access to the interior stiffener. Probably also, it's regarded as an additional hiding spot for valuable documents. And... who knows?

I was gateful for the opening, though, when inserting additional stiffeners (thin alloy bar bent to the required shape) to overcome the sagging issues I mentioned before.
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Old 04-20-08, 01:43 PM   #13
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lets get back to alternatives to the jandd extreme! I want a front platform rack, but the jandd is apparently out of stock everywhere. what else is out there?
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Old 04-20-08, 04:45 PM   #14
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lets get back to alternatives to the jandd extreme! I want a front platform rack, but the jandd is apparently out of stock everywhere. what else is out there?
Hi Fueled by Boh,

The Lhasa front platform rack by IRD is a heavy duty aluminum rack very similar to Jandd. There really aren't very many options. I wish Tubus made a front rack with a top platform, but alas, they don't.

Safe journeys,
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Old 04-21-08, 12:38 AM   #15
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Oops, just one last thing on the handlebar bag - after having used it a few times with varying amounts of weight, I think I will take it back after all. Even a small amount of weight (today I had 1kg plus the 1kg weight of the bag itself) makes the whole bike feel like it's in "touring mode" - slow, you don't want to hop up kerbs etc. And I don't like the way it bobs up and down with every vibration.

I think I'll swap it for a rack bag, and get something much smaller to solve the "keys, wallet, phone" problem. Preferably mounted to the frame rather than the fork...

Steve
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