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  1. #1
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    I've caught the touring bug - ? re mouting system for lowrider rack

    Hello,

    I've got the touring bug and would like to add a lowrider front rack. I am about 230 pounds and already use a Carradice saddlebag (18 liter Nelson LF) for commuting. I've just received a set of small-ish matching panniers (32 liters combined capacity). Since I do not want to put any more weight on the back or add a rear rack the lowrider front rack seems like a good solution for distributing the weight. Also I might have some heel clearance problems if the panniers were mounted in the rear as my bike does not have a super-long touring wheelbase.

    Trouble is, I've got a carbon fork so am in the market for a (chromoly) steel touring fork replacement. That in itself is an issue b/c my headset is 1" threadless and it is very hard to find one of those with mid-fork rack attachments and without cantilever brake posts. This one would be perfect but costs an extra $50 to have shipped from UK. I know that cantilever brakes are stronger but do not want to switch to those from my caliper brakes which are just fine. If anything I will put on some of those salmon brake pads for extra stopping power under load

    So, that is my background story (any comments on that are welcome) and my question is with regard to this:

    I am resigned to finding a regular steel fork and hope to be able to attach a lowrider rack some how. I've seen systems such as #4 on this page . This is the blackburn lowrider rack that I want -- what specifically will I need to be able to mount the rack? Would this mounting system be perfectly safe and stable? Is it worth the extra $50 to have the proper touring fork shipped and just go with that?

    Thank you very much for any input.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yes !, Buy a steel fork, but you linked to a rack requiring a thru boss brazed into the fork.

    this is the type you need:
    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/blackburn...d107/?src=bskt

    the Tubus mount you also linked to is nicer than what is used there..
    I see lots of people who don't have a clue,
    or don't read the direction on the UBolt hardware package that comes with those.

    A custom made floating rubber-lined mount + one of Bruce Gordon's
    single piece Low riders , may work because the rack has integrity on its own.

    and any rigid clamping to the middle of a carbon fork is dangerous..

    PS: note SJS is not that far from London, if you wait, till you are across the pond..

    FW Evans is a big shop, one is In London.

    you may get VAT rebated when back in the US, if you get the right signed
    and stamped upon exit, paperwork
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-08-11 at 10:03 AM.

  3. #3
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    I use those Tubus clamps you linked to and they are a very well engineered solution; however I strongly recommend that you use a one piece front rack, with an over-the-wheel rod. This adds another bracing component to the system and reduces the rotational force the clamps will be subjected to. I would not be comfortable with using the clamps with the rack you chose. That rack also does not have a mechanism for adjusting levelness, like the one below does.

    Old Man Mountain AC Lowrider:
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  4. #4
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    @Yan
    Thank you I had not thought of the advantages of a one-piece system. I had initially been attracted to the minimalist design of the two-piece blackburn lowrider rack I linked too. Now that the over-the-wheel rod looks like a necessity, I am also looking at racks that have a platform over the wheel, as well as the lowrider racks. This would increase the utility and carrying capacity (bulky items) of the bike. I've seen the Nitto Big Rack, but that is probably more than I need, and definitely beyond my budget. Can you suggest any other similar, more economical choices?

    @fietsbob
    Yes I can't wait to visit Evans, and good suggestion re SJS, however it cannot wait as I do intend to hit the ground running (*rolling), literally. After shipping the non-essential items, I intend to bring all that I can carry in bicycle luggage on the airplane, as well as my bike in a cardboard box and literally ride out of Heathrow airport!

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have a set of BG racks I got in the mid 80s .. though expensive initially
    at present prices .. they have worked flawlessly for 26 years..
    http://www.bgcycles.com/racks.html

  6. #6
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    Tubus makes a couple of very elegant looking lowrider racks with over the wheel rods. They are not cheap though. Blackburn makes a much cheaper one that a lot of people use, but it has a plate at the top rod that interferes with some locking type pannier hooks. Do research before you buy.
    Last edited by Yan; 07-08-11 at 06:27 PM.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  7. #7
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    You can also bind it to the carbon fork, with more carbon, or virtually any twine that will allow epoxy to soak in. This is actually stronger than alternatives. But for simplicity sake the carbon fork you currently have would need to have "fender mounts" on it at axle height, or you would have to source a skewer mount rack, which could end up being as much as a fork. If it has zero mounts, that would be another mater. If you want more info, ask more questions here, or look up threads on making bamboo bikes, you will note that the lugs are bound with hemp an epoxy, or carbon. Carbon tow can be sourced for a few bucks on the bay. This kind of thing can be permanent of done over a release for later removal.

    You also have a bunch of options on the fork thing. Find a 1 inch threaded fork, they are still out there, and someone may be able to dig it out for you. I tried my favorite shops, but no luck. The Bay had one but not really price competitive. You can also go for a non-threaded fork, just switch you headset and other stuff, better system for this app anyway. Or as others have suggested you could p-clamp any old metal threaded fork, they are still out there. Or you could even get the mounts brazed to one, they only cost about 30 buck for the cheaper forks and a few cents for the mounts, you will wreak the paint but you can't really see the patch under the bags anyway.

  8. #8
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    Thank you everyone, here is a picture of my setup and a few notes

    Belated thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice, I've finally gotten my touring fork, IRD Lhasa Front rack, and Carradice bags up and running on my bike. Here's how it looks:

    IMG-20110807-00067.jpg

    I will probably want to change my front wheel to something sturdier still. As you can see the geometry is quite compact and it is not a proper touring bike, but it is the best I have and will hopefully work for a few trips in the future. As of now I use it every day for commuting, and it worked just fine for hauling a load of groceries (of course this was the first thing I did after mounting the bags )

    A couple of notes:

    * I can't say enough about changing from carbon fork to steel. The ride is so smooth now and it just eats up any bumps in the road

    * The IRD Lhasa Front Rack is great, it mounts sturdily to the fork, though I had to drill extra holes in it so that I still had room for my front brake. It has an appealing matte finish and is just solid all around, yet still relatively lightweight aluminum

    * The touring fork also required getting creative. This particular 1" threadless touring fork from SJS cycles was the only one that I could find. When it arrived, I could not get my existing crown race to fit on it. Turns out, it was too small to fit, the fork required a 26.4 rather than 27mm crown race. Maybe I've got that backward, in any case I had to pay a bike shop $35 to shave down the area where the crown race sits

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