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Old 03-10-12, 04:38 PM   #1
Tandem Tom
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Front Rack and "trunk bag"?

Has anyone ever set up their bike to have a trunk bag on the fron track instead of using a handlebar bag? My thought is that this would get the weight down lower but still provide a convenient bag.
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Old 03-10-12, 05:52 PM   #2
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I have done it with a Nitto Big Front Rack and a trunk bag. Although it is not as readily reachable as a handlebar bag, I prefer it. Like you said, it keeps the weight lower, and it also frees up handlebar space.
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Old 03-10-12, 06:57 PM   #3
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TandemTom: Will you ever be using front side bags? I'm also considering doing the same for a new build, but having a difficult time deciding on a rack. If it's only the trunk bag you'll ever be using, a Nitto M12/M18 or V.O.'s Pass Hunter racks should work fine for this purpose. You would need to buy later a low-rider rack if you ever want to mount front side bags. The Nitto Big Front rack from Rivendell (just like Surly's Front Rack) looks really nice and will give you both top and side solutions, but at a much higher cost bracket. I've also looked at Bruce Gordon's "Mountain Bike Rack" which looks nice for about the same cost, but looks like it won't allow one to mount both a top and side bags at the same time... I guess it depends on the design of the side bags. I think the Nittos look really classy made of stainless steel.

At any rate, I would also like to hear about more rack solutions others here may have. In my case, I think I will want to use front side bags in the future, so I'm being inclined to getting a Nitto M12/VO Pass Hunter now and buy a Tubus low-rider rack (love the look of the Nova!) later, if ever needed.

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Old 03-10-12, 07:55 PM   #4
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I tended to get a shimmy with even a small handlebar bag so I went the trunk route and it helped. I got a rack slide and corresponding bag part from Topeak and made some mods to my Jandd rack and REI trunk bag so now I can keep my more valuable things like wallet, phone, and camera in the bag and just slide if off when I get to a store, etc.
You can see the Topeak QR piece here. I use a bungee over the clip to keep it on.


Here is the slide piece mounted to the rack.


If fits high enough to get at things when I'm riding. I chose this bag because it looks more aerodynamic even though it probably doesn't really matter.
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Old 03-11-12, 01:16 AM   #5
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I just modified my Topeak Tour Guide DX to use a Velo Orange Decaleur and rest on a JandD Extreme front rack. I haven't done any real touring with this arrangement yet so I can't say how well it works.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:09 AM   #6
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Where did you get the slider rack to put on your REI trunk bag? I have the same bag and panniers and also have a Topeak rack on one of my bikes and have been trying to figure out how to make the REI trunk bag adaptable to slide in like a Topeak bag. Went on their site and can't find anything listed to make the conversion.
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Old 03-11-12, 08:56 AM   #7
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An old Cannondale mounted to the front rack that came standard with the bike ... '83 Lotus Eclair ...
you can put quite a bit of stuff in it, it never bounces around, and it does free up your handlebar space ...

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Old 03-11-12, 08:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly666 View Post
Where did you get the slider rack to put on your REI trunk bag? I have the same bag and panniers and also have a Topeak rack on one of my bikes and have been trying to figure out how to make the REI trunk bag adaptable to slide in like a Topeak bag. Went on their site and can't find anything listed to make the conversion.
Currly666
I submitted a ticket through Todson Support which is the support site for Topeak. Unfortunately my ticket history has been wiped so I can't find the part number for you. Ask for just the bag portion of their MTX quick release system including the inside plates. It isn't a standard item they list but someone should get back to you on the ticket and by phone if you leave a number and you can explain what you want. I think it cost me around $12 or $15 plus shipping.

It is kind of a tight fit in the REI bag where the yellow lock goes but the bag will spread to accommodate it. I think I trimmed the upturned part of the inside piece (it is an L shape) from each side so it is about the width of the external lock piece. The only holes you need to make are for the screws that go between the inside plates and the base and lock. Really not that bad of a job. I use the padded dividers to cover the hard plastic inside piece to protect stuff in the bag and keep the rattling down. I really like that REI bag and it works great on any Topeak rack I have.

Are you happy with the REI panniers? Post a pic if you can.
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Old 03-11-12, 10:41 PM   #9
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Yeah - OMM have several models of front racks that'll let you do that. I have some OMM Cold Springs for loaded touring myself. But around town or light touring a bar bag and hardwear is lighter than a front rack and bag.
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Old 03-12-12, 09:48 AM   #10
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Badger_Bike, thanks for your reply, was able to figure out a way to use the REI bag with slide which is good because of it being smaller and lighter than Topeak with panniers. Have pics of both setups so I can go either way now 2 of my bikes. Will keep your info in case my fix doesn't work, thanks again for your reply. I do like the REI panniers a lot, and the way they attach and release is excellent.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg REI bag.jpg (94.0 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg REI bag and panniers.jpg (94.6 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Topeak bag.jpg (93.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Topeak panniers.jpg (91.9 KB, 14 views)

Last edited by curly666; 03-12-12 at 10:00 AM.
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