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  1. #1
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    Attaching a rear rack on a front suspension fork...

    Hi all, well this will be the very first time I contribute something to the forum instead of just asking questions ;) hope it will be of any use...

    I read a few weeks ago a thread called Tips and Tricks, I bet most of you know it: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...d-Tricks/page2 and someone (named gnz) wrote there about using a rear wheel quick release bolt in the front tire to attach a rack on a suspension fork.... well to make the story short, the Axiom aluminium low-rider I was using broke in a short preparation tour, and I was rackless (haha) until I remembered the thread above and I decided to give it a try... You can see the result in the picture... see that I was forced to cut the top of the rack so it won't interfere with the brakes...

    This is a rear rack from Trek - not the strongest - and I'm not sure it will last for a really long time, but I just need it to last my two and a half months tour, and besides, I guess the method is what's important here and I wanted to share it with other riders.... (I guess I can always change the rack for a better one with the same attachment system- well, at least I hope so :)

    I'd be happy to hear any comments about it and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

    Please note that the guy who wrote the original post wrote:

    " ***DISCLAIMER:***
    This setup has worked for me for over 5000km with at least 2000km of them being of loaded touring. It involves messing with your front wheel setup so it is probably not a very good idea. Im not a mechanic but I think I have an idea of what the extra load is doing to the skewer and decided to take the risk. If you decide to implement it it will be your sole responsibility.
    "
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    i've read here about a problem with disc brakes, that if mounted in the wrong location on
    the fork, can cause the axle to pop out of the dropouts. apparently not a common problem,
    and maybe the poor dude(s) just didn't tighten their skewer. a moderate load on the
    skewer shouldn't cause a problem, but i wonder how the downward force would affect
    the skewer/dropout on a bumpy road. would it be possible, careening down a rough
    mountain pass, to collect a darwin award?

  3. #3
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    MoyZ, I'd rather have a small U-bolt for the forward attaching point, just me. When I mocked up a Blackburn rear rack on my mountain bike's suspension fork I didn't like how far forward of the axle the weight would be carried, any issues for you?

    Brad

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    Maybe I should have said before that I've only tested it in a short ride... I have yet to test it on a longer loaded tour...
    I guess what saddlesores said could be a good story for a Darwin award, but I definitely don't want to find it out...;) The thing is that I had a lot of problems with the low-rider in the short time I used it, I guess it's not the best option for the kind of roads I rode, especially for the sake of my panniers but not only... It was mounted also using the skewer and the front wheel wasn't exactly in the middle of the fork, not so healthy indeed... I do am concerned about the load on the skewer, so I guess I'm gonna try to put another u-bolt in the lower part to try to take at least part of the weight off the skewer, do you think it'll work?
    And Brad unfortunately I can't take the rack closer to the axle (I would definitely like to) because I'm limited by the brakes.. I'll just try to use it the way it is and we'll see... did you have any serious issues with the weight being far forward of the axle?

  5. #5
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    In your disclaimer you said that you used this for over 2k of loaded touring but then said you have only used it on a short ride. I would be concerned of the rack failing at the attachment point on the fork. The steel or hose clamp used may break causing serious injury as it is not intended for securing a load to a bike. Better safe then sorry.

    I recently had a front rack fail (it was earlier recalled unknown to me) as I was riding 15mph on a flat surface. I suffered a separated shoulder, bruised ribs and multiple bruises and road rash, I am still hurting. The bikes fork was bent back quite severely causing me to get a new fork.

    If I were you I would just spend the $140 on an Old Man Mountain Sherpa and avoid the headache of a possible failure and premature end to your trip. http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...rontRacks.html
    Last edited by iforgotmename; 10-23-12 at 07:48 AM.

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    If you really want to mount a rack on a suspension fork, you can get racks specifically designed for them, like the Tubus Swing http://www.tubus.com/product.php?xn=65 Not cheap, but will work out of the box, and most likely be a lot safer than attempting to fit a rack on the wrong end of the bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iforgotmename View Post
    In your disclaimer you said that you used this for over 2k of loaded touring...l
    Read the sentence before the disclaimer again.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Read the sentence before the disclaimer again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    or.......you can get a cheap, inexpensive, not-much-money rack designed to fit a suspension fork.

    like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-Cycling...item3ccb05f2d8

    mounts on the brake studs and the fork bridge.
    rated capacity is 20kg

    oh, yeah. did i mention it be cheap.....under ten bucks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    or.......you can get a cheap, inexpensive, not-much-money rack designed to fit a suspension fork.

    like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-Cycling...item3ccb05f2d8

    mounts on the brake studs and the fork bridge.
    rated capacity is 20kg

    oh, yeah. did i mention it be cheap.....under ten bucks.
    I picked one of those up from nashbar a few years ago. I found it to be a bit small and definitely not suitable for panniers. My OMM Sherpa is a great stable rack that doesn't way a ton... I went through other racks and $$$ before finding what is pretty much a perfect rack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    or.......you can get a cheap, inexpensive, not-much-money rack designed to fit a suspension fork.

    like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-Cycling...item3ccb05f2d8

    mounts on the brake studs and the fork bridge.
    rated capacity is 20kg

    oh, yeah. did i mention it be cheap.....under ten bucks.
    It does look small for panniers, also it's only for 10 kg, according to the specifications

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by iforgotmename View Post
    In your disclaimer you said that you used this for over 2k of loaded touring but then said you have only used it on a short ride. I would be concerned of the rack failing at the attachment point on the fork. The steel or hose clamp used may break causing serious injury as it is not intended for securing a load to a bike. Better safe then sorry.

    I recently had a front rack fail (it was earlier recalled unknown to me) as I was riding 15mph on a flat surface. I suffered a separated shoulder, bruised ribs and multiple bruises and road rash, I am still hurting. The bikes fork was bent back quite severely causing me to get a new fork.

    If I were you I would just spend the $140 on an Old Man Mountain Sherpa and avoid the headache of a possible failure and premature end to your trip. http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...rontRacks.html
    Sorry to hear about your injury... I'm using the u-bolt from the axiom low-rider plus rack extenders (4 of them - two in each side) so everything- except for the hose clamp I put to close the two extenders- is intended for attaching a rack (maybe I'll switch the hose-clamp to a screw and a bolt later...)
    Last edited by MoyZ; 10-23-12 at 04:41 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    i've read here about a problem with disc brakes, that if mounted in the wrong location on
    the fork, can cause the axle to pop out of the dropouts. apparently not a common problem,
    and maybe the poor dude(s) just didn't tighten their skewer. a moderate load on the
    skewer shouldn't cause a problem, but i wonder how the downward force would affect
    the skewer/dropout on a bumpy road. would it be possible, careening down a rough
    mountain pass, to collect a darwin award?
    Another thing is not yet clear to me is what makes the quick release bolt attachment system of say the OMM Sherpa (or any other top brand front rack) safer than the one I used? and why is mine in your opinion more likely to fail ?

    If I'd be in the position of getting a new top brand expedition rack like OMM or tubus I'd do it, but unfortunately it doesn't seem like that's an option right now, especially since I'm not going for a trip round the globe, so I guess I'm gonna give at least a try to what I just brewed... of course I'm gonna keep my mind and eyes wide open to see if it really works...
    At least that's what I think right now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoyZ View Post
    ...
    And Brad unfortunately I can't take the rack closer to the axle (I would definitely like to) because I'm limited by the brakes.. I'll just try to use it the way it is and we'll see... did you have any serious issues with the weight being far forward of the axle?
    I dismissed the idea before actually mounting the rack. I don't have that rack anymore to tell for sure, but it seems that almost 2/3s of the rack was in front of the axle and I was worried about the handling with weight mounted. Maybe just a case of a different fork and rack?

    Brad

  15. #15
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoyZ View Post
    Another thing is not yet clear to me is what makes the quick release bolt attachment system of say the OMM Sherpa (or any other top brand front rack) safer than the one I used? and why is mine in your opinion more likely to fail ?
    i'm not in the position to say it's safer or not, but then i don't have a team of liability
    lawyers on retainer. not having a sherpa in front of me, can't say what the difference
    is. maybe they have some kind of posi-traction lock, or lawyer tabs or something.

    i'm just saying your setup looks questionable. you might get through this tour just fine.
    or not. i wouldn't attach a rack that way, wouldn't advise anyone else to do it either.

    i'd like to say i was using the "king's metric" and miscalculated the weight limit. nope,
    i didn't read that ebay ad carefully. i just bought one of these on taobao (chinese ebay)
    for $4, and the load limit in their ad was 20kg. i won't be carrying panniers on the front.
    will be riding the hot, dusty roads i cambodia soon, will need to carry an extra gallon or
    so of water. maybe zip-tie a spare tire on as well.

    as for you, see this post for an alternate solution:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...touring-solved!
    Last edited by saddlesores; 10-23-12 at 07:08 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post

    as for you, see this post for an alternate solution:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...touring-solved!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    i'm not in the position to say it's safer or not, but then i don't have a team of liability
    lawyers on retainer. not having a sherpa in front of me, can't say what the difference
    is. maybe they have some kind of posi-traction lock, or lawyer tabs or something.

    i'm just saying your setup looks questionable. you might get through this tour just fine.
    or not. i wouldn't attach a rack that way, wouldn't advise anyone else to do it either.
    What do you think of this, could the over-sized mounting kit shown in the website be a proper solution for keeping the weight off the skewer?

    http://www.thetouringstore.com/TUBUS...ONS%20PAGE.htm

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The factory solution is drill and tap holes in the lower casting,
    and mount the low rider rack there.. [my Koga WTR did that]

    Tubus has a better way, the rack is attached to the upper part of the fork
    to fork crown and a brace up above to the headset-stem spacer stack..
    Swing model .. http://www.tubus.com/product.php?xn=65


    suspension kept less weighted with the luggage, not hanging on it.

    ... that is if you are not wedded to the Ghetto kludge/jury-rig look..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-24-12 at 11:11 AM.

  19. #19
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    I don't like how far forward such a set-up places the pannier weight. An under handlebar bag in conjunction with a mini front rack and top of bar bag could carry substantial gear located on the steering axis while eliminating a few lbs of racks and panniers.

    https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...3&ProductID=25

    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FMBHP
    Last edited by LeeG; 10-24-12 at 12:10 PM.

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