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Thread: Front Rack

  1. #1
    Senior Member Aerohip's Avatar
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    Front Rack

    I'm having a tough time deciding what Front rack to go with. I really like the Tubus Tara, but its not available in Canada. There's the Axiom lowrider and the Surly Nice Rack. Surly looks like a heavy rack while the Axiom looks a little flimsy. Any suggestions? Especially from my fellow Canucks?

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    I went with the Tubus Nova.
    I like the idea of stainless due to no paint to scratch and resistant to rust.

    With regards the Surly, tis too heavy for what it is and can carry.
    A combo of Tubus front (any of them) and something like a Velo Orange Pass Hunter rack
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...nter-rack.html
    will both (in combo) weigh less and carry a much higher kg load than the Surly.

    As for Canada, not sure what your import duties etc. are like, but here in Aussie availability can be a challenge for bike parts, not to mention price rorting, so I tend to buy most of my stuff in Germany.
    Buying from the EC (from a non EC country) means no VAT (tax) to pay and here in Aussie, no GST (tax) or duty for bicycles/parts less than a thousand dollars currently.

    I use bike24.net and starbike.com

    Good luck with the purchase decision and finding what you want.

    Spotted a nice LHT here with the type of top rack I was waffling about and with my favorite Gilles Berthoud fenders which I have on my Ogre.
    The photos dont show a low rider so you'll just have to imagine a Tubus Nova added in your photoshop imagination.
    http://s18.photobucket.com/user/e_me...00165.jpg.html
    Last edited by rifraf; 02-08-14 at 02:18 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    .

    When I was looking for a front rack for my last build I was eyeing the Surly Nice Rack, but found some reviews mentioning failures of the rack. I've never seen Surly admit to this and say that they've resolved whatever the issue was so I steered clear of it. I ended up getting a Nitto Big Front Rack. Pricey, but I like having the area on top as well as the sides for my panniers. Besides, it's beautiful and should last forever. Still shiny as brand new after two years of constant use.

    I swear by my Old Man Mountain front rack as well. They discontinued my model (Cold Springs), but all their offerings are solid. Bomb-proof really.
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 02-08-14 at 01:33 AM.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

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    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
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    Salsa Down Under
    I just installed this winter and have not yet used it. Appears to be a sturdy, durable setup. I believe it was designed for the Fargo, I have it on a LHT.
    2014-01-06 02.48.34.jpg
    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."

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    I've not used one of these racks yet..... so maybe consider it simply as a possibility...

    http://www.minoura.jp/english/rack/front/mt-4000sf.html

    I've looked at all the big-name, "quality" rack manufacturers for a good front rack and there are some really nice looking ones available - for a large enough investment.

    However, in my search for a good, steel front rack without breaking my "bike-toy bank", I came across this companies offering and was really intrigued. It looks similar to the Nitto Big Front Rack and the Surly Nice Front Rack which seem quite perfect for what I want. Then saw the asking/street price for the Minoura (~$60) and was completely *shocked*!

    Minoura does state it is designed for bikes with front suspension and mounting to a rigid fork is outside the design intention. However, they also state that the rack can attach to V or Cantilever brake mounts. Bingo!!!! While my humble 1990 era Schwinn High Plains does not have a front suspension, it *does* have cantilever brakes so I believe it will attach nicely.

    Here is a "review" of this rack attached to a rigid fork:

    http://biketourings.com/3/post/2013/...by-rideon.html

    A close look reveals this rack has in it's suspension/mounting design being attached through the hub skewer (which Minoura supplies!). To me, using the skewer keeps my fork eyelets freed up for my fender and greater load-bearing strength than the smaller eyelet bolts. Admittedly, these eyelet bolts would have a pretty high shear-strength - more than enough to accommodate whatever I'd want to carry on the front of my bike, but I like the idea of "bolting on" to the greatest strength point on the fork/wheel/hub sub-structure - the skewer.

    Aside from this rack, I'm pretty close to designing/fabricating a custom rack myself. I'm very comfortable using a torch, welder and most every other tool necessary to making one myself (to include heat-treating) so I'm not too far from sourcing materials. Typically, it's just less expensive to buy an item already configured, but something simple like a rack is entirely different....

    This one by Minoura looks like a nice alternative - especially for the price.
    Last edited by PolarBear007; 02-08-14 at 09:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerohip View Post
    I'm having a tough time deciding what Front rack to go with. I really like the Tubus Tara, but its not available in Canada. There's the Axiom lowrider and the Surly Nice Rack. Surly looks like a heavy rack while the Axiom looks a little flimsy. Any suggestions? Especially from my fellow Canucks?
    I'm surprised no one mentioned the Arkel AC Low Rider. http://www.arkel.ca/ca_e/all-categor...rom_store=ca_f

    Curious that Arkel advertises the Tubus Tara on their US pages but not on Canadian pages

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Why not just invest a little effort and get what you wanted ..

    FWIW, Ortlieb/Tubus USA distributor is just across the border in Seattle area ..

    Some US Retailer will ship it to you .. ask at the touring store (Colorado)

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

    or the Mother country, of Canada, [other than PQ] England via SJScycles..

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/find.asp?...page=1&geoc=US

    Or, you go to German Retailers that ship internationally ..

    a quality steel tube rack like Tubus sells is going to lasta Lifetime.

    I got some Bruce Gordon Made racks, they have been fine. since ~ 1983~ish..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-08-14 at 10:07 AM.

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    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Checking the Minoura website, they also carry a non-suspension lowrider rack. At USD $55 for a made-in-Japan rack, it seems like quite a bargain. It looks like the axle part won't interfere with disc brakes as shown on their MT-4000SF rack images. I like this rack!

  9. #9
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I have an OMM AC Lowrider, now sold by Arkel and a Surly Nice Rack in my closet. I wanted a platform and the Surly was too heavy and realized I never used the lowrider and bought an OMM Sherpa. It's rock solid, light and has a platform. It even extends the fender. I also broke a bolt into the Surly's light mount. This can't happen with the Sherpa since it's just a hole in the platform instead of a threaded hole.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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    I'll just add to my first post an idea.
    Buy once and buy right.
    Get it right the first time and you'll never have to revisit the decision.
    The best racks can be transferred to different bikes/frames as your cycling needs change.
    Do your wallet a favor and do some research on what rack weighs what and then how much they can carry in weight.
    Many racks either weigh to much in themselves or cant sustainable carry a decent touring weight regularly.
    Many racks are sub par.
    The info is out there if you look hard enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerohip View Post
    I'm having a tough time deciding what Front rack to go with. I really like the Tubus Tara, but its not available in Canada. There's the Axiom lowrider and the Surly Nice Rack. Surly looks like a heavy rack while the Axiom looks a little flimsy. Any suggestions? Especially from my fellow Canucks?
    To start what do you need to carry and what bike is it going on?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Aerohip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    To start what do you need to carry and what bike is it going on?
    Surly LHT, and going on a Vancouver to Ushiaia Tour in 2015, I just ordered a Tubus Tara from Wayne at Thetouringstore.com. Great guy...and a great rack!

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    Good choice assuming you really didn't want a front rack with a platform. The Surly Nice is insanely heavy. For anyone looking for a very strong and good looking front rack with a platform, check out the Nitto Big rack sold by Rivendell.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I've used Bruce Gordon's low rider racks, on multiple tours.

    I got a front rack fabricated .. it's fitted on canti-brake studs and the fork crown ..

    It was narrow , and so, later, I added a piece of 1/4" plywood so things stay on better.. quasi Porteur..

    Took a lot of pictures with my photo-gear bag on the ground near the bike , before adding a platform .

    since unstrapping it = having the bag fall off , so I set it down .

    Thus, you might consider a front rack with more width than the nitto-Riv thing.
    they are only thinking of handlebar bag supports with those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerohip View Post
    Surly LHT, and going on a Vancouver to Ushiaia Tour in 2015, I just ordered a Tubus Tara from Wayne at Thetouringstore.com. Great guy...and a great rack!
    The Tara low rider is a great rack. Something to consider is whether your bike has 700c or 26" wheels. Totally my own opinion but I find that with 26" wheels lowriders put the panniers too close to the ground for tight quarter riding near curbs and narrow trails. The 26"wheel LHT can carry front panniers on a top rack just fine but you have to move them far back enough that they'll overlap the brakes which may be a problem for some cantilevers but not for linear pull brakes.

    this rack for 26" LHT



    with the axle mounts removed the rack fits perfectly on the top dropout eyelet with a 1/4" spacers to clear the fork ends. I have it attached to the fork at the cantilever bosses and mid fork eyelet. It's a very solid and light set up.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Smarti , by Tubus moves the load up a ways , so does Mr Gordon's X model , for 26" wheels ..
    it sits back a bit, so as to be easier to swing around the steering axis ..

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerohip View Post
    Surly LHT, and going on a Vancouver to Ushiaia Tour in 2015, I just ordered a Tubus Tara from Wayne at Thetouringstore.com. Great guy...and a great rack!
    I'm glad you decided on a rack - particularly the one that was your preferred, 1st choice (otherwise, anytime something would've happened you'd have had buyers remorse...).

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I've used Bruce Gordon's low rider racks, on multiple tours.

    I got a front rack fabricated .. it's fitted on canti-brake studs and the fork crown ..

    It was narrow , and so, later, I added a piece of 1/4" plywood so things stay on better.. quasi Porteur..

    Took a lot of pictures with my photo-gear bag on the ground near the bike , before adding a platform .

    since unstrapping it = having the bag fall off , so I set it down .

    Thus, you might consider a front rack with more width than the nitto-Riv thing.
    they are only thinking of handlebar bag supports with those.
    Sorry for my cranial density, but would you please elaborate on having a rack with greater width than the Nitto-Riv "Big Front Rack" in particular as regards your statement, "they are only thinking of handlebar bag supports with those"

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    The Tara low rider is a great rack. Something to consider is whether your bike has 700c or 26" wheels. Totally my own opinion but I find that with 26" wheels lowriders put the panniers too close to the ground for tight quarter riding near curbs and narrow trails.
    Is there a general good distance to have from the front, low-rack attachment position of the panniers to the ground? A smarty-pants answer would be to simply measure the dimensions of the pannier, etc., but I'm looking for your own personal method/idea for this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    This is a 700c LHT, Tubus Tara. The panniers seem be at a good height. I've never had a problem that was not my own fault.



    I did scrape my right front pannier on an exceptionally high curb. I was going pretty fast, but it is only cosmetic damage. This was my fault. The bag is still waterproof.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    This is a 700c LHT, Tubus Tara. The panniers seem be at a good height. I've never had a problem that was not my own fault.


    I did scrape my right front pannier on an exceptionally high curb. I was going pretty fast, but it is only cosmetic damage. This was my fault. The bag is still waterproof.

    There is a product called SeamGrip by McNett that would likely repair the scuff and seal any potential leakage. I've used SeamGrip to (obviously) seal the seams in my mountaineering tents, fix holes torn in my g-tex gaitors and bibs and host of other seemingly irreparable damages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear007 View Post
    Is there a general good distance to have from the front, low-rack attachment position of the panniers to the ground? A smarty-pants answer would be to simply measure the dimensions of the pannier, etc., but I'm looking for your own personal method/idea for this.
    The "good distance" depends entirely on the terrain. You can't beat the stability a low rider provides for bikes that can't handle a rear load well or carrying mondo loads but once you're riding through places where you need to squeeze a few inches over I guess a similar height as the rear pannier would make sense.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear007 View Post
    There is a product called SeamGrip by McNett that would likely repair the scuff and seal any potential leakage. I've used SeamGrip to (obviously) seal the seams in my mountaineering tents, fix holes torn in my g-tex gaitors and bibs and host of other seemingly irreparable damages.
    Thanks, I'll give it a try.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    The "good distance" depends entirely on the terrain. You can't beat the stability a low rider provides for bikes that can't handle a rear load well or carrying mondo loads but once you're riding through places where you need to squeeze a few inches over I guess a similar height as the rear pannier would make sense.
    Thanks LeeG - I'm partial to 26" wheels so I suppose a front rack that can accommodate both low and "higher" attachment points may well be a better solution for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    Thanks, I'll give it a try.
    No problem. I also coat the bottom of all my camera bags/packs with SeamGrip as it not only protects against moisture, but provides significant abrasion resistance to the host fabric.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear007 View Post
    Thanks LeeG - I'm partial to 26" wheels so I suppose a front rack that can accommodate both low and "higher" attachment points may well be a better solution for me.
    The OMM low rider racks with a high position look good for 26" wheels but I like the platform for "pile on" utility.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Brevets (ala Paris-Brest & back) are long day+ rides , (90 hour cut off time )

    there the classic kit is a big HB bag sitting on a small front rack

    big enough to keep the bag bottom off the tire.. & your fancy Alloy Honjo Mudguards.

    re 14 ..

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