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Old 02-28-17, 10:16 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Bikes: Downtube 8H, Surly Troll

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I also like having an open platform on the rack for random crap.
I also started with four, large panniers and the rear rack loaded up. With some weeding and replacing gear with stuff that packed better, I got down to two, large panniers. I'd carry them up front with random items on the back: groceries, firewood, drying clothes, and, depending on the trip, a cooler.

I do agree that two racks give you a lot more options on how you carry your gear. But I also agree that an "extra" rack means extra weight and invites extra gear. I'm now using a hybrid bikepacking set-up, and, looking at your load, I wonder if that might work for you. I carry my tent on the handlebars. Might not work with drop bars, and, of course, you have another bag up there. But that bag isn't huge. If you could relocate that stuff, maybe even go back to the bigger pannniers, and put that stuff from the rear platform on the handlebars, you could free up the top of the rear platform and eliminate the front rack.
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