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Front rack for panniers & rando bag....

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Front rack for panniers & rando bag....

Old 09-22-22, 05:07 PM
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ehcoplex
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Front rack for panniers & rando bag....

I'm looking for a front rack for my TH-8 tandem that will support a handlebar/rando bag and low(-ish..?) panniers. Not likely to carry a lot of weight, more day trips, maybe an overnight. The TH-8 has rack eyelets on the drop-outs, but the fork crown is a little unusual- no hole for center/side-pull brakes, but does have tabs that the fenders, etc mount to. I'm comfortable with fab'ing something to attach to the fork tab. Also has cantilever brakes, so that's a possible additional mounting point, though the spacing seems narrower than more modern bikes. And there's always the p-clamp approach, though I'd like to avoid that if I can. Anyway, any suggestions for something that would look OK on a vintage Peugeot tandem (& must be available in silver!)?
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Old 09-22-22, 06:54 PM
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on the topic..... anyone have experience with Pelago racks? Looks like their 'small commuter' front rack with their 'pannier supports' might fit the bill....
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Old 09-22-22, 06:58 PM
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I think a Velo Orange Constructeur rack could be combined with a set of Blackburn lowriders. You wouldn't need the "hoop" if you attached the p clips to the VO struts. If your luck the fork mounts will work instead of the U bolt.



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Old 09-22-22, 07:01 PM
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Sounds like a V-O "Constructeur" rack might be right up your alley. It will definitely look right, unless you look too close (TIG welding wasn't the done thing BITD)
They're tubukar stainless steel, plenty strong, not horribly heavy. Not cheap but a good value for a handmade tubular steel rack. Oops not low-rider though, is that a requirement?

With the V-O you'd need to customize the diving board to fit your crown tab, but as you said, that's pretty do-able. They make a matching rear rack too, if matchy-matchy appeals to you.

The Nitto Campee is low-rider and godlike quality, strength etc. but twice as expensive. Low-riders are removable when not in use.

Nitto's front attaches to canti bosses. They say 26" wheel, but I'm 75% sure you can make it work on 700c. I did so on another, heavier expedition-style Nitto F25 front that they said was 26". Fit was near perfect on the 700c touring bike it went on. Tough to confirm this without buying though, so make sure of the seller's return policy. Or someone here might know for sure if it works.

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Old 09-22-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
on the topic..... anyone have experience with Pelago racks? Looks like their 'small commuter' front rack with their 'pannier supports' might fit the bill....
Being a custom snob, bolted-together construction doesn't seem as cool or trick compared to tubes mitered and welded (VO) or fillet brazed (Nitto). But assuming the bolts don't loosen, they'll probably work just fine.

That's a pretty expensive system though, rack plus pannier attachments sold separately.

That top platoform is also rather large for what I'd call a handlebar bag. If the bag covers the platform then it's more of a "rack trunk", and if it doesn't then the rack looks, I dunno, not bad exactly, just not optimized. No problem with it functionally though.
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Old 09-22-22, 08:49 PM
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Just today I received the Pelago medium sized front rack. I'm adequately impressed by it compared with a couple of other things I've tried. The construction is clever and solid. The fit is exceptionally adjustable but you need to be a little smart to figure out their intentions of how to take full advantage of the adjustability. The bolts are appropriate to where they're used, and the welds are large and solid, not like the Blackburn rack I got that came with one of the small spot welds already broken.

I think they imply that you can hang panniers from the crossbar on the supports, but don't provide the essential measurement: the outer measurement of the width of the two pannier hooks cannot be more than five inches, which isn't enough for my small panniers. If they had extended the rods past the vertical bar on one side or the other, or both, it would have worked pretty well, but there'd be no room to open the panniers on my wider platform version. As it is, no low riding. If you have bags with sliding hooks it might still work if you can get them close together enough. So most people will be stuck hanging panniers on the top platform. If I wanted to do that with my medium platform size the bags would tilt inward at the bottom and that seems like it would actually work fine, though look a bit weird. On the normal width rack it would look normal, though, if high.

I bought mine to carry boxes around town, and for that it will be great.

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Old 09-22-22, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
...

The Nitto Campee is low-rider and godlike quality, strength etc. but twice as expensive. Low-riders are removable when not in use.

Nitto's front attaches to canti bosses. They say 26" wheel, but I'm 75% sure you can make it work on 700c. I did so on another, heavier expedition-style Nitto F25 front that they said was 26". Fit was near perfect on the 700c touring bike it went on. Tough to confirm this without buying though, so make sure of the seller's return policy. Or someone here might know for sure if it works.

Mark B
It really depends on the tire and fender setup. Ben's says the "Mounting center to top measurement" is 347.5mm. I seem to recall that really being to the top, not to the little stud on the bottom. I have the 26" version of my Koga-Miyata tourer, with 700x32s and tighter than ideal fender clearance. However, the provided struts to the cantilever bosses were too short, I had to use the VO ones

For fun, I tried the 26" Campee rack on my rando with 700x35s and proper fender clearance. It was a no-go, not tall enough.

Said tourer with 26" Campee rack.
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Old 09-22-22, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
Just today I received the Pelago medium sized front rack. I'm adequately impressed by it compared with a couple of other things I've tried.

I think they imply that you can hang panniers from the crossbar on the supports, but don't provide the essential measurement.
Well, good to see at least one hands-on report. I was thinking with the optional pannier support it could work. It looks like the option replaces the basic front rack's legs/supports.
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Old 09-22-22, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fliplap View Post
It really depends on the tire and fender setup. Ben's says the "Mounting center to top measurement" is 347.5mm. I seem to recall that really being to the top, not to the little stud on the bottom. I have the 26" version of my Koga-Miyata tourer, with 700x32s and tighter than ideal fender clearance. However, the provided struts to the cantilever bosses were too short, I had to use the VO ones

For fun, I tried the 26" Campee rack on my rando with 700x35s and proper fender clearance. It was a no-go, not tall enough.
Great, just what I was hoping for, actual experience from someone who's tried it. Put all this armchair speculation to rest.

Question for ya, where does your lower rack hole attach? To the fender eyelet in back of the axle like on a normal dropout, or to the top of the dropout, like some touring bikes allow?
If you're bolting to the rearward eyelet, then the OP is going to get a bit more height than that because his dropouts do have the second set of eyelets on top.

Mark B
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Old 09-23-22, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I think a Velo Orange Constructeur rack could be combined with a set of Blackburn lowriders. You wouldn't need the "hoop" if you attached the p clips to the VO struts. If your luck the fork mounts will work instead of the U bolt.



I am looking for those Blackburn low riders..... i don't think that model is made any more.
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Old 09-23-22, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood View Post
I am looking for those Blackburn low riders..... i don't think that model is made any more.
There are a million used ones floating around. None on Ebay right now, but they get listed for $30-$300. I'd suggest the $30 version....
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Old 09-23-22, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Well, good to see at least one hands-on report. I was thinking with the optional pannier support it could work. It looks like the option replaces the basic front rack's legs/supports.
Oh! The sites I found it on did not have that. With that addition it would be perfect! I would do that. I wonder why they don't just sell that configuration.
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Old 09-23-22, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
There are a million used ones floating around. None on Ebay right now, but they get listed for $30-$300. I'd suggest the $30 version....
I do like the look of the VO constructeur..... the Blackburn low-riders, not so much- but then, I'd only have them on when using panniers. I've got a Nitto M-18 (poached from the bike my SO only sometimes uses) on the tandem at the moment. I could keep it on there and look for some low-riders that I could add when needed, though I guess I don't really like the idea of doubling up and mounting two separate things to the fork eyelet.. And taking the low-rides on and off as needed seems like, sure, no big deal, now, but will probably end up being a PITA!

It's a little bit 'erector set' with the bolt-together construction, and not exactly the retro-ish styling of the V-O, but I'm leaning toward the Pelago setup at the moment- seems I can get it for $130-something, which doesn't seem too bad....
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Old 09-23-22, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
Oh! The sites I found it on did not have that. With that addition it would be perfect! I would do that. I wonder why they don't just sell that configuration.
Agree- less waste (ie the original supports ending up in the parts-bin) if they just sold the front rack with the low-rider supports as a single item. But I suppose with 3 different sizes of the front rack it's easier/'cheaper' for them to do it this way...
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Old 09-23-22, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
I do like the look of the VO constructeur..... the Blackburn low-riders, not so much- but then, I'd only have them on when using panniers. I've got a Nitto M-18 (poached from the bike my SO only sometimes uses) on the tandem at the moment. I could keep it on there and look for some low-riders that I could add when needed, though I guess I don't really like the idea of doubling up and mounting two separate things to the fork eyelet.. And taking the low-rides on and off as needed seems like, sure, no big deal, now, but will probably end up being a PITA!

It's a little bit 'erector set' with the bolt-together construction, and not exactly the retro-ish styling of the V-O, but I'm leaning toward the Pelago setup at the moment- seems I can get it for $130-something, which doesn't seem too bad....
I think the Nitto M-18 would pair nicely with a minimalist Tubus lowrider rack. They are in no way period correct, but the simplicity keeps them from standing out. If your going to use vintage panniers designed to work with Blackburns, the hooks may need to be open up and moved. I rebuilt a full set of Jandd panniers to work with Tubus racks and it all worked pretty good.
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Old 09-23-22, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
I think the Nitto M-18 would pair nicely with a minimalist Tubus lowrider rack. They are in no way period correct, but the simplicity keeps them from standing out. If your going to use vintage panniers designed to work with Blackburns, the hooks may need to be open up and moved. I rebuilt a full set of Jandd panniers to work with Tubus racks and it all worked pretty good.
I have been eyeing the Tubus Tara or Duo for my Cannondale T900 (which has a V-O canti-mount Rando rack at the moment). Pricey, but generally seem to get good reviews. But without a mid-fork mounting point I'm not sure they'd work on the TH-8... I don't think I'd trust p-clamps in this case, and can't really see how a u-bolt setup would work either (which isn't to say it isn't possible...).
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Old 09-23-22, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Question for ya, where does your lower rack hole attach? To the fender eyelet in back of the axle like on a normal dropout, or to the top of the dropout, like some touring bikes allow?
If you're bolting to the rearward eyelet, then the OP is going to get a bit more height than that because his dropouts do have the second set of eyelets on top.

Mark B
Itís attached to the top eyelet.
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Old 09-23-22, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
I have been eyeing the Tubus Tara or Duo for my Cannondale T900 (which has a V-O canti-mount Rando rack at the moment). Pricey, but generally seem to get good reviews. But without a mid-fork mounting point I'm not sure they'd work on the TH-8... I don't think I'd trust p-clamps in this case, and can't really see how a u-bolt setup would work either (which isn't to say it isn't possible...).
Tubus makes a "clamping block" that seems substantial. I've held one in my hand at some point. As I remember the blocks where aluminum, so you could sand or file to shape to an exact fit to your fork blade if crushing was a concern. I'm a fan of helicopter tape for this kind of rig.
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Old 09-23-22, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
Tubus makes a "clamping block" that seems substantial. I've held one in my hand at some point. As I remember the blocks where aluminum, so you could sand or file to shape to an exact fit to your fork blade if crushing was a concern. I'm a fan of helicopter tape for this kind of rig.
Ah, yes- they do. Tubus mounting set. Not exactly pretty, but definitely substantial!
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Old 09-23-22, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
Tubus makes a "clamping block" that seems substantial. I've held one in my hand at some point. As I remember the blocks where aluminum, so you could sand or file to shape to an exact fit to your fork blade if crushing was a concern. I'm a fan of helicopter tape for this kind of rig.
I had those at one time but the bike got stolen. I did not like them. For me, they were a pain to install, I did worry about crushing, and I just felt they looked clunky. If I were to do it over, I would use U bolts.
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Old 09-24-22, 06:57 AM
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I ended up ordering the Pelago small rack & the pannier supports. $125 shipped from Northwest Bicycle. Not exactly an elegant, constructeur-style custom rack, but the price was right and it checks the essential boxes. I'll follow up when I receive it and get it mounted.
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