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Front rack/bag geometry

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Front rack/bag geometry

Old 08-20-16, 02:25 PM
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Banzai
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Front rack/bag geometry

I've read for years on this forum that many bikes are just not suitable for front racks/bags, but that the Long Haul Trucker (LHT) is almost uniquely suited for it, and might even be better loaded out.

I started to wonder why?

So I went to Surly's website and looked at the geometry. There's nothing out of the ordinary for any non-racing road bike, most cross bikes, and most all the current crop of "gravel" bikes. A very basic and standard road bike 72deg headtube, and 73deg seattube. A very run-of-the-mill 45mm fork rake. The chainstays are a touch long, but nothing else stands out.

Near as I can tell, darn near any bike can be suitable for hauling stuff. There is a mythology around the LHT that just isn't verifiable.

In fact, that 45mm rake fork actually makes the handling twitchier. So...

Upshot is that I'm going to throw a front rack on my Nashbar-frame utility bike. And I don't foresee any issues.
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Old 08-20-16, 03:49 PM
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The Obsessive and subscribers to VBQ tout the Advantages of low trail.. for front loaded bikes


IDK what trail you have ... figure it Out.

Rake is only part of it.. for a Given Head tube angle More rake can reduce the trail ,

so can being a smaller wheel.. since axle line and HTA line cross each other above the ground plane.
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Old 08-20-16, 06:16 PM
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Hmm. Well I just added a porteur rack to my soma Buena vista (650b). It has mid fork mounting braze ons.

I have ridden with 10-12# loads a few times now. Each positioned slightly differently. Other than being a little harder to get lined up with my kickstand, and a bit more wobbly at take off (when I first get on the bike), it is fine.

I have slight to moderate hills all around. And of course it is a bit harder than unloaded. But not hugely different.

The porteur handles better than my old basket!

I also rode a Dutch style (700c) bike with a front rack and basket. It worked fine as long as the heavy part of the bag was closer to the fork and rack. (Top heavy loads were hardest).

I think being able to mount lower and on the fork is most key for better handling.
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Old 08-21-16, 07:43 PM
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I don't know what formulas, if any, can predict how well a bike handles a front load. You may just have to try it. I used to believe that front loads are always a compromise, but I had a bike long ago that I swear would handle better with a front load than without one. It was a 1975 Motobecane Mirage (low end).
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