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Can I use regular rear rack panniers on front rack?

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Can I use regular rear rack panniers on front rack?

Old 11-17-16, 12:53 AM
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Can I use regular rear rack panniers on front rack?

I have couple of regular panniers that I would normally use on my rear rack. But when I put a child seat on the rear rack, I have no place to put the panniers. I was wondering if I get the Axiom low rider front rack: https://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Journey.../dp/B003O5GP5W, can I just use my regular panniers? Or do I need to get specific front panniers?
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Old 11-17-16, 01:41 AM
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Yes, you can mount standard panniers on a front rack, but don't go for very wide ones, and don't fill them to capacity with potatoes. Look for symmetrical panniers shaped like a trapezoid. Take a look at this bike, using the same panniers front and back.
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Old 11-17-16, 08:49 AM
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It probably depends on the type of pannier as well as rack. I've got sets of Ortlieb front and rear panniers, and I often use the front panniers on my rear rack when I don't have to carry as much gear. I haven't tried using the rear panniers on my front rack, however, so I'm not sure if they would fit.
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Old 11-17-16, 09:32 AM
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Rear panniers tend to be bigger han front panniers, so results will vary depending on rack, position, wheel size, pannier size etc.

If you've already decided that you need front freight capacity, buy the rack and try. At worst, you're out one extra shipping fee if you do decide to go with specific front panniers instead.
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Old 11-17-16, 11:54 AM
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Agree with both FBinNY and tarwheel

... I tour with a complete set of Arkel front and rear panniers myself.
... While I haven't (yet) tried the rear Arkels on the front lowrider. I routinely mount my set of Nashbar 'Townies' grocery getters up front and the Big Arkels in back, when doing the monthly "Heavy Grocery Haul" with the 'Epic Adventure' Trek 520. REALLY Improves handling to be able to get a better front/rear load distribution.
Danger: Your Results WILL Vary, unless you are me on My Bike

... Hopefully O.P. either owns/knows some one with a 'big lovable mutt', so you can 'borrow' a Full 40 lb. sack of feed to -Strap In- as 'Stunt Double' for the PRECIOUS 'Genetic Continuation Unit' (aka: KidLump) in the back rack kid seat.
... Start with (1- one) 2- liter bottle in - Each- front bag, approx 9-10+ lbs. total front load (depending on empty weight of your panniers). Oh!, Before I forget, make sure to increase air pressure of front tire to compensate for increased *STATIC WEIGHT* of front end, if your habit is to keep front softer than rear.
... Take a 'dress rehearsal' ride to your local grocer. Pay Particular Attention to, Braking, Handling, Turns (stopped, low speed, high speed) Really. Push. The. Envelope. - It's Really much better to find problems with the 'Stunt Double' riding the 'Stokers Seat'.
...Once at the grocers, purchase and add 2 more bottles (one more to each front pannier) increasing front load another 8+ lbs. Total front load should now be approaching 20 lbs or so. Ride home, Pushing the Envelope again. This is where Quality/Rigidity of your front hardware/rack mounting and pannier mounts, load stabilizing system is even more critical in front. It can be dangerous to have an unstable/wobbly load up on the front axle.
... Once safely home take time to appreciate your accomplishment.
... Revel in the warm glow of adding even more utility to your faithful mechanical steed. You can now accomplish some light grocery gettin' AND pick up the 'GCU' from daycare.

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Old 11-17-16, 01:25 PM
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I used 2 rear bags on a front rack for a 3 day ride a couple months ago and it worked great. The steering for my bike was stable and consistent. Just make sure to have the bags about the same weight as differing weight on the front is significantly worse than differing weight on the rear. The bags are 45L combined.

As for the Axiom rack you suggest...I would stay away based only on the consistently terrible reviews it gets all over the internet. It is, like a few other front lowrider racks, very unstable and easy to twist.
Perhaps look into the Jandd lowrider rack. A buddy has one and its easy to use and really stable. Or Tubus, but that typically is more expensive than the Jandd.
I have a Jandd Extreme front rack and love it. You can mount the bags high or low and there is a platform for light bulky items.

Here are the bags mounted on the higher level of the front rack.
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Old 11-17-16, 05:42 PM
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Depending on your bike and what will fit it, also consider "Old Man Mountain" racks. They are built very tough, very high quality build and materials, and made in the US. I've received exceptional customer service from them; above and beyond the average by a long shot.
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Old 12-05-16, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecommuter13
I have couple of regular panniers that I would normally use on my rear rack. But when I put a child seat on the rear rack, I have no place to put the panniers. I was wondering if I get the Axiom low rider front rack: https://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Journey.../dp/B003O5GP5W, can I just use my regular panniers? Or do I need to get specific front panniers?
This bike I did a lot of touring on loaded last year. It is hung in my sisters garage, 2000 km away. So I can not try these large 45L rear Panniers I used to get to Edmonton Alberta with on the front low riders.
I use the exact racks you have listed, (love them). I know where the front Panniers mount very near the top of those bags. And the rear Panniers mount about 2 inches down from there top. Should your Bags be that big I would venture to say they will work. Now I have used other rear Panniers on the front of that bike successfully. They were not much smaller than those big 45L ones.

Hope this helps
(I would confidently try it)


I just measured my bike here with the same front racks (700c wheel). The rail is 24 inches above the ground. (out of my stationary trainer, no blocking)
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