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Is this front rack useful?

Old 11-14-23, 04:09 AM
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Is this front rack useful?

Consider the front racks in this image:


What are they good for?
If I put on it my high school bag it will fall after the first turn.
Any thoughts about it?
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Old 11-14-23, 04:31 AM
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Bungees or nylon straps. Without the rack you can attach the bag directly to the handlebar, but that is less convenient because it may interfere with your hand positions and the brake/shifter cables. The rack gives you lots of attachment points for straps or bungees without the interference. Be advised that all bungees are not created equal.
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Old 11-14-23, 09:30 AM
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Yes front racks are quite useful and you can mount a lot to them typically as DeadGrandpa said with straps or bungee cords. I would recommend the Highland FatStraps or Voile Straps if you want a nylon strap.
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Old 11-14-23, 10:10 AM
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You can also attach a basket or milk crate or whatever to the rack to put your bag in.
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Old 11-14-23, 02:26 PM
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I've got one like that on a bike I used for short tours (<week) instead of a front rack/pannier set-up. I strap an Igloo soft-sided cooler on the rack with bungee cords and its worked fine. I sewed a few pockets onto the cooler, side pockets for small stuff and one on the top to use as a map pocket. I also have a rear rack and use a rack-top bag with drop-down side panniers; my size 14 feet don't work well with regular panniers. Both the front 'cooler' and rear rack top bags are easy to take off and put back on.
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Old 11-14-23, 06:00 PM
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I've seen bunji cord nets used. The one shop I worked for had a shop bike with a rack on the front. use it for beer runs. The net worked wonders.
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Old 11-14-23, 06:57 PM
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Yeah, you can't just set stuff on it and expect it to stay put. You have to secure it. I agree, that is the absolute worst place to add weight if handing is a concern. However, as a kid I delivered lots of newspapers loaded that way.
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Old 11-14-23, 07:58 PM
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Do a web search for 'small bungee cargo nets'. Milk crates help too (with the net over them). Still, I agree with Yan about handling, so if you can, shift your loads back.
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Old 11-14-23, 09:26 PM
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Its a trade-off for practicality. Mine handles nicely when its not loaded, and with a load its no worse than having front panniers. It works better once you get it up to speed (around 15mph). It doesn't handle perfectly so that you can ride your bicycle with no hands on the handlebars, but I'm very, very rarely doing that anyway.

Last edited by Hermes; 11-22-23 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Cleanup
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Old 11-14-23, 11:50 PM
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I have a front rack that can carry panniers high and low, and also has a platform top. I've used it for loaded touring with rear panniers mounted on the fork, plus stuff lashed to the top platform.
I've also used it to hold a Wald 139 basket then put a large size specific bag into the basket for commuting.

Currently, a wide flat platform that attaches to mid-fork eyelets is on the bike. A half height 139 basket is attached and that holds the size specific bag.


None of those 3 setups have made my bike handle like crap. It handles fine unloaded and handles fine loaded.

Last edited by Hermes; 11-22-23 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Cleanup
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Old 11-15-23, 09:36 AM
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The brands that market them would be out of business real quick if they weren't useful. For me they'd have no use as my bicycle is just for recreation and exercise. The bigger question that we can't answer is if they will be useful for anything you do on your bicycle.
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Old 11-16-23, 06:50 AM
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Same as a rear rack.
Same as a luggage rack on a car.
It is a rack, not a basket.
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Old 11-16-23, 12:51 PM
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Depends on the bike too. Some bicycles have an acceptable "ride" with a front rack/basket, and some become a real chore to deal with. A rear rack is even more sensitive to bike choice from my experience.
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Old 11-16-23, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I have a front rack that can carry panniers high and low, and also has a platform top. I've used it for loaded touring with rear panniers mounted on the fork, plus stuff lashed to the top platform.
I've also used it to hold a Wald 139 basket then put a large size specific bag into the basket for commuting.

Currently, a wide flat platform that attaches to mid-fork eyelets is on the bike. A half height 139 basket is attached and that holds the size specific bag.


None of those 3 setups have made my bike handle like crap. It handles fine unloaded and handles fine loaded.
IKR. During 1999-2000, I rode 10,000 miles with four panniers and something strapped to my top rack. In 1999 it was my sleeping bag for 6,000 miles. In 2000 I did 4,000 with a tent riding up there. (Got a smaller tent in 2000 that could fit up there.

Done plenty of other miles with a sleeping bag on the top rack. Have never had handling problems doing that. Different story with a bundle of firewood over short distances though. But how often does that happen?




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Old 11-16-23, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
You must be bad at riding bikes.
IKR.

I have only ever toured with a front platform rack. I rarely carry anything on it these days because I have pared down my gear list and bought a water-resistant down bag that compresses down to nearly the size of a football, meaning everything but the tent can fit inside my panniers, but it was not difficult to learn on from the beginning. In fact, before I started my first tour, I did only one 62-mile day ride fully loaded. For my 7th ride, I crossed the North Cascades Highway in the snow.
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Old 11-16-23, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
You must be bad at riding bikes.
Originally Posted by indyfabz
IKR.
My cheapie SS commuter bike came with a front basket -- the kind that mounts to the handlebar and has struts attached under the front wheel nuts, like a Wald basket. Weight rating sticker indicates 5kg max, but I pay that no mind. I've overloaded it a few times, such as with a couple six-packs of beer. With such a load, the bike can easily be ridden one-handed at speed, but slow speeds requires two hands in order to prevent wheel flop. No big deal. As for the claims of poor handling, well, @Yan must think that people are crit racing with twelve packs loaded over their front wheels. He also doesn't seem to know that bikes designed to carry front loads will have geometry designed to handle it -- in fact, even my cheapie bike handles a bit better with a light load in the basket.

Last edited by Koyote; 11-16-23 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 11-16-23, 06:03 PM
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I once rode home about 50 miles during a long weekend trip with a large, blackberry pie duct taped to the top platform.

Before I bought the pie I asked the cute young lady working the register at the roadside stand if she had any duct tape. You should have seen her facial expression.
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Old 11-16-23, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
I once rode home about 50 miles during a long weekend trip with a large, blackberry pie duct taped to the top platform.

Before I bought the pie I asked the cute young lady working the register at the roadside stand if she had any duct tape. You should have seen her facial expression.
I rode with a mulberry pie once in Yosemite from a gate into the campground ( a long ride!) but didnt have the rack issue, I put it sideways in a backpack. My " crew" was 3 sheets to the wind ( maybe some mary jane mixed in) so they didn't mind.
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Old 11-16-23, 09:27 PM
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Had a two bikes, one a tandem, fitted with front and rear racks accommodating panniers. Handling was just fine, but when fully loaded with gear, it climbed like dog poop (poopoo), but man it screamed on descents. No poop.
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Old 11-17-23, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
My cheapie SS commuter bike came with a front basket -- the kind that mounts to the handlebar and has struts attached under the front wheel nuts, like a Wald basket. Weight rating sticker indicates 5kg max, but I pay that no mind. I've overloaded it a few times, such as with a couple six-packs of beer. With such a load, the bike can easily be ridden one-handed at speed, but slow speeds requires two hands in order to prevent wheel flop. No big deal. As for the claims of poor handling, well, @Yan must think that people are crit racing with twelve packs loaded over their front wheels. He also doesn't seem to know that bikes designed to carry front loads will have geometry designed to handle it -- in fact, even my cheapie bike handles a bit better with a light load in the basket.
Today I learned that having wheel flop is considered "better" by some people.

Originally Posted by Koyote
You must be bad at riding bikes.
I'm currently, at this very moment, six months into a one year vacation cycling around the world. I've also in the past bicycled across Europe and Asia twice. Racks, panniers, bar bags, frame bags, saddlebags, baskets, trailers, if it exists under the sun, I've tried it. I ride a custom touring bike made to my body measurements by a framebuilder.

I know how heavy loads work on bicycles. Do you?

Last edited by Yan; 11-17-23 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 11-17-23, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Today I learned that having wheel flop is considered "better" by some people.


I'm currently, at this very moment, six months into a one year vacation cycling around the world. I've also in the past bicycled across Europe and Asia twice. Racks, panniers, bar bags, frame bags, saddlebags, baskets, trailers, if it exists under the sun, I've tried it. I ride a custom touring bike made to my body measurements by a framebuilder.

I know how heavy loads work on bicycles. Do you?
Warning: an immovable object/irresistible force thread digression might be imminent.
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Old 11-17-23, 09:57 AM
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Zip tie a milk crate to it, no need to mess around with bungees. Front racks handle better than back racks I hear, never used one.
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Old 11-17-23, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I know how heavy loads work on bicycles. Do you?
Then you know how heavy loads work differently, depending on the bike's geometry.
Some bikes ride really well with a rear load. Some bikes suck with a rear load.
Some bikes steer fine with a front load. Some bikes suck with a front load.
Further, where the heavy load is placed also impacts how a bike handles. Weight placed lower tends to be more stable and better than weight placed high. Weight placed closer to the steering axis tends to be more stable and better than weight placed far in front of the steering axis.

You know this since you even mentioned wheel flop- wheel flop isnt a static number among all bikes- it varies depending on a bike's HTA, fork rake, and tire size/width.
Once again, a sweeping generalization by you is pushed back on by many because not all bikes are your bike and not all cyclists have your fears/perceptions.
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Old 11-17-23, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Weight placed closer to the steering axis tends to be more stable and better than weight placed far in front of the steering axis.
Bingo. In engineering this is called moment of inertia.

It doesn't matter what "designed for load carrying" bike you have. You can't get away from physics. The further away your load is from the steering axis, the more force is needed to turn the bars. Propped far in front of the fork is the worse case scenario for this. It massively slows down the speed you can steer! That's why the bike fundamentally handles like dog sh*t before you even get into wheel flop and instability which is a whole other level of problem on top.

The reality is that if you took the exact same amount of weight and experimented between all the different places on the frame you could carry it, stuck on the fork jutting in front of the head tube is by far, by far the worst place for handling.

Now if someone says, "I'm a townie rider, handling is not the highest priority for me", that's a perfectly legitimate viewpoint. But instead you have a bunch of people here (not referring to you) who have apparently made the wrong choice in their lives and are now butt hurt lmao.

I hear some other people saying "I've ridden X number of miles with this setup and I loved it." Yeah, I have no doubt you rode your X number of miles and were in fact fine. I've been with a couple of ugly women at some point in my life, and it was also "fine". Everything still worked, you know what I mean? But fine relative to what? It's a crass analogy, sorry.

Guys, the truth only hurts if you let it hurt you. Reality doesn't care about your feelings.

Last edited by Yan; 11-17-23 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 11-18-23, 08:12 AM
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I've got your moment of inertia right here. HTFU.


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