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Front Rack suggestions and question on # of Panniers

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Front Rack suggestions and question on # of Panniers

Old 06-23-15, 08:05 PM
  #1  
healthie
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Front Rack suggestions and question on # of Panniers

Hey guys,

I'm searching around for a front rack for a 3 month tour. Can I get some recommendations? I'm hoping to spend <80$ if possible.

Also - I own back Serata rear panniers and I plan on getting a set of front panniers, and a handlebar bag. I'm wondering if I should get one of those little bags that sits under your seat for tools. I'm going to be camping and cooking my own food so I'll need a lot of storage space; should I get one of those little bags or just stuff the tools in my handlebar bag?
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Old 06-23-15, 08:45 PM
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Front rack w/ or w/o a platform? And what bike do you have, along with what type of mounting point(s) does it have for a front rack?

You gotta be more specific.
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Old 06-23-15, 08:55 PM
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Not really sure what you are running and what you might need but here are some suggestions which may or may not help:
Tubus is slightly out of budget but worth every penny. If you can mount a Duo rack go with that if not go with a hooped version like the Tara and you will be just fine. They are lightweight, high quality, high strength racks that were designed for touring. You want a rack you don't have to worry about and that is expedition proven rather than something less expensive which might not actually save you much in the long run.

I would get a seat mounted bag as well to hold tools, tubes and little extras. I generally keep it rocked and ready even if I just want to go on a short trip I have everything I need plus a little extra in case I wanted to go further and be ok. I like my Topeak Wedge Dry Bag L but they have smaller sizes and non-waterproof versions if that is your thing but the quick release function is so nice.

You could put all of that stuff in your handlebar bag as well but organization is quite useful and having a seat bag helps with that.
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Old 06-24-15, 08:47 AM
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I used to work as a bike mechanic, so I am inclined to carry more tools than many. I have no idea what your tool plans are.

I try to put my lightest density stuff in the top of panniers, the most dense stuff in the bottom to get the center of gravity as low as practical. I keep a very small multi-tool, spare tube and tire levers handy, all other tools are quite dense, so my tools are in the very bottom of a pannier.

Logic dictates that tools in the bottom of a pannier is asking for trouble, but I have never needed to empty a pannier during the day ride to get any tools out yet. Having a light weight small multi-tool handy solves 99 percent of my tool needs while riding, like a minor tweak to a derailleur or brake adjustment, etc.

I want my handlebar bag to be as light as practical. But I also put all valuables in the handlebar bag, that goes into stores and restaurants with me.

The only exception to keeping the dense stuff down low is that my rain gear when rolled up can be pretty dense, but I want that to be handy in case I suddenly need it.

On my last trip, I had a saddle bag, but I think it was probably 50 times larger than the type of bag under the seat that you are thinking about. My tubes (2) and tire levers were in the right side pocket of the saddle bag.

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Old 06-24-15, 09:36 AM
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My tool bag went in the pannier , rather than tempt theft putting it in an under the saddle bag.

the british big saddle bag is not such a target, given it's time consuming to Un Buckle its mounting straps.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:37 AM
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I keep a spare tire, tool, and tire levers in a little pack on my top tube. I sometimes carry other tools, but just put them in a pannier. I've been working at trimming my gear, and I can pretty much get everything necessary into two, Ortleib, backroller bags, which I carry on the front because there's plenty of my own weight on the back. Although I generally find some unnecessary gear to then strap to my otherwise empty rear rack: Cooler and/or camp chair are popular options. Even though I prefer having more weight on the front than on the rear, I have been thinking that the bike might handle better if I could balance the load a little better between front and rear. I've been considering four smaller bags to replace my two large ones. I also like the idea of a handlebar bag for valuables. So far my solution has been a lightweight backpack shoved into one of my panniers, but I've been wanting a more elegant, more easily accessible solution.
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Old 06-24-15, 11:47 AM
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Years ago I had a fancy handle bar bag from J and D. Didn't like how it affected the handling. This time around I'm going with a decaleur/front bag sitting on a platform rack.

The bag will be big, but I won't weigh it down. I'll also have a trunk bag on the rear, along with two front panniers.

Patch kit will be in the front bag. The rest of the tools/spare parts will be in the trunk bag.
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Old 06-25-15, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for all the replies so far!

I'm using a Surly LHT frame with a fork that does not have mounting eyelets for a front rack. I would prefer having a platform: the platform will help with balancing a handlebar bag, eh? What are the front racks called without the eyelet mounts?
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Old 06-25-15, 10:40 AM
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It have cantilever brakes? ends of those, same bolt, supports a mini rack just fine..

fork crown bolt hole for the 3rd point..
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Old 06-25-15, 12:44 PM
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Good barbag mounts don't need a front rack.
The only good reason I can see for a platform with 4x panniers is for carrying water on an extended desert crossing.
Tara is stiffer and lighter than Duo. You could use Tubus P-clips. Does the fork have fender eyelets?
I keep my tool bag at the top of may pannier for easy access.
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Old 06-25-15, 12:49 PM
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The Tubus Tara is a great front rack. You might be able to find one for $80 if you shop around in the interwebz.
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Old 06-25-15, 10:26 PM
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I have a Jandd Extreme front rack includes a platform which can be handy to carry extra stuff like a sleeping bag. List price was ~$100, apparently it's been discontinued. Low rider front racks save weight but give less flexibility for camping loads.

Blackburn Outpost front rack includes a short platform, $99.
OUTPOST FRONT WORLD TOURING RACK

Surly front rack looks very stout & has a longer platform, $130.
Cargo | Parts and Accessories | Surly Bikes
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Old 06-26-15, 01:37 AM
  #13  
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I'm a big fan of the Old Man Mountain Sherpa. Rock solid, platform, no need for eyelets.

As for tools, I keep them in an Onsight window pouch (small or medium, not sure) at the bottom of the front right pannier with other dense stuff I rarely use. Things I use often go on the left since I always lean the bike on the right side.
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Old 06-26-15, 06:26 AM
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I am not sure why you want a rack to support a handlebar bag.

If your fork has cantilever brake posts, you can put a cheap Nashbar rack on that. Sunlite also makes a similar rack. I bought a Sunlite for my LHT, some of the brackets for it required some bending to fix a manufacturing problem, but other than that it is just fine. I have the Nashbar rack on a different bike.




Disregard the steep slope in the above photo, I took that photo in San Fransisco. The Sunlite front rack is silver color, the Tubus Ergo front rack is black. I think I got the Sunlite rack on Amazon. I have a coiled up cable lock and padlock on the Sunlite rack if you are trying to figure out what that bump is.

The photo below, you can see I do not have a lot of room between my Sunlite rack and handlebar bag. I have my rain gear (red color) strapped to my Sunlite rack. But I am using a 2nd stem for my handlebar bag so that lowers the bag somewhat. My bag was also sagging, I have since reinforced it with some Aluminum strapping.

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Old 06-26-15, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
I have a Jandd Extreme front rack includes a platform which can be handy to carry extra stuff like a sleeping bag. List price was ~$100, apparently it's been discontinued.
Jandd still has these available on their website

I have this rack on my 700c LHT. It was a pain in the neck to get it adjusted on this bike. Very tight clearance between the rack platform and the top of the tire/fender, as well as the lower pannier attachment bar and the cantilevers. It's a great rack though and now has a slightly taller version, which came out after I got mine.

I wouldn't get a front rack if you're only getting it to sit a handlebar bag on. Just get a handlebar bag with a solid mounting system.
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Old 06-26-15, 07:38 PM
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A h/b bag will prevent mounting a headlight. The tubus lowrider has a center strut between the sides. Is it sturdy enough to rig a pair of lights to it?
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