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Cheap Aluminum cantilever front racks, are they all the same?

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Cheap Aluminum cantilever front racks, are they all the same?

Old 02-23-19, 01:13 PM
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Cheap Aluminum cantilever front racks, are they all the same?

I'm picking up one of the cheap little cantilever mounted front mounted racks. I'm using it to mount a dynamo light bellow and ahead of a handlebar mounted bag, so it wont realy see any weight. It looks like the same rack weather its from Nashbar, Sunlight or M-wave. I was just wondering if they are actually the same or was one a better bet as far as quality control and such?
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Old 02-23-19, 01:18 PM
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Well the more expensive nickel plated steel ones (ala Nitto) are different...


Know an aluminum welder, they can add more weld to the expedient work done at the factory to keep the price down..
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Old 02-23-19, 01:40 PM
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Nittos are shiny but about $60 of overkill as a glorified light bracket.
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Old 02-23-19, 02:00 PM
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Well you know there are more than one Importing distributor, on the planet, and its certainly possible for them to buy from one company
in Taiwan or shipping out of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc..

under many brand names... Nash bar is a large wholesale customer , not a factory

This News to you?
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Old 02-23-19, 02:08 PM
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I bought a brake boss mounted rack Bespoke made in Newcastle ,UK, in about 1~2 days , To shift the Camera gear dry bag onto, ,

Then Boarded a Sea going Ferry to Norway..
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Old 02-23-19, 02:11 PM
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He's just asking a question Bob. No need to roll your electronic eyes.

Barkeater, for your purposes they are mostly the same, though some will have different mounting options for the fork crown and are more adjustable. You will have little weight to bear so just look for the one that fits and has the styling you like. You could also bungee something light there like your thermarest pad or rainsuit if you have one
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Old 02-23-19, 02:23 PM
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The rest of the racks are tubus. I hopefully the handlebar bag will be sufficient to hide my shame..
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Old 02-23-19, 03:40 PM
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If they look the same , they probably are ... I , over decades, Have not found my bar bags ever needed support, under them

the followers of the Bike Quarterly Magazine want big French style HB bags with Underbag and handlebar support..

But they put their whole Paris Brest Paris Riding kit in those..


Happy shopping.. support your local bike shop.
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Old 02-23-19, 03:50 PM
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The Nashbar rack that I have is nearly 10 years old, can't say if it is still made exactly the same way. It had little brackets that were riveted to the rack, those brackets went onto the canti brake posts. The Sunlight one I got used bolts instead of rivets. And those brackets on the Sunlite one were not bent properly, but I had a big vice and a big crescent wrench, so I straightened them easily.

First photo, the Nashbar one. I did a very ugly job of wiring and mounting the light because it was intended to be there for a two week tour, immediately after that it was coming off. The rack seemed to act almost like a spring, the light vibrated some on the road and developed a rattle. I would not mount a light on the front like that in the future unless I planned to have the rack on the bike for other purposes anyway. I think I put that rack on this bike in 2012.




Second photo is of a different bike without a rack, you can see I just put the light on one of the canti brake posts, works fine. But you have to make sure the bolt is tight so that the light can't move any. Once the snow and ice melts, I am putting a different light on this bike, the B&M IQ-XS in black to replace the vintage DLumotec that is in the photo.

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Old 02-23-19, 04:04 PM
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For whatever reason I don't realy trust mounting to the cantilever bolt like that. I think the ideal solution would be to braze a light mount on to the Tara/Ergo rack loop above the tire. The little aluminum rack should suffice as temporary permanent.
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Old 02-23-19, 09:32 PM
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even the nitto ones aren't invincible. mine snapped at the fork crown bolt. friendly guy in a garage welded it up on tour and i gave him some beers. snapped again a couple months later

they're pretty though
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Old 02-24-19, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
...I think the ideal solution would be to braze a light mount on to the Tara/Ergo rack loop above the tire. ....
In my first photo you probably saw a little knobby thing on the front rack loop. It was a long strip of inner tube rubber that I wrapped around the tubing until it was about the right diameter for mounting a light that used a handlebar mount, then a strip of electrical tape to hold the inner tube rubber in place. That is what I used to mount battery powered lights before I got a dynohub. I just had not gotten around to removing before I took the photo.

But that location collects a lot of dirt and tire spray in wet conditions. The battery light I used had a quick release on it, so I could keep the bracket on the rack (and collect dirt on it) while only putting my light on it when I needed the light.

For permanent mounting, you want a location that does not collect a lot of tire spray. That is why I think you never see a light in the center unless it is mounted on the fork crown in front of the head tube where there is minimal tire spray, or off to one side. A lot of the higher end racks have a light mount on them off to one side.

Here is another photo, shows how a light on the rack loop collects dirt from tire spray. I did have fenders on the bike when I took this photo, not sure if they make it better or worse.


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Old 02-24-19, 07:08 AM
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A "rando mount" off the side should work. Further back might help with vibrations. I was looking at getting the rack with bolts instead of rivets, figuring that adding a star washer and a dab of RTV might tighten things up a bit.
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Old 02-24-19, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
...cheap little cantilever mounted front mounted racks....looks like the same rack weather its from Nashbar,...

i've got the same rack, no change on several bikes. can't go wrong for $3! if no bags, use it to carry a heavy cable lock or rolled spare tire. when touring in dry sections, will carry a square 2L bottle. sturdy enough for that, no problems over some rough dirt/gravel in laos and cambodia. mounts solid, no sway, no rattle.
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Old 02-24-19, 11:24 AM
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I've been using Soma Lucas front racks (w/ Wald basket) for a few years now. It's very solid (I've carried 2 gallons of milk on it, 16 lbs.) and it's fairly light and cheap.

It's unwieldy to carry that much weight up there, but it's nice to know you can.
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Old 02-24-19, 11:55 AM
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Photo is of my Sunlite rack. Photo is five years old, they might have changed them since then. Disregard the sag in the handlebar bag, it was near the end of a long tour, I have since reinforced it.

I was still using handlebar mounted type lights at that time. That bolt that I mentioned that connected a bracket to the rack at the canti posts, I used a much longer bolt on the left side and I put a short piece of wooden broom handle on that bolt (light brown in photo with rust colored bolt) that I could put a light onto. The broom handle was close enough to the diameter of a handlebar that it worked well.



One nice thing about these racks is that you can strap small stuff on them if you are looking for a place to stash something like my coffee thermous. And since they are completely separate from the low rider racks, you can use one rack without the other. When I get home from a tour, the low rider racks come off the bike.

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Old 02-24-19, 05:19 PM
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I ordered the M-wave version from A***zon. At least one of the photos showed bolts on stead of rivets on the cantilever tabs. I might try and lower the mount points to get the rack closer to the fender, and use a heavier stainless strut to mount to the fork crown.
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Old 02-24-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
I ordered the M-wave version from A***zon. At least one of the photos showed bolts on stead of rivets on the cantilever tabs. I might try and lower the mount points to get the rack closer to the fender, and use a heavier stainless strut to mount to the fork crown.
A lot of dyno powered headlights can be mounted on a long bolt or threaded rod. That is one more option you might consider, mounting it on a threaded rod that extends out from the rack bracket. I have done that on one bike, I used a couple toothed washers to help prevent the light from shifting up or down.
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Old 02-24-19, 07:01 PM
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I'm having a hard time visualizing this.
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Old 02-24-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
I'm having a hard time visualizing this.
In the photo I showed in post 16 above shows a long bolt extending out from the rack to hold a round piece of wood that I sometimes used to mount a light on. If that bolt was a threaded rod, it could be used to mount a dyno powered light.

I am not suggesting you mount a light on a fender mount like I did in the photo below on my errand bike, but I am showing this as an example of mounting a light on a threaded rod that extends out to the side. In this example in the photo, the light is too close to the ground, you get weird shadows and the shadows can hide stuff you wanted so see, so that is why I do not recommend mounting a light this low. But, on my errand bike that I use for groceries, etc., it is sufficient for my needs.

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Old 02-24-19, 07:39 PM
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Gotcha. I have a handlebar light mounted on a big Problem Solvers skewer nub on one bike. Its more of a be seen kind of set up but the tire shadow isn't to bad.
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Old 02-24-19, 07:47 PM
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I carried about 5-10lbs constantly for a couple thousand miles on one of those generic aluminum racks on my old touring bike. It's not a ton of weight to haul, but a nice little addition for carrying something small. I kept my tent strapped on it for one tour when it was raining constantly. It was Perfect for that. They're also great for strapping wet clothes or shoes to, either just to avoid putting wet things in a pannier, or to dry while you ride. Oh, and they carry a six pack or bottle of wine from the store near the camp-ground pretty well too.
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Old 02-24-19, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
Gotcha. I have a handlebar light mounted on a big Problem Solvers skewer nub on one bike. Its more of a be seen kind of set up but the tire shadow isn't to bad.
Just thought I'd mention since you said its more of a "be seen" set-up, that mounting the light just above ground level might not be the most visible location for a lot of inattentive drivers... Maybe move to the fork bridge or front rack? Just mentioning in case it's something you hadn't thought of.

I actually mount one light hanging down from the bottom of one of the racks that this thread is about. It keeps it tucked nicely between the tire/fender and rack, so it's fairly protected from being hit or bumped. I just drilled a hole in the flat bottom piece that runs the length of the rack. Then I bolted the light mount to that plate rather than the fork crown or something. It puts it a little further forward too, which I prefer. There's no tire shadow, etc.

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Old 02-24-19, 08:18 PM
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I've got a full set of Jandd bags with a handle bar bag. I've already invested in a Thorn t bar to get the bag down a bit. My "country bike"/trailer hauler has a wald basket on it and I find it to be very user friendly. If it seems practical to switch between bag and basket, I might swap for a heavyer duty cantilever mount rack.
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Old 02-24-19, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
Just thought I'd mention since you said its more of a "be seen" set-up, that mounting the light just above ground level might not be the most visible location for a lot of inattentive drivers... Maybe move to the fork bridge or front rack? Just mentioning in case it's something you hadn't thought of.

I actually mount one light hanging down from the bottom of one of the racks that this thread is about. It keeps it tucked nicely between the tire/fender and rack, so it's fairly protected from being hit or bumped. I just drilled a hole in the flat bottom piece that runs the length of the rack. Then I bolted the light mount to that plate rather than the fork crown or something. It puts it a little further forward too, which I prefer. There's no tire shadow, etc.

i've got a bunch of bikes I'm tinkering with at the same time. The one I started this thread about has a B+M light that will be powered by a bottle dynamo. I'm hopeing it will let me "see" some. A set up like yours sounds ideal if i can get everything lined up correctly and keep the light out of the tire spray.
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