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Modifying fork to accept low-rider rack - need to be specific to a rack type?

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Modifying fork to accept low-rider rack - need to be specific to a rack type?

Old 09-03-19, 03:16 PM
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TallRider
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Modifying fork to accept low-rider rack - need to be specific to a rack type?

I'm getting a fork modified with some braze-ons (to take a rando-bag rack, post-mounted centerpull brakes, and low-rider rack).

In this thread I am asking about locations for low-rider braze-ons. For maximum compatibility, it looks like I need:
a) an eyelet in front of the dropout (my fork already has fender-stay eyelet behind the dropout)
b) a mid-fork eyelet (I'll probably have this on the middle of the blade or the back, so it doesn't interfere with the mid-fork eyelet to support a handlebar bag randonneur rack)

There are numerous low-rider rack designs; are most designs sensitive to precise relative locations of the two mounting points, or is there a fair bit of adjustment so the fork-based mounting points can have some variability and racks will still work? My fork has a bit more offset than typical steel forks.


I have one other question. I appreciate the suspension that steel fork blades can provide on a rim-brake bike (disc brake requires the fork blades be more rigid). I'd guess that most low rider racks make the ride more rigid by connecting the dropout to the middle of the fork blade area. Are there any low-rider designs that allow the end of the fork blades to flex more?

Last edited by TallRider; 09-03-19 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 09-03-19, 03:24 PM
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I'm not sure this is something you need to specify to your frame builder. Many forks, threaded and threadless, come with such braze ons without knowledge of which rack can be bolted on there.

Many racks and lowriders are also adjustable for different fork configurations. Tubus racks are the easiest example, but Surly and Blackburn also sell racks. You must like this fork to pay to alter it.
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Old 09-03-19, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
I have one other question. I appreciate the suspension that steel fork blades can provide on a rim-brake bike (disc brake requires the fork blades be more rigid). I'd guess that most low rider racks make the ride more rigid by connecting the dropout to the middle of the fork blade area. Are there any low-rider designs that allow the end of the fork blades to flex more?
I don't think hollow aluminum steel or cro-moly tubes most low riders are made from will result in a significant change in fork flex. A loaded pannier will be more noticeable.
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Old 09-03-19, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I'm not sure this is something you need to specify to your frame builder. Many forks, threaded and threadless, come with such braze ons without knowledge of which rack can be bolted on there.
Many racks and lowriders are also adjustable for different fork configurations. Tubus racks are the easiest example, but Surly and Blackburn also sell racks. You must like this fork to pay to alter it.
Thanks for the feedback; I figured front low-rider racks are fairly flexible and/or standardized, but it's good to have confirmation.

I wanted a low-trail bike for riding with front loads - mainly a handlebar bag, but also at times with low-rider panniers. This is already fairly low-trail (and the framebuilder might increase the rake/offset just a bit), and the frame fits me very well and hasn't seen many miles despite its age. It's harder to find 1" threaded forks to fit this frame. (I'm getting some modifications on the frame as well, and weighed doing this vs buying a new frame/fork, and decided to go this route)

Here's a picture of the frame in its pre-modified incarnation.



Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I don't think hollow aluminum steel or cro-moly tubes most low riders are made from will result in a significant change in fork flex. A loaded pannier will be more noticeable.
Good point; when I put the low-riders on I'll have front load that will probably more than offset any increase in stiffness of the fork blades.
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Old 09-03-19, 08:52 PM
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a competent frame builder should know what's needed, but if you're concerned, safest and simplest thing would be to include the low-rider when you deliver the frame and fork.
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Old 09-03-19, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
Here's a picture of the frame in its pre-modified incarnation.
Whoever chose the backdrop for your photo session in the studio made a great choice. (OMG wow!)
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Old 09-03-19, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
Whoever chose the backdrop for your photo session in the studio made a great choice. (OMG wow!)
I live near Yosemite, and this year I was the first cyclist to Glacier Point when they opened the road to cyclists (a day or two before they open to motor traffic, as they still have some things to fix on the road after the snow has been plowed). I had to do the ride really early because I had a graduation ceremony to attend in early afternoon.
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Old 09-03-19, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
Thanks for the feedback; I figured front low-rider racks are fairly flexible and/or standardized, but it's good to have confirmation.

I wanted a low-trail bike for riding with front loads - mainly a handlebar bag, but also at times with low-rider panniers. This is already fairly low-trail (and the framebuilder might increase the rake/offset just a bit), and the frame fits me very well and hasn't seen many miles despite its age. It's harder to find 1" threaded forks to fit this frame. (I'm getting some modifications on the frame as well, and weighed doing this vs buying a new frame/fork, and decided to go this route)

Here's a picture of the frame in its pre-modified incarnation.




Good point; when I put the low-riders on I'll have front load that will probably more than offset any increase in stiffness of the fork blades.
No, that doesn't happen. LowRiders direct weight straight to the front hub, completely bypassing the suspension effects provided by the frame. I suppose the rack stiffens the fork but I have never noticed that effect. My stiffest rack (a Jandd) is on my most flexy fork. It is still my most flexy fork. I used to take my racks on and off.. Never noticed a difference.

I love LowRiders and their competition because the ride and handling of the bike change so little between light and loaded. But one thing to keep in mind - since the racks and bags are not sprung weight, they are subject to far more road shock than you see. Be mindful or you will be breaking delicate baggage and bruising fruits and vegetables. Also your front wheel sees far more abuse. A stronger rim is a smart move.

Ben
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Old 09-04-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
No, that doesn't happen. LowRiders direct weight straight to the front hub, completely bypassing the suspension effects provided by the frame. I suppose the rack stiffens the fork but I have never noticed that effect. My stiffest rack (a Jandd) is on my most flexy fork. It is still my most flexy fork. I used to take my racks on and off.. Never noticed a difference.

I love LowRiders and their competition because the ride and handling of the bike change so little between light and loaded. But one thing to keep in mind - since the racks and bags are not sprung weight, they are subject to far more road shock than you see. Be mindful or you will be breaking delicate baggage and bruising fruits and vegetables. Also your front wheel sees far more abuse. A stronger rim is a smart move.
Yeah, I was just thinking that a low-rider rack, since it crosses the curved (and most flexy) part of a fork, might stiffen it somewhat. But it sounds like not much, if at all.

I appreciate the note about front lowrider racks getting whatever motion/impact/vibration the front hub does. I'll be running at least 32mm tires here, possibly larger, but will have a wheel set up to take some abuse (likely Sun CR18 with 32 spokes, and I'll go with 36 spokes if I end up with heavier front loads).
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Old 09-04-19, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
Yeah, I was just thinking that a low-rider rack, since it crosses the curved (and most flexy) part of a fork, might stiffen it somewhat. But it sounds like not much, if at all.

I appreciate the note about front lowrider racks getting whatever motion/impact/vibration the front hub does. I'll be running at least 32mm tires here, possibly larger, but will have a wheel set up to take some abuse (likely Sun CR18 with 32 spokes, and I'll go with 36 spokes if I end up with heavier front loads).
If you plan on running a lot of weight in those bags, you won't regret 36 spokes. I run 36 spoke Mavi Open Sports or 32 hole Velocity Aeros (the Aeros are a very strong rim) for my winter/rain/city bikes. I don't do extended touring bur ocaisionally run the bags quite heavy, sometimes at night and often o the fix gear; both places where rims occasionally get tested.

Ben
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Old 09-04-19, 04:05 PM
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I am a frame builder/ bike tourist; The low rider rack attaches to the rear (behind the fork) mount, the fender mounts to the front, or not at all if you use a (slide -on) clip on fender.

The standard placement for the low rider rack is between six and six and one half inches ( have put on quite a few at 6.25 inches) from the center of the rear rack mount and the center of the fork blade.
I am glad to see you are still touring. Last time that I saw one of your posts, you were in central America, breaking rack bolts like pretzels and thinking of heading for Europe.
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Old 09-04-19, 04:13 PM
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I forgot to mention that since your new "project" bike will likely get new paint, I noticed that the Nishiki has horizontal drop outs. The disadvantage being that there is the likely hood of pulling the rear wheel over from hard up hill cranking. That can be remedied by having little tabs on the front of the drop outs, stopping the wheel from pulling over. Sort of like the little tabs that you see on forks.
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