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Running backroller panniers on the front rack.

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Running backroller panniers on the front rack.

Old 05-08-20, 05:20 PM
  #1  
maximum01
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Running backroller panniers on the front rack.

It's new pannier time for us. Picked up some new bikepacker plus rears and have been considering the front rollers but then got thinking the Backroller Cities might be a more versatile choice for my front, and they're way cheaper.

My thinking is these can double as rear panniers for my wife or fronts when I'm out alone.

Has anyone cycled long distance with the 20L classics or cities up front? How is handling and road clearance on corners etc? I generally never tour with fronts so it's new territory for me.
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Old 05-08-20, 06:29 PM
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I don't have your brand, but have been running my Axiom Storm Fronts on low riders and loving it! Large is no problem, and very stable when loaded

Ymmv....
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Old 05-08-20, 06:56 PM
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When I'm back home ill check the clearance aspect. It seems to me that I did try this one time years ago and it worked fine, but of course the factors of specific bike handling, and specific rack sturdiness will play a part.

but clearance to ground could very well be something to consider.
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Old 05-08-20, 10:05 PM
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This is what happened to my Ortlieb Front Rollers when I had an experience wth a curb. There is not a lot of groound clearance with the smaller panniers. It was on a Tubus Tara rack. The pannier is still waterproof!




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Old 05-09-20, 05:05 AM
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It will likely matter what rack you are running. If you have plenty of clearance I don't see why they shouldn't work fine if the capacity is suitable for your needs.
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Old 05-09-20, 08:13 AM
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It's interesting about different racks and bikes, in this photo of my bike, the same front rack as Dougs, pretty much same bags (just different material) but on my bike the front bags appear to be higher.

different bike geometry, 26in vs his 700 wheels too

also note how my rack is a two tiered one, so my rear bags are set lower than his, so less difference between my bags front and back compared to Doug's.

I have scuffed my bags on low walls like curbs, but at walking speed. Gotta be attentive.

ps, my seat is a lot more level now, more comfortable level.
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Old 05-09-20, 08:18 AM
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Look at the bottoms of my front and back bags on relation to the bb area of my crankset, compared to Doug's bike.
Both bags are nearly in line with mid point of crank arms. My bb height is surely (Surly!!) higher on my Troll vs the LHT, but fork rack eyelets must be higher also so front bags higher.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:47 AM
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Djb, it isn't just appearance. Doug's front pannier is mounted lower than yours is. You can tell that his front hub is farther away from the bottom of the pannier, in comparison to your setup. Considering that his hub is higher off the ground than yours is, the difference is even more stark than it even appears, so seems obvious to me.

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Old 05-09-20, 12:00 PM
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Another reason I love me bike!
And actually very specifically why I was attracted to the troll from the get go, given the type of trips I was hoping to do, over rougher terrain for example.
Not to mention the much wider tire clearance possibilities.
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Old 05-09-20, 01:56 PM
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Not backroller, but I've used bikepacker plus as both front end rear panniers. Photo below in Amsterdam at start of trip (new looking panniers) on my way to Vladivostok.

As others have pointed out, it will depend some on your rack. As far as handling and corners go, my bike fully loaded with myself and gear handles like a truck - but nothing unique to having a pair of 21L panniers up front. The combination of weight and ~1500km of gravel road did eventually cause the brackets on my front rack to fail - but I was able to work around that some to make it work.

Same bike and same panniers on other end of EurAsia (and a few less pounds)
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Old 05-09-20, 02:33 PM
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Ya I guess one does have to think about front rack max load recommendations if you go with much larger panniers up front. Another reason I really like wider tires because when properly inflated they do provide a bunch more cushion to everything over rough roads, including the rack attachment points and the pannier hooks and whatnot.

And as an aside mev, I have to say that I think a beard really does suit you better. Well I guess I shouldn't say better, but certainly a beard works and we aren't used to seeing you without one.
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Old 05-09-20, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Djb, it isn't just appearance. Doug's front pannier is mounted lower than yours is. You can tell that his front hub is farther away from the bottom of the pannier, in comparison to your setup. Considering that his hub is higher off the ground than yours is, the difference is even more stark than it even appears, so seems obvious to me.
This is the same gear set up on one of my favorite touring bikes. It is actually a CX bike and has a different geometry. It seems like the front panniers sit a little higher from the ground, with the same rack. It looks like you will have to try it on your bike to actually know for sure.


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Old 05-09-20, 07:07 PM
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Probably 90 percent of the front racks all hang the panniers from a horizontal bar that is attached at the mid-fork rack mounting points. So in the vast majority of cases, the pannier clearance would be dependent on how high the mid-fork mounting point is above the ground minus how high the pannier mounting hooks are above the bottom of the pannier.

Some racks are designed to hang the panniers from a bar that is above the mid-fork mounting point, such racks are not common but they could give you more clearance.
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Old 05-13-20, 03:06 AM
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I have the newer Trek 520 with the factory front rack. It has mid and high mounting rails so I should be good. Thanks for the pictures and responses.
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Old 05-13-20, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by maximum01 View Post
I have the newer Trek 520 with the factory front rack. It has mid and high mounting rails so I should be good. Thanks for the pictures and responses.
you'll find out quick enough how much weight you prefer steering wise, but that's great to have a higher rack.
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