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front rack with no eyelets - any suggestions?

Old 08-01-23, 03:17 PM
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front rack with no eyelets - any suggestions?

Hello! I need help finding a good front rack for my bicycle, maybe here in this forum I will find a solution to my problem!
I will soon start a long trip by bike, a full year or more, and I need a front rack to be able to carry panniers. The problem is I don't have any eyelets in my front fork, how can I manage to install a resistant rack?
There is a way to have on a fork with no eyelets a lowrider rack? I really would like this possibility but otherwise I can just put the panniers in a higher position...
I was thinking to install one through the axle (quick release) and then attach it to the fork with a "clamp" or maybe also through the hole in the crown fork
There is maybe someone that could give me some good suggestions and Links/names of models and products that could be the right choice?
For more information, the bike I have is a "BMC Alpenchallenge ac02". I know there are probably better bikes for touring but this is what I have so... this is the bike I will take with me
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Old 08-01-23, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by _Jay_
Hello! I need help finding a good front rack for my bicycle, maybe here in this forum I will find a solution to my problem!
I will soon start a long trip by bike, a full year or more, and I need a front rack to be able to carry panniers. The problem is I don't have any eyelets in my front fork, how can I manage to install a resistant rack?
There is a way to have on a fork with no eyelets a lowrider rack? I really would like this possibility but otherwise I can just put the panniers in a higher position...
I was thinking to install one through the axle (quick release) and then attach it to the fork with a "clamp" or maybe also through the hole in the crown fork
There is maybe someone that could give me some good suggestions and Links/names of models and products that could be the right choice?
For more information, the bike I have is a "BMC Alpenchallenge ac02". I know there are probably better bikes for touring but this is what I have so... this is the bike I will take with me
Since you are planning on touring for a full year this bike is poorly suited for such a use. Also, note this bike has a 120kg weight limit. I would seriously revisit bike selection.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 08-01-23 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 08-01-23, 05:18 PM
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Don’t go the rack and pannier route on the front, go the bikepacking route with large handlebar bag, then and if possible, use a rack on the rear with traditional panniers. Bike is the wrong bike though, for what you want to do and might cause trouble.
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Old 08-01-23, 05:29 PM
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_Jay_ I agree with Atlas - the bike you have is probably not the best choice.

That having been said, there are some things you can do to stand a better chance of success.

Wheels are very important. So are tires. Strong wheels will be needed to hold up to much loaded touring. You may want to post up your wheel details - at least the wheel size and spoke count. Since you mentioned the QR skewers - I assume these are conventional cone and race hubs. A tear down, degrease, inspection, and relube would be on my bucket list of "must do's" before any ride of much length. Make sure you have the correct tension set also when reassembling. Same goes for spokes.

As to the question at hand - you may be able to find clamps that work with your front fork arms to add an attachment point for a rack. However, if you can't find anything suitable it is conceivable to have some custom made. If you know of someone that works with metal, or have a local shop that does machining around, check with them. A saddle style mount with 2 bolts could be made to "clamp" on to the fork arms and if it has enough meat on the main block you can drill and tap it for the mounting screws for the rack.

As was already pointed out - if you cover the bases with strong wheels and get your accessories situation then add your trip gear to the bike and the weight goes up much your risk is going to be the frame/fork failing. A steel bike can be repaired easier on-the-go than aluminums/alloys, but I wouldn't want a frame/fork to crack on any bike at any time. Best bet is to inspect routinely and you may be able to catch cracks starting before they get worse.

You may look in to the feasibility of a trailer for your gear instead of packing it all on the bike itself. That idea has its' own set of challenges, also, though.
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Old 08-02-23, 04:50 AM
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i've got an older BMC Alpenchallenge ac01 that i built up from the frame. mine has a steel fork with midfork rack bolts, a proper touring drivetrain and can handle 2" tires.

unfortunately, your stock ac02 is not suitable for loaded touring. sure, you "could" tour on it, but.....
you have a max 37mm tire clearance, 32-spoke wheels, and your 34:32 low gear is 29".

https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear...-three-review/
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Old 08-02-23, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by _Jay_
There is maybe someone that could give me some good suggestions and Links/names of models and products...
Old Man Mountain Divide rack, SETQRF fit kit.

https://oldmanmountain.com/
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Old 08-02-23, 06:29 AM
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I toured on much worse bikes than that. Don't listen. I used a blackburn FL-1 front low rack that mounts to the fork with a clamp and the bottom mounted to a P clamp. Make sure the wheels are as good as you can
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Old 08-02-23, 06:31 AM
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Thank you all for the rapid replies!
Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Since you are planning on touring for a full year this bike is poorly suited for such a use. Also, note this bike has a 120kg weight limit. I would seriously revisit bike selection.
Originally Posted by KC8QVO
_Jay_ I agree with Atlas - the bike you have is probably not the best choice.
I know is not the best one but is what I have and I'm in no position to buy a better bike for touring. for the factor of maximum weight, I think there will not be a problem. I weight around 52kg and the bike it's around 15 kg no more. So, there are still 53 kg to reach the limit and I hope I will not be carrying that much weight

Originally Posted by Steve B.
Donít go the rack and pannier route on the front, go the bikepacking route with large handlebar bag, then and if possible, use a rack on the rear with traditional panniers. Bike is the wrong bike though, for what you want to do and might cause trouble.
Yes the idea is to go with the "Ortlieb back-roller classic" and a steel rear rack (probably Tubus logo classic) to replace the current rack I have that is in aluminum.
The thing is I already bought the rear and front Ortlieb bags so... know I need a way to put the front ones.

Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Wheels are very important. So are tires. Strong wheels will be needed to hold up to much loaded touring. You may want to post up your wheel details - at least the wheel size and spoke count. Since you mentioned the QR skewers - I assume these are conventional cone and race hubs. A tear down, degrease, inspection, and relube would be on my bucket list of "must do's" before any ride of much length. Make sure you have the correct tension set also when reassembling. Same goes for spokes.
For the tires, I bought "Schwalbe marathon plus tour 700x40". On the wheels there is written (Alexrims Etrto 622x19 6061h tawan) and the radius are "dt swiss champion 2.0 x 29".
And yes I have cones, I already opened them to look if they were in good condition and re-lubed them. On the bike I also changed all the drivetrain to have more "slow speed" and right now I have installed: "Cassette Shimano deore CS-M4100, 10 speed, 11-42" and "Chain wheel Shimano Deore FC-M4100-2, 36-26)

Originally Posted by saddlesores
i've got an older BMC Alpenchallenge ac01 that i built up from the frame. mine has a steel fork with midfork rack bolts, a proper touring drivetrain and can handle 2" tires.
unfortunately, your stock ac02 is not suitable for loaded touring. sure, you "could" tour on it, but.....
you have a max 37mm tire clearance, 32-spoke wheels, and your 34:32 low gear is 29".
Nice to hear of your BMC. Like I said above I think with some changes I made it will work, or anyway is what I can bring right now with me.

Since it looks kinda complicated with the current fork I was thinking maybe to replace it. In a local store initially they gave me a "Pelago front rack with lowrider pannier support" but it doesn't work very well with the fork I have. I should put a really long axle and big spacers to make it fit.
This morning I spoke with them and another option could be to change the fork for a "Surly straggler fork" or "Surly disc trucker quick release fork", I don't know which model was but should be one of those two. But anyway to change the fork to a steel fork with eyelets to be able to fit a front rack easily.
To me it sounds like the best option and they also just give me back the money for the pelago or change it with the Suly fork.
what do you all think?
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Old 08-02-23, 06:38 AM
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Since you have those panniers, a new fork is a better than my earlier suggestion
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Old 08-02-23, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I toured on much worse bikes than that. Don't listen. I used a blackburn FL-1 front low rack that mounts to the fork with a clamp and the bottom mounted to a P clamp. Make sure the wheels are as good as you can
hahaha I'm happy to hear this. I'm sure it will work and if I will encounter a problem... I will find a way to resolve it... I hope
I mean, sure an aluminum frame is not the best but is what I got. This bike was given to me by a friend and I'm in no position to buy a proper bike for touring...it's a lot of money and all the gear is also pretty expensive.
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Old 08-02-23, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by _Jay_
...Since it looks kinda complicated with the current fork I was thinking maybe to replace it. In a local store initially they gave me a "Pelago front rack with lowrider pannier support" but it doesn't work very well with the fork I have. I should put a really long axle and big spacers to make it fit.
This morning I spoke with them and another option could be to change the fork for a "Surly straggler fork" or "Surly disc trucker quick release fork", I don't know which model was but should be one of those two. But anyway to change the fork to a steel fork with eyelets to be able to fit a front rack easily.
To me it sounds like the best option and they also just give me back the money for the pelago or change it with the Suly fork.
what do you all think?
depends which what racks are available, and what will work with your present fork.
how difficult will it be to make one work, and will it be durable?

i picked up one of these forks on taobao in china.
you can find similar on ebay.


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Old 08-02-23, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by _Jay_
hahaha I'm happy to hear this. I'm sure it will work and if I will encounter a problem... I will find a way to resolve it... I hope
I mean, sure an aluminum frame is not the best but is what I got. This bike was given to me by a friend and I'm in no position to buy a proper bike for touring...it's a lot of money and all the gear is also pretty expensive.
I've done months of touring (not years at a time) on steel, aluminum, magnesium, and carbon. Only the steel let me down (broke).

At the very minimum, have a competent wheelbuilder go over and tension your spokes properly and tightly. If he says you need a rebuilt, do it.

You have the exact proper attitude. When **** happens, solve it. Since you do not have a lot of money, put whatever you can into wheels. If the spokes are high quality and tight, given you are you using a relatively wide and low pressure tire, you will probably be ok. That is where I spent my money as a poor tourist and cannot recall having a single broken spoke.
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Old 08-02-23, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by _Jay_
Thank you all for the rapid replies!


I know is not the best one but is what I have and I'm in no position to buy a better bike for touring. for the factor of maximum weight, I think there will not be a problem. I weight around 52kg and the bike it's around 15 kg no more. So, there are still 53 kg to reach the limit and I hope I will not be carrying that much weight


Yes the idea is to go with the "Ortlieb back-roller classic" and a steel rear rack (probably Tubus logo classic) to replace the current rack I have that is in aluminum.
The thing is I already bought the rear and front Ortlieb bags so... know I need a way to put the front ones.


For the tires, I bought "Schwalbe marathon plus tour 700x40". On the wheels there is written (Alexrims Etrto 622x19 6061h tawan) and the radius are "dt swiss champion 2.0 x 29".
And yes I have cones, I already opened them to look if they were in good condition and re-lubed them. On the bike I also changed all the drivetrain to have more "slow speed" and right now I have installed: "Cassette Shimano deore CS-M4100, 10 speed, 11-42" and "Chain wheel Shimano Deore FC-M4100-2, 36-26)


Nice to hear of your BMC. Like I said above I think with some changes I made it will work, or anyway is what I can bring right now with me.

Since it looks kinda complicated with the current fork I was thinking maybe to replace it. In a local store initially they gave me a "Pelago front rack with lowrider pannier support" but it doesn't work very well with the fork I have. I should put a really long axle and big spacers to make it fit.
This morning I spoke with them and another option could be to change the fork for a "Surly straggler fork" or "Surly disc trucker quick release fork", I don't know which model was but should be one of those two. But anyway to change the fork to a steel fork with eyelets to be able to fit a front rack easily.
To me it sounds like the best option and they also just give me back the money for the pelago or change it with the Suly fork.
what do you all think?
For clarity; the frame is not configured for touring, geometry is wrong, gearing is wrong, handlebars are wrong, wheels are insufficient, tires are wrong, fork is wrong and the remaining components are not set up for long distance touring. Now we are talking about replacing fork etc. Sell the bike and purchase a good quality adventure bike and sell upon return. This is not the same as a week or two across EuroVelo 1 the demand placed on a bike and individual on a one year tour are extreme. If you don’t have adequate funds to start properly how you going to last one year and deal with these issues on the road?

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 08-02-23 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 08-02-23, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Old Man Mountain Divide rack, SETQRF fit kit.
https://oldmanmountain.com/
cool racks. never saw one that mounted w/ zip ties before
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