Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Opinions on Surly front rack

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Opinions on Surly front rack

Old 04-06-24, 12:33 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Elwood Indiana
Posts: 7,293

Bikes: they change so much I'm tired of updating this

Mentioned: 168 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
Liked 1,135 Times in 433 Posts
Opinions on Surly front rack

When I bought my Surly the seller threw in new front and rear Surly racks. Iíve always used Tubus racks, I like the rear but the front looks like overkill. Anyone one use the Surly front rack?
__________________
Semper fi
sloar is offline  
Likes For sloar:
Old 04-06-24, 02:12 PM
  #2  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 2,306

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 479 Post(s)
Liked 265 Times in 179 Posts
I have one on my Trek 520. Occasionally use the capacity of the rack such as this instance where I put a bear canister on top.

Depending on how much you carry and where, it could be overkill.
mev is offline  
Likes For mev:
Old 04-06-24, 06:54 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,298

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 1,163 Posts
I had a Surly front rack, used it for two tours. Removed it and donated it to a bike charity. Replaced it with a Tubus low rider rack. On one of my touring bikes, I also put a tiny little platform rack on the fork that mounted on the canti brake posts, so I had both a small platform and low rider.

I have a Surly rear rack, also used it for two tours. Decided to use a Tubus or Racktime instead for tours. But I still have the Surly rear rack, use it on my heavy touring bike for riding around near home, it has a wide platform that I like for non-touring uses. But for touring, I like the Tubus or Racktime better and I think the Tubus is stiffer than the Surly even though there is twice as much steel in the Surly as the Tubus.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-06-24, 08:56 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,476
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18515 Post(s)
Liked 15,840 Times in 7,439 Posts
IIRC, the front was over 3 lbs., at least when it was first introduced. I you donít need a front platform, I would definitely ditch it.
indyfabz is online now  
Old 04-06-24, 09:31 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,481
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 641 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 409 Times in 281 Posts
I just replaced my Tubus Tara with a Tubus Grand Expedition rack so I could have a top platform for some bulky items. It weighs 27.5 oz. I also looked at the Surly front and the old man mountain Divide. I chose the Tubus because I like the 5 point mounting system and I Got a nice price. I believe I can keep the weight within their recommended 39.6 lbs most of the time ha ha.
Rick is offline  
Old 04-06-24, 11:52 PM
  #6  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 13,775

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4445 Post(s)
Liked 4,102 Times in 2,738 Posts
Surly racks are good racks just super duper heavy. My Surly Nice Rack (rear rack) weighed more than 3 Tubus Racks combined (1 Cargo EVO and 1 Duo which is technically two separate racks) For me I don't hate a front platform but Surly racks are just too heavy for not being way better than Tubus. If say a Surly rack could hold double the weight of Tubus and I needed to carry that much then sure but honestly I would rather have the security and piece of mind from Tubus that comes at a huge weight savings. It is not that Surly is bad in any way beyond weight, they aren't but Tubus is specific in their support for touring.

For me I would go with a Nitto M12 or M14 or whatever for my rando bag or maybe a Rawland Ti rando rack or something along those lines. If I needed rack and panniers probably Tubus with their Grand Expedition rack but I really don't need both most of the time.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 04-07-24, 07:00 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,476
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18515 Post(s)
Liked 15,840 Times in 7,439 Posts
Originally Posted by veganbikes
For me I would go with a Nitto M12 or M14 or whatever for my rando bag or maybe a Rawland Ti rando rack or something along those lines. If I needed rack and panniers probably Tubus with their Grand Expedition rack but I really don't need both most of the time.
I have the Nitto Big front and rear racks. Nickel plated steel. Still working and looking great after 12+ years of touring and commuting use.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 04-08-24, 04:53 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,298

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 1,163 Posts
I picked up a used Nitto rack at a swap meet to put on my titanium bike, I was surprised how heavy the rack was, it looks so light. But the steel in it is deceiving. Other than weight, I really like the Nitto rack for light duty use, but that model is not designed for touring. I use this rack for around town use, but when I tour on that bike I put a Racktime Addit Rack on it instead.

Photo below, Nitto rack with my gym bag that is a small pannier.



The Racktime I use on that bike for touring, below.

Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-08-24, 05:18 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 912 Post(s)
Liked 489 Times in 393 Posts
I liked that same design front rack came on Trek 520s (but don't know if same material), didn't buy one when they were for sale, but thought it looked like a great turn-key ready tourer, with that, and a rear rack with wide deck and lower tier for panniers. 3 lbs is heavy if aluminum (edit: not, it's steel, and 10mm tubes and not solid rod, that's stiffer and stronger for the same weight), that means stout. For me, you can't have too much rack space, so the top platform would be a plus, although I ride a 20" wheel folder so the space above the front rack deck is huge, I can rest large parcels there and strap to the rack and stem riser. I don't have a Surly but they have a reputation for tough stuff.

EDIT: Surly site says that is "chromoly", so moderate strength steel, that'll be stout, and at $140, a lot less for that size a rack than competing high quality steel racks I have seen. I have a Blackburn TRX-2 rear rack that is from aluminum and almost exact same weight, which is a lot, but that Surly rack holds a lot of volume for a front rack and has a weight limit of 70 lbs (enormous on just the front) versus my rear rack of 40 lbs. If you're doing an expedition tour, heavy cargo, far from replacement parts, racks are often the failure point if not designed for the load, so if hauling that much on the front, and other racks not rated for same weight, I'd go the Surly.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 04-17-24 at 10:23 PM.
Duragrouch is offline  
Old 04-17-24, 10:15 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 5,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 64 Posts
Never used one but if I did it would probably be on a bike with mtn bike sized tires and very heavy loads. Can’t imagine wanting to tour with more weight than a 1 lb platform rack or 1 lb low riders could carry. For me I’d put it on a utility bike.
LeeG is offline  
Old 04-17-24, 10:28 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 912 Post(s)
Liked 489 Times in 393 Posts
(above) Definitely expedition strength. However, for max rated weight, I think those two attachments per side on cantilevered brackets is a bit weak, I would want additional anchors at the fork crown and the canti brake posts or both, unless this would constitute "overdefined", and the anchor points changing position with respect to each other due to fork flex, putting undue stress on the rack.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 04-17-24 at 10:32 PM.
Duragrouch is offline  
Old 04-18-24, 04:49 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,298

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 1,163 Posts
I commented above that on one bike I have a low rider rack (Tubus Ergo, now discontinued) and a small platform rack. The platform rack was sold by Nashbar. Photo is 12 years old. I like this much better than the Surly that it replaced.



I have the Tara for a different bike, but I like the Ergo better.

If you have canti brake posts on your bike, Sunlite also made a small platform rack similar to the Nashbar one.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 03:02 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 912 Post(s)
Liked 489 Times in 393 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I commented above that on one bike I have a low rider rack (Tubus Ergo, now discontinued) and a small platform rack. The platform rack was sold by Nashbar. Photo is 12 years old. I like this much better than the Surly that it replaced.



I have the Tara for a different bike, but I like the Ergo better.

If you have canti brake posts on your bike, Sunlite also made a small platform rack similar to the Nashbar one.
I have that EXACT front rack, called a "Sixer", which I bought from Nashbar about 10 years ago, I think it was 8 or 10 dollars. Perfect size to hold a 6-pack, several times I've strapped one on top when the panniers were full of other groceries. The small scale of it works perfect with 20" wheels, and the distance from top of (any size) rim to the brake posts is the same. It's not designed for panniers but I put wood sticks between the hooked rod section just below the front of the rack, down to the fork dropouts, to keep panniers out of the spokes, and also filled the aft vertical pockets with empty plastic setzer bottles just to give it more shape when empty, for the same reason. Then I hung medium sized panniers (also from Nashbar mid-'90s). The weight rating of the rack is actually pretty high, I always have much less weight in the bags. On 20" wheels which have more "agile/twitchy" handling, it's not essential for the panniers to be centered on the steering axis in side view, in fact, having the panniers a bit forward of that actually adds stability to the handling, calms it down a bit, and likewise for handlebar accessories that add same mass forward, such as aero bars and drink bottle. This is due to both adding polar moment to the steered assembly, and, mass forward causes the steered assembly to steer in the direction of falling/banking, so adds stability.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 04-19-24 at 03:09 AM.
Duragrouch is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 09:16 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,481
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 641 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 409 Times in 281 Posts
I put on the new rack with some needed mods so it would mount and the bungee type panniers had something for the hook to grab.
Rick is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 11:18 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,298

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 1,163 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick
I put on the new rack with some needed mods so it would mount and the bungee type panniers had something for the hook to grab.
Apology in advance for being off topic.

I do not recall if I had mentioned this to you before or not, but you can accumulate a lot of dirt on the S&S couplings in the threads. I stretched some inner tube rubber sleeves over the ends of my S&S "nuts" to keep the dirt out, as you can see in this photo.



I initially used electrical tape, but it was a huge hassle getting the tape wrapped under my cables, so no longer use that, but this photo shows why I want to keep crud out of the couplers.

Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 12:09 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,481
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 641 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 409 Times in 281 Posts
Tourist in MSN: Thanks and you have but, you hadn't mentioned the electrical tape. at the time. I don't have the cable problem and had tried the pieces of inner tube once. I have disassembled, cleaned and greased the couplers three times in over 10 years. I am going to try out the electrical or silicone tape. I used friction tape were I zip tied my Click-Stand bracket and my Stompump bracket to the seat tube and seatpost. The zipties alone don't keep them from rotating on the round tubing.You didn't give your thoughts on the rack. With supplied rack hardware the rack wouldn't install. If you look at the low ryder mounts there is a Tubus rear rack accessory bar screwed in then the rack attachment point attached to it.
Rick is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 01:26 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,298

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3505 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 1,163 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick
....You didn't give your thoughts on the rack. ...
I think that rack is overkill, but if you want both a platform and pannier mounts, I see nothing wrong with it. And if you are happy with it, that is what matters. As I noted above, I started with the Surly front rack, but after two tours, ditched it for something less weighty and more compact.

Bummer that it did not fit correctly on your fork, but with five mounting points, as long as the supplied hardware worked well for the fork crown and at the dropouts, the mid fork mounts are probably not that critical.

That is a beautiful bike. I do not recall, is that the Pangea? I considered buying the Pangea, but bought the Thorn Nomad Mk II instead, mostly based on price difference. And I wanted chain drive, not belt. The Nomad is chain only. And I have been very happy with the Nomad Mk II. It is a very heavy bike but where I needed it to perform, it was great. And the frame also works with a 100mm suspension fork, which I have used a couple times on it.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 06:36 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2,023
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 912 Post(s)
Liked 489 Times in 393 Posts
Originally Posted by Rick
I put on the new rack with some needed mods so it would mount and the bungee type panniers had something for the hook to grab.
Very nice looking setup. I'm puzzled by the front low-rider position being aft of the steering axis, weight there alone is less stable, it will try to make the bike steer away from a bank instead of into a bank (the latter more self-correcting), but if in balance with the higher load forward of the steering axis, great.
Duragrouch is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 06:54 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,481
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 641 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 409 Times in 281 Posts
Tourist in MSN: You are correct it is the Co-Motion Pangea, their 26" single. I had looked at the Thorn but wanted the belt. The Tubus Grand Expedition is 27.5 oz. As I stated earlier in this thread, this rack is lighter than the Old Man Mountain or the Surly. The lowryder mounts were about 1" off, so I used that rack accessory. The rack is still a 5 point mount and very solid. I need the top deck for some closed cell foam pads that I want to use in addition to my air mattress.
Rick is offline  
Old 04-19-24, 08:26 PM
  #20  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 54 Posts
Tubus is sexier.
Surly is burly.

I've got em' both. They both have their plusses.
dualresponse is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.