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Mounting sleeping bag and tent on front rack?

Old 11-16-08, 07:55 PM
  #1  
spinnaker
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Mounting sleeping bag and tent on front rack?

I haven't camped in year. I was thinking of adding it as a part of my touring. I already have a nice pair of Ortlieb Bike Packers. I figure I will need to shell out for a tent, a new sleeping bag and a pad. I really don't want to add bags to the list. So if I really don't like the camping thing, I want to invest as little as I can.


I'm not planning on carrying food or cooking gear.

I suppose I could get everything on the rear rack. The Ortliebs have more than enough room for 2 weeks of credit card touring. I could probably just strap the rest of the gear to the bags or the top of the rear rack, but I am a little concerned about so much weight on the rear wheel.

Most of the front racks I have seen are designed for panniers, but is it still possible to carry my tent sleeping bag and bad on the front rack without panniers? I really do not want to spend a lolt of money for a front rack.
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Old 11-16-08, 08:38 PM
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cabana 4 life
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https://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FREXT

https://cetmaracks.com/

two options i have a cetma on my townie bike its pretty heavy but tough as nails. the jand rack looks nice i have the expedition rack on the back of my lht and its super strong, so i would think the front would be as well.
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Old 11-16-08, 08:50 PM
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There is a big variation in packed size of tents and sleeping bags, so part of it's going to depend on what you're carrying. Consider down sleeping bags (assuming you can keep one dry).
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Old 11-16-08, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cabana 4 life View Post
https://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FREXT

https://cetmaracks.com/

two options i have a cetma on my townie bike its pretty heavy but tough as nails. the jand rack looks nice i have the expedition rack on the back of my lht and its super strong, so i would think the front would be as well.
Both look like great options but a bit more than I want to spend on a rack.
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Old 11-16-08, 08:57 PM
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If you've got a platform rack in the front, it's easy to add a tent and other gear. The front rack is where I put my tent, extra water bottles if needed and sometimes a jacket or long pants if the weather's changing.

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Old 11-16-08, 09:05 PM
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Most tents will be much longer than the platform on a front rack. It can work but you'd have to strap it down fairly tight. Also if you don't have fenders, the tent stuff sack will get very dirty.

In general, you want your sleeping bag to stay as dry as possible (especially if it's down). It's better off inside the Ortlieb.

A better plan is likely to get a platform front rack, a waterproof stuff sack, and stick a bunch of heavy stuff inside it.
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Old 11-16-08, 09:12 PM
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spinnaker,

First off, how far are you going? For a cross country, month long plus tour, it's best to have top end gear. I always tell people who that it's best to have $1000 for the bike and another $1000 for gear.

But it has been done for much less of course--- if your only going for a weekend trip, pile everything on the rear rack and hope for the best. You'll be fine. Heck, everybody did this back in the 70's!

It's also possible to rig a cheap used rear rack on the front of your bike. I took an old flimsy rear rack of an old bike, mounted it backwards the front of my bike, made a custom bracket to attach to the front brake hole in the fork, and strapped my sleeping bad and pad to the top of it. Was it the best idea? No, but it worked OK. Later I hung half gallon water bottles off the sides of this getto rack riding though Death Valley. And I'm still alive!

I say relax and go with whatever gear you have, or can barrow. Have Fun!
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Old 11-16-08, 09:33 PM
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Nitto makes a small rack that is just the ticket. The racks will fit both front and rear. Here's my
setup. I use a Hudson River 3 season quilt, 20oz, that I carry in the saddle bag. The tent is strapped below my saddle and my sleeping pad and cooking gears is on the front rack. I could carry the tent or sleeping quilt on the front rack if I wanted to.


Last edited by nun; 11-16-08 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 11-16-08, 09:57 PM
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I solved that problem by putting the panniers up front and the tent, sbag, pad and clothes in a dry bag stuffer on the rear rack. Works well on and off pavement for me.
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Old 11-17-08, 12:16 AM
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Nashbar sells a small front platform for about $15 mounts on the brake posts and fender hole in the fork. Ok for short trips.
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Old 11-17-08, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
If you've got a platform rack in the front, it's easy to add a tent and other gear. The front rack is where I put my tent, extra water bottles if needed and sometimes a jacket or long pants if the weather's changing.


Just curious: what is that thing sticking up off the stem?
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Old 11-17-08, 11:13 AM
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Rivendell/Nitto front rack. My tent, fly, footprint are strapped to the front rack. The sleeping bag is on the rear rack. The poles and pad are in a the rear pannier.

Tom
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Old 11-17-08, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
Just curious: what is that thing sticking up off the stem?
I've mounted a GPS unit there. I'd prefer to have it sticking out in front but the handlebar bag gets in the way. It's mounted on the handlebar to the right of the stem.
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Old 11-18-08, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Both look like great options but a bit more than I want to spend on a rack.

The Jandd can be found cheaper. It really is a good rack.

https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ils&ProdID=443
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Old 11-18-08, 12:04 PM
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old man mountain has some great ones also, but the pretty pricey.

https://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...rontRacks.html
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Old 11-18-08, 12:22 PM
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Unless you are one of those weight doesn't matter guys... Check the weight on some of those suggested racks some are 2-1/2 pounds.
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Old 11-18-08, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cabana 4 life View Post
old man mountain has some great ones also, but the pretty pricey.

https://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...rontRacks.html


I use OMM Cold Springs front racks on my LHT and Surly Big Dummy. They have taken a beating and work great. They come with a lifetime warranty and are very light for the weight they can carry.

I have a Surly rack and Tubus rack in my parts bin I could use, but I prefer the OMM racks I have...

OMM racks are made in the US if that matters.
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Old 11-18-08, 07:19 PM
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damn i want one now, i have the tubus low rider but the omm looks sweet.
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Old 11-18-08, 07:29 PM
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For just a tent and sleeping bag this rack works really well. Not sure I'd tour outer Mongolia using it (but then again I wouldn't use cheap pannier racks either), but I used this rack on my last tour and it was fine. A cheap and efficient way to balance your load, well worth it, plus you don't have to move your existing low rider rack.

Originally Posted by gregstandt View Post
Nashbar sells a small front platform for about $15 mounts on the brake posts and fender hole in the fork. Ok for short trips.
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