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Front rack on a carbon fork?

Old 05-23-12, 05:46 AM
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Lionheart
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Front rack on a carbon fork?

Rumor has that you shouldn't put a rack onto a carbon fork. Is this just risky or totally wrong?

I'm riding a Specialized Tri Cross with a Specialized FACT carbon cyclocross fork. I'm planning a one week 550 mile light tour where I'll camp but not cook. I do have a rear rack but am starting to worry about putting all the weight in the rear of my rig. Any wisdom?

Danny
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Old 05-23-12, 06:00 AM
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You have two options;

A handlebar mounted bag: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/revie...?board_id=3647

A front rack that mounts on the axle and cantilever posts: https://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...rontRacks.html

The handlebar mounted bag is often used for light touring.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:07 AM
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What type of rack are you looking at? the Specialized fork has no mounts, so this discounts lowrider racks, the only options you have left are as Barrettscv suggests.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:57 AM
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If you're doing a light tour, I think you'd be fine with a large front bag. You won't get more volume with a front rack and some bags, unless you actually move up to front panniers -- in which case, you are no longer light touring.

It won't handle quite the same, but it shouldn't be too bad. IMO that type of setup handles a little better with one bag on the back, compared to two panniers. YMMV.

On a side note, 550 miles over 7 days = 78 miles per day. That's probably a bit too ambitious. Keep in mind that if you normally cycle, say, 200 miles a week, you're more than doubling your weekly riding and adding gear. You also need time to get food, set up camp, break down camp, and shower. ~50-60 miles a day is more reasonable.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Lionheart View Post
Rumor has that you shouldn't put a rack onto a carbon fork. Is this just risky or totally wrong?

I'm riding a Specialized Tri Cross with a Specialized FACT carbon cyclocross fork. I'm planning a one week 550 mile light tour where I'll camp but not cook. I do have a rear rack but am starting to worry about putting all the weight in the rear of my rig. Any wisdom?

Danny
This is where it's worth talking to someone from Specialized about the exact fork you have and the exact loads you want to put on it and not rely on general statements about racks and carbon forks.

For example if it is a FACT fork without fender eyelets can the cantilever bosses handle a mini-rack carrying 5lbs? If it has fender eyelets can they take a rack with 5-10lbs on it? I assume the present FACT carbon forks with mid-fork low rider bosses are designed to carry a load otherwise they wouldn't even be there so maybe the FACT carbon forks can take it as long as the load goes straight to the axle, ie. OldManMountain racks for larger loads.

It doesn't take much to improve handling and don't see how a 3lb sleeping bag in a compression sack attached to a mini-front rack could load things up much. Combine that with 2lbs on a simple handlebar bag and you've taken five lbs off the rear rack. I'd call Specialized and ask about specific loads starting with your weight and the weight of the gear you presently have on your rear rack.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:06 AM
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The carbon fork that came on my Specialized Sequoia came with low rider rack mounts. I have been using a low rider rack with no problems. If your Tricross fork has the mounts, you should be fine.

You shouldn't put put any type on clamp on carbon fiber.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:17 AM
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You shouldn't put put any type on clamp on carbon fiber.
this.
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Old 05-23-12, 09:05 AM
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I had a Tricross that I used for touring and it had mid-fork mounts. I was still careful about the weight carried on it. I'm with the others that say NO CLAMPS.

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Old 05-23-12, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lionheart View Post
Rumor has that you shouldn't put a rack onto a carbon fork. Is this just risky or totally wrong?

I'm riding a Specialized Tri Cross with a Specialized FACT carbon cyclocross fork. I'm planning a one week 550 mile light tour where I'll camp but not cook. I do have a rear rack but am starting to worry about putting all the weight in the rear of my rig. Any wisdom?

Danny
I'll add one more voice to the Chorus... Don't clamp to a cf fork, but using the existing mount points is fine.

Light touring, depending on how you define light, you probably won't have any reason to go with front and rear panniers.

BTW, using front only panniers is my preferred setup if carrying a light load using panniers and if there are braze-ons. Light to my mind is sub 30 pounds, and probably closer to 20 than 30. I did front only panniers with a 22 pound base weight and was very happy with the setup for a longish tour.

If I go lighter yet (15 pound base weight, plus or minus a pound or two) I skip the panniers and go with very light dry bags. So far that has been on top of a rear rack and in a handlebar bag. That worked out very well on my recent San Diego to Sarasota tour.

For my next tour (3 weeks in the Colorado Rockies in August) I plan to mount the dry bags on the sides of the rear rack and also use a handlebar bag.

FWIW, I found the superlight Sea to Summit UltraSil bags to not hold up as well as I would like and have moved to a little heavier bags. In this case the still light but more substantial Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sacks.
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Old 05-23-12, 09:49 AM
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There are several journals on CGOAB of people who have toured across the country on a Tricross with front and rear panniers. If your fork has the low rider mounts you should be fine as long as you don't overload the front. I have a Tricross and if I remember correctly I read somewhere that there was a 25lbs load limit on the carbon fork.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
What type of rack are you looking at? the Specialized fork has no mounts, so this discounts lowrider racks, the only options you have left are as Barrettscv suggests.
I should've stated this up front to avoid any confusion, but the fork DOES have the mid-blade eyelets.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:03 AM
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BigAura,

Aside from some minor differences this is my machine. BTW, I like the fenders. What kind are those? ...and what kind of racks are you sporting there?

Last edited by Lionheart; 05-23-12 at 11:04 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-23-12, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Lionheart View Post
I should've stated this up front to avoid any confusion, but the fork DOES have the mid-blade eyelets.
If it's got mid-blade eyelets, would treat it the same as any other fork with them. Stick a lowrider on it, or a canti-boss mounted one. If you are looking at canti-boss mounted ones, would check to see it fits when ordering, I had a really nice Nitto N12 which would not fit onto my Planet X CX carbon fork, Velo Orange make some front racks which may be worth looking at as well.
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Old 05-23-12, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lionheart View Post
BTW, I like the fenders. What kind are those? ...and what kind of racks are you sporting there?
The fenders are Planet Bike Clip-Ons, the rear worked well, but the front only provided minimal protection. The racks are Tubus Cargo & Tara which are the best and worth the premium $$$. I don't have the Tricross anymore, although it served me well. My tours include back-country a good bit now, so I switched to a more rugged touring setup. Plus I now favor a more upright style...but the Tricross was snappy and fun riding touring bike. Keep the gear weight down and you'll be good.
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