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Front Shelf Rack

Old 01-24-05, 08:28 AM
  #1  
CSCman
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Front Shelf Rack

I have a Trek 7100 hybrid that I am going to be using to do the Katy Trail in Missouri later this year. I just bought some REI Keystone panniers that I will use on my rear rack. The group I am going with will be camping. My question is can I get a front rack that would have a shelf over the tire that I could put my tent, sleeping bag and thermarest on. If so has anyone traveled with their camping gear in that possition and did you like it or dislike the setup.
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Old 01-24-05, 09:19 AM
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Jay H
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OMM front racks

You can check out the Cold Springs front. I have this mated to a Bomber Z2 suspension fork using a QR mount system for the lower eyelets and the linear pull brake arch for the upper outlets. It has a top shelf but it also has a center attachment to the load rack. Any pannier that uses a center mounted hook might not work. I know the Madden panniers do not work because of that but my Carradice panniers work fine cause it has two hooks rather than one center one.

Putting a load on the shelf of the CS though will reduce your visibility, depending on how tall the tent is. If you can not use the compression sack and fold the tent into like a vacuum bag, it might make the profile less and still be waterproof. However, most tents seem to use cyclindrical sacks which might impede the visibility a bit. That visibility might not be a big deal to you, most people tend to look further ahead rather than right in front of the tire but YMMV, as always.

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Old 01-24-05, 09:24 AM
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how much does your camping gear weight?

i think the handling would not be too good if you put the tent, sleeping bag and thermarest on top of the front wheel, its too high. i would suggest that you put them on top of the rear rack.
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Old 01-24-05, 09:39 AM
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I have a JANDD Extreme rack for the front. Fits the dropout and brazeon connections fine.

The rack looks to be quite heavy duty and should work fine. A nice feature is the platform on the top of the rack.
 
Old 01-24-05, 09:30 PM
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I should also mention it was about $50.00
 
Old 01-25-05, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CSCman
I have a Trek 7100 hybrid that I am going to be using to do the Katy Trail in Missouri later this year. I just bought some REI Keystone panniers that I will use on my rear rack. The group I am going with will be camping. My question is can I get a front rack that would have a shelf over the tire that I could put my tent, sleeping bag and thermarest on. If so has anyone traveled with their camping gear in that possition and did you like it or dislike the setup.

how do you like your keystones? i just got a pair and havent had a chance to try them out.
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Old 01-25-05, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by motion5447
how do you like your keystones? i just got a pair and havent had a chance to try them out.
I have not had an oppurtunity to try them yet. Although they look like they are just what I was looking for.
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Old 10-28-05, 08:48 PM
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Any other front shelf rack choices out there? BG front rack is very nice but a bit pricey for me, so is Surly's Nice Rack. I don't care for OMM's axle mounts. I like the Jandd.

Last edited by roadfix; 10-28-05 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 10-29-05, 01:13 AM
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The Jandd racks are nice&strong yet a bit heavy. The front has the nice feature of allowing high or low mounting of panniers though.

CSCman, have you considered using a front rack (whatever kind) to mount your two panniers-then your other kit on the rear rack.

I think Machka has some pictures of that type of setup, and it would seem to be perfect for you. A bunch of gear on top of the rear rack is much less problematic from a handling perspective, compared to on top of a front. Would also lighten the load on your rear wheel (if that would be a concern).
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Old 10-29-05, 07:48 AM
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MEC in Canada has a classic Mountain front rack with spashdeck for about $15 CDN.

BUT< I'd try to keep the weight in front centered at the axle or a little lower to keep your handling semisprightly.
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Old 10-29-05, 09:33 AM
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When Im coming over to US to start my long time touring Ill buy the Rivendell/Nitto:
https://www.rivbike.com/webalog/baggage_racks/20075.html

It looks strong and very stabel without being heavy but unfortunately a bit expensive.

IMO you cannot compromise on the quality of racks if you are long time touring and moving around on mixed surface. Too, the stability in front is very important. I agree with Schumius, the front is not for tent or other heavy material.

I just got "Cyclosource" Fall 2005 from ACA. Page 6 gives some packing tips for panniers. They write: "Carry about 40 percent of your weight in your rear panniers and 60 percent in your front panniers" It must definitely be a mistake?

Regards
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Old 10-29-05, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Per Kuhlwein

I just got "Cyclosource" Fall 2005 from ACA. Page 6 gives some packing tips for panniers. They write: "Carry about 40 percent of your weight in your rear panniers and 60 percent in your front panniers" It must definitely be a mistake?

Regards
Per
No. It's not a mistake. But for the 60% loading on the front wheel you should probably use a low-rider. The bike really does handle better with this kind of loading. When I tour (or when I use panniers while riding to work) I always put most of the weight on the front wheel. All of my heavy stuff, cook gear, food, first aid kit, rain gear, etc goes in the front. Clothes and light bulky stuff goes in the back. Tent, sleeping bag and pad go on the top of the rear rack.
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Old 10-29-05, 11:16 AM
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Hi Cyccommute,

Im sorry I do not agree with you. I have made some testrides with different loadings also related to bulky luggage and Im not in doubt the more weight in front the more difficult to steer. To me that seems natural too. Think about the situation where you have to make a fast manoeure to avoid something on the road/trafic? With a very heavy front you are lost!

Thinking on my recent touring of New Zealand the mentioned disposition of weight would have been pure gambling on the many rides down from hill and mountain tops

In that matter we cannot compare commuting and touring I think. But ok partly its a personal matter too

Per
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Old 10-29-05, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Per Kuhlwein
I just got "Cyclosource" Fall 2005 from ACA. Page 6 gives some packing tips for panniers. They write: "Carry about 40 percent of your weight in your rear panniers and 60 percent in your front panniers" – It must definitely be a mistake?
One thing to remember is that once YOU get on the bike, that puts more weight on the rear wheels and shifts the total percentages. I thought that was a typo too and asked them about it. That was their explanation, and it makes sense to me. I shifted my loads accordingly, and did notice a difference in the way it felt.

Steve W.
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Old 10-29-05, 12:07 PM
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Hi Mentor58

Ah.... yeh and no. I do not think the body weight is that important in that matter so far that you are using your body to balance the bike. In fact if you need you can move your body forward and backwards and sidewards too. How easy it is to steer depends among others on the weight on the front wheel.

By the way, imagine driving on gravel road with 60 percent of the weight in front

Per
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Old 10-29-05, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
Any other front shelf rack choices out there? BG front rack is very nice but a bit pricey for me, so is Surly's Nice Rack. I don't care for OMM's axle mounts. I like the Jandd.
Just to add to my previous post, the reason for the front shelf is for mounting a small trunk type bag instead of using a traditional handlebar bag on the bars.
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Old 10-29-05, 02:45 PM
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Nitto - Nitto Mini
Surly
Jandd
MEC
Old Man Mountain
Bruce Gordon
Robert Beckman
Bor Yueh (Nashbar)

Last edited by Erick L; 10-29-05 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 10-29-05, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Camel
The Jandd racks are nice&strong yet a bit heavy. The front has the nice feature of allowing high or low mounting of panniers though.
Fixer...I bought the Jandd Extreme here for a good price (and free shipping):

https://brandscycle.com/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2700

You can sometimes find seconds on the Jandd website.

My old Blackburn lowrider is like a "90 lb weakling" compared to this monster. You'll lift it out of the box and say, "Whoa, this thing is @!# heavy!" But as Camel stated, it does have the high and low pannier mounting options, a top shelf which you can easily mount a headlight, and burly welds about about 3x as thick as the Blackburn's.

Last edited by rnagaoka; 10-29-05 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 10-29-05, 05:50 PM
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I only use front panniers high on a Bruce Gordon Mtn Rack (not a low rider one). The rear BG rack only has a long drybag stuff sack lengthwise on top. I have used this combination for the last fifteen years for self contained touring both on and off-road in the mountains of Alaska, Canada, Mexico, South America and the US including the Divide Ride.
The weight ratio is usually about 55 front and 45 rear. No steering or control problems in steep, rough or loose terrain.
My bike is a rigid Bruce Gordon Rock N' Road from 1989 with 700 X 47 Schwalbe Marathon XR tires with BG racks F & R.

My positive experience may come because my base weight is usually at most 20 pounds not counting food, water and fuel. Less is more in this case at least while touring. I recommend it to anyone.
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Old 10-29-05, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rnagaoka
Fixer...I bought the Jandd Extreme here for a good price (and free shipping):

https://brandscycle.com/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2700
Hey, thanks for that link! I might just go ahead & get one.
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Old 10-29-05, 06:55 PM
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Sean Grady used the approach you are considering, and he went Jandd:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ...ge_id=7607&v=0
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Old 10-29-05, 09:05 PM
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The Jandd Extreme front rack with the shelf is a good rack. I've got one. As someone else mentioned, you can mount your bags high, or low. The shelf can almost take the place of a front fender, too. It will more or less keep water off of you, but water will still come off of the front wheel onto your downtube and bottom bracket.

I want to caution you against your plan of loading stuff up on the shelf, though. If one bungy cord snaps, or if a strap breaks, or if one of those plastic buckles fails, you might have no more than a half-second's warning before the loose end is caught in your front wheel and you get pitched face-first onto the pavement. I had a wheel-freeze accident from a badly mounted pannier a few years ago. As a result, I won't use any straps or cords to put something on the front shelf.

Along similar lines, make sure the panniers you do mount in front are mounted properly. Don't trust plastic-hook-and-bungy-cord assemblies on cheaper bags. I did, and I paid for it...
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Old 10-30-05, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Per Kuhlwein
Hi Mentor58

Ah.... yeh and no. I do not think the body weight is that important in that matter so far that you are using your body to balance the bike. In fact if you need you can move your body forward and backwards and sidewards too. How easy it is to steer depends among others on the weight on the front wheel.

By the way, imagine driving on gravel road with 60 percent of the weight in front

Per
I've do it. Along the Lewis and Clark Trail on the eastern end there is a lot of dirt roads and trails. The 60/40 split makes a bit harder to lift the wheel over something but most of your body weight is centered over the rear wheel. Riding on dirt with this loading isn't as hard as it might seem. As for avoidance maneuvers, the weight on the front wheel tends to dampen the steering a little but if you have most of your weight on the rear wheel, a fast maneuver can result in setting up oscillations that will eventually put you on the ground. Plus the fact that the front wheel is the strongest one anyway. If you hit a hole with the front wheel under load, these less chance of doing damage to it then if you hit the same hole with your rear wheel.

But again, the load should be low on the wheel.
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Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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