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Opinions on VO porteur rack? Others?

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Opinions on VO porteur rack? Others?

Old 12-19-10, 04:08 PM
  #1  
zoltani
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Opinions on VO porteur rack? Others?

I am thinking of putting a porteur rack on my bike and have considered the VO and CETMA. The wait times of the CETMA kind of discourage me, along with the ugly supports that attach to the bars. However, the VO rack just doesn't seem like it would be that stable/secure. Anyone have the VO? Opinions?

Any other porteur rack recommendations?
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Old 12-19-10, 05:36 PM
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In my opinion, those porteur racks aren't a good option for carrying stuff. A load above your front wheel will negatively affect your bike's handling. This post will be upsetting to the utility bikers and you will see a flurry of posts refuting it, but they are wrong.
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Old 12-19-10, 08:51 PM
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I agree with the other guy. I've got a kogswell with a custom rack for it that mount on either side of the fork crown with threaded bosses as well as at the mid-fork braze-ons. A 35lb bag of dog food was a pretty sketchy ride and that's on a bike that's designed to carry a front load. I've only had the CETMA mounted to a bike with more normal (not low trail) numbers. That was a near death ride with a couple pizza's and a six pack.

Honestly, my favorite front rack is my Surly Nice Rack. It has a pretty large platform for strapping down large crap as well as lowrider pannier mounts. I bet you could mount some collapsible wald baskets to the lowrider mounts for maximum utility.
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Old 12-19-10, 08:58 PM
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A cutdown Wald Giant Delivery Basket.

AND, run wide sweptback handlebars on a big front basket bike.
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Old 12-20-10, 01:09 AM
  #5  
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I've thought the minoura king carrier looked pretty nice online, but have never personally seen it. It also has a bottle opener, having a bottle opener built in is the quickest way to "bike culture cred" without having to take both your brakes off

I would also make sure your bicycle has nice geometry for a front load if you have not done so already. None of them will be stable on a bike that isn't good for them when you add enough weight. I think they're usually okay for high volume, lower weight on most bikes and still handle alright.

Last edited by Abneycat; 02-20-11 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 12-20-10, 06:50 AM
  #6  
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The VO rack looks better but I think either would be fine.
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Old 12-20-10, 11:06 AM
  #7  
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So what exactly makes a bike good for carrying a front load? I had planned to put this on a cross check.
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Old 12-20-10, 11:45 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
So what exactly makes a bike good for carrying a front load? I had planned to put this on a cross check.
A Cross Check has a high trail geometry that is not good for carrying a significant front only load. A bike designed for a PR rack will have a low trail geometry. I've tried front only loads on high trail bikes and it is not fun. You'll have to keep a solid grip on the bars or the bike will veer to one side or the other. Tolerable for a short ride if needed - awful for any length of time.

If you want to see how your bike would work just grab some sort of platform front rack and put 15lbs on it....try and ride your bike and see what you think.
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Old 12-20-10, 12:45 PM
  #9  
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Ah ok, I guess I'll just stick with a rear rack and panniers.
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Old 12-20-10, 11:02 PM
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I disagree about the no go on modern trail'd bikes.

if you run a big sweptback bar to add some leverage on a modern 'average trail' bike, riding a large front load over the wheel is more like a gyroscopic pirouette. riding a huge front load with a set of chopped down lanesplitters won't be as enjoyable.

cruiser bars make a large basket load quite mangeable, and fun, on most bikes with average modern trail.

Last edited by Bekologist; 12-21-10 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 12-23-10, 07:34 PM
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Yeah, people are just wimps.

I personally got a civia market rack to go on my Centurion tourer. Not quite as nice as the VO, but half the price. I have moustache bars on my bike and it's fine for most trips. I only really load it up when I'm coming back from Sams Club... I've had maybe 20 pounds on it? It gets a little squirrely, but nothing terrible. Most of the time I just use it as a basket for whatever random item I happen to need to take from one place to another—a soda, a jacket, a backpack, etc. I like the platform/basket combination—just right in my opinion.

As far as the VO rack goes, I have heard nothing to the effect that it's unstable/secure—in fact quite the opposite.

There's also the Pass & Stow rack, if you want to get ritzy.
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Old 12-25-10, 10:30 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets View Post
Yeah, people are just wimps.

I've had maybe 20 pounds on it? It gets a little squirrely, but nothing terrible.
I'd recommend someone try a 20lbs front load on a high trail bike before committing to a new rack. It's possible to ride it, but whether you want to ride a bike that's squirrely is another matter.

Personally I've never felt wanting a bike to stay on the road without having to hold the bars tightly or not wanting to use uber wide bars to get enough leverage to control it was wimpy, but maybe I'm getting soft in my old age?

Given that high trail bikes handle rear only loads well it seems like a better idea to put your stuff there or if you want a PR rack buy a bike that was designed for that type of loading.
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Old 12-25-10, 01:58 PM
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Paul's Flatbed is very adaptable, aluminum mostly 1/2" diameter Rod with CNC parts
and will fit many bikes , I put one on my old touring bike , Its OK.

If I were hammering thru the streets of Paris to get the morning news papers to the
news agents Kiosk, fastest, I may want something heavier duty.

Vintage bike quarterly readers go on and on about low trail geometry,
and porteur's rack loads .. on another list.

you wallet will dictate if you want a custom fork and rack built together..

for the occasional half rack of stubbies ,
the requirements may not be as strict.
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Old 12-25-10, 07:29 PM
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my panasonic is rocking a sunlite branded front rack that I got for $25. A rando rack might be a good compromise, it's quite useful.

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Old 12-26-10, 01:04 AM
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I have the VO rack on a LHT with some wide north road bars. It's really not a big deal to handle even really large loads - I've carried a bike in a bike box with some other boxes on top of that, 60+ pounds of cat litter, etc. It's exceptional for flat loads like pizzas, hors d'oeuvres trays, and the like. I guess maybe handling could be more of a problem if I used 40 cm drops, but I don't. But... the original question was about the rack itself. The rack has been great. It's handled the rather significant loads that I've put on it with ease and has changed the ways I use my bike. Putting irregularly sized loads on the back of my bike used to be problematic for me, and large pizzas were sort of impossible because of the width and the floppy box.

I only paid $50 for mine, so maybe at a $150 price point the purchase might require some more thought. All I can say is that it's been the best $50 that I've ever spent on any bike.
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Old 12-26-10, 01:26 AM
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vik is right, having 20 lbs on a front rack will turn your handling into total crap the first time you try it. But as long as you have a well functioning frontal cortex and cerebellum, it will be much easier the second time and after that. Just saying, I don't think the first time you try it should be the basis of your judgment.
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Old 12-26-10, 07:53 AM
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For quick trips around town, a front rack is very useful--and that's exactly what a porteur rack is supposed to be used for. I have one (came with the bike) and while yes, the handling does suffer even on a supposedly porteur-design bike, that doesn't mean it's not useful for getting that extra item that doesn't fit in my panniers from point A to B. Most often I've strapped my tupperware lunch container to the front rack, but I've also used a crate to carry take-out and six packs. It gets unweildy at 15-20lbs, but if I'm only going a few miles, it doesn't really matter.
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Old 12-26-10, 11:16 AM
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I have widened a narrow front rack with a piece of plywood,
3/8" is sufficient.

P clips screwed in from underneath holds it on OK.

Drill some holes in the corners to tie stuff down ..

Baltic Birch Ply from Scandinavia, of course, is the Best.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-26-10 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 12-30-10, 08:01 AM
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I've used the VO porteur rack all year for carrying all sorts of stuff up to 60 LBS. I disagree that the load above the front wheel is awkward, but my conclusion is only based in experience not opinion.
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Old 12-30-10, 07:15 PM
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Wow Irwin what kind of bike is that?
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Old 12-31-10, 10:51 AM
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Kind of bike? Mixte, defined by 2 thin tubes, from top of headtube
to rear dropout ..

Oh, I see, you asked what kind, kind but really wanted to hear Brand names..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-06-11 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 12-31-10, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Wow Irwin what kind of bike is that?
That's a 76 Raleigh Grand Prix. Paid $20 for the frame headset and bottom bracket, used the wheels and drivetrain from my Jamis Commuter. It made a fun winter project and a great city bike, mixte's are the best in town! Here's a couple other shots. It's a rattlecan paint job with period nos decals from HLloyd cycles.

Marc
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Old 12-31-10, 12:09 PM
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Nice looking mixte!

I'm no stranger to front loads as I have done many a recreational ride with only front panniers, but that was on a lowrider rack which probably handles better than the porteur style rack.

I got a gift certificate for the LBS and just went ahead and picked up a rear rack, so I think I'll just use that for now. From what you guys are saying wide bars work better for front racks, and I've got pretty narrow randonneur bars right now. Don't really want to change my set-up since I just built the bike up a couple of months ago.

Thank for all the info though!
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Old 12-31-10, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by carfreephilly View Post
For quick trips around town, a front rack is very useful--and that's exactly what a porteur rack is supposed to be used for. I have one (came with the bike) and while yes, the handling does suffer even on a supposedly porteur-design bike, that doesn't mean it's not useful for getting that extra item that doesn't fit in my panniers from point A to B. Most often I've strapped my tupperware lunch container to the front rack, but I've also used a crate to carry take-out and six packs. It gets unweildy at 15-20lbs, but if I'm only going a few miles, it doesn't really matter.


You can also carry oversized loads on the rear where there is no handling penalty on high trail bikes. You could even rig a large PR-esque platform on the back if that was something you did regularly.



My LHT was rideable loaded like this, but just barely and certainly no fun.

Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
I've used the VO porteur rack all year for carrying all sorts of stuff up to 60 LBS. I disagree that the load above the front wheel is awkward, but my conclusion is only based in experience not opinion.
+1 - it's not hard to jury rig a 20lbs weight over your front wheel and see for yourself how it handles.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Vintage bike quarterly readers go on and on about low trail geometry,
and porteur's rack loads .. on another list.
I thought the VBQ guys were exaggerating until I tried to PR my LHT. A very capable load hauler when loaded as designed [from the rear and then front panniers]. I gave it a couple miserable weeks until I couldn't handle the ****ty ride any longer. The PR rack "look" may be fashionable at the moment as well as being practical when used on the right bikes, but there is more to a good PR bike than slapping a rack on any bike you may have.

Having said all that I think it's worth trying for yourself then there will be no doubt in your mind if it's a good idea in your particular case.

On that note I have a low trail bike on the way for 2011 so what that's like with a front only load.
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Old 01-02-11, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
I'd recommend someone try a 20lbs front load on a high trail bike before committing to a new rack. It's possible to ride it, but whether you want to ride a bike that's squirrely is another matter.

Personally I've never felt wanting a bike to stay on the road without having to hold the bars tightly or not wanting to use uber wide bars to get enough leverage to control it was wimpy, but maybe I'm getting soft in my old age?

Given that high trail bikes handle rear only loads well it seems like a better idea to put your stuff there or if you want a PR rack buy a bike that was designed for that type of loading.
You're vastly oversimplifying the matter. How often are you carrying 20 lb loads on your front rack anyway? For me, maybe once every four months. For me, a bike that handles a little squirrely (key word being "little") once every four months is far outweighed by the general utility gained. I carry stuff on my porteur rack on a weekly basis and there are innumerable loads that make more sense in my front rack than my rear rack. Small items will stay put without any bungies; large and awkward but lightweight packages; anything I might want to keep a hand on. The only thing a rear rack is good for on a day to day basis is carrying my panniers.

So far so good. 90% of loads less than 20 pounds work better on a front rack. Loads over 20 lbs are workable, but nothing's stopping you from having front and rear racks. My bars aren't "uber-wide" and I certainly didn't buy them because that's all that work with my front rack.

So yeah, I think you're wimpy if you can't handle a front rack.
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