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Common bikes KNOWN to handle front load well

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Common bikes KNOWN to handle front load well

Old 08-02-14, 11:48 AM
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arbalest
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Common bikes KNOWN to handle front load well

Update/Summary:
----------------------------
I am making a conjecture that there is at least one common (not cargo or porteur specific) bike out there that was made in quantities (e.g. Raleigh, Schwinn, etc) such that they are still around, and this bike just happens to handle front load in a Wald-type basket very well. That means no excessive control or wheel flop issues at low speeds.

If you have a bike like this can you share with us what it is?

Original:
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I you have first hand experience with good handling of heavy front loads on non-specialty bikes can you tell me (and the rest of us) what bike it was?

I do see such bike mentioned indirectly in other forum posts. For instance, there is a photo of a Raleigh Sports and two 12-packs of bottles in a Wald basket. Can others second that suggestion and/or provide others?

Pictures encouraged. Don't be afraid to mention step-through frames as well since I think that would be ideal for my purposes which include easy on and off while loaded.

I know how trail effects handling when there is load on the front. I also know about the frame-geometry database (spread sheet). But for the frames in the database with low trail I just don't see them come up on my local Craigslist. And most of the bikes on Craigslist do not show up in the frame geometry database. So, I want to try another way to find a somewhat common (read CHEAP) bike that is suitable for front loads.

Last edited by arbalest; 08-08-14 at 02:41 PM. Reason: made question the first sentence.
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Old 08-05-14, 04:58 PM
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good with front loads

In 1984, I bought Takara's #2 Grand Touring bicycle. Back then, outside of toys, you had two types of bicycles, sport/race and Grand Touring. MTBs were local to Colorado and further west and unheard of where I lived. This is a long wheelbase, long rake front fork bicycle. As long as I balance the load, it handles very well. The last two Novembers, I took it on 200+ mile (vacation) rides fully loaded.
I have had four six packs carried in the two panniers on grocery runs with room for stuff on top inside. Water weight. Fairly heavy. Plus additional weight bungeed onto the top of each. I also use Low Riders which helps to keep the center of gravity low.
This type of bicycle was practically wiped out the the invasive MTB species. This is just an ancient, surviving dinosaur. When it dies, its replacement will be the Surly Long Haul (Disk) Trucker. Its modern remake.
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Old 08-06-14, 04:50 PM
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Thanks @salek. That's impressive and good to know. I should have been specific about my interest being front loads which are higher - like in a basket. I've heard that the LHT handles low-rider weight real well, especially when the rear is loaded. But I've also heard that weight in a front basket alone, on a LHT, might not be desirable at all.

As an aside, I wonder if "some" photos of bikes with loaded front baskets or porteur racks (here and elsewhere on the web) are staged (i.e., very light, or empty, boxes).
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Old 08-07-14, 05:58 PM
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I was under the impression that front loaded "Cycle Trucks" have very low trail. You might want to study them?
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Old 08-08-14, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rdlange View Post
I was under the impression that front loaded "Cycle Trucks" have very low trail. You might want to study them?
Geez - I better rephrase the original question.
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Old 08-08-14, 06:19 PM
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cycle trucks are front loaded, have low trail. Porteur bikes are front loaded, have low trail. Low trail bike for front loading...? technical detail I thought would help you select. My mistake.

found it...

http://www.randonoodler.com/2012/02/high-spark-of-low-trail-bikes.html

http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2012/...l-madness.html



Last edited by rdlange; 08-08-14 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 08-09-14, 06:18 AM
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I don't know how close the geometry on my Schwinn Classic 3 is to the old Schwinn Heavy Duty, but I used to routinely load the Heavy Duty up with 200# of newspapers for delivery.

I had the Wald GB157 on the front and the 535's on the rear with a large shoulder bag sitting on top of the rear baskets. It was a very stable bike loaded. I was a skinny kid an at that point and weighed just under 100#.

Aaron

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Old 08-09-14, 05:52 PM
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Long John types .. Larry vs Harry Larry Vs. Harry | Cargo bike BULLITT, a fast cargo bike designed by Larry vs Harry, Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish , design Taiwan made (where they know heat treated aluminum fabrication well, at lower costs.
CETMA and the long haul out of HPM - CAT Oregon Human Powered Machines The Long Haul

and Many Bakfiets builders in NL (and so forth) Clever Cycles Portland stocks these, now B****e City cargo bike
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Old 08-11-14, 11:31 AM
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I've got a Worksman cruiser with big heavy Wald basket and had a Schwinn HeavyDuti with similar basket. In both cases, it's workable, but I wouldn't say that it was "good handling". My point is, that if you see pictures of Bicycle X with big ol' front basket, that does NOT imply that Bicycle X actually handled well with big front baskets, quite likely, somebody just dealt with it.
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Old 08-11-14, 12:38 PM
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Trek Steel District comes with a front basket, and REI has the Barrow which comes with a frame mounted front basket. They're both still 700s though so it's debatable.

Soma looks like they have a few great options that look quite good, without being several thousand dollars like the Taiwanese bikes imported from Europe. They make the Pick Up Artist complete bike, which is a 20" front wheel linkage steered bike, the Tradesman frame which is a direct steered 26/20, and they import one called the Yasujiro Mini Cargo Bike which has 20" wheels. Worksman also might be worth looking into that have 26/20 wheels too.

non specialist, Soma and Velo Orange have some 650b models to look into

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Old 08-12-14, 11:49 AM
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Front load?? One bike is best. That bike is.........Worksman.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 08-28-14, 03:28 PM
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I know you said non-specialty bikes but I found the Sun Atlas X to handle a front load well.

http://bayareabicyclescctx.com/produ...pe-78637-1.htm

Unfortunately Sun is lying that the rear rack is integral, it's a sturdy bolt on.
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Old 08-28-14, 06:32 PM
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I know it's a dog but my pet doesn't seem to mind. I don't know trail but this feels really good when loaded in the Wald paper-boy basket. Oh, it's 60's Roadmaster.
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Old 08-29-14, 10:11 AM
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If I were you I would email Lane Kagay of Cetma Cargo bikes. He doesn't just do cargo bikes - he started out doing and still does hoss front racks for regular bikes. He would likely have a good recommendation for a regular frame that works well for hauling in front as that is part of his prime buyer market. He is a nice guy and helpful. His cargo bikes rock too, but they are pretty specialized. I think that Lane is an occasional poster here as well. Lkagar is his user name IF I am remembering right.

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-14, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by boattail71 View Post
... feels really good when loaded in the Wald paper-boy basket. Oh, it's 60's Roadmaster.
Thanks. This the type of info I hoped to get (as is the reply from wahoonc). Cute dog too.
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Old 08-29-14, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by croppera View Post
If I were you I would email Lane Kagay...
Thanks. I just sent off an email.
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Old 08-30-14, 12:19 PM
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Front load Improves the Handling on my Bike Friday (panniers), and Brompton, (headtube mounted carrier block).

VBQ folks attribute a shorter trail as being good for front loads..
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Old 09-04-14, 02:08 PM
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I put a watermelon in my Bell handlebar-basket on my schwinn continental today. Does that count? The original kickstand held it with no trouble while I loaded up the rear bags with other stuff. It rode fine on the way home.

I'm surprised the basket held to be honest.
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Old 09-04-14, 03:57 PM
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This isn't what you asked for, but there is a design characteristic that usually ensures good handling with heavy front loads: low-trail Lovely Bicycle!: Front Load on a Mid-trail Road Bike?

Low-trail introduces its own problems - Spectrum Cycles | Geometry - but they're not big ones. You can, of course, shortern trail by fitting a fork with less rake: Urban Velo - Bicycle Culture on the Skids
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Old 09-12-14, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by croppera View Post
If I were you I would email Lane Kagay of Cetma Cargo bikes...
It's been two weeks since emailing - no reply.
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Old 09-12-14, 10:16 PM
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Yeah, I hate to say it, but email response from Lane at Cetma Cargo is not always fast. He is a very nice guy, and thinks deeply on all things bike cargo related, but not always tied to his computer. Patience will likely be rewarded.

I would also mention that on his Flickr feed there are quite a few shots of "normal" bikes (this meaning non-bakfiets style bikes to me) sporting his racks. I am not good on looking at frames and knowing what I am looking at if it is not a cargo bike, but it may be worth a gander to see if there is a theme to the frames people attach his racks to.

I know my bike handles front weight well (150 lbs no problem and not feeling like I was testing it at all) but it is a cetma cargo and a clear example of specialized frames that you were not asking about. Sorry I can't offer more. Good luck with hearing from Lane, I know that his replies usually came about the time my gut said to send a follow-up email.
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Old 09-13-14, 12:34 PM
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Jan, I Expect helped Lane develop his Bike , then he relocated the business again to So Cal

Jan's bikes dont knock down for shipping in Length Human Powered Machines The Long Haul

He helped me build up my touring bike in 1990.. used a bunch of frame parts from the cargo bikes.

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Old 09-21-14, 04:05 PM
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Since the thread is determined to be specific to a high, central load, I think that it may be fairly safe to say that there is not a good answer. Anybody can state that a high center of gravity is simply not good. Lower center of gravity is better. The "positive" that I grudgingly give is that the basket "may" move the mass closer to the pivot point. My mass is certainly further forward with the long honkin' rake and my low riders. On the other hand, that rake is there for a reason. Moving the mass closer to the pivot, but further away from the axle center may not be so good.
I'm not an engineer.
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