...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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mjr
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...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby mjr » 13 Jul 2017, 10:26am

Do mini front racks that fit on V/canti brake bosses like https://www.flickr.com/photos/therubbishbin/27344484666 work OK on a small-wheeled folding bike?

Are there any non-obvious drawbacks to them? I realise I'm probably not going to get full-size panniers on it, but I'm hoping that I can strap a drybag on top somehow - possibly even a fairly large one stood on end.

I'm motivated to try it after another trip on the folding bike where I couldn't get a bag to stay stable on the saddle loops or sit still on top of the rear rack without heel strike, so it ended up strapped to my back for the whole thing and not only the short transfers I intended.
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Bez
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby Bez » 13 Jul 2017, 10:38am

Dahon make one ;)

The Dahon one is quite wide, too, so I'd imagine a narrow porteur rack like the one in that photo should also be fine. But I've not tried it.

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby tatanab » 13 Jul 2017, 11:10am

I do not see why not. They are pretty narrow so would not interfere with anything when folded I think. I use one on my non folding tourer to take a big barbag. With the bag at handlebar level with a Klickfix I found the bag got in the way of GPS/lights/cape etc so I wanted to lower it. I slotted a tube to go over the upright of the carrier and fitted the Clickfix to that which works just fine. I have one that fits to canti bosses, and another that fits with P clips or brazed positions as in your photo.

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby mjr » 13 Jul 2017, 11:16am

Bez wrote:Dahon make one ;)

The Dahon one is quite wide, too, so I'd imagine a narrow porteur rack like the one in that photo should also be fine. But I've not tried it.

The current wide Dahon front rack is a bit of a cheat, in that it's quick-release and I think you need to take it off to avoid fouling the rear rack and get the proper fold.

Thanks to your comment, I've found that there is (used to be?) a narrow rack called the Dahon Traveller Front which attached to crown bolt and axles, but it's fairly expensive and I've only found stock in Germany so far, so I'm still thinking I'll try a widely-available brake-mounted front rack unless there's a reason not to.
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby ambodach » 13 Jul 2017, 1:36pm

Just what I have been looking for to carry a sleeping bag on the front of my folder. The only ones of that make I can see online have a basket as an integral part of the rack. MJR if you find a source of the ones as in your link in the UK please post it here as a useful source.

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby mjr » 13 Jul 2017, 1:50pm

ambodach wrote:MJR if you find a source of the ones as in your link in the UK please post it here as a useful source.

It's not the exact model from the earlier link, but http://freshtripe.co.uk/accessories/racks/front-rack/ has the Dia Compe and Velo Orange ones and I've bought stuff from them before. I believe they're UK stock.

I've started playing the ebay lottery for a cheap alloy one like http://www.laxzo.com/bicycle-mini-front ... 8617-p.asp to test the idea out - laxzo are usually an OK seller of utility parts if you don't want to gamble.
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby LollyKat » 13 Jul 2017, 2:11pm

Alternatively, as your saddle has loops, have you considered the Carradice Classic Saddlebag Rack with a medium size saddlebag?

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby mjr » 13 Jul 2017, 2:44pm

LollyKat wrote:Alternatively, as your saddle has loops, have you considered the Carradice Classic Saddlebag Rack with a medium size saddlebag?

Well, my usual saddlebags hang OK from the loops without problem, although I hesitate to use the largest one (12ish litres I think) because it could be rather a lot of weight to hang from a long seatpost (possibly even over the 6kg limit of that rack).

The opening post grumble was just a case of a particular briefcase-shape bag I needed for a work trip that wouldn't seem fit anywhere on the bike at present - I think it would fit on a front rack OK and I'm keen to keep the option of a low-hanging saddlebag in addition to other luggage for longer trips. Sorry for the distracting grumble!
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby ambodach » 13 Jul 2017, 4:40pm

Thanks MJR. I will follow that up.

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby iandriver » 13 Jul 2017, 6:22pm

Don't know what folder you have, but another alternative might be this if you have a mounting point http://www.ternbicycles.com/uk/gear/471/kanga-rack
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby Abradable Chin » 13 Jul 2017, 11:17pm

^^^ yes, a few folders have tapped bosses on the head tube for a klickfix attachment.
As I was cycling up Winnat's Pass on my folder, struggling to keep the front wheel on the ground, I too thought front panniers would be a good idea.

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby Zanda » 18 Jul 2017, 10:08am

I had a front rack on my cro-mo framed Dahon. It was the kind that fastened to the mudguard eyelets and the fork crown (through the mudguard hole). There are photos here. It affected the fold such that the magnets didn't reach each other, but the folded package stayed folded without problems, albeit an inch or two fatter.

I've since removed it because the top sat below the tyre, so I could put anything on it. Perhaps if I'd had tiny panniers they could have gone on the sides, but I didn't.

I'd be interested to know if you find something suitable, so please keep us posted. I'd like to be able to stow a D lock on top of a front rack.

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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby mjr » 18 Jul 2017, 1:24pm

I've got one of the ones I linked to earlier. It looks like it should fit and sit above the wheel. I will try attaching it to the bike this week and take pictures once completed.
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby mjr » 20 Jul 2017, 10:46am

Well, it's fitted. It seems to work.

I tested it with a 13 litre Alpkit Xtra of random junk (maybe 5kg) tied on with a luggage strap with side-release buckle.

When wheeling the bike, it makes you feel that the front wheel's going to flip around too easily, but once you're riding, it basically settles down the twitchy steering of my folding bike a bit and the weight's not really noticeable. I really like being able to see more of my luggage and not kicking it with my heels is lovely. I can't see much front wheel, which I know some people find unsettling, but the handlebar bag I often use on this bike obstructed the view anyway.

The fins on the rack support give a good place to hook a luggage strap. I doubt it'll really stop things sliding off forwards, but that can be overcome by anchoring them to the rear of the rack. I really like having a solid platform on the rack and the back is just high enough to allow me to strap whatever's on the rack to the steerer without worrying about rubbing the paint or logo on the head tube.

The main drawback is that the rack is a bit taller than ideal, so the (steel) support bracket to the fork crown needed quite a bit of reshaping and flipping to go over the brake cable instead of between brake and mudguard. I damaged the bracket's paint doing that, so I'll touch it up. The legs needed some gentle pressure to bend in just a little to reach the brake bolts, but not particularly strong forcing - definitely nothing like the abuse I gave the crown bracket.

The fold isn't compromised at all (the handlebar / rear stays interference is still the limit), but it does make the bagged size slightly bigger because the front right of the rack is now the furthest point out. It took a couple of goes to figure out the best cable routing and the rack will probably wear the outers away in time, but they take a lot of abuse on a folding bike anyway.

Pics attached. Any points I've forgotten?

(Edited to fix an autocorrect attack.)
Image Attachments
IMG_20170720_094119.jpg
Close up of front rack brake boss attachment
IMG_20170720_094103.jpg
Close up of front rack crown bracket
IMG_20170720_093854.jpg
Dawes Jack: front bag strapped to steerer
IMG_20170720_094023.jpg
Dawes Jack: front bag lying down
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: ...if those mini front racks are good on a folder?

Postby Zanda » 21 Jul 2017, 9:28am

Cool. I want one.