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Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 5:51pm
by Phil66
Hi folks,

I’ve got a specialized Tricross that I want to fit a front rack and panniers on for my next tour, however I’m getting a bit confused with some of the advice. I’m thinking of something like the Tubas Tara low rider but unsure about the fit. My forks are carbon and have eyelets half way up the side on the outside. Am I right in thinking if a tech description says “The front fork needs to pass through” then that eyelet needs to go through both sides of the fork?

Anything else I need to know before I buy the forks?

I never knew I could make such a hard job of something I thought was going to be easy. Go into my LBS and you get “oh, they’ll fit anything mate”, but they say that
with anything.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 6:04pm
by gaz
Have a read here.

A low rider can either be braced by connecting to the inside and the outside of both fork blades or by connecting to the outside of both fork blades with a connecting hoop between the two sides of the low rider.

Pictures of the Tubus Tara suggest it's the latter style.

The Blackburn Custom Lo-rider comes with fittings to be brazed through the blades of a set of steel forks (I don't know why because very few people would want to drill through their fork blades at home and braze a pair of tubes through them). More often steel forks are supplied with braze-ons attached to the front of the forks (allowing the low rider to be attached to both the inside and outside of the braze-on. This style of brazed fittings has implications for the strength of the forks. IIRC this is discussed by CJ and others in the linked thread.

If the fittings are only on the outside of the fork blade you'll need a low rider with a hoop. I don't know how the other bits of advice translate with regard to carbon forks.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 7:52pm
by robgul
I think that the quick answer is that fitting carbon forks and pannier/low riders is a no-no ... I certainly wouldn't fit them to carbon forks : yes the forks are "strong" but they break into bits do not bend like steel if there's a problem.

Rob

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 8:03pm
by meic
If the carbon forks have been designed to take a front rack, then they will be fine with a front rack.

The only thing that needs to be determined is if those threaded holes are there for the purpose of rack fittings.

It is somewhat revealing that carbon forks get this criticism without good cause and steel forks dont attract the same condemnation despite quite a few being made with a stress concentration caused by poorly sited rack braze ons that DO cause fork failures.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 8:57pm
by RickH
Assuming no injuries caused by a failure, I think the main problem with carbon fibre is that when it does give way it tends to do so by breaking whereas steel (& to some extent aluminium alloys) will tend to bend significantly before they actually break.

Out in the back of beyond with a bent frame or fork there is at least the possibility of gentle riding or pushing, whereas a sheared carbon frame or fork probably wouldn't leave much scope for anything other than carrying or calling out help. In the past I've had both a steel frame (1970s Dawes 531) and an alloy frame (1980s Vitus 979) which both sustained significant dents in a tube and survived for years of riding afterwards. The Dawes fell against the post at the bottom of the bannisters in the house and dented the top tube, the Vitus got a dent in the drive side chainstay in transit. I suspect carbon fibre parts wouldn't have come off so lightly.

OTOH if the carbon fork does genuinely have lowrider mounts it ought to be OK but it is probably best to make sure that they aren't just unusually located mudguard eyelets (Kinesis had some that were the latter in their range but they seem to have dropped them now).

Rick.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 10:25pm
by The Mechanic
According to the specialised website the Tricross fork has full rack and fender mounts. So I guess that means that the fork can take a rack even though it is carbon. Steerer is alu though.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 11:30pm
by Malaconotus
The Mechanic wrote:According to the specialised website the Tricross fork has full rack and fender mounts. So I guess that means that the fork can take a rack even though it is carbon. Steerer is alu though.


It's unambiguous in the descrpition of the 2012 models here... http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bc/SBC ... Multi+Use+

Specialized wrote:Specialized FACT carbon legs, alloy crown/steerer, low-rider rack/mudguard fittings


What model year is your Tricross? I would tend to assume it was ever thus, but for something as safety critical as a fork, it may be worth checking the exact description of the exact model from that year. You can contact Specialized direct for reassurance through this page... http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bc/sbc ... temId=8830

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 27 Mar 2012, 2:22pm
by foxyrider
If you have the bolt holes you can fit a low rider without issue. Some 2011 Tricross were supplied without low rider bosses but even then its possible to rack one up.

I'd go for the Tubus Logo, i've had one for 10 years, its easy to fit and adjust, will take most bags and will help stiffen the front of the bike up too.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 30 Mar 2012, 10:24pm
by willem jongman
This is a pretty light bike. Are you sure you want to load it with so much that you need both front and rear panniers? And check that your carbon fork is not one that was subject to a recent recall.
Willem

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 31 Mar 2012, 8:06am
by elduderino12
I have a 2009 Tricross Sport - great bike. I've fitted it with a Tubus Tara and loaded it up - nothing untoward has happened yet. I believe the fork has a maximum weight limit of 15kg.

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 1 Apr 2012, 4:55pm
by foxyrider
willem jongman wrote:This is a pretty light bike. Are you sure you want to load it with so much that you need both front and rear panniers? And check that your carbon fork is not one that was subject to a recent recall.
Willem


The recall was not exactly recent and had nothing to do with fork strength, rather it related to the brake mounting boss coming adrift from the fork leg. Our shop was badly affected, we had @ 70 customers with affected bikes, all of which had new forks supplied and fitted in short order. If anyone is unsure if their bike is affected hit the Specialized website and then hit your dealer, he should have contacted you!

Light bike does not mean weak, my cycle camping bike weighs under 10kg including the racks and given that the Tricross is a 'designed for all road touring' machine there are no issues in loading up. In fact i'd rather load a Tricross than a Galaxy any day of the week!

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 2 Apr 2012, 9:24am
by GregLR
gaz wrote: A low rider can either be braced by connecting to the inside and the outside of both fork blades or by connecting to the outside of both fork blades with a connecting hoop between the two sides of the low rider. Pictures of the Tubus Tara suggest it's the latter style.

This is off the direct topic, but I'm planning to get a low-rider front pannier rack for my Surly LHT and was wondering about the relative merits of the Tara and Duo, which is the former style, ie, connected inside & outside of both fork blades. My LHT forks have a braze-on fitting that goes all the way through & is threaded on both sides, so the Duo could be fitted and that is what I'd been thinking I'd buy. But is the Tara structurally superior because of the lateral stiffness addded by the connecting hoop ?

I did a search to see if this question has been addressed before. In this thread (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=39812&p=317874&hilit=tara+v+duo#p317858 ) Mahler suggested that the hoop would make the Tara more stable, but otherwise I found no definitive comments based on experience.

I've also read what Tubus say on their website, viz:
- "Our DUO used to be a TARA, until we made it “bow-free” If your fork has inside and outside eyelets, then the DUO is your choice carrier. DUO and TARA tolerate extreme loads and almost all panniers."
- "The TARA is our longest standing low-rider model. For 18 years it has been our best selling front carrier. It has been improved
over time, making it even more solid. This is the most durable tubus low-rider...When used in combination with the CARGO, TARA is the perfect match for long travel biking..."

I was wondering if anyone with the Duo has a comment about its stability (or other issues). Maybe it is a choice between two structually sound alternatives.

Greg

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 2 Apr 2012, 10:36am
by willem jongman
I have a Duo, and it is very stable. my wife has a Tara, and it is also very stable. So if you have eyelets that have threads on both sides you have a choice.
Willem

Re: Front Rack

Posted: 2 Apr 2012, 10:38am
by mrjemm
This other recent thread may be of some help too-

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=61818