Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

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richardfm
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby richardfm » 4 Jan 2020, 12:29am

Mr Tom wrote:I'm thinking of getting a plastic crate for the front or back of my Surly LHT. I don't like cycling with a rucksack and there are so many journeys where I end up trudging around with two panniers for ages and it gets annoying. I just wondered if anyone's tried this and noticed the bike feeling less stable, to a point where it's annoying. Also does it make much difference if it's at the back or front? I guess the front is safer in terms of people grabbing your stuff.

I may look at the Ortlieb Vario as an alternative - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ortlieb-Vario- ... B00SR7KVNE

That's a very expensive alternative

simonhill
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby simonhill » 4 Jan 2020, 8:38am

OK, I now understand, it's the walking (trudging) with your panniers that you are trying to avoid. Silly me.

Leaving your panniers on your bike depends on what they are like. New shiny Ortliebs would be a risk. My very old Super C's that I use for shopping, etc are unlikely to be of interest to anyone and probably help to make my bike look less desirable.

Jamesh
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby Jamesh » 4 Jan 2020, 9:19am

Thread drift.....

Has anyone come across a hard pannier which is both a top box and a pair of panniers combined.

Such a device would be ideal for picking up the shopping etc.

Milk and tins could go in the side wells lower down whilst bulky items like bread and toilet roll pasta etc could go higher up.

It could have a rear light built in too?

A tight fitting lid held down by bungee or rubber loops would hold it secure.

It could be clipped to the rack or bolted to the rack with saddle clamps as used in model making.

Our weekly bin has an insert a similar shape but without the indentation for the rack and rear wheel obviously.

Just a thought.....

Cheers James

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mjr
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby mjr » 4 Jan 2020, 9:25pm

What does being hard gain you for the extra weight compared a normal triple pannier tied on? You'd lose the ability to bulge it slightly to carry pumpkins, watermelons and so on.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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9494arnold
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby 9494arnold » 5 Jan 2020, 10:24am

Probably mostly covered, I am not a fan of stuff that might compromise the handling or that might present an additional bit to injure yourself in should something happen that takes you over the handlebars. (I realise that probably isn't part of the plan! )
Proper old school Trade delivery bikes have the rack on the front as part of the frame and not associated with the fork/ steering. But they are also very heavily built, and geared down to compensate . Also the steering geometry probably tweaked to compensate as a later poster has pointed out.
You can get wire baskets that lift on and off , like a small supermarket wire basket, generally fit on a frame that hooks over the bars.
Last edited by 9494arnold on 5 Jan 2020, 4:04pm, edited 1 time in total.

slowster
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby slowster » 5 Jan 2020, 11:13am

On a dutch bike which is designed to be fitted with a front rack on which a crate can be mounted, such as those made by Gazelle, the handlebars are very wide, i.e. >600mm, and the grip section of the handlebars is behind the steering axis. The leverage provided by the handlebars is consequently much greater than the bars that would typically be used on a LHT. The centre of gravity of items carried in a crate will potentially be further in front of the steeering axis than a pair of front panniers, and if the item(s) in the crate can move or slide around that will be even harder to control with standard width bars and a stem which places the hands in front of the steering axis.

Jamesh wrote:Has anyone come across a hard pannier which is both a top box and a pair of panniers combined.

I think the combination of standard panniers with an Ortlieb Rack Box would be a better solution for shopping.

Brucey
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby Brucey » 5 Jan 2020, 11:49am

I note that bikes which are designed to carry a front load only and/or are liable to be fitted with high handlebars are often designed with lower trail than you might expect. This means that the steering still feels light(ish) even when there is a big front load. A high trail and a front load only is possibly not such a good combination, but having said that, you can get used to almost anything. I certainly wouldn't expect to be able to ride no hands or anything once a crate is fitted, even unloaded the aero loads on it would be likely to turn the steering away from centre.

Stability aside, one big downside to fitting a crate or a basket is simply aerodynamic drag; you are having to push the blessed thing through the air all the time. I find this is OK on short runs using a bike where I have already chosen to sit upright (like a human sail more or less) but I do notice the extra drag of such things on other bikes.

Only yesterday I had a bundle of re-usable zip ties loosely attached to my handlebar (it seemed as easy a way of carrying them as any) and they of course swung backwards in the breeze as I rode. To my surprise, once I was riding at my normal speed, they settled at an angle which was getting on for 45 degrees. This means that the aerodynamic drag force on them was about the same as the weight. Only a few grammes of course, but then again the frontal area of them was maybe 0.5% of the total for bike and rider, i.e. ~1/200th of the whole; no wonder air resistance is the main source of drag at reasonable speeds, 200x something small can be quite a lot.

cheers
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Mr Tom
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby Mr Tom » 7 Jan 2020, 7:35pm

I'm starting to think that a rucksack inside an existing pannier back is the best solution. I suppose it's a lot of extra bag to carry, but it solves the problems of a crate and doesn't cost me extra

nsew
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby nsew » 7 Jan 2020, 8:55pm

Now wondering about the drag coefficient of a recent travel companion’s set up. Serviced that bike (oiled the chain, doubled the tyre pressure) and my friend was delighted with the results. Also informed him that train travel was free of charge in Italy if he should choose.
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 7 Jan 2020, 10:16pm

nsew wrote:Now wondering about the drag coefficient of a recent travel companion’s set up. Serviced that bike (oiled the chain, doubled the tyre pressure) and my friend was delighted with the results. Also informed him that train travel was free of charge in Italy if he should choose.

Presumably this means no extra charge for a bike, rather than fares are zero?

Carlton green
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby Carlton green » 8 Jan 2020, 8:16am

nsew wrote:Now wondering about the drag coefficient of a recent travel companion’s set up. Serviced that bike (oiled the chain, doubled the tyre pressure) and my friend was delighted with the results.


Your friend (pictured above with his bike) gives an interesting insight into cycle touring or rather that ‘cycle touring’ is possible to do on a very modest equipment outlay. Whilst I would neither use it or recommend his particular ‘set-up’ to anyone (it’s too Heath Robinson for me) the bottom line is that it demonstrably ‘works’ - for how long and for who else it might work for is a separate point.

I believe that we often get hung-up on ‘kit’, efficiency and perfection; we forget what has been - and still can be - achieved on quite basic and simple bikes. Your friend reminds us that you can still achieve much without specialist kit. In answer to the original question it seem clear enough that fitting crates doesn’t doesn’t upset the handling enough to stop a bike being used ... or should that be some bikes by some people. :D

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mjr
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby mjr » 8 Jan 2020, 10:38am

slowster wrote:The centre of gravity of items carried in a crate will potentially be further in front of the steeering axis than a pair of front panniers,

I think that would require a rather more vertical head tube than usually seen for it to be true.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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slowster
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby slowster » 8 Jan 2020, 11:23am

mjr wrote:I think that would require a rather more vertical head tube than usually seen for it to be true.

I probably should have made clear that I was comparing a front crate with panniers on a low rider rack, which is designed to put the combined centre of gravity of two front panniers quite close to the steering axis, and obviously the nature of the items being carried and how they are packed/secured in the pannier/crate will be a factor (although items are more likely to move about and cause problems sliding on the smooth plastic base of a crate). Neverthless I think it's generally likely to be true.

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mjr
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby mjr » 8 Jan 2020, 12:30pm

slowster wrote:I probably should have made clear that I was comparing a front crate with panniers on a low rider rack,

Fair enough. I was thinking of a common front rack with its top rails above the wheel. I'm not aware of people complaining bitterly about poor handling from them and I'd expect a crate to be not much worse.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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StephenW
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Re: Fitting a crate on front / rear rack, how does it affect handling?

Postby StephenW » 9 Jan 2020, 11:17am

Other options:

Folding baskets that attach to the sides of the rear rack.

side basket.jpg


"Shopping" panniers that always stay on the bike. They are £20ish and can be attached on with some kind of lock.

pannier.jpg


Steco Bag Mee (£15ish)

Steco_Bag_Mee-1.jpg


Steco folding crate (£15). Could go on a front rack. More aerodyamic when folded.

steco-kunststof-klapkrat.jpg
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