We will be reviewing 5 popular front bike racks available in the market. These are:-
- Surly Touring Front Rack
- Bontrager Carry Forward Bike Front Rack
- Classique Cargo HD Front Rack
- Old Man Mountain Sherpa
- Tubus Tara Bike Rack
1. Surly Touring Front Rack
The Surly Cromoly Front Rack 2.0 is an adventurous bicycle rack that may be used for lengthy touring, camping, commuting, and other activities. Its built of strong tubular cromoly steel and is designed to withstand punishment while carrying a hefty load.
Surly redesigned the lower plates for version 2.0, strengthening the design and boosting disc caliper clearance. The Surly Front Rack 2.0 is a robust performer that can be used for everything from daily city use to cross-continental world trekking.
- Rack made of heavy-duty tubular cromoly steel.
- In the unusual event of a failure, its chromoly construction ensures you’ll be able to find someone to weld it back together.
- For corrosion protection, powder coating is used.
- Made of stainless steel and aluminum.
- Lower plates have been redesigned to boost strength and increase disc caliper clearance.
- Front racks are attached to forks by mid-blade eyelets, which are located about 165mm from the dropout. These are found on the majority of high-quality touring forks.
- Hardware is included to retrofit to forks that aren’t designed for touring.
- The rear racks may be adjusted in height and have a broad platform to increase carrying capacity.
There is enough hardware included with the rack to configure it on almost any type of bike. They’ve even supplied hose clamps (which I assume are required when you don’t have eyelets), extras of every bolt size, and extra sliding clamps to fit various fork widths.
The integration of upper and lower pannier bars, as well as the top rack, makes it extremely versatile. This top rack, as well as the ability to carry lower panniers at the same time, is far superior to other designs for a long trip.
While the majority of my minimalist camping gear fits on the rear rack/panniers, the front rack is ideal for extra water, food, and gear. Having almost empty front panniers to carry 2-3 gallons of additional water is a huge benefit for those who favor dry camping.
Some people have expressed concerns regarding the welding joints, although this is not the case with the front or back racks. Surly enhanced their quality control after receiving complains about the welding.
These racks are also notable for their very large size. They’re some of the widest you’ll ever see, making hauling things on top of the rack a lot easier and more stable.
Those of you who don’t regularly load items on top of the front rack may appreciate this feature when bringing 12 packs of soda or a bundle of firewood into camp.
Will this fit a 27.5 bikes with disc brakes?
I’m confident it will. Forks are still required to hold the wheel in place with any brakes, and this is attached to the forks. This is an excellent carrier.
I buy food and other items at the end of the day. On the route to my camping site, I put a small basket on top, which stores all sorts of last-minute goods.
What is the diameter of the tubes from which this is constructed?
Surly’s front rack is made of 10mm tubing, which is a little smaller than the 1/2″ tubing found on most aluminum racks. The rack is lighter and easier to handle thanks to the hollow tubes.
Surly Front Bike Rack Installation Video
2. Bontrager Carry Forward Bike Front Rack
This is a bag-compatible, lightweight front rack that doesn’t sacrifice strength or usability. Turn your bike into a touring or commuting beast with this rack. When loaded with your favorite gear, the lowrider front rack fits directly to forks with lowrider mounts to keep a low center of gravity. Threaded eyelets for accessories are included.
- When loaded, mounts to lowrider mounts and fender eyelets for further stability.
- Lowrider-style rack for securing and stabilized panniers
- Lowride and trunk style baggage can be accommodated by the versatile design.
- Lights and other critical accessories can be readily mounted using threaded accessory eyelets.
- Includes mounting hardware for both fender eyelets and lowrider mounts.
- 33 pound maximum load
It’s strong and sturdy, but it’s also not light. Some people find it inconvenient to install where you need an extra pair of hands to assist you. I also like that this product appears to be intended for smaller panniers, just large enough to replace a backpack when I need to bring lunch and possibly an extra shirt or rain gear.
I saw an online review where the writer said that this rack is compatible with any fork that has mid-blade eyelets, a fork crown fender hole, and lower fender eyelets (in front of axle, not behind).
He added that the fork crown fender bracket did not align with his fork hole because the Surley fork does not have lower fender eyelets like most forks (rather, they are placed an inch higher above the axle). In addition, the narrower the fork, the easier it was to install.
He also said the Surley fork can accommodate tires up to 3″ wide, so it was a little too wide for the rack. To slide around the fork legs, he had to spread the rack legs apart. As a result, it was difficult to install without having to force the legs out while tightening all of the bolts.
3. Classique Cargo HD Front Rack
This is a heavy dury rack that is sold at a fairly good price. This front rack is designed to attach in 3 points to your bike – above the fork in the same hole that you would attach fenders to and at the bottom of the rack using your bike’s quick release axle skewer.
If you intend to use front panniers for serious touring, this rack is not for you. This rack is fantastic for city exploration, general recreational loading, and grocery shopping. If you simply require an additional option with a sturdy platform and bungee net, this is an excellent choice.
If you’re more concerned with speed and the weight of your bike, don’t buy this.
The installation of the rack is, for the most part, a simple process. The rack’s legs can be extended and it can be used on bicycles with wheels ranging from 26 to 19 inches in diameter.
The legs are held in place by bolts and holes inserted at various intervals along the expanded regions of the legs. The expanded pieces of the legs took a little longer to pull out, but they were easy to twist and drop down with just your hands and no tools.
The angle and distance between the top platform and the bicycle can also be adjusted using the upper attachment point.
The bike’s huge top platform, as well as the outside frame, have four thick, spherical bars that make attaching anything you want incredibly simple.
The numerous struts connecting the top platform to the legs provide a limitless number of locations to loop your straps or bungee cords to keep your cargo safe and stable as you ride around the city.
The robust and thick aluminum racks on this bike rack allow it to bear hefty loads. The maximum weight restriction is 25 kg.
Some of the disadvantages of this rack are its width and clumsiness when touring. The rack also attaches in the thru axle, which on some bikes may necessitate the purchase of a longer quick release skewer. It’s also not built to handle panners.
Origin 8 Classique Cargo Front Bike Rack Video
4. Old Man Mountain Sherpa
Because there are more variables to consider, front racks are naturally more sophisticated than rear racks, as evidenced by the sometimes massive bag of hardware that comes with other front racks.
It takes less than 5 minutes to remove or install the Sherpa after it’s set up. There’s no need to be concerned about fender or disc brake interference.
The Sherpa rack and all of its components are beautifully designed and constructed from high-quality materials. This rack is top-of-the-line and incredibly adaptable.
- The Classic Rack Frame is made for bikes with tires that are less than 3 inches wide. This rack can be fitted on the front end or rear of your bike
- The rack tube is made of 6063 aluminum that has been welded together.
- The top rails are 3/8′′ (10 mm) diameter to fit all panniers, and the main rack structure is composed of 1/2′′ (13 mm) diameter tubing for durability.
- The upper deck is 12.5 x 5.5′′ in size (317 mm x 140 mm.)
- A hole in the top deck can be used to place a reflector or a light.
- 6061 aluminum is used to make the extenders and dropouts.
- For a professional look and feel, the Rack Frame and Fit Kit are powder-coated matte black.
How To Install Old Man Mountain Sherpa Front Rack
One reviewer said that he bought the rack about one month prior and already used it on multiple rides. Old Man Mountain and their Sherpa rack and fit kits impressed him.
When he ordered online, the process was simple and the products arrived quickly, the rack and fit kit was properly packed, instructions and videos made installation simple, and the entire system was really sturdy.
He said he had used the Sherpa on his Trek Rail 7 because he rides it both in the mountains and in the city. His Ortlieb panniers were able to be fully loaded on the rack, and he even had a backup battery on top of it.
5. Tubus Tara Front Rack
Tubus Tara is said to be one of the most durable low-rider racks available. The mechanism is strengthened and rigidified by the stabilizing loop that passes over the tire. The low-rider mounting system lowers the center of gravity of your load, enhancing the handling of your bike.
This is one of the better options for self-supported bicycle touring over long distances. The Tara is compatible with both 26 and 700C wheels. It has a carrying capacity of 33 pounds. Please do not add more weight than the rack is designed to carry.
The Tara offers one of the greatest mounting systems if you’re going on a long-distance, highly loaded tour. It adjusts forward and backward, as well as up and down, so even if your rack fittings aren’t in the best position, it should still fit snugly.
If you’re planning a long self-supported bike tour, this rack might be the one for you. The rack weighs 500 gram weight (17.5 ounces). You won’t have to share your behind-the-fork-tip mounting eyelet between the rack and the fenders because the Tara features extra mounting tabs for mounting fenders directly to the rack.
Within the rack, there is enough of room for tall tires and fenders.
- Popular with long-distance cyclists
- You won’t feel any rack flex because of its stiff design
- Steel tubes allow the rack to be repaired
- Mudguard eyelets are incorporated into the rack so it won’t get in the way of your mudguards .
- Clears the calipers on the disc brakes
- The rack folds almost flat, making it ideal for plane travel
- When compared to other front rack options, this one is light.
It might take you some time to set up this bike rack; you’ll want to get the pannier rail parallel to the ground. Any of the three mid-mount holes can be used to change the angle of the rail.
The eyelets on the front of the fork dropouts have proven to be the ideal lower mounting sites. Getting your panniers on and off is a breeze once you’ve got the rack properly installed.
Front Bike Racks Types
We have a variety of front bike rack models to accommodate various types of gear and bikes. We’ll categorize them in the following sections.
- Lowride front racks – The moniker “low rider rack” comes from the fact that it keeps the luggage at a low height. This ensures that highly loaded touring bikes are as stable as possible at low and high speeds. A mid-mount on the fork and lower eyelets at the dropout are required by most lowrider racks. Aluminum or a CrMo steel alloy is used to make the low riders here. The majority are built of tubing (hollow), while others are made of rods (solid)
- Porteur front racks – The origins of porteur (carrying) racks can be traced back to French newspaper delivery guys who used their bikes to transport big packages with convenient front access. They’re widely utilized these days by messengers to commuters, as a fun and convenient way to help transport more products.
- Basket front racks – A basket rack is a porteur rack with a cage around the perimeter. The main benefit of this design is that it eliminates the need for straps. You can make your own basket rack by combining a porteur rack with a wire basket.
- Suspension front racks – As the name suggests, these are racks designed to fit well with bikes which have a front suspension fork. There are two types of suspension racks: one installs the rack above the suspension while the other mounts it below the suspension. The better of the two is to use the one that mounts above the suspension (like the Faiv Hoogar)
- Randonneur front racks – Randonneur racks are a type of front bicycle rack that is specifically designed to hold a randonneur handlebar bag. To minimize weight, the rack is quite small, and the majority of designs include eyelets for mounting a dynamo light to the rack.
What’s the best construction material for front bike racks?
It all depends on what you are looking for. Front bike racks can be made from stainless steel, steel, aluminium or titanium. Aluminium tend to have a high failure rate so do proper research to make sure you get the best.
Bike Racks – How to Choose The Right Rack
Check out this detailed video that gives you tips on bike racks and what you need to know before you buy one. This video is good especially for people who want to install bike racks for the first time and dont know where to start from.