All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
A touring gear question. I hope that there might be some experience among the members with racks for mountain bikes with front suspension. I have been for the past week pulling the BOB Ibex behind my Giant XTC 2 hard tail mountain bike on a short tour and I found that the weight was distributed too much to the rear. The front was coming up too easily on harder sharp inclines, particularly on single track. Hence I was thinking of a front rack to move some weight forward. Initial thoughts where a Tubus Swing but open to other suggestions both in terms of a rack and/or solutions to the problem.
A front rack with panniers is also beneficial for descending and turns under brakes with your trailer as well. A disadvantage of a trailer with no loaded front tyre is that the tyre will be prone to skidding and under-steering under braking load, especially on gravel, due to the lighter front end. The weight on your front tyre aids traction under brakes, holding the wheel on the road/track.
Tubus Swing is your best option. There is a similar suspension rack called Faiv Hoogar, another German rack but it comes at a steep price premium.
Some good advice on how to do it from these expeditioners
All the other racks are mounted below the suspension on the moving wheel - less desirable if you're fussy (ideal to have minimum unsprung weight). However plenty of people I know use these types of racks - Old Man Mountain, Tubus Tara (with adaptors), Delta, there is also the Surly Nice Rack, Bruce Gordon racks from USA and Axiom make one, as well as the new Freeloader from NZ. The Delta racks seem prone to breakage if loaded heavily IME.
Another suggestion made elsewhere is the New Zealand Freeloader. Anyone played with these?
Also discussed at Bicycle Touring Pro.
The big downside to with the Freeloader is that it hides the front wheel ...
I never trust plastic fixings for a load-carrying rack. The Tubus Swing is much better.
Maybe I'm mistaken and those moulded fastening fittings are not plastic
Also a great way to rub the paint off your forks, it seems to me. Would be wanting a couple of wraps of Frameskin or similar around the fork lowers at the contact points, with a bit extra to allow for possible slippage of the mounts...
When all else fails, persistence prevails -- Lew Hollander
And for those of you who are weight-weenies
Freeload sportrack - Weight: 810g with medium length struts - $NZ189 plus shipping
Tubus Swing front rack - â€¢Weight: 27.5oz (780g) - $US149 plus shipping
Aluminium is not always lighter
You do need to bear in mind that the Swing's brackets may not fit around the larger crowns of some modern MTB forks. I'd hope that Tubus are making the simple design mod needed to overcome this.
 For a realistic comparison (for carrying panniers) you'd need to get
Freeload Tour Rack - Weight: 960g with medium length struts - $NZ209 plus shipping, with
Freeload Side Frames - Weight: 470g - $NZ54 plus shipping
It's starting to become a pretty heavy, expensive solution I'd get the Swing.
or you can get the Freeload tour rack complete with the side frames from Cycling Express for $165.88 (delivered free)
http://www.cyclingexpress.com/cycle/fre ... -deck.aspx
http://www.cyclingexpress.com/cycle/fre ... -pair.aspx
Not sure about the Tubus, but I know for a fact that the Freeload clears disc brakes. (it also happens to clear a 3.8" wide Endomorph on a 658mm rim on a Pugsley... )
*edit* Dirt Works is the Australian distributor for Freeload and Cycling Express is a customer of ours.
Last edited by Dirt Works on Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Great Southern Bicycles in Albany managed to mount a standard front rack onto my suspension forks in the mid 90s, just used some exhaust clamps around the top of the forks and reflector brackets at the bottom. Worked really well, it was on really skinny 1993 forks, but bigger exhaust clamps are probably available.
I would have though it appropriate to declare Dirt Works interest in Freeload products. And the connection with Cycling Express.
sure. fair call.
I (perhaps erroneously) assumed that anyone visiting the Freeload site would have looked to see if there was a local distributor and then noticed DW as the Australia distributor http://www.freeload.co.nz/pages/7/dealers
We are the distributor for Freeload. And Cycling Express is a customer of ours.
Sorry if I've overstepped any boundaries here.
I have no problem with Dirt Works participation, and I sure many would find the information provided useful, as long as it's done openly so we can make our own judgement. I'm not sure that many would have found the connection as obvious as I did, although clearly you have not tried to conceal your identity, and I'm certainly making no accusations.
BTW Elvis - what's happening with the Dirt Works page? I went there recently to check the RRP of a Surly LHT and found...nothing. It's a bit frustrating.
Tubus Swing mounts on the fork crown and a support bar from the steerer tube above the headset. No mounts below the crown so no interference with discs or V-brakes.
The beauty of the Swing - no unsuspended weight, so your suspension can work properly.
Actually Moruya Bikes have this new version of the Swing
That Tubus rack has a strange design, honestly I think it looks super awkward.
Last year when I cycle toured for twelve months I used an Old Man Mountain rack on a straight bladed titanium fork without eyelets that was much simpler.
Forget looks, it works!
A mate of mine has been using one for the past 5-6 years and he loves it. Only bit of awkwardness is that it tips the base of the pannier bags outwards. It is super strong (like all Tubus racks) with no flex or movement - chrome moly tubing with great construction.
OK, I get that it works, still think the Old Man Mountain rack is way simpler.
Don't get me wrong, I have a normal Tubus Tara and 2 Tubus Cosmo racks at home that were used for 19,000 kms last year so Tubus are great (except two of them have rusted a bit were they got scratched) - but maybe its worth checking out some other options like those listed above also.
Last edited by bostonceltics on Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Ah okay thanks. The Ultimate Low Rider does not look like it is suitable for suspension with discs and the Cold Spring does not look like it will mount a Busch and Mueller light easily either, which discounts them for me. Their Sherpa looks like a better option but not super keen on a aluminium rack plus still a problem mounting the light by the looks. Will look into it further but.
Last edited by Aushiker on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
OK cool. I had a heap of weight on my aluminium rack for a year (riding five days a week approx 90ks a day on all kinds of surfaces) and it was great.
The other thing I like about it is that I beat it up a lot and scratched it and never got any rust or any problems. Pretty happy... You could mount the low rider if you have v-brake mounts on your forks (guessing you don't).
No probs. I've always preferred to enter forums as "Dirt Works" (or DW-1 on Rotorburn). Makes everything much more transparent.
re: the website... the consumer viewable section of the site is taking longer than the B2B section did. Probably still about 4-5 weeks away. Promises from site developers... *sigh*
(FWIW - the rrp on the Long Haul Trucker (complete) is $1549).
So, does that mean the RRP of a LHT has actually gone down? Last time I looked at my LBS they were quoting $2200.
The rrp has been slowly creeping down over the last year or so, as the AUD creeps up and new shipments arrive purchased at the new exchange rate.
Last edited by Dirt Works on Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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