Attention rack users, your opinion is valued!

A brief background first: I’m a second year industrial design student currently working on a project revolving around the cycling manufacturing industry. For this segment of the project, I’m looking at racks (mainly front racks), and how people with different styles of bikes use different styles of racks, and how they use them.


If you ride with a rack, or just have a strong opinion on the use of racks, please give any feedback possible below. Good experiences and bad experiences obviously both very important. What would the perfect rack look / operate like? Anything you’ve always thought would work well? Ridiculous ideas are often the most viable, so please put anything below. Photos of current setups also a massive plus!

Many thanks,

The main thing i like in a rack is stiffness and stability. I’ve had a cheap rack before and it wobbled a fair bit, so riding with a heavy load wasn’t very stable, but I now have a tubus rack which is rated to 40kg and I can carry a fair bit whilst still being stable.
Getting the load low is also a plus and adds to stability

How many cute girls can I dink on the front?

I have a rear rack on my commuter (Topeak). Used for a baby seat and panniers and occasional goods occy strapped to it.

I wish it was easier to take off/put on. I used to take it off when neither of the above were in use, but I eventually got sick of doing that so now it’s a permanent fixture. (I understand that taking it off easily and my child’s safety are probably contradictory desires.)

I would also like to be able to carry my panniers and a baby seat at the same time, right now it’s either one or the other.

Actually, I think I just need a Surly Big Dummy.

Opinions? I have plenty.

Here’s the problem: you have to design a rack that fits most bikes, which means adjustable and uses a minimum of standard mounts. Which means it’s heavier and flexier than it needs to be.

The perfect rack is built to suit the fork it’s for, and the frame/fork then has appropriate geometry to reduce flop / wandering / flex. Otherwise everything is a compromise and it’s just backpacks bungee netted to racks on fixies.

A recent production bike that nailed this: Spesh Globe Live. (and then they effed it up with the replacements) ~40mm trail, four point non adjustable rack.

But it’s also strong, for dinking!

Compare the VO porteur to the Civia Pizzeria/Market, look at the piddly thin fork crown mount on the VO compared to the doublethickness one on the Civia which also has a wraparound rear crown mount. Both are ‘adjustable’, one is far better than the other.

Low trail bikes with racks built to match the fork:

Low trail bike with non custom rack:

I have an xtracycle that I’ve been considering moving on. If you’re serious, let’s talk.

i’m without much personal experience with front racks, i had one in 2007 but didn’t use it much,
apparently the handling suffers when loaded unless the bike is designed from the ground up for the load- so i think the better project might be looking at rear racks, and making them desireable, solving the issues with them like ‘perceived dorkiness’, security of load, etc, based on some of the bikepacking technology and some styling.

(i did ID too)

Yeah I did ID too… look at me now.

Racks- as someone who doesn’t use them but commutes next to people that do… THEY RATTLE

This is a great solution, especially if you’re using a front rack on a bike with caliper rim brakes.

If there was one thing I’d change on my Pass & Stow, it would be the fork crown mount. Having a rack support, and fender bracket bolt up behind a brake and in front of the fork can be really fiddly. Especially if you’re still using single pivot calipers that can’t be centered via a small screw.

I have an old, old front rack. I’ve used it on three different bikes (steel brakeless track, aluminium road, steel rigid MTB). None of them were designed for a front rack. I reckon it could handle 20kg, but it would handle like shit. I mainly use it to carry light(ish) large boxes and so forth. Could handle a carton of beer.

The lack of adjustment and ease to install can be annoying. Mine doesn’t rattle though. It mounts directly to the front brake hole and the axle or fender mounts. I wish it had a bracket I could mount it further from the frame because the front brake and bars and stem can get in the way of the load. I could probably rig something up.

For what I use it for most of the time, I prefer my Wald basket.

That is cos not fitted right/never checked.

It’d be like saying that shimano doesn’t shift well cos of all the bikes with worn out cassettes, chains and rusty cables.

Agree with what has been said before, a good front rack has to be designed around the bike/fork, the civia pizzeria (which I have) is the best ‘off the rack’ solution at the moment I reckon, however its still not ideal, as soon as you make a rack adaptable to a range of bikes those points become weak and add weight.

Here is my setup:

The best racks often require some fork crown mods, or custom forks, check out:

What I did to go around this is front rack fitted with front panniers.

I think this thread has hit the nail on the head, and from my experience, a ‘fit all’ front rack just won’t exist, nor work in many circumstances at all.

Just about the only front rack/basket system that comes close is a wald, and the reason comes down to one thing - attachment to drop out. The interface is thin, and manageable on most forks, but you will always run into a difficulty with anything that isnt a thin, tapered steel fork, because aero shaping and bulging of the fork tubes makes a lot of fork-end interfaces incompatible.

Take the soma rack (which i own also), the drop out interface is so thick I could not use a standard track-nut axle, and only quick release or bolt on axle.

One work around, which is on an old Japanese touring front rack, is a fender-eyelet mounting system which has longer bolts and 5mm diameter spacers to clear larger diameter forks. I can send you some photos of it if you want. But then, your fork needs eyelets which it probably wont have.

see this:

this is what happens when designerbros design racks. High trail, fuckall bracing, nobr akes.

ffffff even a wald 137 is better than this:

Fixies thooo!

lol at ‘rack users’

carry on

blakey we cannot all wear green 3/4 pants, let us live our lives of badly positioned racks

if they are mounted on a tarck, are they called arcks?

Look at that sick mash rack. where are the triangles? not enough triangles = no illuminerty = no fixie zen.