Choosing a Front Rack

by Grace Barr
19 June 2024

Why use a front rack? 

Front Racks are really amazing - providing extra space for a backpack, beers, touring gear, or whatever you need for the day. At Omafiets we have a huge selection of front racks which can accommodate almost any dream you have for your bike. Heres a bunch of reccomendations we have for various purposes, rides and adventures! You’ll be laughing once you can simply sling your backpack into a front basket and strap it down with a voile strap or bungee cord. 

Couriers have been using front racks to haul boxes and cargo since bicycles were invented (which kinda says it all) The front wheel, being symmetrically dished, is stronger than the rear wheel, and the rear wheel is already loaded up with the rider's weight. Therefore a front rack allows for more control plus your gear is in direct view. Additionally front racks have a larger cargo area, making it easier to strap down large objects. 

Choosing the right rack 

Depending on the size of your fork and the mounting points available will determine which rack is the most suitable for your bike. Many racks provide a lot of versatility however some are fixed or designed for a specific fork/frame set. Think about what you will be using the rack for and make sure it will be able to hold the weight you require for the type of riding you are planning to do. 

Front Racks that can fit on any bike: Topeak Tetra Rack, Old Man Mountain Divide 
Lightweight/Smaller: Jack the Rack, Tumbleweed T-Rack, Surly 8 Pack 
Heavyweight/Touring: Surly Front Rack, Tubus Grand Expedition Front Rack
Porteur: Pelago Commuter Front Rack & Rasket, Velo Orange Flat Rack, Pizza Rack 

Front Racks that can fit on any bike:

The Old Man Mountain Divide Rack 

The Old Man Mountain Divide Rack is extremely versatile - both a front & back rack which can be mounted with or without eyelets or mounting points on your fork. It is an adaptable rack that's built to last and based on a time tested design.

The rack includes drop-outs which can be adjusted based on your tyre clearance. It also includes adjustable extenders which are used to secure the rack to your frame. A ‘Fit Kit’ (rear or front axle, 2 pucks, 8 UV resistant zip ties, 2 pieces of protective tape and hardware to match your fit kit) is provided to allow for axle mounting or different configurations, especially for road bikes, bikes with suspension or bikes without mounting points. It can be mounted front or rear and works with a large number of 'Fit kits' to allow for axle mounting or different configurations. If you don’t have eyelets on your fork, you can use a special thru axle to fit this rack to your bike. 

Tubing: 6061 aluminum 

Weight: 960g 

Load Capacity: 33kg 

Price: $299.95 

Topeak Tetra Rack 

TetraRacks quickly mount to any bike with or without eyelets using padded rubber mounts and velcro straps. The one-size fits all rack is also compatible with the Topeak Trunk Bags which can slide and lock into place. Its perfect quick-mount front rack system is compatible with any commuter/touring/bikepacking fork. 

Tubing: aluminum 

Weight: 910g  

Load Capacity: 10kg 

Price: $179.95 

Lightweight/Smaller 

Surly 8 Pack and Surly 24 Pack 

Surly's 8 Pack and 24 Pack Racks are lightweight, unbreakable and super durable, perfect for touring, commuting and running errands.

These racks are compatible with the Surly Porteur House & Petite Porteur House Bags however - you can use almost any pannier/bikepacking bag for commutes, camping or whatever. Obviously the name comes from the idea of beer packs (American Standard) 8 pack and a 24 pack. They're designed to work on Surly forks which have eyelets right at the top of the fork blades (unlike most other brands), so you'll struggle to mount them to non-Surly forks. 

8 Pack       

Tubing: Tubular 4130 Chromoly Steel                                                                                 

Weight: 640g 

Load Rating: 13.6kg 

Price: $255

24 Pack 

Tubing: Tubular 4130 Chromoly Steel 

Weight: 860g 

Load Rating: 13.6kg 

Price: $255 

Tumbleweed T-Rack 

The T-Rack is a minimalist support rack designed to carry cargo bags over the top or the sides using the 3 threaded mounting points for cargo or water bottle cages. An elegant yet purpose built steel rack which works on the front or rear of your bike with huge tyre clearance (up to 4.75 inches) for large tyres (up to 29 x 3.5 or 26 x 4.75) making it perfect for bikepacking.

The rack mounts to the braze ons near the dropout and also mounts to the seat stay mounts or a seatpost clamp mount. You should have at least a 25-50mm gap between your tyres and the platform. 

Tubing: Chromoly 

Weight: 617g

Load Rating: 25kg

Price: $230 

Jack the Bike Rack 

Jack The Bike Rack is a front-rack you can put on virtually any bike without tools.  It is an ingenious product that provides a lot more support than simply strapping cargo to your handlebars.

If you have ever found yourself riding rough roads and desperately tightening straps to stop bags migrating or coming loose you will appreciate the extra support it provides. It avoids many of the issues with bikepacking bags (e.g. rubbing on the frame and cables) and can easily be swapped between different bikes. Jack the Bike Rack is also compatible with a Walled 137 Basket. 

Tubing: 304 Stainless Steel 

Weight: 700g 

Load Rating: 5kg 

Price: $180 

Heavyweight/Touring:

Surly Front Rack

Surly chromoly steel racks have been used on expeditions all over the world. This rack is incredibly durable and heavy duty. It is height adjustable and can fit a wide selection of wheel sizes.

You can strap almost anything to it, it is weldable and can carry so much weight and gear. The Surly Front Rack takes a while to install, but it is worth the wait as it will last you a lifetime of adventures and riding.

 

Tubing: Stainless Steel

Weight: 1382g

Load Rating: 32kg 

Price: $279 

Tubus Grand Expedition Front Rack

This rack allows many options for carrying gear allowing you to load up panniers down low and cargo space on top for bulky gear. Loading up panniers down low allows a lower center of gravity, meaning you’re less likely to topple the bike over while stationary and carrying lots of weight.

This rack combines a lowrider pannier rack, and a support platform for larger, lighter items (like sleeping bags). You'll need mid-fork eyelets as well as fork end eyelets to mount this one.

Tubing: 25CrMo4

Weight: 780g 

Load Rating: 18kg 

Price: $269 

Porteur: 

Velo Orange Flat Pack Rack 

The Velo Orange Flat Pack Rack is known for its timeless look and vintage aesthetic and can be neatly mounted onto nearly any bike with rack mounts on the fork blades.

The generously sized platform is known as a “demi-porteur” and is 27.5cm x 20.3cm in diameter. It provides stabilization for large Randonneur Handlebar Bags such as the Hungry Smorgasbord Bag as well as better support for baskets and large, bikepacking bags. 

Tubing: Stainless steel platform, Aluminium stays 

Weight: 708g

Load Rating: Two Stays: 5.4kg/Four Stays: 7.7kg

Price: $320 

Pelago Commuter Front Rack 

A seriously capable and versatile front rack made out of stainless steel. The Pelago Stainless steel front rack comes in two sizes and is rated for up to 15kgs. Modular attachment system allows fitting to various front forks. Perfect for your everyday stuff, weekend camping gear or a late night pizza. 

Tubing: Stainless Steel 

Weight: 1kg 

Load Capacity: 15kg 

Price: $250

Specialized Pizza Rack 

Super versatile front rack with a huge platform and center light mount. Designed to hold sizable cargo up to 15kg rather comfortably, the rack is also compatible with panniers with hooks that fit on 13mm rails. 

Tubing: Aluminum 

Weight: 940g 

Load Capacity: 15kg 

Price: $170 

To summarize.. we have so many racks to choose from, its all about finding the right match with your bike. There will always be something we can find to help accomodate you and your commuting/adventure plans. 

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