Home » Bicycle Touring » Bicycle Touring Gear » Best Front Bike Rack

Best Front Bike Rack

Updated:
Best front bike rack for bicycle touring

Sharing is caring!

This is a gear review about the best front bike racks for bicycle touring in 2022.

If you plan to cycle tour around the world, across the country or on a short weekend trip you may find that you need a front bike rack to assist in carrying you gear.

There are lots of front bike racks available, therefore this article will showcase you the best front bike racks that are on the market right now.

Best Front Bike Rack 2022

The Best Front Bike Rack in 2022 are:


Best Front Bike Rack 2022 – Overall

Tubus Tara Lowrider

Pros:
> Heavy Load capacity up to 35 lb / 16kg

> Comes with a mounting kit if your bike doesn’t have mid-eyelets on the front forks
> Very strong rack

Cons:
> Can take a while for some people to fit the rack to the bike

The Tubus Tara Lowrider is one of the most popular front bike racks that you will find, especially among long distance bike tourers.

This rack has been around for over 25 years, with small improvements being made along the way. The front bike rack is strong, stable and just works.

This is a lightweight rack that can hold up to 35 lb / 16 kg in weight. It is easy to install and mount onto your bike for most people, some may find it takes a while to get it adjusted correctly.

This front bike rack works for bikes with disc brakes or rim brakes and a kit is included to help you attach the rack to the forks if your bike doesn’t have any mid-eyelets.

Overall, this is very strong and stable and one of the best front bike racks on the market in 2022. It is best suited to cycle touring and people wanting a very strong front bike rack.

Compare Prices:


Tubus Duo

Pros:
> Very strong
> Lightweight
> Heavy Load capacity up to 33 lb / 15kg

Cons:
> Can take a while for some people to fit the rack to the bike

The Tubus Duo front rack is a lightweight and sturdy rack that will last you for years to come. This another front bicycle rack that is super strong and very popular for bike touring. It can handle a heavy weight load, but mounting the it on the bike can take a little bit of time for some people.

The Tubus Duo is perfect for someone whose front fork has outside and inside eyelets.

Like most of the front racks in this gear review it shouldn’t be fitted onto spring or carbon forks that don’t have any eyelets. The eyelets are how this rack is mounted onto your bike.

Overall, this is a very strong and very popular front bike rack for bike touring. Whether you are out on a weekend cycle tour or cycling around the world this front pannier rack will work well for you.

Compare Prices:


Surly Front Rack

Pros:
> Adjustable
> Chromoly Steel
> Repairable if something breaks

Cons:
> This is a heavy front bike rack

The Surly Front Rack is made from Chromoly steel and is height adjustable. This means it can fit a wide range of wheel sizes, which then allows you to keep your centre of gravity as low as possible for a smooth ride.

This rack can be adjusted to fit 26 to 29 inch wheels with and without fenders.

It is designed to mount onto forks with mid-eyelets. Most forks on touring bikes should have these especially top quality touring bikes.

You can hang this rack in two different levels. Most people use the lower tubing, but there is the option to move the rack up higher as you adapt to trail or road conditions that you are dealing with.

The Surly Front Rack is incredibly durable, and if it does break, it can be easily fixed. This rack can carry up to 70lbs in weight.

Overall, this is one of the best expedition style front touring racks best suited for heavier loads. Planning on cycling around the world and need to carry a heavy load then this might be the front bike rack for you.

Compare Prices:


Thorn Steel Low Loader Racks

Pros:
> Very strong chromoly steel
> Lightweight
> Can carry heavy loads up to 40 lb / 18kg

> Will fit most bike bikes, as long as there is 165mm between the top and lower fork bosses.

Cons:
> Like a lot of low loaders, assembly can be a bit fiddly and take a bit of effort.

The Thorn, steel low loader racks are the perfect all rounder. They are ideal for whatever you need them to do, whether that is carrying your groceries or cycling around the world on your touring bike. Thorn racks are perfect to use in the most extreme conditions and can carry heavy loads up to 40 lb / 18 kg.

These racks are made with aerospace chromoly steel which have been heat treated to increase their strength and durability.

These racks can be fitted on a wide range of bikes, as long as there is 165mm on the fork between the top and lower fork bosses. But you are most likely to see these on the front of Thorn Nomad Touring bikes.

Overall, these are a well made heavy duty front bike rack best suited to bike touring with a heavy load. These are the front forks I use on my Thorn Nomad Touring bike when I use a front bicycle rack.

Compare Prices:


Blackburn Outpost Front World Touring Rack

Pros:
> Removable top shelf
> Made from aircraft grade 6061 aluminum
> This rack comes with a packet of brackets that allows you various fitting options depending on the make of your bike.

Cons:
> Aluminium is not as easy to repair if it breaks

The Blackburn Outpost Front World Touring Rack is made from aircraft grade 6061 aluminum, which makes this rack strong and really lightweight. But it will be more difficult to repair if you have problems.

This rack is compatible with most brakes and frame mounts. Also any mounting material that you might need to provide as well.

The top shelf of this rack is completely removable, so it is up to you whether you keep it on or off. By keeping it on, it does provide you with more space to carry your possessions around on.

You can carry up to 45 lb / 20 kg with this front bike rack which is more than most people will ever carry on the front of their bike.

Overall, the Blackburn touring rack is a durable and versatile rack that is best suited on a touring bicycle that will be carrying a heavy load.

Compare Prices:


Buyers Guide

There are a vast range of front bike racks for touring bikes to choose from and it all depends on the use that you have in mind for it.

It not only gives you more storage options when on a long cycle tour that requires carrying extra food, water or camping equipment.

Therefore, having a front bike rack is a really good idea for long distance bike touring. Below are a few things to look out for when purchasing a front bike rack.

Front bike rack for panniers are great for cycle touring

Type of front bike racks

There are actually quite a lot of different types of front bike racks and in this article we have only touched upon a couple of them. Each type of front bike rack is very different from each other. The different types of bike racks to choose from include:

  • Lowrider
  • Porteur
  • Basket
  • Suspension
  • Randonneur

Lowrider racks are very common for touring bikes, as they keep your weight as low as possible to the ground. This makes your bike feel stable at high and low speeds. They are best suited for heavy panniers and long distance bike touring with a heavy load and lots equipment.

Whilst Porteur racks have been to stabilize your medium weight load above the wheel. The shape of this rack is ideal for carrying boxes or other awkward shaped items.

A basket rack is like a porteur rack, except there is a cage around the outside, which reduces the need for strapping everything down.

While a suspension rack has been designed to connect to your bikes front suspension fork. I am in the process of evaluating the best front bike racks for suspension forks and will add the best ones to the review soo.

Finally, a randonneur rack is a very small rack. This is better suited for small bags.

All these different racks have different uses, but low rider racks and front suspension racks are the only ones worth considering for bike touring, in fact, low riders are the only ones worth considering for their strength and ability to carry a heavy bulky load when needed.

Lowrider or standard front rack?

If you are planning to have a quick ride to the grocery store or have a ride around town then a standard front bike rack is going to be more suitable for you.

However, if you plan on bike touring then you need to think about a lowrider front bike rack. This is due to the fact that a lowrider rack sits very low on your bike’s fork and this gives the rider a much better and comfortable ride.

The difference between them is where they disturb the weight. For bike touring you want the weight as low to the ground as possible as it makes moving and handling the bike so much easier.

Materials

Front bike racks can be made from aluminium, stainless steel, chromoly steel or titanium.

Any racks made out of these materials are going to be strong, but you also want a rack that is going to be durable.

When it comes to looking into buying a rack you want to have one that is made from steel. This is because steel is extremely strong and durable. Almost as importantly if you damage your front pannier rack it can be repaired in most small towns anywhere in the world. Aluminum can only be repaired in specialist locations.

All racks have a good life but steel should outlast them all over time. You must do your research into what your bike rack is made from, as you don’t want a rack that will break while you are out riding.

Assembly

It is always worth noting how your desired front bike rack needs to be assembled before you purchase it. Otherwise you’ll have a rack that you may not be able to fit onto your bike.

Most of the racks we have mentioned above can be fitted onto most types of bike forks, however this is something worth checking out. Check that your front forks have eyelets on the forks that will allow racks to be mounted.

Some types of racks can’t be fitted onto particular forks, as we saw with the Tubus racks. However, a lot of companies will send you assembly parts in case you don’t have the eyelets that they would normally require for you to mount the rack.

There are other ways to be able to mount certain racks but this is something you must check out. You don’t want to buy a rack that you don’t mount onto your bike.

Conclusion

Whether you are going on a bike tour, or bike camping or just cycling to the grocery store, a front bike rack is a really useful thing to have. I have completed long distance cycling trip both with and without front bike forks and both have their pros and cons. But that is something I will talk about in another blog post in the future.

Front pannier racks gives you a space on your bike to carry more things. Important items that you need to hand are literally just in front of you.

In this article I have given you the best front bike racks that you can find on the market right now. I have also given all the information that you need to buy the best front bike rack for you. Now you know all this, it’s time to get that bike rack and plan your next bike touring trip.

The Best Front Bike Rack for panniers in 2022 are:

Gear testing front bike racks in France on a cycle tour in Europe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Any Bike Have A Rack?

Unfortunately, not every bike rack is compatible with every bike. This is something you need to be careful about when you are looking into buying a new bike rack.

If your bike has disc brakes you must make sure that the bike rack you are buying can work with disc brakes. It’s all about doing your research, so you can get a bike rack that is compatible with your bike.

How Do You Install A Front Rack Without Any Eye-Lets?

If your bike doesn’t have any eye-lets, then in this case depending on the model of your bike rack, you could see cushioned metal loop straps (P Clamps). They are very easy to use and can be found in most hardware stores. They are a great alternative to mounting your bike rack if you don’t have any eye-lets.

What Is A Rack On A Bike Called?

A rack on a bike has a couple of different names. They are commonly called racks, but they are also known as luggage carriers or pannier racks. They are a device that is attached to your bike where you can carry items, cargo and panniers. It is a way to carry items easily and conveniently while you are riding on your bike.


Another one of the Best Bike Touring Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.


More Bike Touring Gear Reviews

front bike rack for bike touring

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

Download the
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.