Rack for front panniers


New Member
I have an old steel-framed Holdsworth tourer which I use for touring/camping. I need to use front panniers - but the forks have no braze-ons for lowloader racks. I have just about got away with using cheapo racks from Halfrods ; these are secured by bolts through the mudguard eyelets and clamps around the forks. Problems: alarming wheel wobble, which only goes away above 25mph!; and marking of paintwork, even with padding. Can anyone recommend a suitable rack? Has anyone tried an Old Man Mountain rack?

betty swollocks

large member
This sounds more of a problem with the bike than with your low-rider type front rack.
Usually, having your luggage on low riders has a damping effect on any front end instability.
Some considerations:-
i) is your headset properly tight?
ii) wheel bearings tight?
iii) frame integrity: are you sure it's true and undamaged - no cracks?
iv) maybe the frame geometry renders the bike, weighted this way, susceptible to wobbles?


New Member
Any loosness in your fixings exaggerates wobbles, especially at the front, and if your panniers are hanging on the rack like a hoor's knickers your steering will be flappy. With a bit of cunning you might bungee your tent, say, straight on one side of your rack, thus loosing the weight of a pannier for an improvement in steering response.

rich p

ridiculous old lush
The front racks that came with my Ultra Galaxy are Blackburns . They are hopeless and held at one point by so-called non-slip rubber using friction. Steer (if you'll forgive the pun) well clear IMO.


I've had this problem for years with my Orbit tourer. Using a firmly fixed Tubus rack I get dangerous speed wobble at certain speeds. I'm told it's a resonance thing.

Very scary at speed.... :ohmy:

Limpet style panniers don't seem to cause the problem, Carradice sell these and I've used them on rough tracks with no problems.


New Member
I hav eblackburn custom lowriders on my galaxy. Once I managed to get a clip from carradice that fits the converging top tubes on these racks all was well....they are strong and stable imho.


New Member
Thanks for these useful comments

psmiffy: where did you buy your nitto rack? it sounds good

btfb: do your forks have braze-on's? if not, wouldn't the Blackburn non-custom be better; it has a sort of hoop which loops round outside the wheel and joins the two rack frames, presumably aiding stability
Nitto rack from Rivendell Bicycle Works, P.O. Box 5289 Walnut Creek CA 94596


carriage by suface is cheapest but allow 6-8 weeks - I did and luckily I ordered it 12 weeks before I needed it


New Member
Mine have no over wheel hoop, they are not joined at all, but they are very stable imho...only thing is that if you wanted to load something over the front wheel as well you cannot do that with the custom low riders that I have


Well-Known Member
A trailer will solve all your handling problems. My Burley Nomad will tow at 40 mph, straight as a die, fast round corners and you can't feel it at all (until you go up hill then the weight kicks in but that's the same with racks) Highly recommended for camping touring.


Active Member
Plymouth, Devon
OMG!! :eek:
Until I found this site, I hadn't even heard of 'Wheel Wobble' ... at present, I'm looking to emmulate Ellie Bennett's travels in ' Mud, Sweat and Gears'!! - that is the journey, not just reading the book! :thumbsup:
I'm at present sweating over choice of panniers - Orbiteil or Alturas? / def rears and poss front panniers too ... although um!!:crazy:

This weekend I'm off to by a light weight tent - before the sales end - along with a sleeping bag and self inflating doo daah thing to sleep on.

Front pannier wheel wobble ? well that's making me re think carrying kit! :scratch:


I use the Old Man Mountain lowrider and it's rock solid. Think it's 70 or 80 quid last I looked tho, might be cheaper options.
I use Old man mountain Sherpa racks both on the front and rear. I prefer to use a high rack on the front as I found offroad with a low rider rack my panniers were scrapping on the undergrowth and the ground if I rode through a deep puddle or when crossing streams. I have used them for some years and many miles of use, and have found then really strong and free from wobbles which you get with some more flimsy racks. Also if you are using suspension forks on the front they fit to the lower fork bodies either using the V-brake fittings or by the use of P-Clamps so do not effect the action of the forks.


Active Member
Plymouth, Devon
Thank you Guys! I have a Ridgeback 604 GX mountain bike with fixed front forks.
I have a Top Peak Design ( black ) rear carry pannier carrier and not that I've measured anything yet, I'm confident that what ever bags I get, - because the bags will adjustable - that that carrier will be fine.
I'm looking all over for the many, many ... many .... ( sigh ) many items for sale on the market but feel confident I'll make a choice and it'll be sufficent.

I'm going to view e-bay in a min ... and probably be shocked and spoilt for choice AGAIN !! :eek:
I'll certainly look at the Old Man Mountain gear, I hadn't thought of low carriers and puddles and the like.
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