Riding with Fornt Racks / Lowriders


New Member
I've recently moved from taking my son to nursery in a trailer to taking him in a child seat on the back of my bike. As my rack normally has panniers attached, I've got a couple of lowrider front racks which I move them to while the seat is on my rack.

I found riding with my son in the child seat fairly easy - the biggest thing to remember not to do is to stand up on the pedals. However, I do find having my panniers on the front racks really weird - it completely changes the handling of the bike. I wouldn't say it's unstable, but it's definitely sluggish. I also get the impression that the steering is a lot slower to respond when I shift my weight when steering.

I'm new to all this front-rack stuff. Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom about riding with them?



Über Member
It takes a little while to get used to riding with front racks, ultimately some people like them (I use them in preference to rear for light loading) and some people just don't get on with them - may have something to do with the geometry of the bike.

Getting the load distributed evenly either side is much more important than with rear panniers, else the steering will try to pull to the heavy side. Also, packing heavier items to the bottom helps.
I think you either like them or don't: Despite liking a handlebar bag I don't like front panniers. I've only use them once on tour and they just made the bike feel heavy and dead.

Agree about equal distribution, that's more important at the front, if you don't you get bad handling and weird shimmies on bumps.


New Member
I like them. Make sure they are equally loaded and carry more weight on rear panniers than front (generally). My tip would be to make sure they are securely fixed. I use the clips supplied and a tie...I had one come off once and the sudden shift in weight to one side nearly threw me off...not to mention the embarrassing walk back along th estreet to pick up the bag from in front of the 4x4.


Über Member
Bokonon said:
- may have something to do with the geometry of the bike.
I think that's right, my Thorn Raven rides better with them than unloaded, yet they make my Hewitt feel sluggish. You often see French tourist on road bikes with front panniers and no rear, I keep meaning to try it...
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