29 May, 2006

Herse Front Rack

Here is a Herse front rack that I've not seen before. Looks familiar though. I think it's a little too big, but it might be another possibility for a Velo Orange rack. Like it? Anybody care to comment?

More photos of this bike are available at the superb Classic Rendevous site.

14 comments:

Doug Van Cleve said...

It looks like a rear rack but on the front. I don't think I've seen pictures of one like that before...

Greg said...

Why do you think it will be too big? My prototype front bag at 20 cm extends past the Nitto M12 rack. If this rack can cover that, all the better. Also, would this be a good length for pannier use?

art said...

I think this looks *great.* Exactly the size I would use on a tourer: could be used for a basket or very large handlebar bag in town/commuting, and for panniers and/or former on tour. I have that great TA rack for Mafac Racers, and it's just not big enough for my uses.
Any word yet on your old TA-replica handlebar bag?

aaronsnyder said...

It looks great. I was actually thinking today about asking you about a front version. It is a bit larger than I would expect, but looks useful and beautiful, and the mate for your rear rack.
I have no idea how far the excursions of fork flex actually are (a couple millimeters?), but it seems that a rigid front rack tied to the crown and dropouts would inhibit fork flex, and if tied to the fender and dropouts might trash the mounting points on the fender. What do you think?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Greg,

I don't think there is any harm in a bag hanging a little over the front of a rack so long as the bag is rigid, it just can't "flop" forward.

I'm certain this one would be fine for small panniers.

Art,

There people,like myself,who will almost never carry anything beyond a handlebar bag on a front rack. Then there are those who carry more stuff. And we have a new crop of porteur types. This will eventually demand two styles of racks, if not three. But I suspect the bag-only crowd outnumber the others.

Chris

Chris Kulczycki said...

Aaron,

I've given a lot of thought to this fork flex question. On one hand the we can see how the construteurs did it, and they usually had very well thought-out ideas, on the other we can watch our forks flexing every time we ride.

We'll use a thin and flexible metal strip, (rather than a rigid tube) to attach the rack to the crown as not to inhibit flex.

I'm not concerned about fenders since front-of-fork fender braces have been in use for about 100 years. fenders are pretty flexible and even the aluminum type seem to resist fatigue if properly mounted.

Chris

Chris Kulczycki said...

Almost forgot, we may have found a shop to build the TA-style bags. They are experianced in canvas/leather bags. I'm sending the plans and specs. to them today.

I am, again, waiting to hear back about the Ostrich bag deal. It works like this: I ask a question, two weeks later I get the answer ;<( .

Chris

Andy said...

Hello. How about more pictures of that bike? And stem?

Clay said...

I'd definitely be interested in that rack for my Kogswell P/R prototype...

thbonamici said...

I would definitely buy one. I'm currently stuck with a serviceable-yet-chunky blackburn front rack, and it'd be great to have a strong, beautiful, full-size steel front rack.

david_nj said...

You can see that Herse mounts this well up the fork, so the fork flex issue should be all but moot. I personally don't care for the type of front rack that has legs all the way to the axle, thouugh. It's just too much rack. Something along the lines of a Nitto M12, but not requiring cantis, would be pretty stonking.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Hi David,

You've pointed out the dilemma very clearly. If there are no canti-posts or low-rider bosses, then it's either legs to the dropouts or clamps (YUCK).

So I'm designing a rack that a little like this one, but smaller and lighter. One day there will also be a version for canti-posts, but with thin rod legs you can bend for a perfect fit.

Chris

david_nj said...

Agreed, P-clamps are really just horrid. Perhaps what you could do without too much pain is just have riv-nuts inserted on the fork, either on the sides where lowrider bosses go, or on the front (i.e., what they use for water bottle bosses on frames that don't have them brazed in). The only thing is, there's no way you should do this to a really fine bike's fork! Alternatively, you could have them properly brazed into the fork. But then you have to think about getting it repainted or replated. All this is why I finally chose to use one of those little TA/Mafac racks.

david_nj said...

I just had another thought. I was looking at my bike this AM. What with the front rack and decaleur thang, there's quite a bit of hardware up front. To make life a little simpler, would it be possible to create a rack with an integral decaleur? I'm almost sure I've seen old french bikes with such a setup, but I'm not 100% sure. In other words, the vertical tubes at the rear of the rack could just have the bag decaleur ends plop into them. Then there would be no need to futz around with a stem or spacer fitting.

Is this feasible? Sorry if this is a dumb suggestion.