Thursday, 5 September 2013

Front Pannier Rack


Probably the toughest thing to sort out in this whole trip has been the front panniers.  Because my bike has suspension on the front and disc brakes the options have been extremely limited.

In the end I purchased a set of Zefal Raider front panniers specifically for suspension forks with disc brakes.

I am however in two minds about them, on the one hand they are extremely light, literally 750 grams, however I found the fitments not as "quality" as I would have expected.

They are attached with Hose Clips, that have a plastic inside to "protect" your forks with a bolt that fits through the hoseclip and inserts into the racks to mount them.  Sounds good, hmmmm  well first of all try fitting them without scratching your forks (not a problem to me) but I know a lot of people won't like that.  Secondly the bolt protrudes inwards so that it tightens onto the fork so you know it will have marked the forks, and the plastic interior doesn't cover the bolt so it's bare metal onto your fork paint.

Finally I found the bolts are very thin, I await to see how sturdy they are..  However they seem to be the best solution available, I guess most of all I was hoping for a neater solution.

On the funny side, the guide is printed so small that you cannot possibly read the diagram even with a magnifying glass (see the picture of it in my palm) and I promise I don't have huge hands lol.  This is not a great issue as it is hardly rocket science.  To fit them I recommend:

1. Remove the washers, spacers and nuts off them fitments.
2. Undo the hose clips then mount the bottom ones onto the fork,
3. Check the bottom clearance of the rack to ensure you have room to remove your front wheel skewer, if not lower the bottom hoseclips until you do.
4. When you are satisfied with the clearance for your skewers tighten up the bottom hoseclips.
5.  Attach the top hose-clips and then semi tighten so you have some easy wiggle room
6.  push the rack onto the bottom bolt and then slide the top hoseclip so the bolt fits in easily and the rack can be made level.

7. Tighten the top hoseclips now they are the correct height.
8. Mount the racks, and then fit all the spacers etc.. and finally tighten the bolts.  You should now be left with a perfectly mounted front rack.

One tip if you have these, they only come with one washer, get four more washers and fit them on both sides of the mounting bolt for more grip and a firmer fit... a real oversight in my opinion as I think overtime it would warp the pannier mount itself.

The parts laid out.

the smallest instruction booklet with impossible to read diagrams

The finished article
Ohh and I nearly forgot my shwalbe tyres arrived today... where am I going to mount them...

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