Velo Orange Porteur Rack – Review
I’ve been investigating both rear and front bike racks for some time now with mixed results. I have yet to find a rear rack that I’m thrilled about and even though my Soma Mini Alloy Front Rack is a great for very small loads, I really need something bigger for my Electra Ticino 16d. I’ve considered baskets and looked at numerous front racks and I have finally found my holy grail – the Velo Orange Porteur Rack.
Let’s start with the basics, a porteur rack was popularized by French guys delivering newspapers on bicycles way back when. Well this is not France and no one delivers papers by bicycle anymore, so you can just call it a front rack if you want, or a porter rack if you will. More importantly, the VO Porteur rack is a quality component made of tubular stainless steel. According to Chris Kulczycki, the VO man himself, it’s made for real load carrying and not just another piece of eye candy. I believe him.
Even the screws, washers and whatnot all seemed of good quality machining. I was impressed as I logically put it all together as there are no instructions which seems to be the norm when it comes to bicycle components. They assume everyone is a bike wrench. Fortunately installing it is a pretty straightforward procedure. Even I could do it and I did in less than 30 minutes. The final fit was good and solid with no rattling or flex so to speak. All mounting hardware is included and if you click on some of the photos you can see exactly how it attaches to the bike. VO Offers two models, with a rail (MSRP $160) or without a rail (MSRP $135). I opted for the rail model.
I took the bike for a ride along the Katy Trail the other day. The load was not substantial, I brought a small messenger style bag with minimal tools, cell phone, keys, etc and a camera. While I could feel a load on the front it was not difficult to control or something that I felt I had to get used to. If anything it seemed to even the weight distribution. That said I could see where hauling a substantial load could take some getting used to. All I need to do now is find two lights that I can attach to it.
Not only would I buy this again, I plan to buy at least one if not two more. They are spendy, true, and there are cheaper (and more expensive) front racks out there, but I am impressed with the construction, design and materials used. Besides, I’m a sucker for all things shiny, so this meets my needs perfectly. The next one I buy will likely be the model without the rail, I have some ideas on making my own. Stay tuned.
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