Best Front Bike Racks of 2020 – Ultimate Review

Anthony
| Last Updated: February 23, 2021

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Often while touring or bike riding, you have a variety of things to bring with you. How can you conveniently bring things along? 

This is where a front bike rack comes in. These provide a sturdy place to secure items on your bike for any adventure.

If you are looking for a front bike rack, we’ve provided reviews of some of the best on the market. Read on to learn more about these and how to find the right one for you.

Our Top Picks for Best Front Bike Racks

  • Safe to use
  • Easy installation
  • Will not slide
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  • Durable construction
  • Easy to mount
  • Large space
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  • Best for the Money
  • Load is balanced
  • Safe, secure
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Comparison of the Best Front Bike Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Reflector attached to keep you visible for your safety
  • Quick and easy attachment system for easy installation
  • Rubberized grips will keep rack in place when loaded
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  • Tubular construction from lightweight alloy for durability
  • Will quickly and easily mount on fork boss
  • Large carry space on the carrier
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  • Best for the Money
  • Narrow profile improves balance and keep load close to center
  • Double attachment system for a more secure mounting
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  • Best Front Bike Cargo Rack
  • Will fit on most bikes quickly and easily
  • Bottle opener included with the rack for convenience
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  • Best Fat Bike Front Rack
  • Easily carry up to 50 pounds of weight
  • Easily works on many different bike sizes
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  • Best Mountain Bike Front Rack
  • Comes with an easy mounting system included
  • Accommodate most road and mountain bike sizes
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  • Best Road Bike Front Rack
  • Rear rack included to protect bike from load
  • Easily mounts to caliper hole and front axle
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What is a Front Bike Rack?

As the name suggests, a front bike rack is simply a rack attached to the front of your bike. Their design allows bikers to carry a greater amount of load at the front of the bike, and it does so without throwing the bike off balance. They are also known as porteur racks since they were first used in France by “porteurs” to carry newspapers for delivery.

Thule Pack 'N Pedal Tour Rack

How Does a Front Bike Rack Work?

Front bike racks are very simple products; there isn’t much to their working. All you need to do is install one on the front end of your bike. This is a process that involves turning a few screws, and you’ll be good to go. 

The racks are designed with a wide and flat base. When you place something in them, the weight gets equally distributed, which makes it easier to keep the bike balanced even with the added weight to the front. So you can carry your items with ease, and no added care is needed.

Quick Take - Best Front Bike Racks

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best front bike racks:

  1. Thule Pack 'N Pedal Tour Rack
  2. SUNLITE Gold Tec Front Rack
  3. Axiom DLX Streamliner Disc Cycle Rack

Review of the Best Front Bike Racks

Now that you know what a front bike rack is and how it works, you can pick a unit for yourself. However, finding one product for yourself amongst the numerous available on the market can be a real hassle.

In order to make the task easier for you, we have listed and reviewed some of the best products below.

Thule Pack 'N Pedal Tour Rack , Black

pros

  • Sturdy design that keeps the rack secure, even with heavy loads
  • Rubberized grips keep the bike frame protected from scratching
  • Comes with an integrated light reflector that allows better visibility
  • Designed to provide maximum heel clearance with an adjustable deck and rails
  • Easy installation and removal that provides convenient access to the mounting system

cons

  • A little pricier than other products on the market
  • Mount may need to be leveled prior to installation

What Recent Buyers Report

Users that have invested in this product loved everything about it. From the product's ideal size to the secure grip that it has over the frame, they have found nothing to complain about. Its sturdiness and durability is a bonus for them that they haven’t seen in other similar products.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bike rack is packed with several features that make it worthy of being the top product on this list. But the one feature that makes it stand out is its unique design that not only makes your bike look a lot cooler but provides another significant advantage as well.

Owing to its design, the rack can be attached to the front as well as the back of your bike. It can be easily fitted onto either side, and it performs well in both cases. So the only thing that decides where you fit this rack is your own personal choice.

Bottom Line

If you want to gear your bike with nothing less than the best, then this bike rack is what you need. It may be a little heavy on your pocket, but its design, functionality, and features will surely be worth all the money that you spend on it.

Sunlite Gold Tec Front Rack, 26'/700c

pros

  • Can carry great loads of up to 40 pounds at once
  • Available in two different colors for you to pick one that matches your style
  • Lightweight unit that does not throw the bike off balance at a slow or fast speed
  • Designed out of a 6061-T6 alloy that provides it with great strength and durability
  • Easy installation and removal process that takes a few minutes and a wrench only

cons

  • No manual for installation available
  • Hardware provided for installation isn’t of the best quality

What Recent Buyers Report

A few users that had been using a bike rack for the first time found the installation a little tricky due to the lack of an instruction manual. But, once they had managed to install it, they found that it worked perfectly. Almost everyone that used this rack loved it for its ideal size and a firm grip on the bike frame.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When you look at this front bike rack, you realize that it isn’t an extremely fancy one that comes packed with loads of features. However, it is still one of the best products that you can invest in. What makes it better than most others on the market is its 6061-T6 steel alloy construction.

This material of choice adds great strength to the product. You can carry as much as 40 pounds of weight on this strong front bike rack. The strength comes along with a great level of durability, so your rack lasts for a longer time. And all of that is possible without adding any excessive weight to your bike.

Bottom Line

There are chances that the top product doesn’t seem right for you. In that case, this front bike rack may be the perfect alternative for you. It will provide you with everything that one looks for in a bike rack without ever disappointing. Investing in this product can be considered money well-spent.

Axiom DLX Streamliner Disc Cycle Rack, Black

pros

  • Smartly engineered design that ensures sufficient heel clearance
  • Constructed out of strong 10.2mm tubular steel that is hand-welded
  • Allows easy installation and unmounting that takes less than a couple of minutes
  • Features a lightweight and low-profile design that is ideal to use with mountain and fitness bikes
  • Designed with an ultra-narrow body that serves to improve the aerodynamics while riding and reduces swinging of the bag you place on the rack

cons

  • Narrow design provides lesser surface area 
  • Not compatible with bikes that have rear disc brakes

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who have invested in this product have been stunned by how well it performs. Users find its low-profile design highly preferable over other robust front bike racks that can be a hindrance. With its easy mounting ad perfect functionality, users found it to be a great investment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A lot of manufacturers ask you for a great price for a simple product. But this front bike rack is designed to provide you with great features at a simple price. However, what makes it worthy of being on this list isn’t its low price range. Rather, it is the smartly engineered design that provides great advantages.

This product comes with a narrow and slim design that not only gives it a sleek and aesthetic look but also helps the product maintain a low profile. As a result, it can help reduce the excessive weight being added to your bike while also enhancing the aerodynamics.

Bottom Line

This product is the perfect example of the fact that you do not always need to spend more for a good product. This front bike rack, with its outstanding features and low-price point, will simply exceed all your expectations. It is a product that is simply not designed to disappoint.

Best Front Bike Cargo Rack:
Blackburn Bootlegger Front Bike Rack

Blackburn Bootlegger Front Bike Rack

pros

  • Designed to be compatible for use with bikes that have a disc brake
  • Comes with a light clip that can hold a light for better visibility at night
  • Integrated with a bottle opener so you can have a drink if you get thirsty
  • Provides a universal mounting system that is compatible with every type of bike
  • Carved out of aluminum to provide you with a lightweight design and great strength

cons

  • Mounting and unmounting may be a hassle
  • Some pieces of installation hardware may be missing

What Recent Buyers Report

Users who have invested in this product did so because they trusted the manufacturer. And Blackburn did not disappoint them with the quality of the product they delivered. Users have been highly satisfied with the build of this front bike cargo rack and love how lightweight it is.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Blackburn has designed this product with very detailed considerations in mind. That is why it stands to be better than many others on the market. But, what makes it unique is the level of compatibility that it provides with different bikes.

Most front bike racks are designed to be mounted on a specific type of bike, which limits the number of bikes you can use the product with. However, this cargo rack can be mounted on almost every bike without any hassle. Its universal mounting design ensures that you do not need to get a new rack for different bikes since this one is fit to go with them all.

Bottom Line

All in all, if you are looking to invest in a rack that not only provides sufficient space for all that you need to carry but also lasts for a long time, then this product can be the one for you. It will also allow you to forget all your concerns about being the right fit for your bike.

Best Fat Bike Front Rack:
Origin8 Classique Cargo HD Front Rack

Origin8 Classique Cargo HD Front Rack

pros

  • Designed to provide an adjustable fit for different-sized wheels
  • Installation is quick and breezy, taking no more than a couple of minutes
  • Wide base allows greater surface area for carrying your bag or other items
  • Lightweight unit, constructed out of aluminum and weighs only 2.1 pounds
  • Heavy-duty construction that allows the rack to carry loads of up to 50 pounds easily

cons

  • Not compatible with disc brake bikes
  • Does not come with instructions for mounting

What Recent Buyers Report

People that tried this product will tell you how great it is. Users love that it comes in one piece and requires no assembly as all. While they do think it would have been better if it came with a manual, users were still satisfied with how easy the installation was. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Origin8 has provided its users with great products time after time. This front bike rack also comes with many features that allow the manufacturer to build trust in their name. However, the one feature of this unit that stands out to us is its wide base design.

A lot of racks come with a great weight carrying capacity but do not provide enough surface area for one to stack as much as a bag properly. However, this front bike rack will make things much easier for you. It provides a 12” x 4” surface to carry loads of about 50 pounds easily. What more can one ask for?

Bottom Line

A bike rack with a good surface area is not very common. But this one will exceed your expectations and provide you with more space than you can ask for. But space is not all that it has to offer. From quality to convenience, it has everything you want in a front bike rack.

Best Mountain Bike Front Rack:
Blackburn Local Basket Bike Rack

Blackburn Local Basket Front or Rear Bike Rack

pros

  • Compatible with disc brake without being a hindrance
  • Can be attached to the front as well as the back of a bike for effective use
  • Comes with a cargo net that can allow you to carry items that cannot be strapped down
  • A patent-pending adjustable design that can work with almost any mountain or road bike
  • Features special mounting hardware that allows easy attachment to swivel and works on odd angles as well

cons

  • Mounting process is a little tricky and may take time
  • A heavy product that may make installation a little inconvenient

What Recent Buyers Report

Users that have invested in this product will tell you that they have found nothing to complain about with this unit. Even though they found installation to be a little time consuming, the results that they observed after was completely worth it for them. The sturdy design and the cargo net makes them feel secure about their items while riding.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For us, what stands out the most about this product isn’t the adjustable design or the disc-brake compatibility. Instead, it is a much simpler feature that makes it a lot more functional for users. We are talking about the cargo net that can be attached to the rack.

The cargo net turns the straight rack into a basket. When you’re using just the rack, you need to strap the items to keep them secure. However, not everything that you want to carry can be stored, like a bag of groceries. With the cargo net, you can use the rack as a basket and store items that you wouldn’t be able to strap down, making it a lot more useful.

Bottom Line

Make the best out of your front bike rack with this product. The strong build allows you to carry more weight and the cargo net ensures you can carry a greater variety of items. If you want the best front bike rack for your mountain bike, this one won’t disappoint you.

Best Road Bike Front Rack:
Origin8 Rush Messenger Front Flat Rack

Origin8 Rush Messenger Front Flat Rack, 26-29', Black

pros

  • Durable product that allows a longer use than is expected from it
  • Wide and flat base is ideal for bigger-sized items or oddly-shaped cargo
  • Heavy-duty construction enables the product to hold weights up to 55 pounds
  • Designed to provide an adjustable fit for tires of size 26’, 27.5’, 29’ or even 700c
  • Integrated with a rearguard that serves to keep the head tube and cable protected 

cons

  • Unit’s weight may make balancing a little hard
  • Installation can be a little tricky for those using racks for the first time

What Recent Buyers Report

From the rack's solid build to its durability, users love everything there is to this unit. They have been highly impressed with the design that not only keeps their cargo safe but also makes sure that the bike stays safe, too.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Origin8 has crafted this product with a sturdy build and durable design, which users love a lot. But what makes it worthy of being on this list is the base of the rack that is ideal for carrying odd-shaped cargo items.

Bikers often struggle with using this rack with items that do not have a flat base or are oddly shaped. The uneven shape makes it hard for the items to fit on the rack. But the unique design of this rack will enable you to carry almost any and every item that weighs up to 55 pounds without any issue.

Bottom Line

Invest in this product, and forget the struggle of small racks or easily damaged products. This rack not only makes carrying items while riding a bike easier, but it also ensures the safety of your bike. Its functionality is something you need to see for yourself to believe.

How Do I Choose a Front Bike Rack?

If you haven’t invested in one of these products before, you may be confused about how to pick one. Do not worry! Choosing a front bike rack is very simple. Here are some of the features that you will have to keep in mind while doing so.

Load Carrying Capacity

Before you choose a product, you need to decide what you need it for. If you need to carry heavier loads, you need a stronger and a bigger rack. But if you want to use it for nothing more than a light backpack, then a smaller unit that doesn’t add unnecessary weight to the bike would be a better option.

Blackburn Bootlegger Front Bike Rack

Materials Used

The choice of material that you want the bike rack to be made of is also an important factor. If you want a strong and long-lasting rack, then a steel front bike rack would be ideal for you. However, if you want a lighter product, then going for a product carved out of aluminum would be better.

Compatibility

If you pick a rack that isn’t compatible with your bike, you will simply be wasting money. So before you invest in a product, make sure that your bike has eyelets that are required for mounting the rack. If not, you may need to look into a different rack that is suitable for your bike.

Types of Front Bike Racks

Not all front bike racks are the same. There are four different types. To pick the right one for yourself, you need to know about all four. Here’s a rundown of each:

Basket Front Rack

A basket front rack, as the name implies, comes in the form of a basket. The cage-like design of the basket allows you to put items in without having to strap them. These are either attached to the front fork of the bike or hang on the handlebars.

Lowrider Front Racks

These products are mostly used by those who own touring bikes. Their lowriding design helps lower the pannier weight to the ground. The unique design of this product helps your bike run more smoothly on high and low speeds alike.

Suspension Front Racks

Such racks are made in a way that they attract to the front suspension fork, hence the name. With these, the panniers serve as ‘sprung’ weight.

There are further two types of these, one that goes over the suspension and the other that goes below it.

Randonneur Front Racks

These racks are the lightest and have a minimal body design. They can fit a small randonneur bag and also allow the fitting of integrated light mounts.

Rear Rack vs Front Rack Bike - Comparison Overview

While choosing a rack for your bike, you may find yourself confused between the front and rear racks. While both are racks, there may be a few significant differences between the two. You can decide which one you want to invest in after looking at a side by side comparison of the two.

Use

The use of both is the same. They are designed for carrying items while riding. The weight that each can carry is also more or less the same, so the use that each product provides is identical.

Security

With a rear rack, the items that you carry are out of your sight while riding. Since turning back now and then to keep a check can be difficult, your items aren’t very secure. But with a front rack, they are always right in front of you. This makes carrying them a lot safer.

Safety

In terms of safety, a rear rack may be a better option. If the front racks are mounted without a sufficient fork rake, they can increase the wheel flop, making it harder to handle the bike. Therefore the front racks you choose must be picked with great consideration to ensure safety.

Conclusion

Front bike racks are very simple products but can prove to be extremely useful. They are not only affordable and useful but can also add an element of safety and aesthetics to your bike. With a little research and keen consideration, you can find a product that is not only compatible with your bike but also suitable for your use.

Anthony

"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "