One of the nicest accessories I’ve fitted to my Brooklyn Bicycle Co. Bedford is their Front Bike Rack. I’ve used a rear rack with panniers and a trunk bag for ages. Plus I’ve had handlebar bags. But this is my first front rack, and I love it. It’s a great mix of style and utility, with neither giving up anything for the other.
Polished stainless steel not only looks great, but is quite strong. Yes, aluminum might save a few ounces, but it’s a rack for carrying cargo. So strength and durability are first and foremost. Besides, whatever cargo you’re carrying will far outweigh those few ounces. All the hardware seems to be stainless too. Polished screws with polished washers up top. To complement that stainless steel, the slats are wood, stained a medium brown. I’m a little disappointed that the stain wasn’t applied evenly on the edges, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Overall, it’s a very stylish look, and suits my bike well.
Brooklyn Bicycle Co. recommends professional installation of this rack. Whether you can do it yourself will depend on your skills and some basic tools. It attaches at the fork crown, and the braze-ons. You’ll need to (temporarily) unbolt the front brake, and also possibly cut the lower legs of the rack to length. The single biggest issue is cutting it down to size where it mounts above your fork axle. As mentioned, the rack is sturdy, so cutting through some thick stainless steel isn’t so easy. While a hacksaw would do it, I used a small cutoff wheel on a Dremel-style tool. Then, I touched up the sharp edges with a file. After that, it’s a matter of bolting it on at the fork crown, and the braze-ons. Finally, level it, and tighten everything down.
Once installed, I went for a test ride. Turns out there was a slight rattle, but tightening all the hardware solved that. Although no weight rating is given, I feel this rack could support more than I would want to carry. My camera bag and drone case both fit well. So did one of those soft lunchbox/bags. And food to go from our favorite Mexican and Italian restaurants, which are only 10 blocks away, and next to each other. I’m on the lookout for a proper picnic basket too. If you’re considering using the rack for groceries, it won’t disappoint either. Being able to keep an eye on your cargo (as opposed to a rear rack) is another plus. Just be sure to get a selection of lightweight bungee cords to keep things secure. While I didn’t find it any more difficult to ride with some weight over the front wheel, if it shifted, that could create a hazard.
As mentioned, this is my first front rack. I’ve used panniers and a trunk bag to avoid wearing a backpack. And it always made me nervous to have my gear out of sight, even if it was right behind me. This rack changes that. When my bag contains expensive camera gear and my wife’s medication, I’m less anxious with it in view. That’s worth a lot to me. After doing a quick internet search, I’d say that this rack is priced more than fairly at $69.99. Smaller metal racks are in the same range. Or you could spend nearly double that for a metal and wood rack from other companies. But I don’t think you’d get twice the value. And it fits bikes with 26″ or 700C wheels, which means not just those from Brooklyn Bicycle Co., but plenty of other brands too. If you’re looking for a stylish way to transport stuff on your bike, it’s a solid choice. BrooklynBicycleCo.com.
Although we did purchase our bicycles, Brooklyn Bicycle Co. provided their Front Bike Rack at no charge for this review.