Gone are the days of my svelte looking Surly LHT. I picked up a Surly Front Nice Rack yesterday after a few weeks of trying to figure out a system where I could still use my Acorn bag and front loaders. My previous rack was the Rivendell Mark’s rack. I considered pairing it up with a Blackburn or Tubus lowrider, but in the end I figured I should just get one rack. For a moment, I considered a Nitto Campee but couldn’t find any reports of anyone mounting it happily on a 26 inch wheel bike, which my Surly is.
All this to say, that I went for the Surly Front Nice Rack. It’s big. It’s heavy and presumably really well built. It looks more like a piece of scaffolding really than something that should go on a bike. The silver-ish finish looked congruous with my rear Tubus rack (hey these things matter : ).
One thing I was surprised with was the amount of screws, nuts, spacers and plates it came with. You could start a small hardware store with it. The photos on the instructions I got were almost illegible, a copy of a copy of a copy. I had to rely on some pictures of the instructions from Vik’s Lazy Rando site. I couldn’t find the PDF for the front rack installation on the Surly site so that was a bummer. I’m not the most mechanically inclined person in the world, so it took me a little over an hour to get the rack in place on the bike and cross reference against several Flickr photos of the hardware to confirm that I had done it correctly.
Fortunately, my Acorn bag plays relatively well with the Nice Rack and is a testament to their decaleurless design. The pair of pockets that face the rider are a little squished but still accessible. The bottom velcro straps still manage to wrap around the rack. The shock cords still work. I did add a toe-strap through the leather sleeve and wrapped it around the sled of the Nice Rack for a little added protection.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the rack and am looking forward to using it on The Big Trip.