Having convinced myself that low trail is not the holy grail of front loading bicycles (i.e. I don’t have a problem with my higher trail bike), I added a Nitto Platrack (Rivbike.com) to my Hilsen. I’ve used it now for a few weeks of bike commuting, as well as a 100k Populaire ride with the local randonneur club.
Observations so far:
- It has the same ride feel as just having the smaller Mark’s Rack on the bike.
- The long stays that support near the hub don’t make a noticeable difference in the handling.
- There is no additional noise.
- I don’t have a problem with the looks – I thought the long stays would bother me, but they are very insignificant.
- I like having a wider base of support.
- I’ve found the basket to be mostly unnecessary. Using the Acorn Boxy Rando bag worked great on the Populaire.
- The elastic net holds my ShopSack and other additions just great.
The advantages are mainly around having a larger platform. This makes it a lot easier to transport bulky items without needing a basket, but if you like the built in container a basket provides, it will give it that much more support when loaded. I.E. no wobble. It just feels solid.
Verdict: Solid! Recommended! I will be running this combo for the foreseeable future. I don’t feel it gets in the way, and adds enough versatility to make it worth keeping for commute duty, without being “in the way” for a longer distance ride. I’m not racing, so I’m not counting grams. That said, I don’t feel this makes me any slower on a rando. Tires are something I feel much more when I change things out.