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Burnum Upus Quadricepus
2,017 Posts
I don't have a front rack, so I can't comment there.

My primary bike has a Tubus Cosmo--similar to the Logo, but with a longer top and it's stainless instead of CroMoly. I bought it specifically because of the lower side rail for mounting panniers. My bike's primary role is commuting and grocery-getting. I use a rack trunk bag for commuting stuff, hanging panniers for groceries or other occasional toting needs.

The lower side rails save me a ton of fussing and cussing when mounting the panniers along with a trunk bag since each bag has its own rail. Further, the weight in the panniers is carried lower, which makes a real and noticeable difference in the handling and stability department. Forty pounds of groceries (20 per side) seem to disappear when the bike is in motion. Cornering is barely affected.

Contrast this with my other bike which has only the top deck for mounting. Either the trunk bag or the panniers mount easily. It's a challenge (although doable) to mount both at the same time. With anything more than 20 pounds in the panniers (10 per side), the bike is tippy in motion, especially when climbing since I don't pedal as smoothly when hauling loads up grades.

I also I have to be careful in turns since the bike doesn't lean well then. It never seems to be able to take a "set" in a turn, vacillating between wanting to lean lower or straighten up. I'm certain part of this is geometry, but carrying the load higher certainly contributes.

EDIT: One caveat: The top deck of the Tubus is narrower than the Surly. This may make a difference in stability of your trunk bag if you use one. Mine wants a wider deck and it sits a little funny on the Tubus. I can deal with the aesthetic given the rack's other virtues.

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