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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I picked up a Masi Soulville (cafe cruiser styled bike) that I like quite a bit. Call me a sucker for style, but I dig the lines, the steel frame, and the 8-speed hub. I am using it for a short commute of about 4.5 miles each way, and I have been doing some research lately about getting either a front or rear rack for the bike. I thought I would turn here after a long time lurking to see if anyone can help steer me in the right direction.

Do you suggest front rack or rear for loading/balancing purposes when looking at the geometry of the bike? For usage, I would like to place my bag on a rack, the contents of which include a laptop and a redwell or two full of docs. I think it would generally be easier to use a rack with some element of a rail to it so that I could just through my bag into the "basket" area. This seems easier than getting panniers or a specially made commuter rack bag.

Also, any suggestions on rack? I like the simplicity of some of the Tubus offerings, but I would prefer the "basket" like functionality (and looks) of something sweet like I see on Ahearne Cycles. Of course, that is hard to find and probably too expensive anyway.

I realize a lot of this comes down to looks, and maybe that's a bit superficial, but I thought I would turn to the forum expertise on what would look right on this bike.

If you need to see a photo of the bike in question, it is the black 8-speed Soulville located here:

http://www.masibikes.com/cycles/soulville.php

Thanks in advance to anyone that responds, even if it is just to bash me. Have a nice night! -Chris
 

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There are a lot of good racks out there for the rear of the bike, Nitto,Soma,Tubus the stuff from Orange cycles, Jaand et. They are all going to put the load on the rear if thats what you want for a long ride. but a short ride of say 5 mile or so you may whant to look at some kind of cool front basket to just drop your bag of stuff in and go. I plan to put the Paul components flatbed on my new Soulville when it arrives.
 

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Racks

That Soulville is very nice. It's probably the bike I would get if I wasn't trundling around on my converted ancient Bianchi. Anyway, I run racks front and rear, basket on the front and panniers on the rear. Front rack is a mini Nitto from Rivendell to which I have ziptied a small Wald basket. It works great. Plenty big to carry a pile of whatever you need. For more (weighty) hauling, I recommend utilizing your rear rack. I got a cheapo (though silver...aesthetics do count) rear rack from Nashbar to which I've semi-permanently attached Banjo Brothers panniers. I've been able to carry 12 bottles of wine (6 per pannier) plus whatever else necessary lashed to the top of the rack.

The Ahearne racks/baskets etc. are just lovely and are worthy of consideration. Keep in mind that the price is probably 1/2 that of your bike. With some digging you can find very attractive and affordable alternatives.

With these doo dads, you'll have an able utility bicycle.

M_B
 
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