Handmade in Oakland CA, Pass & Stow makes high-quality front racks that can carry big loads and internally route for dynamo lighting. The 5-Rail Rack ($280) you see here gives a full 11″ x 12.5″ porteur-style top deck while also providing a mid-height position for hanging side-panniers. Whether you building up a touring bike, commuter, or a light cargo bike, the 5-Rail Rack can accommodate your needs.
Brazed from 4130 aircraft chromoly, Pass & Stow racks feature a modular design that that can easily be disassembled into nearly flat pieces if you occasionally need to ship the bike. The deck and legs of the rack simply bolt together with stainless steel hardware. The rack’s legs have an eyelet for fenders in case the rack itself takes up the fork’s eyelet. A three-point yoke bridges from slots underneath the deck to the fork crown. The resulting structure is impressively stiff and strong, traits you really want when loading up a front rack.
Pass & Stow assigns a load limit of 25-lbs on the rack, but that’s mainly a recommendation due to concerns with how larger loads might affect bike handling. In static loads, the rack can easily support 190-lbs. I have ridden the bike pictured here with 40 to 50-lbs split between the deck and pannier mounts. Sidenote: I modified the Davidson with a new 70mm rake steel fork to create the low-trail geometry that classically favours heavy front loads. Of course, low-trail front end geometry won’t exactly make you feel nimble with a heavy load. But it will reduce the wobbly awkwardness that plagues typical frame geometries with front loads.
Pass & Stow also offer a 3-Rail Rack that uses the same legs and yoke as the 5-Rail. The 3-Rail deck is narrower than the 5-Rail but longer front-to-back (6.4″ x 13″). The rack legs are also available in 3 different heights to fit bikes with 26″, 27.5/650B, 29er, and fatbikes.