The Grand Bois M-13 racks now come in two versions: One for bikes with narrow clearances (usually for 700C tires) and one for bikes with wider clearances.
With this choice of two racks, it becomes much easier to fit your existing bike with a front rack, provided it has cantilever brakes.
The frontal view above shows the difference between the two versions best: The “narrow tire” rack (on the left) is for bikes with narrower fork crowns (and thus fork blades that are closer at the cantilever posts) and less tire clearance (distance from cantilever posts to fork crown). Remember that you can adjust the rack fit slightly by bending the diagonal supports.
The Grand Bois racks are fillet-brazed from steel tubing by Nitto, with many small details that make them nicer and more durable than Nitto’s basic M-12 racks:
- Tabs brazed into slots where the rack connects to the cantilever posts instead of a welded-on plate with a hole.
- U-shaped loop for the fork crown connection instead of a single arm.
- Polished and chrome-plated instead of a matte finish.
- At 187 g, they are among the lightest racks available today.
The Grand Bois racks come with custom hardware. We especially like the bolts that replace the bolts of your cantilever brakes (center and top left). Instead of sandwiching the rack and brake on the same bolt, these bolts feature a smaller forward extension onto which the rack is mounted with a nut and lockwasher. This pretty much eliminates the risk of the bolt coming loose from the vibrations as you brake. There also is a domed nut to attach the rack to the fork crown, and a nut and leather washer to attach a front fender to the rack. The bolt on the lower left is for attaching a “hanging” Edelux headlight to the rack, if you want to equip your bike with lights. You also can attach other lights using a longer bolt and spacer that we sell separately.
Speaking of headlights, the light mount on the M-13 rack now is on the left side, which many riders prefer in countries where traffic drives and rides on the right. The light mount is positioned so that a “hanging” Edelux headlight bolts directly to the rack, without a spacer. This reduces the risk of the light coming loose from the vibrations of the road.
The first “hanging” Edelux lights had the wire exit on the right (above right), so they were ideal for mounting on the left side of the rack (as on the new Grand Bois M-13 racks). To make the lights more versatile, we asked Schmidt to have the wire exit in the center (above left), so they work on either side. For now, we offer both versions.
To go with these racks, Compass Bicycles now carry Gilles Berthoud handlebar bags. These bags are classics that have proven themselves over decades of hard use. My own Berthoud handlebar bag has been in almost daily use since 2000, yet it still remains waterproof and fully functional. Where synthetics often look shabby after a while, these bags acquire a beautiful patina.