Not long after riding with Minoura’s MT model the FRP-3000 came available. Another very nice steel front touring rack in a lowrider design without the top carrier like the MT-4000SF model. With identical installation hardware including longer skewer for mounting to axle and “L” brackets for mounting to brakes though because the FRP is not designed for suspension it doesn’t come with the clamps for a suspension fork like the MT-4000SF rack. This is an ideal front touring rack for bikes with forks that don’t have midway threads or eyelets. That having been said I also decided to install the FRP on my touring bike using the forks’ threads rather than the brake mounts.
Beginning with the FRP-3000 rack I was able to perform a successful installation with some extra rear rack stays from the old parts bin. After trying a couple of different rack support stays the front brake noise was just awful. Consequently I considered designing my own brackets from plain stock steel available at most any local hardware store.
Fortunately, Stanley Tools makes some nice zinc plated eighth inch thick mending plates available in a few different lengths and the best part, they are pre drilled! Note that when I last checked for availability of these parts online I found a much better price at our local hardware store where the Stanley Tool mending plates were only a couple dollars each. I picked up a couple different sizes for each rack model. For Minoura’s FRP a six inch by one and three quarter inch proved to be plenty of support while eliminating front brake noise. Due to the taller design of the MT-4000SF model I used a couple eight inch by one and seven eighths braces which although provided plenty of structurally sound rack support some front brake noise was still apparent though considerably better than the smaller rack stays I had previously tried. Another pleasant surprise was that the mounting bolts at the fork's threads are easily accessible for tightening or making adjustments as needed for getting the front pannier carriers level and centered. Also, the pre drilled hole diameter of these custom brackets accommodate the bolt diameter supplied by Minoura for mounting the supplied L brackets. Yay! A coat of primer and some black rattle canning would look really nice and would look like original parts from the manufacturer.
Photo at left shows the eight inch bracket length which of course can be modified to a shorter length. I found the top hole useful for attaching a bungee cord when strapping items onto the top plate of the rack so didn't bother with it.
For example, the Kona P2 fork on our bikepacking rig is so wide that I had to flip the supplied brackets around to fit the width of the brake bosses and is covered at my initial review of the MT-4000SF rack. Anyhow, hope this helps folks who might want to install either of the excellent quality Minoura front racks which I have found to be an exceptional value for bike touring or commuting. After three years of owning each of these models of bike rack I was finally able to get around to trying a modified installation method without too much fuss to accommodate my traditional touring bike style fork. I am very pleased to say that all in all it was much easier to accomplish than I had originally anticipated as it proved to be one of the easiest bike modifications I've ever done, thanks in large part to the availability of the Stanley mending plates. Any of my suggestions for modifying of bike touring parts or accessories are of my own ideas and could possibly void any warranty from the manufacturer.
Links Related to this Topic:
Minoura MT-4000SF Review
Minoura FRP-3000 Review