This is Alex's Kogswell P/R prototype. I was never crazy about this bike. But now, with the front rack on there, and my having ridden it a few times over a variety of surfaces, I like it. This bike is modeled on a Rene Herse (not, Singer -- thanks Alex) bike from the 50's. It's got a similar geometry to the 1983 Trek, which I think, was modeled on the same Herse bike. But that's just conjecture.
The rack is just super handy. This bike has a front-end geometry that is optimized for loads on the front rack -- it's got low trail. I believe the trail on this bike is 40mm. The low trail is really the defining characteristic of this bike. When I borrow this bike, I commute around the Redmond/Bellevue area. I put my messenger bag (containing a laptop and other small stuff -- 15 lbs?) on the rack and secure the bag with a bungee net. It's nice to carry a load up front, where you can see it, where it's accessible, and where -- on a properly designed bike -- the load doesn't screw the handling, but instead, seems to improve it.
A previous version of this post claimed that Alex built the rack. Actually: Alex and Alistair Spence designed this rack, which fits over a Nitto mini front rack. Alistair built it. Alex has since built a couple/few racks and plans to build more.
I've got a rack in his queue; he's going to build me one that is the same platform-size as the rack in the picture, but it will connect to the mid-fork braze-ons. It'll go on my Trek, which essentially the same bike as the P/R, but with standard gauge/diameter tubing instead of oversized.
3 hours ago