The alloy Soma Portfolder rack is a bit of a city commuter bike transformer, mixing up the benefits of a wide platform porteur-style rack with the compactness of a front pannier rack. At the push of a button you can support wide loads, or stash it out of the way for daily riding or to carry a standard pannier bag.
Soma Portfolder folding porteur front rack
Essentially starting with a basic front rack, the Portfolder bolts a wing on each side that swings up and clicks into place to roughly triple the size of the rack platform offering support for larger or fragile loads. Soma says it’s great for hauling pizza or paper towels. We are thinking of equally important goods like a crate of beer or some firewood for the campfire (and I would probably end up pushing its 22lb/10kg weight limit on several occasions.)
The alloy rack is built with adjustable length stays to fit 26-29″ wheeled bikes (with 29er clearance up to 2.25″ tires) and is ideal for a 72° or slacker headtube. That means you probably won’t get it level set up on your track bike or road bike if those happen to somehow sport rack mounts.
The tubular aluminum rack weighs 830g and has an extended platform 16″/41cm wide and 13.5″/34cm deep. Use it with a bungee net like in the video above for max versatility, or with many regular panniers when folded down.
BTW, if you were lusting over that white mixte, it is Soma’s Tange chromoly steel, disc brake Buena Vista frameset selling for $600 with slider dropouts and a lugged fork. You know you need one!
Soma Portfolder Pricing & Availability
Is this new Soma rack named because it is a folding porteur rack? Or is it because Soma’s president is named Jim Porter? You be the judge. Can we also take a second to appreciate that the VP of ‘The Merry Sales Co.’ that owns the Soma brand (founded by Edwin Merry in 1906) is actually named Mary Sales (and is Jim’s sister). End of industry insider naming discussions. That is all.
The Soma Portfolder rack has been a development project for Soma for quite a while so it isn’t super new. But now it is finalized and available direct from Soma’s online store in matte black or satin silver for $150. Or you can order it from independent bike shops across the US and via a number of international distributors.