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Rack advice

mattdanielcmattdanielc Posts: 41
edited August 2018 in Commuting chat
Hi guys

I've only been cycling to work for 2 months - and in that time been using a backpack. However here in the UK we're having a heatwave and it's been horrible having the bag on my back.

So I've bought a set of panniers. I have this rack - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000H2NIKA/ and this bag - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000ZKES0S

This is my bike: https://www.thebikelist.co.uk/boardman/hybrid-comp-2014

In fitting the rack though I've not been able to use all 4 bolts like you're supposed to. I've created this imgur post to show the problem:
https://imgur.com/a/FhLbrqP

Essentially because my saddle is so close to the bag - I'm not able to push the rack any closer to where it 'should' be so I only have room to use 2 bolts instead of the 4 provided. Will this cause problems down the line do you think? I've asked Topeak and their response was useless "Based on standard user manual, we are not recommend only fix the rack by 2 bosses."

Any thoughts?

Posts

  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,421
    Like my Genesis CdF the bolts near the hub are very high to avoid the disc brake. You may be able to fit a smaller rack deigned for MTB 26" wheels that will have a lower platform (and make it easier to get your leg over the rack when the bag is on). Measure the gap from the top of the wheel to the bottom of the rack platform. You'd need about three inches to accommodate a lower rack and a mudguard (if you use them). You might get away with two inches if you don't intend to use mudguards.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,421
    I'd also advise taking your bike to a local bike shop (Halfords would do) and check how a rack measures up before buying. I don't think you'll get a refund once you attach the rack to the bike.
  • Thank you for your advice. Sadly I’m stuck with this rack - it’s been too long so I can’t return it to amazon. I’ve had it for a while but only been free to fit it a couple of days ago. It was actually Boardman who recommended it. I emailed them (I don’t have a clue about bikes) asking which one they’d recommend for my bike and they said that one.

    I’ve also fitted permanent mudguards since the pictures yes - SKS commuters. Again Boardman recommended them :)

    And you’re right - I do struggle to get on and off the bike with the bag on now!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,743
    That rack is simply not going to work on your bike, you need a rack with shorter legs to drop it to a sensible height.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,421
    Use ebay or find a local cycling group on facebook that will let you sell second hand items. Otherwise write it off to experience. But get a rack that fits, that's the most important thing.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Is that a REALLY small size frame? The geometry looks weird - with the saddle low and a long way back over the rear wheel.

    In reality, even if you get a lower rack, you wont be able to have that bag any further forward as the bag itself is too tall to fit between saddle and wheel, especially if you have added a mudguard.

    just using one of the bolts for the arms to the seatstay shouldnt be a problem - the load is really carried by the bolts at the bottom. The seatstay attachments are to stop the bag rotating backwards, so as you have it should not be a problem. Having said that, I suspect if you had the arms straight with a sharp kink at the end rather than a continual curve, you might just get the second bolts on.

    having the bag so high/saddle so low isnt necessarily a problem - its not ideal for swinging your leg over but the bag looks level. A lower rack would be better but would probably not 100% solve this.
  • apreading wrote:
    Is that a REALLY small size frame? The geometry looks weird - with the saddle low and a long way back over the rear wheel.

    In reality, even if you get a lower rack, you wont be able to have that bag any further forward as the bag itself is too tall to fit between saddle and wheel, especially if you have added a mudguard.

    just using one of the bolts for the arms to the seatstay shouldnt be a problem - the load is really carried by the bolts at the bottom. The seatstay attachments are to stop the bag rotating backwards, so as you have it should not be a problem. Having said that, I suspect if you had the arms straight with a sharp kink at the end rather than a continual curve, you might just get the second bolts on.

    having the bag so high/saddle so low isnt necessarily a problem - its not ideal for swinging your leg over but the bag looks level. A lower rack would be better but would probably not 100% solve this.
    it's 18" - I do have my seat quite low though (I'm short)

    Another reason why I want to keep this bag is because it's ideal for me. On Monday and Friday I can have the side panniers 'open' and down to carry my work 'uniform' to work on a Monday and home on Friday. The rest of the week I can just use the top part and keep the sides zipped up.

    Thanks for the advice :)
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,478
    I've got my rack fitted with just one forward arm - and (iirc) 1 bolt in the rack - it's fine... as has been said - the load is carried by the bolts at the bottom.

    That's a nice rack - looks like you can fit paniers on easily with the top bag fitted - can't do that with mine.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,957
    That's the exact same bag and (probably) the rack I've got. 4 of those racks in total across our family bikes. Like you, I love it's flexibility.

    However, are you "sure" you've got that specific rack? Topeak do a number of variations in sizes for their QuickTrax racks - Mine doesn't sit anywhere near that high on 700C wheels, you've got loads and loads of room. This could be a side effect of the lug positioning on the frame, or that you've got the 29" version of the rack. Or, does the Small in that bike come with 650b wheels?

    You are stuck with that rack, but doesn't mean you can't buy another ;)

    Have a chat with Topeak - It's possible that one of their "Uni Explorer" racks, which allow adjustability in their height from 24" to 29" wheels, should give you the space you need. They are more expensive, ever so slightly heavier, but much more flexible.
    Another option is they sell an "extended length mounting arm" - https://www.topeak.com/global/en/produc ... racket-arm

    Or you can grab one of their beamracks, which just mount on the seatpost, (A type is probably the right size for you) and get the side bars as well.

    https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/racks
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • That's the exact same bag and (probably) the rack I've got. 4 of those racks in total across our family bikes. Like you, I love it's flexibility.

    However, are you "sure" you've got that specific rack? Topeak do a number of variations in sizes for their QuickTrax racks - Mine doesn't sit anywhere near that high on 700C wheels, you've got loads and loads of room. This could be a side effect of the lug positioning on the frame, or that you've got the 29" version of the rack. Or, does the Small in that bike come with 650b wheels?

    You are stuck with that rack, but doesn't mean you can't buy another ;)

    Have a chat with Topeak - It's possible that one of their "Uni Explorer" racks, which allow adjustability in their height from 24" to 29" wheels, should give you the space you need. They are more expensive, ever so slightly heavier, but much more flexible.
    Another option is they sell an "extended length mounting arm" - https://www.topeak.com/global/en/produc ... racket-arm

    Or you can grab one of their beamracks, which just mount on the seatpost, (A type is probably the right size for you) and get the side bars as well.

    https://www.topeak.com/global/en/products/racks
    yep definitely the right rack don't worry - I've still got the packaging! I guess my bike is just an odd shape or something?

    Thanks for all of the replies everyone. Sounds like I should be ok :) I'll just keep checking the bolts are tight each time I wash the bike.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Actually, looking at the pic now in high res - you can see there are two screw holes on the bike - you have the rack in the highest/furthest forward hole. You might find it better if you use the other hole.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Don't see an issue here - it could be neater, but it will work fine.

    Two bolts at the bottom of the rack take all the weight - no problem there. They also stop the rack moving from side to side.
    The two struts stop the rack moving forward and backward. They'll be fine in tension (stop the rack moving back going uphill or under mahoosive acceleration) but in compression (heavy braking) they could theoretically flex. If that happens, the bag will hit your saddle and move no further, which is no big deal. In practice, I'm guessing it won't move at all.

    Are the two bolts at the bottom screwed into threaded frame lugs, or do they go through the frame with locknuts on the other side? If they're screwed into threaded lugs, check them fairly frequently to begin with, to make sure they don't become loose.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    No chance of just using the bag on Monday morning and Friday evening to ferry your clean and dirties? Much nicer than running a pannier.
    FCN 9 || FCN 5
  • kingdavkingdav Posts: 416
    Maybe using one of these seatpost clamp rack bosses will allow you to get just a bit more of the rack stays into the rack and get both bolts done up?

    https://www.evanscycles.com/bontrager-e ... p-EV159295

    bontrager-eyeleted-seatpost-clamp-EV159295-9999-1.jpg
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Anyone else disappointed by this thread given the title?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 2,118
    Chris Bass wrote:
    Anyone else disappointed by this thread given the title?
    No, I gave up eating meat 2 years ago and ribs were never my favourite anyway.... :wink:
    Felt F1 2014
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    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,614
    I would have thought switching to pannier\s would be the simplest solution, unless I am missing the obvious.

    Sorry if that has already come up, I have not read each post in detail.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
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