Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
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as a reference, last year I got a narrow rack (top flat area, bottom appeared "normal") for my wifes new bike. It was set up to go on via the skewer, but I figured I'd try to see how it went on using the rack bolt holes in the frame. I too was surprised how much the rack had to be spread out, and frankly didnt like how it was then so tight on the rear end of the bike, plus being problematic for lining up the bolts in the holes because of all the stress on the rack when spread out to get around the frame.
I guess I should have worked the rack (alu) carefully over a log or something, to slightly bend the struts out more (like when straightening out a ski pole if you've ever fallen on a ski pole in the bottom of a mogul, if careful over a curved surface you can gently , a bit at a time, bend it back straight) but in the end, the skewer system worked well as it was slightly inward compared to the rack holes in the frame.
Not sure if I described it right, but if you do want to bend the rack struts, do it over a rounded thickish object to do it bit by bit, and not just in one specific area. I was afraid of breaking the rack as well, so didnt really force it to stay wider than it was , not by much anyway, I recall I did tweak both struts out a certain amount, but not as much as I would have liked to.