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Best rack options for bike with disc brake

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Best rack options for bike with disc brake

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Old 10-25-14, 11:23 PM
  #1  
ericcc65
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Best rack options for bike with disc brake

I just picked up a Novara Zealo at REI for commuting, especially in winter. I didn't think about it thoroughly and just now realized that the disc brakes interfere with putting a rear rack on it. It has the eyelets for a rack and fenders, but unfortunately the disc brake is on the seat stay instead of the chain stay. Also, it seems like the disc brake sits really far back (see picture). I'm aware that there are options for this sort of thing, but I wanted to get some feedback on some of them. I'm only using this for clothes, lunch, etc. for commuting. I have a small set of panniers I want to attach.


The first one I'd really like to use is the Axiom Streamliner. I like it because I'm a tall guy with big shoes and this would set the panniers back and reduce my heel striking them (tends to happen with them in the normal location). I don't see it in this version but the road version says it sets the rack back 4 cm. Based on the photo above that doesn't seem like it will be enough, it looks like the disc brake sticks out further than that. But maybe this DLX Disc version stretches further back than that? EDIT: I just saw dimensions on the Axiom website and the DLX Disc version sets it back 63 mm, which is right on the hairy edge of maybe being possible, but I'm guessing with the angling up of the tubes it will not quite reach, but I might be wrong.


The next option I've found is this Axiom Journey Disc compatible version. It looks okay, but gets not great reviews and some people say it interferes with panniers.


There's also this Topeak Super Tourist version. To me it just looks ugly and will make adjusting the pads of the BB7's a pain.


Lastly, I could use some clamps with a current rack but that would make it sit super high on the bike, which I don't want to do. Note that there are eyelets also for the rack attachment point at the high end of the seat stays.

The other option is to replace the disc brakes with long reach caliper brakes, the frame seems to support that.

Any advice on other options? I want something that works, but would prefer to keep costs down if possible (ie. Old Man Mountain may be the way to go but I'd rather find something cheaper, if possible).

EDIT: Looks like I missed one. I think the Axiom Uni-Fit will probably work. The longer feet are 90 mm and the tube angles up and back from there for a bit. Posting here in case others have the same question.
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Old 10-25-14, 11:36 PM
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Just get an Old Man Mountain. They are guaranteed for life and are bomb proof. I put one on my fs mountain bike and it has been through hell and back.
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Old 10-26-14, 12:05 AM
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Do they really not have the ability to mount a rear light? That's another thing I've been looking for as well, forgot to mention in the original post.
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Old 10-26-14, 12:13 AM
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They don't. Will you be using the rack for panniers? If so then most have a loop for lights. You could also attach the light to your seatpost if you will be using panniers.
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Old 10-26-14, 12:34 AM
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Take a look at the Ibera IB-RA5.

Products | IBERA
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Old 10-26-14, 11:09 AM
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I'm using the Toppeak Disc version.

I use this one as it seems to support normal panniers better.
I haven't had the need yet as the topeak truck with saddle bags carries more that I need so far.

Even though my bike is disk, I really don't need the disc compatible part of this rack as the DT tucks the caliper between the chain and seat stay nicely...
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Old 10-26-14, 12:26 PM
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Different rack, Put it on the front wheel , instead.. I can grab my rain cape and put it on, quickly, without getting off the bike , by reaching in the front Pannier.
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Old 10-27-14, 09:53 AM
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Thanks all. I should mention that I have a set of small commuter panniers that I want to use. But they have cloth over the top and are both connected as one piece, so I don't think the Ibera will work. They also don't have any loop for a light. I could put the light on my seatpost, I'd have to buy new mounting hardware (it's on the seatpost of my other bike), which is inexpensive but if I can just get a rack with a mount I'd prefer that. I'm not carrying a lot of weight so the Old Man Mountain just seems too expensive, I think I'm going to go with the Axiom Uni-Fit.

I'll admit that I kind of have a love-hate relationship with disc brakes. They are a pain to adjust because: 1) the rotors never come completely true, and 2) they have so much mechanical advantage. It's a new bike and I'll have to spend a significant amount of time getting the rotors true and not rubbing without making way too much slack in the levers. It's tempting to just get a rear caliper brake. But the discs are good at stopping and in inclement weather, so I want to give them a shot first at least.
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Old 10-27-14, 10:02 AM
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I hated my disc brakes at first. Couldn't get them adjusted.
After a short break in they have been amazing though.

Can't remember what rack I have. Whatever the LBS had in stock.
The mounting bolts are recessed into bushings. Works fine.
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Old 10-27-14, 11:40 AM
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I've run a Topeak Explorer on my Kona for years. These have a block built into the lower mounts to space them out past the caliper. It's clean looking and caliper access is OK but pannier heel clearance is a little tight, although some of that is down to chain stay length and my big feet.
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Old 10-27-14, 12:57 PM
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The three prong mount style can, in some cases, depending on pannier used, secure the pannier more securely. My bags have a round adjustable bottom mount that twists one way to adjust, and the other way to keep it snug in place, so it is by default double sided. I find that the V shape of the rack mounts holds both sides of the dial securely vs just one (or none with some rack types). The bottom of these go a bit below the axle lugs, so they are fairly tall.... I wouldn't want them moving when fully stuffed with groceries... If you're getting a shorter bag, you may not need to worry about the more open frame designs, but in my own uses with my own bags, no secure bottom mount situation = no go.

Let us know which one you go with!


Edit: I have size 14 feet, and i rarely have a problem with heel strike. Usually it's just the sinch straps which do get hit... when the bags are empty they tend to loop forward. The bags are not at all meant to be used with the rack i have, so they also do sit a few inches fore of where i'd like them ideally.

- Andy

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Old 10-27-14, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
It's a new bike and I'll have to spend a significant amount of time getting the rotors true and not rubbing without making way too much slack in the levers. It's tempting to just get a rear caliper brake.
Your rotors shouldn't need that much truing. No offense,but are you doing it right?

rotor truing:
Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Rotor Disc Service and Installation

BB7 setup:
Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Avid® Mechanical Disc Adjustment

I've used bikes with disc brakes for polo,and didn't have any real issues with my rotors.

You said the bike was new. New bikes have to deal with cable stretch. Many people make the mistake of trying to adjust for cable stretch by adjusting the pads(many also 'cheat' by using the barrel adjusters to make up for pad wear). The barrel adjusters only should be used to compensate for cable stretch and fine tuning lever feel,and the red knobs should only be used to compensate for pad wear.

BTW,just because there's a hole in the seatstay bridge doesn't mean it's the right size for a caliper brake bolt,or that the stay is designed to handle the torque. Also,do your rims have a braking surface,or are they disc-specific?
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Old 10-27-14, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Your rotors shouldn't need that much truing. No offense,but are you doing it right?

I've used bikes with disc brakes for polo,and didn't have any real issues with my rotors.

You said the bike was new. New bikes have to deal with cable stretch. Many people make the mistake of trying to adjust for cable stretch by adjusting the pads(many also 'cheat' by using the barrel adjusters to make up for pad wear). The barrel adjusters only should be used to compensate for cable stretch and fine tuning lever feel,and the red knobs should only be used to compensate for pad wear.
None taken. Honestly I haven't ridden the bike yet. I went and picked it up on Friday. The shop looked it over once and decided the brakes needed more work. After about 20-30 minutes they gave it to me. I took it home and put it in the stand and noticed the rotors were rubbing and brushing right away. The same thing happened the last time I got a bike with mechanical disc brakes and when I got new brakes (BB7 instead of BB5). But as far as the time to correct the issue, it's more a matter of me going slow so that I don't damage the rotors or do something dumb. I also find it a bit difficult to figure out which side is brushing and exactly the right spot. If I loosen things up to where there is no brushing then I there is way too much play in the levers and they bottom out. I can only take that to mean there is a high mechanical advantage (a lot of lever pull means only a little brake pad travel) and the rotors aren't quite as true as they need to be.

Originally Posted by dynaryder
BTW,just because there's a hole in the seatstay bridge doesn't mean it's the right size for a caliper brake bolt,or that the stay is designed to handle the torque. Also,do your rims have a braking surface,or are they disc-specific?
Good point, you may be right. Maybe the hole is only good for fenders or other things. I'll have to check that out. I'm not sure if there is a good braking surface on the wheels but I have another 10 speed commuter wheelset I can use..
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Old 10-27-14, 10:46 PM
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I have the Axiom DLX Streamlined. Works great with my disc brake bike and was easy to mount. I did a fair amount of searching before I found it seemed like the best option.
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Old 10-28-14, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
I also find it a bit difficult to figure out which side is brushing and exactly the right spot.
Side is easy,just look down into the caliper and you'll see the rotor touching the pad. For finding the right spot,slowly turn the wheel until you see the rotor touch. Then grab the spoke closest to that spot,and turn the wheel until that part of the rotor is clear of the caliper. Then just grab the rotor by where you're holding the spoke with an adjustable wrench(DO NOT use pliers,the teeth in the jaws will score the rotor) and tweak it in the opposite direction from where it rubbed. While still holding that spot,rotate it back into the caliper and see if it's still rubbing. Lather/rinse/repeat until the entire rotor spins cleanly.
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Old 10-30-14, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Side is easy,just look down into the caliper and you'll see the rotor touching the pad. For finding the right spot,slowly turn the wheel until you see the rotor touch. Then grab the spoke closest to that spot,and turn the wheel until that part of the rotor is clear of the caliper. Then just grab the rotor by where you're holding the spoke with an adjustable wrench(DO NOT use pliers,the teeth in the jaws will score the rotor) and tweak it in the opposite direction from where it rubbed. While still holding that spot,rotate it back into the caliper and see if it's still rubbing. Lather/rinse/repeat until the entire rotor spins cleanly.
Thanks, those are all the things I do, it just still takes me time to find exactly the right spot and know exactly how much force to apply. It's an iterative process that I only do infrequently and I'm not very fast at it.
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Old 11-01-14, 05:44 AM
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I purchased a generic Seat post rack from Amazon.com. He rack has a 20lb limit which is great for commuting and grabbing a few groceries items. I use a Banjo Brother seat post bag.
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Old 11-03-14, 02:32 PM
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Just a couple of thoughts:

My Avid BB7's did have a learning curve, but once I figured it out, they are easy to adjust. I watched some Youtube videos and in the process of swapping out replacement brake pads and going to larger rotors, I figured them out. In all of that, I never had a problem with the rotors staying true. I use Avid G2 rotors mounted on a Shimano CenterLock hub with a 6-bolt to CenterLock adapter. Perhaps that helps, as I am not torquing down the 6 bolts like I would if I had a 6-bolt hub.

Back to your rack/disc caliper conflict. Not sure it would help anything in your case, but swapping out to a larger IS adapter for the caliper (to facilitate a larger rotor) moves the caliper away from the wheel axle and may eliminate your conflict. I think they put the caliper on the seatstay instead of the chainstay to make swapping to a larger rotor easier. My bike has the caliper on the chaninstay, and I am limited to the stock 160 mm disc rotors for the rear wheel. I tried a larger adapter on the rear and it hits the inside of the chainstay. On the front wheel, I was able to fit (barely) a 203 mm disc rotor. A swap of the rotor to a larger size to eliminate a rack conflict is probably more money than you want to invest, but it does pay big dividends in braking performance on long descents.
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Old 11-03-14, 05:35 PM
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I have a Tubus Disco on my Straggler. The disc brake caliper is set up in the same way and the rack fits perfectly. Not the cheapest option however.
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Old 11-03-14, 08:38 PM
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Another vote for Topeak's disc racks here. The design does not get in the way of adjusting the brakes- in fact, it's so wide away from the wheels that you can easily get your entire hand in between the inside of the rack and beside the wheel for whatever reason. I also like the simplicity of the hardware. My one single gripe is the size of that part that contacts the bolt holes at the dropouts- it's a big square block that sometimes conflicts with other things that reside at the dropouts- fender mounts, tension adjusters, etc. Nothing a few minutes with a metal file can't fix. I can't swear your heels won't kick your panniers either.
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Old 11-14-14, 11:31 PM
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I decided to go with the Axiom Journey Uni-Fit. I opted to go this route because I like that it leaves access to the disc brake from the side exposed. Also, being a tall guy at 6'5" I've had problems with heel pannier strike before and I like that this solution moves the panniers back further. I should not that my disc brake sticks out so far that I couldn't go the 29" route on the adjustable feet, but 28" seems to fit fine. I imagine I could have gone with 29" if I used the axle.

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Old 11-15-14, 11:10 AM
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Nice product, made just for you!
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