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I have a topeak rear rack the mounting of which is interfering with the operation of the rear brake.

Unfortunately, my frame (a 2009 Scott Sportster P4) only has mounting lugs on the outside of the seatstay meaning that the rack's mounting arms just touch the outside of metal sheath around the brake cable. The brakes still apply but the cable is not free to move as it should be. A pretty standard V-brake setup.

Does anyone have any good ideas for a mounting solution that would enable me to mount the rack in such a way that the mounting arms bend in more quickly to avoid the brakes?

I'm tempted to heat up the arms and bend them with a wrench - any concerns or recommendations?

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Pictures of your bike with rack mounted would be nice. –  Moab Jun 30 '11 at 1:59
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You shouldn't even need to heat up the arms. Just bend them whichever way you'd like; it's easiest if you have access to a vice. You might even look at having them make an 'X', if that pulls the mounting arm away from the brake. By design, the horizontal stays should have a minimum amount of force on them - they handle keeping the rack from rotating forward and aft while the bulk of the weight is transmitted down the vertical stays.

You could also get p-clamps and attach the rack stays lower or higher as needed to clear the brake.

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Bent the arms in place and worked well. Thanks, Sam –  Sam Meldrum Jul 3 '11 at 21:06
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The mounting arms are meant to be bent. Bend them as needed to fit your bike. If they can't be made to fit then likely a visit to a local hardware store (especially if staffed by some reasonably clever salesperson) will yield a solution. Or your local bike shop folks may find a suitable bracket in their junk parts box.

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The options might not be with just the rack, your brake could be the item to change.

Have you considered a 'flexible noodle'?

They are not a guaranteed find in your LBS misc. workshop spares, but a good mechanic should keep a small stash of them out the back for situations like yours. Here is a picture of what you are wanting to maybe consider:

enter image description here

That's better answer, no?

As for bending the fixings, don't! Because they have big slots in the middle they bend weirdly, making the slot bigger so the bolts don't necessarily attach properly, the look isn't that pro either.

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Although not something that your bike workshop would do, you could make your 4-point rack a... 3 point rack...!

Crazy huh?

Just leave off the bolt and bracket on the (left) noodle side. Easy. A Two minute job, no expenditure involvified.

Most racks are available in 3-point options, the idea being that 3-point clamps to the mudguard bridge. Yours will be a special 3.5 point rack version. It will work fine so long as you don't have more than 25Kg on the back and tighten up the bolts sensibly, making sure there are quality washers on there too (or should I say washer).

I know that answer isn't too good. Let me post another...

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Clever idea, but I'd be worried that the rack wouldn't hold the weight, and could fall and interfere with the rear brake at a critical moment. –  Neil Fein Jun 30 '11 at 1:56
    
It's really unlikely to be an issue. Those metal brackets are substantially beefier than they need to be. The main concern would be the rack torquing around the one mounting point, but even that seems improbable. –  lantius Jun 30 '11 at 9:15
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