I've just bought a new bike (Pinnacle Neon 1 2013) which has a 42cm chainstay. Just to be on the safe side, I was wondering which racks provide more heel clearance than average?

I'll only be using it for commuting so I don't need something as substantial as a Tubus, but at the same time I don't want it to collapse after a few weeks use.

Any suggestions?

  • 1
    Has more to do with the bags than the rack, but look for a rack that has at least two positions for the bags. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 29 '13 at 15:34
  • I guess the best way to answer this would be to measure the distance from the front of the rack to the chain stay eyelet (on a level line, not a direct). I don't have the hard numbers for ours, but my wife's Jamis Citizen 2 has a 44.5cm chainstay, I have a Schwin High Timber and we use the Topeak Explorer with the DX trunk bags with no issue on our commutes. – BPugh Oct 29 '13 at 15:51
  • If you can't find a rear rack with enough heel clearance, you could opt for a front rack, assuming your bike has the ability to mount one. I've heard some say that front racks handle better than rear racks, even though many would assume the opposite. – Kibbee Oct 29 '13 at 18:04
  • @Kibbee - Of course then you need to worry about toe clearance. (Seriously!) – Daniel R Hicks Oct 29 '13 at 18:59
  • @Kibbee - And best handling of all is front & rear bags. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 29 '13 at 19:00

Heel clearance is more of a pannier issue than a rack issue (as some noted in the comments). Most high quality panniers have adjustable hooks you connect to your rack, and you can usually shift the hooks to provide sufficient heel clearance. This is something you should more take into account when buying panniers. Good examples of brands that allow you to set them up to provide heel clearance are Ortlieb and Vaudé. Both are rather high-end, but they are also nearly 100% water proof.

Regarding your comment about racks collapsing: If all you carry in your panniers is whatever you use during a workday this shouldn't be an issue for the first few years of use. I have had racks break, but only after cycling thousands of kilometers on all types of hard surfaces with full camping gear.

I don't have any specific rack advice. I always just buy whatever the nearest bike shop to where I am is selling. I have good experience with Cordo, topeak and Bor Yueh rear racks and lowriders. Always the models mounted to at least the axle, I've never tried any of the seatpost mounted models.


For racks, I think it usually helps to use a rack with a lower rail for the panniers to clip onto, separate from the top plate. This can allow the panniers to be positioned further back. Plus they have a lower centre of gravity, so will have less effect on handling. Plus it keeps the panniers out of the way of the top of the rack, so easier to attach luggage on there.

One example of this is the Tubus Logo. Though it is expensive, probably excessive for commuting. Cheaper options would be something like the Racktime Tour-it (also made by Tubus), or the Topeak Super Tourist DX, or Tortec Expedition.

  • I've got a super tourist DX, and if my Altura laptop pannier is all the way back, the clips catch on the mounts for the big spring - so get the model without the spring if that's an issue. – Chris H Nov 6 '13 at 9:00

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