I fitted a pannier rack to my bike and the placement of it caused the rear derailluer cable and housing to be pushed outwards slightly, increasing the tension in the cable, I guess. The derailleur will move between 7 of 8 gears however the cable is now too taught to get the derailleur moving to the biggest gear. It is also tough to get the derailleur moving between gears without skipping them. I've tried replacing the gear cable only. The cable housing has remained the same length. Would increasing the cable housing length help or is this simply a case of the pannier being incompatible with my bike?

  • 2
    A picture would really help here, but it sound like the cable is caught on the rack -- maybe you need to route inside rather than outside, or maybe you need to cut a bit off your rack (I've seen strap attachment points in odd places getting in the way). It might not be the tension as such, but that the cable+housing combination is rather stiff and won't move/bend sideways enough to reach all the gears.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 8:28
  • I'm not at home just now but I've mocked up what the pannier is doing to the cable. The red lines are the pannier rack and they should be behind the cable in the picture. The arrows indicate which way the cable is being pushed by the rack. imgur.com/Tnpf0jT I didn't realise the housing moved when changing gears but if it needs to move towards the bike at all then the rack would be preventing it from doing so.
    – forgetso
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 10:10
  • Basically if the rack attachment caused the cable to be overtighten, you first should extend the housing. Replacing the cable only should not help. But as @ChrisH wrote, try to route it inside the rack.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


I would concur that the solution here is to increase the length of the cable housing that is inferring with the rack. If the rack is putting any pressure on the cable housing, then it will interfere with the ability of the derailleur to shift properly. Depending on how much free cable is left over coming out of the derailleur, You will most likely need to also replace the cable with a new one that is longer. But this shouldn't cost any more than $10~$20 from the local bike mechanic at the back of your favorite bike shop.

  • Most people should have enough excess cable beyond the bolt to do this with just a small longer section of cable housing.
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 16:07

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