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I am tempted to saw off the raised "nose" on my unbranded 2nd hand pannier rack because it's forcing me to lift the child seat substantially, which obviously has implications on stability. But I feel there must be a reason so many racks have this raised nose thing. I had a look at this article, and it hints towards stability/structural integrity, but I cannot see how the nose would help (I'm in engineering but not a structural engineer). My only other thought is that it's an added measure to stop items sliding forward, but it feels like there's something else I'm missing. Does anybody know what the nose is for? Has anyone cut it off and how did that go?

NB I purposely avoided using "the F word" ("opposite to rear") to describe where on the rack the nose is - this is meant to avoid this cropping up in searches related to f***t panniers.

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    Cutting it off will affect the strength of the rack. The welds holding the cross bar are not that strong and will be subject to stress cracking if the top bar is removed. Whether this causes the rack to fail next week or simply a year earlier in its 20 year life is hard to say. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 3 '18 at 11:28
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    @Brad if aluminium I wouldn't expect it to bend cleanly unless you get it too hot for the paint. I've split Al tent poles trying to put less of a bend than that in them cold. – Chris H Oct 3 '18 at 13:22
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    @Brad Chris H is right, you can't bend aluminum without severely impacting its strength, or outright braking it. If the pannier were steel, that would be the way to go, but typical panniers are made from aluminum. – cmaster Oct 3 '18 at 13:25
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    @Brad I would say you are worse off because you'll have stressed the weld attaching the cross-member – Chris H Oct 3 '18 at 14:45
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    Is the child seat attached to the rack, is it supposed to be? Perhaps you should take the rack off entirely. – Carl Oct 5 '18 at 17:45
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It is to stop the load sliding forward under braking, or even from the pressure of the clamp (?) part of the rack.

It also provides a wider part into which the rack can push the item firmly. If it were left to the seat post, that's one round post and not a wider ledge for support

Also, if you're a bungee user then it provides a higher point with corners to hook onto, so the hooks are less likely to slide. Suspect this is more of a side benefit.

Personally I really dislike when things touch my legs while riding, like the end of the brake cable or a light fitting, or any part of the load.


On the downsides, the lippy bit makes larger items a bit harder to put flat on the rack.

It also adds a tiny bit of weight and aero drag.

Separately, having the load a bit further back increases weight on the rear wheel which moves the weight distribution aft, and this contributes to making the front tyre more lifty on a climb.


If you cut off the lip, you'd probably have to add some flatter bracing.

To get the kids seat to work better, consider removing the rack completely for as long as you need the seat. If you need to move something, then put the load into the kid's seat. This will also increase the overall riding stability because the child will be a bit lower.

  • A good explanation (+1) but I have to disagree with the last paragraph - quite often the reason you need to transport stuff at all is because the seat is occupied, and a small-ish pannier will often fit at the same time as a seatpost-mounted child seat. I ran like that for nearly 5 years and would like to find a solution to mount a rear pannier with my new child seat – Chris H Oct 3 '18 at 11:06
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    @ChrisH good point - I'd add a front basket rather than even more weight on the rear. Can't put anything on that rack, and the foot holders will block a pannier or access to one. Top pref, I'd get a kiddie seat that sits over the top tube because they're a lot better overall. – Criggie Oct 3 '18 at 19:41
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I think you are correct that it’s only to prevent items from sliding forward and falling off or colliding with your legs/hips. This is only really important if you use the spring loaded clamp. A lot of racks (I think all of them without the spring loaded clamp) don’t have this “nose”.

Since there is still another horizontal bar right below it I don’t think removing it will affect stability. Just make sure to cut it cleanly, remove any burrs, plug the hole and apply some paint to prevent rust.

  • +1 but I do have racks without a spring and with a nose or prongs to serve the same job (Tubus, Topeak). You can after all strap items to the rack with the spring – Chris H Oct 3 '18 at 11:04
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Pesonally I'd replace the rack. When using a Hamax Siesta child seat I fitted a Tortec Velocity Hybrid rack.

In your specific case though, given that there's a cross-brace at the bottom of the part you want to cut off, you'd be fine to cut it. If you later want to put items on top of the rack, tie a bungee cord to the front and hook it at the back.

If you're really worried about the high centre of mass, doing away with the rack would help -- but I assume you need it. It may be possible to make the rack sit lower if you remove the mudguard and build a new mudguard around the rack. Here are some hints. The rack itself may have an extra set of holes or may need modifying.

A tip for you when you lower the seat: it will flex more than you think, and the seat banging into the rack is annoying for you and your passenger. Keep a bit of clearance and/or strap some foam padding to the rack.

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Thank you all for your responses. I'll show you what I've done but let me just mention that I put the Solution mark on Criggie's because it seems to address my considerations best - but all responses and comments so far were very useful.

As some of you have spotted, the seat blocks any useful access to the rack, so I just took the rack off. I then lowered the bracket - I will record my steps in case it's of any use to someone.

The frame has an eyelet for the brake cable, and my initial plan was to saw the eyelet off or file it down - by that point, I hadn't even considered where the child seat's rods would go, and that they would clash with the rack. I then noticed I could just about squeeze the bracket between the eyelet and the joint where the top stay is welded to the seat tube - see photos in OP. Only then did I notice the clash with the rack - but it didn't seem necessary to include this part of the story in the OP.

The eyelet wasn't an issue in the end: the seat is an Aldi Bikemate, and the bracket has a gap which fits the eyelet perfectly. The seat tube by itself is too thin for the bracket, but when I added a slice of an old tyre between the black plastic front part of the bracket, the bracket sits securely. The eyelet is perfectly sandwiched between the two parts of the bracket and the Bikemate's rods which clip into the bracket. The opening in the rubber "wings" is slightly "shorter" than the opening in the metal back of the bracket, but wraps around the eyelet nicely - I just had to "widen" it a touch with a retractable knife - see the red lines in the photo.

I'm really pleased with how it all fits - much better than squeezing the bracket between the weld and the eyelet. The old brake wire needed replacing anyway so that worked out ok. The position of the noodle is not perfect - it's pointed down, but the casing is not as tight as it might look. I just need to trim and cap the brake wire in another session... Thank you all once again for your help, if anyone has any questions please just ask. Position of eyelet - it's just after 9'o clock as you look down the seat tube Finished product Close up view looking top downRed lines show the piece of rubber I trimmed

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    Thank you - but really this answer should be the accepted one. This is permitted under SE guidelines - its what worked for you. – Criggie Oct 13 '18 at 6:33
  • Great solution. The way these seats are attached always makes me worry about the frames but in your case it looks very structurally sound. The brake probably even works better now because the turns are much more relaxed. You could get a flexible pipe or a short length of Nokons instead of the rigid pipe. – Michael Oct 14 '18 at 5:30

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