My bike's brake cable runs underneath the top tube. This is a problem when I hang the bike on my rack as the bike compresses the cable against the rack. I came upon this question here:

Bike rests on brake cable while racked

...but it seems that the only answer is to get a new rack or find a way to store it without pinching the cable. Those are not options for me, so I am wondering if there are ways to protect the cable. I came upon the brake line protectors below, but don't really see them being used for anything other than protecting against friction. Are there any kind of tapes or foams that I can wrap around the cable to absorb the weight of my bike against the rack?

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  • Please explain why you think it's a problem. Jun 1, 2019 at 18:58
  • Are you worried about the bike's frame and paint, or the cable, or the rack holding the bike?
    – Criggie
    Jun 2, 2019 at 1:27
  • @Criggie I am concerned about the cable itself. It didn't seem like it should be compressed in this way, so I did some googling and found some sources saying it won't adversely affect the braking and others saying that it could. I erred on the side of caution after coming upon the linked question and decided to look for a solution. Jun 2, 2019 at 12:44
  • @oscilatingcretin OK consider the pressure and deformation of the inner cable where it is held to the brake by the pinch-bolt. Much much more pressure than your bike's weight will ever put on the inner wire by pressing on bare metal. Even if you were mounted-riding on your bike while it was on the rack, the pressure on that inner cable would be far less than under that pinch bolt. Though it could scratch paint so don't do that :) I think you're overthinking this. +1 for a well-formed question.
    – Criggie
    Jun 3, 2019 at 4:42
  • @Criggie Well, I know very little about bikes and their components. I stumbled across the question I linked to in my OP where the answerer with 10 upvotes suggests that pinching the cable could compromise its integrity. Am I correct in saying that you disagree wholeheartedly with the rationale behind their answer? Also, regarding the pinch bolt, I'd assume the cable has to be fastened tightly somewhere, but it seems to make sense that you don't want additional non-functional kinks and compressions along the rest of the line as it could potentially compromise the braking capability. Jun 4, 2019 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


Personally I wouldn't worry about it.

One solution is to use pool noodles over the rack's supports where they touch the bike. Pool noodles are cheap and flexible and can be cut with a sharp knife. Once in place you can bind them down with tape or old inner tubes.

Also, just a layer of old inner tube wrapped around the rack will be sufficient protection too.

Consider the tension you add to the brake inner cable while braking, its a lot more than the weight of the bike would cause.

The images in your question show a spiral which is for either wrapping two cable outers together, or for protecting a frame from rub. The black things are longer versions of the mini-doughnuts some bikes wear on their exposed inner cables. Neither will really do much for you, unless the bike rests on a black long-doughnut, but it could encourage sideways roll, and the bike to wobble more.

If your bike allows it, perhaps a rack adapter like this:

enter image description here

Personally I just ride the bike rather than carry it. The very few times it goes in my car, tends to ride inside.


You can fit brake outer casing to cover the section of exposed inner cable. You will need to cut it to length just shorter than the distance between the ferrules of your toptube. You then need to detach the brake cable from the rear brake to thread the outer cable over the brake cable to sit between the ferrules, then reattach it as before.

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