Posted: 2013-06-17

The “fitting” of a rack to a bike is the process of making small adjustments to the rack to improve for a specific bike.  This may be needed if your bike has disc brakes and may require spreading the rack stays wider than normal to ensure clearance of the disc caliper.  Fitting the rack ensures the two surfaces (rack and its foundation, the dropout or spacer on the dropout) are parallel so the rack bolts goes on and off with ease.


The advantages of fitting include:

  • Makes it easier to install or remove your rack
  • Reduces the risk of cross threading the threads on the dropout if you are not careful
  • To reduce the possibility of bending or excessive stress on the bolt when you are spacing the rack stays out for clearance issues

Steps to fit your rack to your bike:

  • Put your bike in a bike stand, have a friend hold the bike upright, or lean the bike against a wall
  • Mount the front stays of the rack to the bike (on the seat stays typically)
  • Line the rear stays up next to the rear dropout braze-ons (by the rear axle) and get a “rough”  sense of how much you are going to need to adjust the hole on the stay of the rack so it is parallel to the surface of the dropout you are bolting it to.
  • Please note, some of our bikes will be using a spacer instead of brazing a “standoff” (threaded barrel brazed onto the dropout to space it out).  If your bike requires spacers, approximate the parallelism of the rack to the dropout or spacer, it does not matter which.
  • Take a rag and an adjustable wrench and cover the rack tip with the rag (to prevent scratches).
  • Place the mouth of the wrench over the rack stay tip and bend inward to make the two surfaces (rack and dropout or spacer on dropout) parallel.  This will take firm but not impossible effort.
  • Once it looks more parallel, bolt the rack on and enjoy!

NOTE: You may choose to space the rack out on both sides (aesthetically symmetrical) or just on the side of the disc brake caliper, either method is functionally the same.