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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All
I recently bought a Trek Portland to start my life as a bike commuter. I am looking for some advice on selecting racks for my bike. I would like to have the ability to mount a panier on each side although most of the time I will be using only one. My commute is about 20 miles each way so I do not want to buy the heaviest rack unless it is the best for what I need. My bike does have mounts for a rack and will not be attached to the seatpost if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Pat
 

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I recently picked up an Axiom (www.axiomgear.com) rack at my LBS. It's light yet feels remarkably strong, and amazingly it only cost $25. I got one of these:



The adjustable mount on the left side is supposed to accomodate a disk brake, but it works just fine on my non-disk bike too. I chose this rack because I was having heel clearance problems with some grocery panniers. Because the grocery panniers are designed to hold brown grocery bags they're longer than normal, so heel clearance is a major concern. It also doesn't help that I have size 13 US feet.

This particular rack solves the heel-pannier clearance issue by having more length aft of the lower mounting point. If you plan to run panniers this is something to consider.
 

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I have an Avenir rack that looks identical rack as above, only mine is setup for disc brake only. The sticker on it says its rated for 25kg; and I've carried about 40lbs offroad with it without any issues. I had to add a larger frame to the top to support the load, but it works out great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Trek Portland

I like the bike alot up until last night. I was 20 miles into a ride and the crank snapped off the BB. Anyway that is another story. I really like the fit and the ride quality is much better than I expected considering my other bike it Titanium. I did add a Kestrel Carbon handlebar along with an Easton carbon seatpost. My goal was to soak up some of the vibration that can go along with an aluminum frame.
This is my first bike with disc brakes so I was not sure what to expect. The one thing it does do is makes what sounds like a grinding sound when the wheels spin. I am told that this is a trait of disc brakes. So far they do not seem much different than standard brakes but I have not pushed them yet. Since I leave in Seattle I am told they will make a big difference in the rain with all the hills we have here.

I will post a pic later this week.

Pat
 

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Trek Portland

Thanks for the info, too bad about the crank, how did that happen?

I live in West Vancouver, halfway up the mountain, so I too am looking for some good brakes in the wet. The V brakes on my DeVinci hybrid squeal badly (something to do with matching a carbon fork with V brakes), so in addition to good stopping power, I was looking for something quiet, so this grinding effect doesn't sound too good. I had heard that the Avid mechanical disc brakes were easily adjustable, what have you found?

Good news about the ride quality though. Another reason for buying in is to do some longer, non-commute rides on the weekend (but not racing), and I would prefer to have one multi-purpose bike than buying a full-on road bike in addition to my commuter. Do you think that the Portland would work for that?
 

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Cannondale Cyclocross disc

My ride has mechanical disc brakes. When you lean into a corner, you hear a little noise coming off the brake pads. It doesn't seem to affect the rolling. The brakes are super easy to adjust, just turn a little knob and it moves the brake pad closer to or farther from the disc. This has to be done periodically, as the pads wear. (you can tell by the feel in the brake lever). These brakes stop the bike on a dime, or less, after the break in. I think from the manufacturing process there is a glaze on the pads. It wears off after a little bit.
 
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