How To Use a Rear Bike Rack?

A rear rack is an excellent and essential addition to a bike that is used for commuting. Having a rear bike rack means that you can carry items along with you without having to strap them on your back. That’s easy to understand, and this article is not interested in that.

Like the title suggests, this article will guide you on how to use a rear bike rack? The most straightforward answer to the question is this: You first need to screw the rack on the frame’s back part. Doing that should ensure that the rack is in line with the rear wheel’s top. After the screwing, you can add a bag that’s specially designed, such as a trunk or a pannier bag. The bag should clip on and have in it all that is yours.

That primer is merely a piece of the action. You’re about to the boiled-and-broken-down details on how to get a rear bike rack functioning to your benefit. Stick around till the end of this brief but powerful section.

The Details Themselves

Before we get into the action, I must reiterate the importance of a rear rack. When you add the item to your bike, you will make your rides versatile. You will also give yourself a golden chance to have bags and cargo with you – things that you would otherwise have to leave behind or carry in your back. Rear racks also go by the name pannier racks, so you shouldn’t find it odd when these phrases are interchanged.

These racks are not only for the rear part of the bike, but they can also come at the front. However, these are not common, and more often than not, they don’t fit in bikes. The bikes that fit both rear and front panniers are the touring ones. Their designs are inspired by long-distance rides that need a rider to bring luggage with them.

The A to J of Putting the Rear Bike Rack onto a Bike

Here is how you can fit and fix a standard rear rack firmly on your bike:

  1. Look at the rear wheel’s axle to identify the specific point that the rack will fit perfectly.
  2. Then, get a rack and try placing it over the wheel. When you do, attempt to connect a suitable part of the wheel hub (or axle) with the rack’s bottom part.
  3. Then, get the rack’s bottom fitted onto the part nearest to the axle – the one that sticks out. You will find the sticking-out part easy to identify, and the rack will undoubtedly fit there cleanly. If the fit is not clean, you will likely be looking at a not-so-right part of the bike. To fit the rack cleanly and correctly, you may be required to loosen a particular part of the wheel. If that is indeed the case, get yourself a wrench or a hex key. Use the tool you get to tighten the rack correctly and firmly. If you don’t do it like that, your rear wheel may come loose when you are on your cycling cruise.
  4. Then, try to make the relevant part tight enough to hold the rear rack in its position but loose enough to make it flexible. The latter part is supposed to make it easier to attach to your bike’s frame.
  5. Then, look for any attachment points that may be on the bike’s frame’s rear part.
  6. Once you do, try and get a hex or an Allen key that loosens the bolts attached to your bike’s frame.
  7. When the loosening of the bolts is done, get the part of the rack (which is attached to the frame) aligned. If you can’t identify this part, look for the rack’s main portion, which is made of a thinner metal type.
  8. Then, get the rack’s attachments slid into place. When you get that done, thread all the bolts in place and get them tightened.
  9. Take a minute and check if everything looks okay. If it is, get the rear wheel tightened.
  10. Try and fit some little (non-delicate) luggage into the rack to test the firmness of the fix. To make the test more reliable, take the bags for a ride. Pay attention to any unusual sounds and rocking. If the rack doesn’t sound or feel firm, get it more tightened.

Questions Related to the Subject

How can I get a bike rack mounted when my bike does not have eyelets?

If you’re trying to fix a rack on a bike that lacks attachment points (or eyelets), you can get a rear rack that can attach to your seat’s post. These are items commonly used by road bike cyclists because most road bikes don’t have the attachment points.

If your bike doesn’t have the eyelets, it is probably not meant to carry a rack. However, you can still try and fit any of the seat post racks. However, remember that the load should be relatively light – you don’t want to strain the rack at all. Don’t go too heavy!

How are panniers use?

Before you enjoy having a pannier on your bike, you need to get a rack. This rack comes fitted on the rear parts of most bikes. If you fix the rack correctly, go ahead and get the pannier bag clipped.

What makes the attachment of a bike pannier to a rack possible?

Well, there are unique clips that go over the bars vertically (on the rack), and they also go down on the side. This means that the bag is secured using the hook effect. Many quality panniers will come with horizontal clips that stop them from sliding as you ride.

Panniers that are more premium will include a screw driving option, which helps tighten the clips to make the rack fit perfectly. The clipping is all you need, and the pannier bag will be ready to keep you company as you go about commuting

Can panniers be fitted on road bikes?

You can, but you may need to make something like a tweak on the road bike. The tweak is that you should get a particular pannier rack type. As mentioned elsewhere in the article, most road bikes do not include the frame’s mounting options (attachment points, eyelets). So, you should get to a bike store and purchase a rear rack. You should get one that can be attached to the post of your seat. It will help you to put panniers on your baby, that is, the road bike.

As implied, this addition to the road bike has a caveat. The seat post rack is not supposed to accommodate a lot of weight because of the alternative, unconventional position. That said, a commuter bike will not have any problems, so you can fit the panniers and carry a heavily reasonable amount of weight.

You must know why the pannier rack option is missing on road bikes. Most road bikes come with speed designs, meaning that their frames need to be streamlined. This implies that adding a rack and panniers to a road bike was not intended by the bike maker. However, that shouldn’t stop you from adding a pannier on the seat post and carrying your sandwich to work.

Can panniers be fitted on an MTB?

While it is possible to get a pannier rack fitted onto a mountain bike, it not the most brilliant idea. Like road bikes, mountain bikes are not made to take on heavy loads. The main reason is that they have a suspension on the rear wheel that can get damaged when it bounces, and especially true if a rack is hanging above the wheel.

Like the road bike, you can mount a rack on the MTB’s seat post and then fix the pannier rack there. However, going off-road while bearing a rear rack would not be very comfortable for you.

Can I get a backpack fixed onto a bike rack?

The regular backpack cannot be attached to the rack of your bike. If you want to stick a bag to a bike rack, you need to get one that’s been designed specially and specifically for the job.

What are the ins and outs of front pannier bags?

These bags, which are obviously fitted in the front, are excellent options for anyone carrying extra cargo on their bike. For instance, it could be a winter month, and you want to have heavier and thicker clothing from a point to another.

However, there is one big catch that comes with front pannier bags. You can only fit them on touring bikes only. If you don’t know what touring bikes are, they are the heavy-duty kind of road bikes but have a design that helps them move at moderate speeds to cover very long distances when loaded fully.

They come with heavy frames that have eyelets on the rear and front. This makes it possible for riders to fit front pannier bags. To spot a touring bike, look out for thick frames (than road bikes) and drop handlebars. For most of the touring bikes, their frames are made of steel to give them the required robustness to accommodate the luggage’s weight.

If you want to have front pannier bags, you should get a touring bike. Looking at the bike market, there are only a few bikes that will give you the mounting options you need.

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