Some bikes – tourers, most hybrids, and many gravel bikes, for example – have the threaded frame eyelets required for a rear pannier rack: two high on the seatstays, others down by the dropouts. Many road and mountain bikes don’t. Fortunately, there are work-arounds.
Fit a standard rack
If the frame is missing only the top eyelets, it’s an easy fix. Swap the bike’s seatpost clamp for one with eyelets and attach the rack’s top struts to that. Or if the seatstays are sturdy, fit P-clips around them.
While you could use P-clips near the dropouts too, it’s a bad idea. A pannier rack’s lower fixing bolts support almost all the weight. They need a strong mounting point. Tubus makes just the thing, an adapter kit that fits much like the Bontrager Lightweight Back Rack (below).
Bikes that lack frame eyelets for a rack often have short chainstays. To prevent hitting your heels as you pedal, use front/universal panniers on the rack instead of large rear bags.
Fit a special rack
There are plenty of pannier racks purpose-made for bikes without eyelets. Here’s a selection.
Axiom Streamliner Disc Deluxe
Cyclescheme Price: £30*
Fits with your existing quick-release skewer, dog-legging backwards to avoid a disc calliper and to increase heel clearance.
Cyclescheme Price: £86.25*
Same idea but more sturdily made and comes with its own longer wheel skewer. To attach the top struts, you’ll likely want a seatpost clamp with integral eyelets.
Bontrager Lightweight Back Rack
Cyclescheme Price: £37.50*
Designed for road bikes, it too has its own wheel skewer. See above for fitting advice if your bike’s frame lacks seatstay eyelets or a brake bridge.
Blackburn Expedition 1 Disc Rear Rack
Cyclescheme Price: £37.50*
Meant for mountain bikes with disc brakes, this rack clears the brake calliper thanks to spacers on its proprietary wheel skewer.
Thule Tour Rack
Cyclescheme Price: £67.50*
An unusual rack that clamps to the seatstays or fork legs. The load capacity is lower than most, at 10-11kg, and you’ll want the optional (£25) Pack ’n Pedal Side Frames for panniers.
Cyclescheme Price: £239.25*
The price is for the carbonfibrerack and one of the dedicated Tailfin panniers; other bags won’t fit. The Tailfin rack suits disc brakes and carbon frames, and it can be quickly removed.
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