If you consider bike touring as one of your passions, you will surely find it beneficial to have a bike rack attached to it as this will allow you to bring more of your necessities. A rear bike rack can definitely enhance a cyclist’s travel experience.
This bike accessory may mean hitting the road with a heavier load, but what’s more important is that it will offer you convenience. A rear rack will free your back from a heavy load and lets you enjoy your bike travel with ease and comfort.
Don’t worry so much about how much it costs because a rear rack generally has an affordable price. One problem, however, with some of the modern or conventional bikes, is that they do not have eyelets, which are usually used when installing a bike rack.
Bike manufacturers intentionally eliminate the eyelets obviously to avoid adding weight to the bike.
If your touring bike or mountain bike doesn’t have eyelets, it may seem impossible to mount the bike rack. But don’t lose hope as there are several ways to do it.
Read along and see what we think are the easiest ways to install a rear bike rack even without the eyelets.
Mounting a Rear Bike Rack on Bikes with No Eyelets
Bikes with eyelets are designed to have room for bike racks either in front or at the rear part. Bike racks can also be installed on the seat stay of a bike. It usually has braze-on mounts where you can attach your bike rack.
For bike racks that are designed to be positioned in front of the touring bike, it is attached just behind the brake caliper, which is at the top part of the fork.
What about those bikes with no eyelets? Well, here are your options:
P-clamps are rigid metal clamps that are coated with PVC and are created with eyelets. They are ideal for mounting rear as well as front bike racks on bikes with no eyelets.
This metal clamp is cushioned and is available in a variety of sizes, which makes it less difficult for you to find the right size for your bike tube.
It’s best to position it on the seat. Just make sure to secure it properly with a bolt.
However, you must take the necessary precaution when installing a rear bike rack on a carbon frame. Over-tightening the P-clamp can seriously damage your carbon frame, and it can be a very costly mistake!
Some of you might be wondering if a P-clamp will be enough to carry a load while on a bike tour. Well, this actually depends on the amount of load that you plan to carry and how well you’re going to secure it.
P-clamps offer a feasible way to mount a bike rack for cyclists or bikers who do not have the intention to tug along a weighty luggage. This is probably the cheapest option you’ve got as it doesn’t cost much and that they can be easily bought in hardware stores or bike shops.
The use of a P-clamp has given me so many benefits. I can go to places and have everything I need without hurting my back.
However, this is not an ideal setting for cyclists who are planning to tour hundreds of miles as this won’t be enough. But if you’re in a scenario where you’ll be needing a lot of stuff, you must opt for a more durable clamp, bolts and nuts, preferably those that are made from titanium or stainless steel.
These materials are proven to have great strength and are capable of carrying heavy loads.
If you want an alternative that is quite similar to P-clamp, the Tubus Cargo Stay Mounting Clamp would be a great choice. It may be used to bolt a pannier rack or a regular bike rack.
Quick-Release and Thru-Axle
There are a number of rear bike racks that are designed to work with quick-release skewers on the back wheel of a bike, which come in 2 sizes: standard and elongated.
If your bicycle is equipped with an elongated quick-release skewer, it is highly possible to attach a regular rear rack to the rear wheel. The upper part of the rack is attached to the bike frame in the front portion of the caliper brake.
Like the quick-release skewer, the thru-axle works exactly just the same.
The Blackburn Local Basket is one of the most highly-recommended bike racks that makes use of a quick-release skewer. It can be used either as a front rack or a rear rack to help you carry your load.
Another remarkable bike rack that may be mounted to your mountain bike without eyelets is the Old Man Mountain.
Saddle Rail Clamp
Another way to mount a rear bike rack to a bike with no eyelets or braze-ons is by using a saddle rail clamp. This is applicable to seatpost racks like, for instance, the Arkel Randonneur, having 2 installation points. It can be used either on aluminum alloy saddle rails or on carbon seat posts.
A seatpost with 2 installation points offers better stability and capability to the bike rack. This likewise ensures that its weight does not greatly affect the performance of a bike.
If you’re trying to mount a bike rack to the frame of your bike but the braze-ons seem to be lacking, you will need to get hold of a seatpost clamp. A seatpost clamp can be your other option in the absence of eyelets on your bike.
There are other types of rear bike racks, especially the ones that are only meant to be attached to the seatpost, that already have a seatpost clamp, which makes the mounting process less effortless.
Seatpost clamps are available in various sizes, which is why you need to have an accurate measurement of the tube of your seatpost. However, if you can buy a clamp with shims, there’s no need to think about the diameter of your seat post.
Steps in installing a seatpost clamp
Step 1: Assemble
Take out the bike rack together with all its parts and arrange it for easier installation.
Begin assembling the middle portion of the rack by first connecting the fender guard onto the lower portion, then tighten the bolts using an Allen wrench.
Step 2: Assess
Assess the rack before attaching it to the rear of the bike frame, whether it fits perfectly even without the paddings. Otherwise, feel free to include them.
Step 3: Mounting
Once you’re done with your assessment, you may now mount the seatpost rack onto your bike frame permanently. Make sure to tighten the bolt to prevent it from sliding down. But then again, be careful when working on a carbon frame.
Step 4: Attachment
Now, attach the frame straps to the bike rack as well as to the bike frame. See to it that it’s well-secured to the saddle post.
For the final step, attach the pannier rails onto the lower portion of the frame.
Now that the pannier rack and the seat post are already in place, some of you will surely be asking if there’ll be a noticeable change in terms of bike feel? Well, there isn’t.
Comfort and ease will not be affected while riding your bike, but ,of course, it will add a bit of weight to your touring bike.
But if you’ll feel a major change like a shake or a vibration, you might not have aligned, attached, and secured the pannier correctly. If you experience something like this, you may need to re-do the entire process until it’s well-secured.
Best Rear Bike Racks for Bikes Without Eyelets
Since you already know the different clamps that may be used in mounting a bike rack, I thought it would be better if I share to you what I think are the best rear bike racks. Here are my top 3 bike racks.
Thule Pack’n Pedal Tour Bike Rack
If you’re after an easy-to-install bike rack that possesses durability and versatility, the Thule Pack’n Pedal Tour Bike Rack is a great choice.
What’s nice about this bike rack is that it is compatible with almost any type of bike. Whether you own a mountain bike or a road bike, there’s no problem.
Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack
If you really want to mount a bike rack on your bike, but you’re only looking for an affordable one, the Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack is just right for you.
This inexpensive bike rack can hold a load of up to 55 lbs and can be attached to the bike frame using a P-clamp. However, this is not ideal for bikes that are equipped with a disc brake and it is not likewise compatible with a lot of bike types.
Topeak RX Beamrack with Side Frame
The Topeak RX Beamrack is one of the easiest bike racks to mount. All you need is to attach to the seatpost, and that’s it!
This bike rack comes with shims, which is another feature that I like most about this product. Having shims means that it can be installed on different sizes of seatposts.
When it comes to installing a rear bike rack on bikes with no eyelets, it really doesn’t matter if what you have is a mountain bike or a road bike as long as you have the right accessory.
What you need to do now is to choose which among the 4 options enumerated above will work well for you.
However, before choosing, the most important thing that you need to keep in mind is the amount of load that you usually carry. And from there, you’ll have a clear idea on what to choose.