I do sometimes think that bikes were put on this earth to try our patience.
Now, as you may have guessed, I’m a big fan of all things bicycle, but… the deeper I get into the world of cycling the more little niggly things I find that leave me reaching for the stress ball.
One that springs to mind (niggle not stress ball) is that lots of bikes don’t come with braze-ons for fitting a bike rack to.
Now, I do understand that bike manufacturers need to trim costs where possible. But surely adding fixing points for a bike rack wouldn’t bump up the retail prices for a bike by much?! We’re only talking about four threaded screw holes after all.
If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’ve bought a rear rack for your bike only to find that there’s no apparent way of fixing it on, don’t worry. There are options for you that aren’t expensive and are simple to do. We’re going to take a look at these in a moment and we’ll also see what the best solution is if you’re still to buy a rear rack for your bike-without-braze-ons.
What are bike braze ons?
First up, let’s clarify what we’re talking about.
Braze-ons are parts that are permanently added on to a bike frame. The term comes from when parts were actually “brazed on” to steel bikes. Today, however, it refers to parts that are fixed on to the frame by any method for a permanent attachment. Examples include fixings for fenders, water bottle cages, and derailleurs.
Bikes will generally have a number of different braze-ons at various locations on the bike. Although sadly, in our case, not braze-ons for that rear rack. Harrumph…
How to install a rear mounted bike rack
If you have a rear rack like this one and your bike has braze-ons, then it’s a relatively easy process to fit it on to your bike.
Take a look at the photo and you’ll see two eyelets at the top left – these attach to fixings near the top of the seat post. You’ll also see two eyelets at the bottom, these fix on to attachments just by your rear hub.
Have a look at the video below, which covers installation of rear racks, and you’ll see what I mean:
Keep this process in mind, because it’s the same process as you’re going to be using for your rack and bike, once we’ve got some special adaptors fitted to the seat post and seat stays. Read on!
Best seatpost mounted pannier rack
Before we go on, if you haven’t yet bought a rack, then there’s a different style you can get that dodges around all the challenges of a lack of braze-ons.
Called “Seatpost Mounted Racks“, they’re a fantastic piece of bike kit. This one here is a great example.
If you zoom in on the picture you can see that this rack doesn’t use braze-ons at all to fix to the bike frame. At the top there’s a quick-release clamp that holds the rack to the seatpost securely. Down below, the rack is fixed to the seat stays with brackets. Sturdy, easy to install, and rated by the manufacturer to carry a whopping 110 lbs!
Bicycle rear rack mounting hardware
Okay, let’s assume you’ve got a rear rack like the rack above that needs four fixing points. Unfortunately, your bike doesn’t have any braze-on fixings to attach it to. What do you do? Well, there are two pieces of hardware that you need to buy for your bike in order to fit the rear rack. These are:
Clamps for bike racks:
- Seat post clamp for pannier rack
- P clamp bike rack
Let’s take a look at these in some more detail now.
1. Seat post clamp for pannier rack
M-Wave Seatpost Clamp with Rack Mounts
To fix the top of your rear rack to your bike frame you need a seatpost clamp.
This one from M-Wave is perfect for the job. It wraps around your seatpost and is fixed in position with the Allen screw. Underneath the Allen screw you’ll see two holes, these are the threaded fixing holes that your rack fixes to. There are three different sizes to pick from and these are based on the diameter of your seatpost tube. Make sure you pick the right one.
2. P clamp bike rack
Keadic Rubber Cushioned P Clamps
For fixing the rack to the bottom of the bike frame you need to get P Clamps like these from Keadic.
These prise open and wrap around your seat stays on either side of the wheel. When they close together the holes line up and you can use them to bolt onto the bottom of the rack. I particularly like these ones as they are cushioned so should avoid doing any damage to your paintwork. They come in a range of different diameters, so check the size of your seat stays and buy the closest one.
But, will I use a rear bike rack….?
If you’re still on the fence about getting a bike rack, umming and ahhing about whether or not you’d use it, then take a look at this video. Once you have a rack fitted to the back of your bike you’ll find all sorts of inventive uses for it. You might also find that you do more quick journeys, such as last-minute grocery shop trips (“Just popping to the store, I forget the blah, blah, blah), by bike rather than by car, because you can easily stash your purchases. Which can only be a good thing.
How to mount a bike rack without eyelets
Is it just me that thinks bikes were brought into the world to try our patience? I imagine not.
Braze-ons are kinda important and yet you’ll find plenty of bikes that don’t have them fitted. That’s a problem and a massive one at that if you’re trying to install a rear rack on your bike. Luckily there is some good hardware available that is inexpensive and will provide fixing points for your rack.
If you haven’t yet bought a rack (but were wondering how the heck you were going to fit a standard rack when you did!) then consider the seatpost mounted rack from ComingFit. Otherwise, get the two pieces of hardware that I mentioned and you’ll enable your bike to take a standard rear rack.
I hope that these options will help you get your rack installed and out on your bike hauling groceries, bike touring gear, and anything else you fancy transporting.