Racks

You certainly know all that well-meant advice. Take a rain jacket with you on every bike ride. You should always carry one or two spare inner tubes. You need a mini pump on your journeys! Just where will you store all this stuff? The answer is simple - put it on the rack. The rear rack of your bike is always happy to help you carry your load. Below, we will answer all your questions about rear bike racks and front racks, which ones you can mount on your bike and which manufacturers you should trust with your luggage.

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A luggage rack is the trunk of your bike

Have we convinced you, and now you're looking for a way to load up your bike for a big bike ride? Or do you need a bike rack as a replacement part because yours is getting on in years and one or the other strut has cracked? Or do you want to treat yourself to a rack with a practical click system that will solve your luggage worries once and for all? Here in our online shop, you will find a wide range of carriers for mountain bikes, city bikes and touring bikes. But first, we'll explain how to find the right rack for your bike. 

How to turn your bike into a beast of burden

Material, mounting options and different bike rack positions - may sound complicated, but it's not! We'll help you order the perfect model.

What is the best material for a bike luggage carrier?

Bike luggage racks are usually made of metal, they are either made of steel tubes or aluminum tubes. Both raw materials have advantages and disadvantages, Aluminium is lighter, steel is more durable. Since a rack's payload is what matters most, many manufacturers like Topeak or Giant opt for steel when it comes to designing bicycle luggage racks and front carriers. But you can also find lightweight aluminum racks here in the shop.

It looks a little different with clamp-on luggage carriers, which are attached to the seatpost. To keep their weight to a minimum, they are usually made largely of plastic, and plastic is naturally less durable than other material. They can therefore be loaded with less weight, but since their construction is "free-floating" anyway and so can take less payload, this has no detrimental effect on their function. 

Most bike racks are painted black, completely regardless of the material underneath. However, you can also buy them untreated and therefore silver. 

Where can I mount a luggage rack?

There are three mounting options for luggage racks on a bike. 

  • Luggage rack at the back above the wheel
  • Luggage rack at the front of the handlebar
  • Luggage rack at the front of the fork

Rear luggage rack above rear wheel

Luggage racks that attach over the rear of the bike are the classic way to store luggage on a bike. They usually attach to the bike at three points, the seat tube and the left and right side of the rear triangle. Therefore they have a good hold and a huge payload, plus they come in many different designs, so they make your bike flexible to use. Removable seatpost racks are mainly for mountain bikes, gravel bikes and road bikes. 

Bike racks often stow important bike technology. Some e-bikes, for example, still have a rack-mounted battery that sits in a compartment below the actual rack. Even non-motorized bikes have wired racks from time to time, because as the rearmost point of the bike, the rack is of course best suited to attach the rear light or reflectors. 

Depending on the model, you can clamp your seven items in place with a metal clamp, lash them down with a tether, or snap a basket into a click system. 

But you can also order a bike rack with struts for panniers. These bars are not only incredibly practical for bike trips, even if you ride your bike to work, school or university every day, they make your life much easier. You probably know the problem then: your bag slips and slides and eventually hangs in front of your belly. There are office-ready bags and messenger bags from some manufacturers that can be attached to such a brace with clips - problem solved! 

On many of the current load e-bikes that don't come with a front cargo box, the rack is reinforced and moves massive amounts of payload; one to two kids or a cargo box with an entire shopping trip can easily be accommodated on it.

Luggage rack at the front above the front wheel

Because they became famous mainly on Dutch bikes, front luggage racks always spread a touch of holiday feeling. Nowadays, however, front racks can be found on many city bikes, because especially in the city it is practical to have your luggage not only in view, but also within reach at all times. Many of these racks are already expanded to a basket, they then do not have a flat loading area, but an edge that keeps everything together nicely. 

Luggage rack at the front of the fork

Trekking bikes in particular have eyelets on the fork into which you can screw a luggage rack. Wait, stop. You shouldn't bolt one rack here, you should always bolt two! Since these racks on the fork can have an influence on the steering characteristics of your bike, they must always be used in pairs and should also be loaded with the same weight, otherwise you risk rolling over. You can therefore buy them on Bike Mailorder from Salsa, among others, right away in a set of two. There are some models that are connected above the front wheel, or have a small storage area there as well. These front racks are also called low riders because they ride low on the bike (English low: low), they are mainly used for bikepacking and thus on trekking or expedition bikes and on gravel bikes. They also get along with a suspension fork.Luggage carriers with system

Luggage carrier with system

Particularly handy are racks with a retention system that baskets or bicycle bags snap into. At the touch of a button, you can also detach the luggage and take it with you, which is extremely convenient for a little shopping in between or your well-deserved break in the beer garden. The click systems also have another advantage: Your bike basket or bike bag fits perfectly and does not wobble on the rack or even get lost in the worst case. 

If your bike has a rack with a click system, you should make sure when buying baskets and bags that they fit your system, because they are not compatible with each other. If your rack does not have a click system yet, there are adapters or adapter plates that can be used to retrofit such a mount.

Known manufacturers and their click system

  • Racktime - Snapit
  • Rixen & Kaul - KLICKfix
  • Basil - MIK

How much payload can my rack handle?

There is no blanket answer to this, as the maximum load capacity depends on several factors.

  • First there is the payload or the permissible total weight of your bike, you can find one of them on the homepage of the manufacturer or in the manual. The permissible total weight results from your bike plus your body weight plus attachments plus luggage. The payload includes everything without the bike, i.e. you plus attachments plus luggage.
  • A luggage rack also has an allowed payload, for most rear racks this is about 25 kg.
  • Front racks have a much lower load capacity, depending on the model you can pack up to 10 kg. Make sure that you can still safely steer your bike with a loaded front carrier and that you have a clear view to the front!
  • Clamp racks usually carry about 10 kg of weight.

Sportbikes with luggage racks? Is that allowed?

Of course there is no ban on racks on sporty bikes, as long as your vehicle complies with the StVO, you have nothing to fear on the part of the law. Who might object to the combi are your fellow cyclists. In the past, you had to expect raised eyebrows when you rolled up on a trail bike with a rack. But that's changed, thankfully. The more popular biking for transportation or recreational fun becomes, the more tolerant such combos are viewed. So you want to take your beloved Fully out for a day ride - without an oppressive backpack? You want to ride a long-distance bike trail on your road bike and don't know where to put your luggage? Just bolt a rack to the seatpost and ride away

Luggage rack on a road bike

On a road bike a luggage rack is rare, known to plane down every gram rather than stack luggage. If you love the arrow-quick handling characteristics of your road bike but still want to carry a piece of luggage or two, you have two options:

  • There are luggage racks that bolt to the seatpost. They don't have too much payload, but it's all you need for light day luggage. Since a clamp carrier is removable, you only have to move it around when you need it.
  • If you want your bike to look like a road bike and ride like a road bike, but handle luggage like a trekking bike, a gravel bike is right up your alley.

Luggage rack on a mountain bike

What's true for road bikes plus racks is also true for mountain bikes plus racks, except that unfortunately there is no gravel mountain bike yet. But numerous MTBs, especially hardtails are equipped with the necessary eyelets that allow you to retrofit a luggage rack. Many mountain bikers solve the problem with a clamp-on luggage rack that bolts or clamps to the seatpost.

Can I retrofit a luggage rack to my bike?

Here's some good news, a luggage rack can be retrofitted to virtually any bike. 

  • With mounts: Many bikes that come without a rack have bolt-on eyelets into which a rack can be bolted. Most luggage racks fit many different bike models and also regardless of the bike manufacturer. 
  • Without mounts: detachable clamp luggage racks fit on every bike, because they are screwed to the seat post. Some additional support is provided by adjustable struts that clamp downwards to the rear triangle, but you should make sure to pad them so that they do not damage the paintwork of your bike. These struts must not be screwed to carbon bikes! 

With a bike basket or bike bags you use your rack to the maximum! 

Even if you have to transport many individual parts, a luggage rack is quickly overwhelmed. To make sure that nothing gets lost or flutters in the spokes, a bicycle basket or a transport box is very practical. Your luggage will be weatherproof if you put it into pannier bags. That's why you can not only buy luggage carriers from well-known brands like Tubus and BLB, but also panniers, bike baskets and many accessories at Bike Mailorder. This way, you can put together your luggage to match your rack s. We always have cheap offers from different manufacturers in our shop. You can find them easily and quickly via the search function.