Bike racks are incredible features that increase the bikes’ utility, especially for touring cyclists.
Having a rear bike rack can improve your travel experience and make your bike an efficient carrier.
You won’t have to carry a backpack while riding, which would otherwise be quite tiring and result in unnecessary strain on your back.
What’s more impressive about bicycle racks is that they are available at very affordable prices, and even the small ones can comfortably haul a lot of weight.
However, not all traditional and modern bikes feature eyelets to attach a standard bike rack. Some manufacturers omit these parts, probably when trying to produce lightweight bikes.
If your bike doesn’t have rack eyelets or braze ons, you might think that it’s impossible to install a rack.
But the good news is, it’s 100% possible to attach a bike rack without eyelets, and there are plenty of ways to do that.
This article will guide you on the best ways to mount a bike rack designed for eyelets on a bike that doesn’t have eyelets. Continue reading to discover more!
How to Mount a Bike Rack Designed for Eyelets on a Bike Without Eyelets?
Bikes typically designed to accommodate bike racks come with eyelets on the rear and front side near the dropouts. And these eyelets come in pairs to let you attach fenders.
Another bike rack mounting point is the seat stay. You can attach a bike rack to the braze ons usually located towards the upper part of the seat stays.
A front rack will also attach behind the brake caliper at the upper side of the fork.
So, what should you do if your bike frame lacks these obvious points of bike rack installation? Have no worries, as I’ll show you some easy and effective ways to go around it.
How to Mount a Bike Rack Without Eyelets?
P-Clamps on Fork Blades and Seat Stays
These are sturdy PVC-coated metal clamps designed with their own built-in eyelets. They are great for installing rear and front racks on any bike without eyelets.
The cushioned metal loop straps come in different sizes, making it easier for you to find a P-clamp that will fit the required tube diameter.
You can fix a P-clamp on the fork blades at the front to get a fixing point for your front rack, and the seat stays for a rear rack installation point.
The best way to fix a P-clamp is using a bolt to secure it to the frame. And if you are working with a carbon frame, you need to be careful not to over tighten the clamp.
You might also wonder how sufficient P-clamps are when it comes to mounting a bike rack. Well, if you ask this question to different people, you are likely to get mixed answers.
Based on my experience, P-clamps sufficiency depends on how much load you want to carry and how well you secure it.
They provide an efficient way to install a bicycle rack for those who don’t intend to haul very heavy luggage.
It’s cheap compared to other solutions as it’ll only cost you a few dollars and less time. And you can find them at any hardware store in your local area.
This method has worked very well for my bike. I’ve now been able to travel with all my touring essentials without worrying about my back.
However, I would not recommend this solution to someone who plans to tour a country for months as they would obviously need to haul a significant weight.
In this case, heavy-duty clamps, nuts, and bolts like those made from stainless steel or titanium would offer the extra strength needed to carry heavy bags.
Tubus Stay Mounting Clamps also work like P-clamps, and you can use them to bolt a standard rack or pannier rack to your tour bike.
Seatpost Clamps for Seatpost Bike Racks
If you wanted to mount a rear bike rack to your bike’s frame only to realize that braze-ons are missing on your bike, you need to buy seatpost clamps.
Seat post clamps will act as upper eyelets, allowing you to easily install a rear bike rack for carrying your stuff.
Some racks, especially those designed to be fixed only to the seat post, come with a seatpost clamp, making the installation process even much easier.
Again, seat post clamps come in different sizes, and you need to ensure that you pick one that suits your seatpost tube’s diameter.
But if you can get one that comes with shims, you won’t have to worry about your bike’s seatpost diameter.
To install a seatpost rack on your bike, you can follow these steps:
- Unpack the rack and remove all the parts and organize them for easy insertion.
- Assemble the rack’s central parts, connect the fender guard at the lower part, and tighten the Allen bolts.
- Check the rack against the back of the bike’s frame to see if it fits appropriately without paddings. If required, go ahead and add them.
- Install the seatpost rack to the frame, fix the seatpost clamp around the tube, and tighten as firmly as possible.
- Fix the frame straps to the rack and bike frame to secure it to the saddle post.
- Finally, secure the pannier rails to the lower side of the frame.
Now, will the seat post and panniers racks change how the bike feels as you ride? If this is what you are wondering, the answer is no.
A standard seat post mounted rack will not affect how your bicycle feels, but it will add some weight.
However, you may feel some changes when you fix panniers into the bike, depending on how you secure them.
If you don’t tighten the rack and attach the panniers properly, you may notice some shaking in your seat. So you need to ensure that everything is well-mounted and all the bolts are correctly tightened.
Quick Release and Thru Axles for a Rear Rack
Some rear bike racks feature a design that allows you to secure them with the quick release skewer on the rear wheel, either of standard size or elongated.
If your bike has an elongated quick release point, it can secure a standard bike rack to the back wheel. The top of the rack mounts to the frame in the front part of the caliper brake.
Similarly, other bike racks are built to attach on disc brake bikes with thru-axles. They come with unique replacement thru-axles and pucks for fixing the rack’s upper part to seat stays.
One of the best standard racks that you can attach to your bike using the quick-release skewer is the Blackburn Local Basket. You can use it as a rear or front rack to transport your cycling luggage.
Old Man Mountain also has some great quality racks that you can use on a mountain bike or a road bike with no lower eyelets.
Saddle Rails for a Rear Bike Rack
If you want to install a rear rack to your bike that doesn’t have braze-ons and eyelets, you can use saddle rails.
This is the case for seatpost racks that have two attachment points like the Arkel Randonneur Rack. You can attach it to a carbon seat post and sturdy metal saddle rails.
The two mounting points provide more strength and stability to the rack to ensure that its weight doesn’t affect how the bike rides.
In general, most racks can be mounted to both saddle rails and seatpost for a firm hold.
Best Bike Racks for Bicycles Without Eyelets
Now that you already know the options available when mounting bike racks on a bicycle without eyelets, you may want to have a look at some of the best racks.
Here are our top four picks:
If you are looking for a versatile and strong rack that is easy to install, this rack is a perfect option.
What I found to be fascinating about the tour rack is that it easily fits on almost any bike, from road bikes to mountain bikes.
Built with aluminum, steel, and nylon, Thule Pack N Pedal Tour Rack is a durable luggage holder that mounts to the rear or front rack on bikes that lack eyelets.
It weighs about 2.42 pounds but can withstand a weight of up to 25 pounds when installed on the back. But when installed on the front, the maximum load capacity is 22 pounds.
Thule Pack N Pedal Tour comes with all the requisite parts needed to complete the installation. You can bolt it to your bike’s seat stays or fork blades.
And that’s not all, this rack features flexible side rails, and a top deck for maximum heel clearance, and an integrated reflector mount.
The only downside of this rack is its high price tag. But its quality and top-notch performance make it worth it.
If you feel that Thule Pack ‘N’ Pedal Tour wasn’t enough for your cargo-hauling needs, we have a better option for you.
Built with the 6061 aluminum alloy, the Origin8 Rush Messenger Front Flat Rack is a sturdy rack with a 55 pounds’ rear rack load capacity, ideal for most cyclists.
I installed this rack in my touring bike, hoping it would help me carry everything I needed for my trips without straining my back.
And to be honest, it has worked very well, and I haven’t had any issues when cycling with my big bike bags.
I have also realized that this rack is a versatile option as it can also be used for road bikes, which is really a good thing for most cyclists.
Nonetheless, the installation took quite longer than I expected as the rack arrived without instructions. But this doesn’t mean it was rocket science.
Overall, this is one of the strongest bicycle racks you can ever buy. Its handy gear guard ensures that your luggage doesn’t crash into the bike’s front end or tangle with the cables.
If you are working on a low budget but still want a strong rack that will help you carry your essentials when going for tours, this one’s for you.
The Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack attaches to the bike’s frame using P-clamps and the brake assembly. However, you cannot use it on disc brake bikes.
While this rack isn’t compatible with many bikes, I still think that it’s a fantastic rack, given that it can easily transport loads of up to 55 pounds.
Its installation is also straightforward as it comes with instructions and all the necessary parts.
Did you know that racks designed to attach to the seatpost only are among the easiest to mount?
Well, this is the case with the Topeak RX BeamRack that comes with a side frame. You only need to install it to an aluminum seatpost to haul your cargo comfortably.
What I loved most about this seat post rack is that it comes with shims, which allows you to install it on any seatpost, regardless of its diameter.
Topeak RX BeamRack is also incredibly lightweight, making it a suitable option for road bike commuters.
Its side frame is also a handy feature as you can use it when fastening your panniers and other bike bags. You can also invest in the Topeak RX TrunkBags as they are more compatible with this frame.
So, did I find a catch in this rack? Yes, the seatpost. You can only install the Topeak RX BeamRack on an aluminum seatpost rack. It’s not safe to use it on a carbon seatpost.
Whether you own a mountain bike or road bike, you always have a way around not having rack eyelets when installing a standard rack or pannier rack.
You only need to get creative and work with the available options. There are many ways to install racks for panniers and other loads on your bicycle, from the thru axle wheel to seat stay.
As a long-distance tour cyclist, mounting a bike rack is crucial as it will allow you to pack all your essentials and transport them with your bike. This will boost your overall touring experience.
Hopefully, my suggestions are helpful for your bicycle rack mounting project. Don’t hesitate to invest in any of the products listed in this article, be it a bolt, clamp, or even a bike rack.