How to Use a Rear Bike Rack: With Installation Process!


Having a rear rack installed can seriously enhance the capacity of a bike. When you have to carry some cargo, it becomes rather necessary for a rider. 

But if you haven’t done it before, the process of installing and using the rear rack might seem hectic. And we’re here to help you out throughout the process in this discussion. 

The following sections of this content include a step by step guide on how to install a rear rack on the bike. And it’s followed by three methods on how to use it for load transportation. 

If you’ve found it interesting so far, let’s check out the rest- 

How to Install A Rear Bike Rack?

From now on, we will go through the steps on how to install a rear bike rack on your bike. Later on, you’ll get to install the rear light mount on it as well. 

However, the steps are pretty simple and actionable. Let’s check out- 

Step 1: Start with attaching the arms

Usually, the bike racks come with arms that are adjustable in terms of position. These are located on the downside of the rack. 

The screws that come up with the arms, can be tightened. But you should not tighten them up for now. Because, when all of the other steps will be done, you need to adjust the tightness accordingly. 

Step 2: Set up the rear dropout eyelets

The weight support of the rear rack will be mainly carried over by the dropout eyelets. At this step, we’ll set up the eyelets with a bolt. 

Now, the sizing of the bolt is not universal. We mean, from bike to bike, the size of this bolt will vary. But whatever size you’ll find, will be the size of the water bottle carrier and the seat mounts. 

However, unlike the bolts of the arms, you should tighten the dropout eyelet bolts to the full extent. This connection should be the weight carrying centerpiece of the rack. 

Once done, you can now tighten the eyelet bolts. 

Step 3: Set the arms right

To make the rack a perfect fit, you need to set the arms at this point. The arms happen to be bendable so that you can figure out the optimal position for it. 

The arms are supposed to be connected to the seat adjustment bolts to provide rigidity to themselves. So, you should keep moving the adjustable arms until you make it till that point. 

Just in case, some bikes don’t offer additional points to mount the rack arms. In that case, you have to make your own by using a tool called the p-clamp. The screws with the adjustable arms will be added with the p-clamps in this scenario. 

Step 4: Install the light mount

With the rear rack, bikers use to attach the rear lights. Lights and reflectors of such kinds are used to enhance the visibility for the bikers. Even if you use the seat post as the light mount, putting stuff on the rack will block the light anyway. 

So, our advice would be to install the light mount on the rack anyway. 

If your light mount comes with a bracket, install it on the back of the rear rack. Both lights and reflectors will be installed on this. For now, we’ll not go into those details. 

Once you are done with all 4 steps of the process, check back the connections of every bolt. If any of them are loose by even a small extent, you have to tighten it up to its fullest capacity. 

3 Methods on How to Use A Rear Bike Rack?

By using, all we mean most of the time is carrying weights. And over this section of the content, we’ll talk about three ways of doing that. 

Method 1 of 3: Using The Rear Rack with A Pannier

If you are dealing with a decent amount of load to carry on your rack, putting directly on it won’t make the cut. Therefore, we will use a thing called pannier. 

If you’re not familiar with what a pannier is, it’s basically a set of bags designed to be used on a bike rack. They are spacious and able to carry loads. 

In terms of volume, the size of each of the pannier bags is 20 to 25 liters. In terms of weight carrying capacity, the limit is up to 50-60 pounds. Having it on both sides, you can easily carry a good amount of stuff safely. 

Method 2 of 3: Putting The Cargo Directly on the Rank

This is a rather simpler method without any extra item to install on your rack. This involves carrying cargo that are very lightweight, and not sensitive to shakes and vibrations. 

Assuming that your rack has a spring clamp on it, you can put the stuff directly under the clamp and let the clamp take care of the rest. Unless you’re not riding on a bumpy road, the cargo will be safe on there. 

However, you’re not supposed to carry the weight that might slip off the clamp in this method. 

Method 3 of 3: Using A Rack Basket

This is another convenient way of using a rear rack in case you don’t want to go with any of the aforementioned methods. Items like groceries, newspapers, or anything that has got a volume, can be carried in a basket ensuring safety. 

A number of sizes of rack baskets are there to choose from. Based on what sort of load you’ve to transport, you can pick the right one. 

Whichever basket you install on the rack, make sure to secure the fit tightly. 

Bottom Line

Alright folks, that’s the end of today’s discussion. Hopefully, you’ve found it helpful enough to install and use the rear rack for your bike yourself. Rest assured, always check the safety boxes when you’re carrying stuff with a rear rack. 

Happy cycling!

Last Updated on May 10, 2020 by David P. Lopez

David P. Lopez

David is an expert on the bike and his hobby is biking. He has experience over 8 years. Based on his experiences he is sharing his thought about the bike and bike-related products. so a beginner can learn something from him.

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