Whenever you travel, commute, run errands, or take long trips with your bike, it is essential to have a way to carry your essentials. For shorter trips, daypacks or messenger bags can suffice. On the other hand, to carry heavier loads, it is good to have racks, baskets, and bags that fit on your bikes. You will never know what will happen or what you will need, so it is important to always be prepared.
What Is a Rack?
A rack provides a stable framework that will hold gear. Items can be strapped to the rack without a cover on sunny days. In contrast, rack trunks and panniers that you can easily attach to rear tracks are great for rainy days or for loose items, which need to be secured.
Types of Bike Racks
- Rear Rack. They carry loads up to twenty to fifty pounds. Some heavy-duty models can withstand up to eighty pounds. This kind usually has three supports per side, while others only have two. It is also designed to attach the braze-on mounts.
- Front Rack. They offer an additional mounting sport for gear. These racks are optional after a rear rack since they add weight to a bike’s front wheel, which can affect steering and balance. Cyclists who carry large volumes of gear usually have these.
Two Primary Styles of Front Racks
- Standard Rack (Top Mount). The load can be carried above the front wheel and hung off the sides to maximize gear capacity.
- Low Rider Rack. Accepts bags only on the sides but holds the weight on the ground for better balance.
Types of Bike Bags
- Panniers. Best used for carrying everyday essentials, clothes and camping gear, urban rides, and long-distance tours. They are designed for front and rear racks and offer wide storage and protection from the weather. They attach to the racks through spring-loaded hooks and clips or bungee cords.
- Baskets. Best used for a variety of items, such as grocery bags, on fair-weather rides, these can carry items on the front and back of a bicycle if you have a front and back rack. Front baskets are smaller, while rear baskets can carry tall loads since they have no lid.
- Saddle Packs. Best used for carrying small items like multi-tools, spare tubes, tire levers, and patch kits or energy bars. It fits under your bicycle seat and is usually attached to the rails or the saddles themselves.
- Handlebar Packs. Best used for carrying frequently used items such as a camera, sunscreen, and snacks. These are attached to your handlebars with clams or straps. It is easy to access and offers more room than a seat bag.
- Rack Trunks. Best used for carrying a jacket, tools, and food whenever you need a bag that is not as big as a pannier but is not bigger than a seat bag. They are commonly used to carry extra clothes, bike tools, and lunch. It generally offers some sort of pocket system or divided storage that simplifies packing. Some trunk models offer integrated rain covers.
- Frame Bags. Best used to easily keep and access stored food, phones, and tools. It is usually attached to the top tube of your bike. Larger frame bags can also hold hydration reservoirs.
Biking is an innovative way to travel that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Bike racks and bike bags are just a few of the most valuable items that can help cyclists carry their belongings and essentials while traveling on the road no matter if you're on a short trip or a longer excursion.