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How To Mount A Bike Rack Without Eyelets

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A bike rack adds great utility to a bike for those that need it. Suddenly, the bike is an efficient cargo carrier as well as being a fun way to travel.

However, not all bikes include an easy means of attaching a rack.

How do you install a bike rack without eyelets or braze-ons on the bike frame?

This article shows you how, possibly making your bike far more versatile than you’d originally thought.

Ways To Mount A Bike Rack Designed For Eyelets On A Bike Without Eyelets

On bikes that are designed to accommodate a bike rack, you’ll typically find eyelets near the dropouts on the rear and front of a bike. Often they come in pairs so you can install fenders, too.

There is a second fixing point for a bike rack, traditionally. At the rear, it will also attach to braze-ons located towards the top of the seat stays. At the front, the rack is usually secured behind the brake caliper at the top of the fork.

These are the features you need to replace if you want to install a bike rack with no obvious point of installation. So, how to do it?

P-Clamps (Fork Blades & Seat Stays)

P-Clamps are PVC-coated metal clamps with built-in eyelets. You fix them to the frame in appropriate places to provide fixing points for a rack. That will be on the fork blades at the front and the seat stays at the rear.

You use a bolt to tighten the P-clamps to the frame. It’s important not to overtighten clamps on a carbon frame (around 5 Nm is usually safe).

Video: About P Clamps (For Fenders In This Case)

Seatpost Clamps

A seatpost may be the second fixing point for a rear bike rack, or it’s the only fixing point in some cases. You can buy seatpost clamps that act as upper eyelets for a rear bike rack, replacing missing braze-ons.

Bike racks that are designed to fix only to the seat post will often include an integral seatpost clamp. Shims are supplied so it can be adapted to any seatpost diameter.

Video: Seatpost Rack On A Road Bike

Saddle Rails

Saddle rails are also sometimes used to support a rear bike rack in place of braze-ons and eyelets. This is the case with the Arkel Randonneur Rack, for instance. This can be used with a carbon seatpost as long as it also attaches to metal saddle rails.

All manner of racks and harnesses fix to both the seatpost and the saddle rails.

Video: Seatpost + Saddle Rail Bike Rack

Quick Release & Thru Axles (Rear Wheel)

Some rear bike racks are designed to be secured by a quick release skewer, which can be of a standard size or elongated. If it’s the latter, it will be supplied with the rack. The upper part of the rack secures to the frame in front of the caliper brake.

Other bike racks are similarly designed to work on disc-brake bikes with thru axles. These come with special replacement thru axles and “pucks” for attaching the upper part of the rack to seat stays.

Video: Thru Axle Bike Rack Review

Best Bike Racks For A Bike Without Eyelets

Bike racks are handy to have on a bike, since they frequently prevent you from having to bear weight on your back or hang luggage from your handlebar. They’re especially easy to install if you have eyelets and braze-ons for them on your bike.

A plus side of bike racks without eyelets is that they’ll fit onto a wider variety of bikes. You can put them on a sleek road bike or an MTB. The downside is always the chance of not being able to install the rack or having to improvise the installation.

 Below are some of the best bike racks for bikes without eyelets or braze-ons.

1. Thule Pack ‘N’ Pedal Tour Rack (Seat Stay or Fork Type) – Best Overall

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

• Weight: 2.42 lb.
• Weight Capacity: 25 lb. (rear), 22 lb. (front)
• Material: Nylon, steel, aluminum

For a sturdy rack that fits to the rear or front of a bike without eyelets or braze-ons, look at the Thule Pack ‘N’ Pedal Tour Rack. The rack comes with all the requisite parts for installation and fixes either to your bike’s seat stays or fork blades.

The maximum 25 lb. (11.3 kg) weight capacity at the rear is more generous than you might imagine for such a compact rack.

Other features of the Thule Pack ‘N’ Pedal Tour Rack include adjustable side rails and deck for maximum heel clearance, an integrated light or reflector mount, and a vibration-free performance.

What we like:

  • Versatility – fits almost any bike, including full sus MTBs and road bikes
  • Installation – easy to install
  • Strong – carries surprisingly heavy loads for its size
  • Adjust – adjustable clearance so you don’t catch heels when pedaling

What we don’t like:

  • Cost – great brand but still an expensive product

2. Origin8 Rush Messenger Front Flat Rack (Axle Type) – Best Value

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

• Weight: 2.26 lb.
• Weight Capacity: 55 lb.
• Material: 6061 aluminum alloy

One of the strongest racks you could hope to buy is the Origin8 Rush Messenger Front Flat Rack, which attaches to the front axle and the brake caliper hole. This rack is ideal for various bikes, including MTBs and road bikes.

A handy rear guard prevents cargo from crashing into the head tube or tangling with cables. This is definitely a bike rack you can trust. You can also keep an eye on your cargo as you ride, which is sometimes a good thing.

What we like

  • Construction – confidence-inspiring build quality
  • Versatility – suits 26″, 27.5″, 29″ and 700c wheels
  • Protects – rear guard separates cargo from front end of bike
  • Value – as strong a rack as you’re likely to get for your money

What we don’t like

  • Puzzle – arrives without instructions, so fitting may take longer than it should

3. Blackburn Local Basket (Quick Release Type) – Most Versatile

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Weight: 2.52 lb.
  • Weight Capacity: 45 lb. (rear), 22 lb. (front)
  • Material: Aluminum

A bike rack that can go on the front or back of various bikes and can attach in several ways is the Blackburn Local Basket. Where eyelets aren’t present, the rack fixes to an extended quick release lever at its lower fixing point.

The top of the rack attaches to a cantilever brake mount if braze-ons are not present. Blackburn also supplies P-Clamps to go on the seat stays of MTB and recreational bikes. One way or another, you can probably get this on your bike.

Overall, this is a sturdy rack that can carry an impressive 45 lb. on the rear.

What we like:

  • Versatility – several installation options & front/rear compatibility
  • Adjustability – height and width adjustable to fit most MTB or road wheel sizes
  • Extras – comes with a cargo net to keep shopping or other items in place
  • Lock – narrow space at edge ideal for carrying a U-lock

What we don’t like:

Extra cost – you must buy the QR skewer separately in the absence of eyelets

4. Topeak RX BeamRack with Side Frame (Seat Post Type) – Best for Commuting

CHECK PRICE AT REI

• Weight: 1.2 lb.
• Weight Capacity: 15 lb.
• Material: 6061 T6 aluminum alloy

Racks that attach only to the seatpost are among the easiest to install, as is the case with the Topeak RX BeamRack with Side Frame. You need to fit it to an aluminum seatpost rather than carbon.

This rack comes with shims, so you can install it on seatposts of any diameter from 25.4 to 31.8mm.

The Topeak RX BeamRack with Side Frame is parts of the manufacturer’s QuickTrack system, making it compatible with Topeak RX TrunkBags. You can attach your own third-party panniers and bags to it as well.

What we like:

  • Quality – well-made rack from a reputable brand
  • Install – straightforward to install, unlike some racks
  • Lightweight – ideal for a road bike commuter

What we don’t like:

  • Seatpost – you can’t safely use this type of rack on a carbon seatpost

5. Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack (P-Clamp Type) – Best Budget

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Weight: 1.5 lb.
  • Weight Capacity: 55 lb.
  • Material: 6061 aluminum

The Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack is impressively robust for the money and can support up to 55 lb. in weight. It fixes to the bike using P-Clamps and the bike’s brake assembly. It’s unsuitable for disc-brake bikes.

Installation of this rack is easy. It comes with instructions and the necessary parts. The rack fits to most types of bike, including e-bikes, with 26”, 29” and 700c wheels.

What we like:

  • Price – nicely made product for the money
  • Easy – installation is straightforward in most cases
  • Strong – oversized aluminum tubes can hold up to 55 lb.

What we don’t like:

  • Compatibility – won’t fit on all bikes

Rack Off – Conclusion

You can install a rack on almost any type of bike and turn it into a formidable cargo-carrying machine.

It’s exciting to repurpose a bike for endeavors like commuting, shopping, touring or delivering goods. We hope you enjoyed this article and that it gave you a few ideas?

Please feel free to leave a comment or share it on social.

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Bike Push - Mark W
Mark W
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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