Bicycle Luggage Racks
Shopping Advice (scroll past the advice to the products if you like)
Folding Steel Racks use a sprung top to secure the luggage and are the cheapest rack option. These are fairly flexible and therefore prone to breaking from fatigue. Suitable for light loads and short rides, and easier to use for this purpose than the dearer options. Designed to fit onto a standard axle (not quick release) and a standard seat bolt (not allen key or quick release) they are therefore in the way when removing the rear wheel to fix a puncture. They will often sit at at funny angle on the bike unless bent into shape to suit each particular bike. You won't find any of these for sale from us!
Alloy Touring Racks are rigid racks, sometimes with some triangulation provided by the rear stays to reduce side sway. They are designed for hanging panniers from, but you can of course load the top of them also with an elastic strap or similar.
Heavy Duty Touring Racks for round-the-world touring. Not too common, but if you're intending some serious touring, we can get some Tubus or Surly tubular cromoly racks in for you. They're not cheap. Tubus rack/s come as standard on the Vivente World Randonneur touring bikes.
Racks for Bikes with Disc Brakes Cable operated disc brakes, and the now uncommon Hayes Sole hydraulic disc brake have wide caliper bodies that interfere with the fitting of a rear rack. For a rack to work with these it needs to sit wide of the bike, then come back in to the lower rack mounts, below the disc caliper. We don't like all the answers to this problem that we've seen, but we do like the design and strength of the Topeak disc brake compatible racks. If you have hydraulic disc brakes, you should be able to use a standard luggage rack, which will be both cheaper and stronger than a disc-brake specific rack.
Seat Post Mounted Racks for easy fitting and removal, and the ability to fit to dual suspension bikes. We stock one from Topeak, as well as from time to time a cheaper option. These racks are suitable for light loads only.
Front Racks similar to the rear Alloy Touring Racks used to be reasonably common, back in the days before suspension forks and disc brakes became common. They came in either standard or "low-rider" format but we now keep none of these in stock. If you want a front luggage rack we suggest using the Thule Pack 'n' Pedal Tour Rack (formerly called the Freeload Rack). It's a brilliant and simple piece of design; easy to use and it will mount, it seems, on any bike, front or rear.
Racks for Dual Suspension Bikes Rear suspension prevents the use of standard touring racks as there would be movement between the top and bottom attachment points. The Thule Pack 'n' Pedal rack can be used on dual suspension bikes though, on the back or on the front.