What to look for when loading your bike up with luggage – and some of the best options on the market
The first time you ride a bike with a rack and loaded panniers fitted, the sensations is somewhat alien. When full, panniers can add a substantial amount of weight to bike.
However, if you’re carrying a heavy load, then placing the weight on your bike can certainly save your shoulders and back from undue stress – and you won’t get the sweaty triangle associated with a backpack.
Pannier racks and panniers are popular among commuters, touring cyclists and anyone who needs to carry a substantial volume – they’re great for day-to-day tasks like food shopping, too.
Pannier bags need to sit on pannier racks – and thus setting yourself up is a story of two halfs. Here’s a look at what to look for with each component, and some product suggestions…
Firstly, not all bikes are designed to have pannier racks fitted with ease – so you’ll need to ensure your bike is suitable before you go and buy a rack. A compatible bike will have eyelets for panniers near the tops of the seatstays and sometimes specific rack mount eyes next to the mudguard eyes above the rear dropouts.
If your bike doesn’t have eyelets, you can buy mounting systems which attach directly to the frame and rear axle. Alternatively, there are loads of frame and saddle