The best rear bike racks you can buy (2024)


Written by James Brains

The best rear bike racks you can buy (1)

Amazon/Business Insider
  • A high-quality rear bike rack should be easy to install on many different types of bike frames, durable enough to handle your loads in any type of weather, and versatile enough to accommodate a variety of baskets, bags, and panniers.
  • The Topeak Explorer Rack is our top pick because it's made of durable 6061 aluminum alloy, can hold up to 55 pounds of cargo, and is backed by a two-year warranty.

The best rear bike racks you can buy (2)

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If you are interested in commuting, touring, running errands, or otherwise hauling gear with your bike, you'll need a good rear bike rack. Rear bike racks attach to the back of your bike and feature rails that you can use to secure panniers, bags, baskets, and other items. They also accommodate bungees and netting for attaching items.

Without a rack, hooking a basket, pannier, or trunk bag onto your bike is incredibly difficult. Fortunately, many bikes that are designed for commuters come with racks already installed. However, if you don't have a rack and are interested in using your bike to haul cargo, instead of your car, this guide is for you.

Rear bike racks are often just called "bike racks" but that's problematic since the term "bike rack" can refer to the rack you put on your vehicle to transport your bike from one spot to another or the rack you lock your bike to when out and about. This guide is about the rack you install on the back of your bike to help you carry items around. If you're looking for a car bike rack, you should check out this guide.

Not all rear bike racks work with all bikes so be careful when shopping. For example, if your bike has disc brakes, you need to make sure you choose a model specifically designed to work on disc brakes. Most racks feature stays that attach to braze-on mounts or eyelets near the bottom rear of your frame. Yet, this is not always the case.

If your bike doesn't have eyelets, which are found on most bikes designed for commuting and adventuring, look for options that work without eyelets. For instance, seat post-mounted racks are a solid solution for most styles of bikes. Though, their main downfall is they cannot hold as much weight.

You may want to consider buying panniers and trunk bags from the same company that makes your rack. The advantage of this is the bags will clip onto and off of the rack seamlessly — a great convenience.

While researching the best bike cargo racks, we examined hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of models. Our guide features racks with a track record of durability, performance, versatility, and ease of installation.

Here are the best rear bike racks you can buy:

The best overall

The best rear bike racks you can buy (5)


If you want a cargo rack that is durable, fits a wide array of bike frames, and can handle heavier loads, the Topeak Explorer Rack is the best solution.

Topeak got its start in 1991 making multitools and toolboxes for cycling enthusiasts. Since then, the company has expanded its line-up to include bike pumps, safety accessories, baskets, panniers, and more. The Topeak Explorer Rack is designed to work with bags from any manufacturer, but the rack works best for fast mounting and removal of the Topeak MTX series of bags.

The Explorer rack comes in three styles: the popular spring-free version that fits most bikes, the spring-free version designed for bikes with disc brakes, and the spring version that allows you to secure smaller items without using bungees.

Each style is made of 6061 hollow aluminum, a strong, yet lightweight material commonly used in building aircraft. The rack only weighs one-and-a-third pounds. Topeak backs the quality of the rack with a two-year limited warranty.

Wirecutter recommends the Topeak Explorer Rack because it felt the most stable carrying heavy panniers and was the easiest to install on several types of bikes. The reviewer liked that there are flexible attachment arms and a significant amount of wheel clearance, which makes it great for just about any bike frame. It also carried four gallons of milk without a problem.

The Topeak Explorer Rack has positive reviews from about 87% of the buyers who rated it on Amazon. For the most part, reviewers are thrilled with their purchase. There are several comments about how easy it is to install and how sturdy it is. A few buyers also bought the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag, which slides onto the rack with ease. The biggest complaint was that the rack did not fit some buyers' bikes out of the box. However, these buyers were able to find workarounds and found the added hassle was well worth it.

Pros: Versatile, easy to install, fits a broad range of bike frames, heavy-duty construction, holds up to 55 pounds of cargo

Cons: Expensive, may require additional hardware for some bike types

The best budget

The best rear bike racks you can buy (6)


The Schwinn Folding Rear Rack is a well-made, affordable cargo rack that can help you transport lighter loads from point A to point B.

Perhaps no name is better known in the cycling world than Schwinn. Now a sub-brand of Pacific Cycles, which is owned by Dorel Industries, Schwinn has been manufacturing bicycles and accessories for well over a century.

The Schwinn Folding Rear Rackfits 26, 27, and 700c bikes using its fully adjustable seat stay arms and struts. The lightweight aluminum alloy gives it a weight of around one pound. A built-in bracket allows you to attach a rear light or reflector for added safety.

We could only find one expert review of the Schwinn Folding Rear Rack. Jen Reviews recommends it because the reviewer found it fits numerous types of bikes. She appreciates that it can handle heavy loads despite its light weight. And, it has remained rust-free.

Approximately 67% of the buyers who reviewed the Schwinn Folding Rear Rack on Amazon gave it four or five stars. Riders with several different bike frames remark that they enjoy this rack, including one buyer who has a folding bike with a 20-inch wheel. On the flip side, the cargo rack accommodates a broad range of bags.

There are other reviews that mention that the aluminum alloy appears to be quite durable, and the rack has an attractive look. The most common complaint is that the rack doesn't support a lot of weight. It's rated for 26 pounds.

Pros: Adjusts to fit many different bike types, inexpensive, durable aluminum alloy construction

Cons: Only holds up to 26 pounds

The best for heavy loads

The best rear bike racks you can buy (7)


Not only can the Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack support heavy loads, but it's also backed with a lifetime warranty from a company focused on sustainable practices.

We like Planet Bike because the company is committed to providing sustainable solutions, including free parts. So, if one of its products breaks, it can be fixed rather than tossed into a landfill and replaced.

The Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack is made of heavy-duty, oversized 6061 aluminum, which is an alloy known for stability and strength. It fits 26-inch, 650b, 700c, and 29-inch bikes. The bike is rated to hold up to 55 pounds, but many buyers assert it can handle more.

The Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack is one of two bike racks recommended by The Wirecutter, the other being our top pick. The reviewer was impressed with how easy it was to install and that it performed well under heavy loads. However, she would have liked it if the rack had another stay to support the platform and provide more stability.

More than 220 Amazon buyers have left four- or five-star reviews of the Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack. Barry G., the most helpful reviewer, was surprised that he was actually able to sit on the rack with his whole weight (180 pounds). Overall, he likes it, but he noted that he had to modify the front steel braces to fit his bike right.

Several buyers mention that the rack is quick to install, especially on standard modern hybrid frames. A few reviewers mention that you may need to bend the rack a bit to fit your frame just right.

Pros: Rated to hold 55 pounds, quick install, made of oversized 6061 tubular aluminum, limited lifetime warranty

Cons: May require additional hardware to install, not compatible with disk brakes

The best seat post-mounted rack

The best rear bike racks you can buy (8)


Thanks to its seat-post mount, the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier works with most bikes without additional hardware.

The attractive design of the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier is what makes it stand out. Rather than relying on a frame's eyelets, this model is easily mounted to your seat post using a bolt and held in place tight with rubber shims.

Therefore, it's ideal for bikes with disc brakes, which can get in the way of installing most cargo racks. The seat-post mount also gives your rack a floating-in-thin-air look. Because it is mounted in this way, there's a somewhat-low 22-pound weight limit. The rack is made of extruded, die-cast, heat-treated anodized aluminum, which is known for its durability.

Jen Reviews recommends the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier as the best rear bike rack. The reviewer found the anodized aluminum held up well in all sorts of weather without rusting. She also had an easy time installing it and noted that it was ideal for light loads. However, the main downfall is that it didn't seem as durable as bolt-mounted racks.

More than 280 Amazon buyers gave the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier five stars. There are a few complaints about the weld and clamp failing published about four years ago. This issue does not come up in any of the more recent reviews, which suggests Ibera has fixed this problem.

Other than that, buyers appear to enjoy their experience with this cargo rack. There are a few commenters who recommend purchasing the Ibera Bike Trunk Bag to go with it for easy attachment and removal.

Pros: Attractive design, seat post-mount, easy installation, compatible with most bike types

Cons: Durability concerns, only carries up to 22 pounds

The best quick-release rack

The best rear bike racks you can buy (9)


The Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack features a quick-release design so you can easily remove it and reinstall it on your bike or another.

The Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack is unique because it has a quick-release clamp that makes it simple to put on and take off without the use of tools.

It's designed to be mounted to seat posts with diameters between .85 and 1.3 inches and comes with spacers and shams to ensure a tight fit. The seat tube mount makes it easy to use the rack with wheels of any size.

The rack is made of anodized aluminum and weighs 1.5 pounds. An elastic cord is included so you can immediately start securing items without the need of a pannier. It's easy to mount and remove thanks to the quick-release design.

Around 66% of the Amazon buyers who reviewed the Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack gave it five stars.

The most helpful reviewer, Chase A., appreciated how sturdy the rack is for being so light. He also noted that it's made from excellent materials and looks great on his bike. However, he wasn't impressed with the silver handle that screws the mount tighter since it stopped working after a few spins. This caused the rack to fly off. He fixed the problem with an M6 x 20 Hex screw and an M15 washer.

Other buyers mention that it takes a little finessing to put the rack on, especially when using the spacers.

Pros: Quick release makes it easy to remove, rugged construction, attaches to the seat post

Cons: Hard to mount quickly, the quick release has questionable durability, maximum load weight of 20 pounds

What else we considered

The best rear bike racks you can buy (10)


While researching this guide, we considered dozens of products. There were a few that barely missed the cut. Here are some excellent alternatives we also examined:

  • Outtag Retractable Rear Seat Post Rack ($16.99): There is a lot to like about this Outtag rack. It costs less than $20, installs effortlessly, and adjusts from 14.2 inches to 19.7 inches from your seat post. A few expert sites also recommend this cargo rack. We chose not to include it because there are several buyer complaints about it breaking easily under weights well below the 22 pounds it is rated for.
  • Dirza Rear Bike Rack ($27.99): The Dirza rack comes with a lot of extras, including a reflector you can mount on the back, cargo net, and a bungee-like wire. The company also claims that it can hold up to 120 pounds. We chose not to include it because there is a broad array of bike types it won't fit, and we weren't able to find any firsthand expert reviews.
  • Axiom DLX Streamliner Disc Cycle Rack ($46.99): With a 4.6-star average customer rating, this is one of the highest-rated racks on Amazon. It's made of heavy-duty 10.2mm tubular 6061 T6 aluminum alloy. However, the rack requires modifications to fit some types of bike frames, and we couldn't dig up any useful expert reviews of the rack. As we update this guide, the Axiom rack may make the cut.
  • Schwinn Alloy Rear Rack ($14.96): Schwinn is excellent at making affordable bike accessories, and this seat post-mounted option is no exception. We like that there are durable side rails on the rack so you have an extra spot to tie down panniers. The reason we chose not to include it is that it has a relatively low rating on Amazon (3.8-star average), which is apparently due to buyers experiencing installation issues.
  • Thule Unisex Pack 'n Pedal Tour Rear Bike Rack ($114.95): This is another rack we chose to pass on because there were so many negative buyer reviews. Despite the ultra-durable construction (it can support 55 pounds), we were turned off by the high price, more than twice as much as our top pick. However, Thule is a trustworthy name in the cycling world, and the company backs its rack with a five-year warranty.
James Brains

Senior Reporter, Business Insider Reviews

James is a Senior Reporter for Business Insider Reviews, specializing in sleep, HVAC, and kitchen appliances.He has tested more than 90 mattresses from startups like Casper and legacy brands like Tempur-Pedic, using his background in experimental psychology to develop objective tests and evaluate comfort, support, motion transfer, and more. He authors our guide to the best mattresses.In addition to being Business Insider Reviews' mattress expert, James has extensively covered air fryers, bidets, air conditioners, air purifiers, and anything you put on your mattress, including weighted blankets and pillows.He's a multifaceted writer who has covered everything from health and fitness to consumer technology. His mission is to help people get the most value for their money by guiding them in making informed buying decisions.James lives in Lansing, Michigan, with his wife, two kids, and a rambunctious rat terrier.When James isn't testing products and writing for Business Insider, he runs a popular local Facebook group, Lansing Foodies;hosts a local news segment called Foodie Friday;and puts on the Olive Burger Festival.See below for some of his work:

  • The 13 best mattresses of 2024, tested and reviewed
  • Travel guru Rick Steves never checks a bag. Here are the 25 things he always packs in his carry-on.
  • I toured 8 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – here are the 16 best whiskeys I tried and where to buy them
  • The 6 best air fryers of 2024, tested by our expert
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  • How bidets changed my life, for better and for worse

Contact info: jbrains@businessinsider.comLearn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here.Learn more about how we test kitchen products.


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