Pannier Racks are an accessory that we put on our bike to hook our pannier, which allows us to transport a specific load in a comfortable and balanced way.
How to Choose Panniers?
We must choose them based on the weight or duration of the route we want to ride. In this way we can assess the best part of the bike to place them. The panniers will determine the weight, stability and mobility of the bike.
These are ideal for carrying valuables (keys, wallet, camera, etc.) and are very common among road cyclists. The only drawback is the weight (7-8 litres maximum), more limited than in the case of the rear saddlebags, and that being placed on the handlebar can hinder the manoeuvrability of the bicycle.
By placing the weight on the back of the bicycle it balances better. The capacity depends on each model, but generally they allow you to carry more weight than on the handlebar, without exceeding 10 kg, especially if they are on a luggage rack connected to the seatpost. They can also be placed on classic rear luggage racks. This allows us to carry bigger loads, if the size permits.
Panniers are fixed on the sides of the rear or front rack. Generally, brands have at least two sizes per model. The smaller ones are usually recommended to carry a weight of no more than 25 litres. This capacity is usually sufficient in most cases, for example for short trips or in the city, since a loaded bicycle requires a greater effort, especially uphill. This factor must be taken into account depending on the type of terrain we are going to ride on. The larger models can usually hold between 40 and 50 litres and tend to be aimed for longer trips, usually several weeks or months.
Panniers are not recommended to be used in MTB, where it is better to use ordinary saddle or handlebar bags or, at most, to carry an additional front bag on the handlebar, since the weight will limit your ability to ride MTB routes in reasonable conditions. On the other hand, they can be used without problems if you are going to travel mostly by road, paths and forest tracks.
How to Choose the Pannier Rack?
Rear Frame Pannier Racks
Pannier racks that are attached to the bike stays are the best solution for transporting objects without problems and with greater safety. They are made of aluminium or steel, are lightweight and very reliable, and can carry loads of up to 25 kg. They can transport a baby carrier for children, as well as bicycle bags and saddlebags. They should be chosen according to the type of bicycle.
- Type of Frame: first of all, we must carefully observe the seat and chain stays of our bike to determine whether or not our bike frame features eyelets that we can screw the rack to. Most mid-range and low-end bicycles usually have these. In order to use this type of rack, it is essential that our bike has these eyelets in the stays, but if it doesn’t we can attach the luggage rack with clamps. In the case of higher end, carbon and full-suspension frames which do not have any type of hole we should use luggage racks that are fixed by replacing the bottom bracket of the rear wheel. These are usually more expensive, but are compatible with any type of bicycle, except for carbon, where the use of frame racks is not recommended.
- Type of Brakes: we must choose our pannier racks depending on whether our bike uses disk or caliper brakes. Racks for disc brakes are compatible with any type of brake, so they can be used for more than one bike and are not much more expensive.
- Wheel Diameter: there are specific luggage racks for each MTB wheel: 26", 27.5" and 29". For 28" (road, bicycle touring, urban bikes, etc.), in most cases we can use both a 27.5" and a 29" luggage rack.
These are unusual since when it comes to carrying panniers on your bike, it is always recommended to start at the back in order to better balance the bicycle. They are usually chosen according to the type of wheel, fork (hardtail or suspension) and brakes. They are useful for in the city or for bicycles without eyelets in the frame.
Seat Post Racks
The main feature of this type of pannier rack is that it is fixed to the seat post. Their main advantage is that you can use them on any bike, including those with full suspension or carbon (with aluminium stem). Their disadvantage is that, you can only carry a maximum of about 10 kg. This will limit the amount you can carry both by weight and space, however, for trips in spring or summer in hot weather this should be enough.
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