Attach your backpack to a bike rack

Svetlana November 11 2021

A bicycle rack is a device to which bicycles can be securely attached for parking.

Types of bike racks:

  • Covered: Covered bike racks offer protection from the elements and hide unattractive bikes.
  • Dock: Dock bicycle racks provide a place where several bicycles can be parked in a compact manner, often without contacting one another or a building. These are becoming more prevalent in Europe and have been successfully introduced to North America by companies such as Dero. Such devices have been used to enable bicycle transportation via train or bus, e.g., at many railway stations and long-distance buses. In some cases, these types of racks may also support other utility cycling activities such as delivery services or transport of goods by bicycle;

How much does it cost?

It costs less than $20, depending on the style and where you purchase it from.

Where can I find one?

If you don't have a bike rack or basket, buy one at a local outdoor gear store such as Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), American Alpine Club Shop, REI, Fleet Feet. If your school doesn't already provide this service, you might suggest it to the administration. It would benefit the biking community greatly! You could also check out thrift shops, garage sales, or Goodwill because they sometimes sell used racks for very cheap. There's no need to spend lots of money on a new one.

How to attach a bike rack to the vehicle?

Attach a rack to the frame of your vehicle with a clamp on the seat tube, just behind the head tube. You will want one that is 16mm-20mm in diameter for this application and will optimize it by placing a metal band around the circumference. Now attach a hook at either end which can be turned up so as to firmly lodge beneath the bottom bar of your bike's frame when you lift it into position;

How do I attach a backpack to a bike rack?

Purchase a bike rack and attach it to your bike. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Put the backpack's upper loops on top of the horizontal bar of the bike rack and lower loop around one vertical bar.
  2. Pull straps out and tighten them as necessary for a secure fit on the rack.
  3. To ensure no sway, push down with feet evenly on both pedals then lean weight onto handlebars to check that there is no motion in the rack or strap before riding off.

How can I attach baskets to a bike rack?

Purchase two baskets, attach them to your bike. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Put upper loops on top of the horizontal bar of the bike rack and lower loop around one vertical bar.
  2. Pull straps out and tighten for a secure fit on the rack.

How can I attach a saddle bag to a bike rack?

Purchase a saddle bag, attach it to your bike. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Put the saddle bag's upper loops on top of the horizontal bar of the bike rack and lower loop around one vertical bar.
  2. Pull straps out and tighten them as necessary for a secure fit on the rack. 

How can I attach panniers to a bike rack?

Purchasing pannier racks that bolt onto existing eyelets or special aftermarket mounts will work best (not clip-on). If using an adjustable rearview mirror along with a rear rack on your bike, please ensure that it is adjusted to be parallel with the ground instead of pointing out and up in order to provide you with proper rearward visibility. With panniers mounted high in the back, oftentimes one's view of what's coming behind them is blocked by the bag itself.

What bike bag is safer to use?

A kid's backpack is more likely to slip off the side of the rack, but you might want to stick with one that has a waist belt or chest strap. Backpacks are generally more weather-resistant than duffel bags, and they tend to be lower profile as well (meaning less chance of them hitting your car as you drive down the road).

Backpacks usually fit better on bike racks because they can be cinched tightly to the rack, and sometimes have loops for a bungee cord. Duffle bags are usually too fat to fit well. In addition, backpacks also carry your gear close to your body – meaning that if you fall, it's less likely that the pack will fall with you – which is a safety feature.

Why do I need to secure bike bags?

To lower the chance of theft, you should always secure your bike bags to the rack with a lock. The reason why you need to secure it is that if the car gets hit too hard, then there's less likelihood that your bag will be thrown from the vehicle as a result. It also protects against thieves who want to steal what they can from bicycles and backpacks without getting caught.

There are different ways of securing your bags, so it really depends on how you want to go about doing this. Some people prefer using a heavy-duty type of wire that can be wrapped around both where the bag is attached and also through its handle, while others will just use bungee cords.

Conclusion

Backpacks should be placed on bike racks with the back of the backpack facing forward. The backpack's upper loops should be put on top of the horizontal bar of the bike rack and lower loop around one vertical bar. Its straps should be pulled out and tightened for a secure fit on the rack. Its feet should closely press down evenly and lean weight onto handlebars to check if it is motionless before riding off.