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How to Attach Bags to a Bike Rack?

How to attach bag to bike rack

What is a Rear Bike Rack?

A bike rack is a unique feature of a bike that you can attach in order to carry loads. A bike rack can be in front or at the rear of your bike. Most bikers set their bike rack at the rear, and it is essential for traveling, running, and carrying other accessories.

How to Attach Bags to a Bike Rack?

In good weather, you can strap items directly to your rack without using a cover. But during bad weather or whenever you want to carry loose items, it may be a better idea to attach rack trunk bags or panniers to your rear rack. These containers should come with slots for inserting straps.

Bormart Cycling Bike Helmet

How to Use a Rear Bike Rack

Most bikes do not come with the rear bike rack, and you will need to attach them manually. Using a bike rack gives bikes additional uses. Some of the ways to use the rear bike rack are listed below.

Carrying Backpacks

Riding a bike with backpacks can be quite tricky because you can easily lose balance, and it can also cause harm to your spinal cord. You can use your rear bike rack to carry bags, and you can use a belt to attach it safely to the rack. One of the most convenient and easiest ways to secure your bags on a rear bike rack is by using the tie-down straps.

Many people carry bags while riding a bike. Surely, this is not always convenient, especially if your bag is big or heavy. However, a bag alone should not stop you from riding.

In fact, it must not stop you from an enjoyable ride. All you have to do is securely attach the bag to the bike and then ride away comfortably. But how do you attach a backpack to a bike? This article will outline some ways to secure your bag, in a moment.

Tour with Your Pets

If you have pets (especially dogs), you can tour around with your dog on the bike rack. You can install a rear bike rack basket over the rear wheel. You can put your puppy there and travel around!

Use It for Baby Seats

You can install a baby seat over the rear bike rack to carry your baby. Although this is relatively safe, you still need to be very careful when riding on the road. It’s best to go riding with your partner or a companion, so that he/ she can keep a lookout for your baby.

As a Food Carrier

You can attach a bike rack bag to carry foodstuff. If you are going on a long trip, this will come in handy.

Best Ways to Place Your Bag on the Rack

If your bag is so small and light that you hardly feel you are carrying it, then strapping it on your body while you ride your bike might not be a problem. But it will be challenging to ride a bike with a medium or big bag. Luckily, bikes have a rear rack.

This video shows how you can fasten a bag to your rear bike rack (Courtesy of Milder Pilger):

One of the functions of the rear rack is to hold bags. This ensures you don’t always have to strap your bag on your body.

However, if you attach your bag to the rack, you must know the best position it so that it will be properly protected. This becomes a larger concern if you have delicate or breakable materials in your bag.

But relax – there are ways you can securely attach bags to a bike so that, even with a rough ride, your gear will be safe. There are two major ways to go about this.

Lean the Bag Against the Saddle

This method is particularly recommended for small or medium-sized bags or backpacks. If your bag or backpack is not too big, it is safer to place the bag on the rear rack while it leans straight up against the saddle. You can then use a bungee cord to tie it securely to the bike. Follow these steps to get it fixed:

  • Place the bag on the rack such that it leans against the saddle
  • Move one strap of the bag over the saddle to fix it to the saddle
  • Move the second strap over the saddle such that it crosses over the first strap
  • Finally, use a cord to hook the bag to the bike
  • Get on your bike and ride away without worrying about the burden of carrying a bag.

If this method is not comfortable because of the size of your bag or because your bag does not have any straps, then there is an alternative.

Lay the Bag Flat on the Rack

If your bag or backpack is big, you can still use the method described above. However, the following method may be more helpful. Lay your big bag or backpack flat on the rear rack and tie it to the bicycle. This involves relatively fewer steps:

  • Place the bag on the rack such that its back is flat on the rack
  • Use a cord to tie it to the bike securely

If both these options do not work for you, you should also consider installing a pannier. Then you can enjoy your ride with confidence that your personal belongings are safe!

How to attach bag to bike rack

Bike Racks to Strap Backpacks

The main benefit of using a bike rack instead of a strapped backpack is that it is far more comfortable, it has a larger capacity, easy to waterproof, and you do not have to worry about sweaty backs.

A backpack is an easy way to carry light stuff that you do not want to leave on the bike. It is ideal if you are only doing a short mountain biking trip, and perhaps staying overnight in a populated town. For longer trips, you can use a bike rack to carry heavy items while riding. This means you do not have to worry about getting a backache while riding.

Installing A Rear Bike Rack

  • Preassemble your rack and make sure the struts that attach the rack to the top part of your bike are already in place.
  • If you have bolts on the top of your frame, remove them with Allen key before you install the rack
  • Install the rack on the rear dropout of your bike
  • Loosely tighten the bolt into the dropout with your Allen key and make sure your rack can still be positioned loosely.
  • Make sure your bike is leveled and bend the struts so that they line up with the hole on the top of the frame.
  • Loosely tighten the bolts with an Allen key to the top of the frame.
  • Once everything is positioned correctly, tighten down all the bolts.

Here is a video on how to install a cargo rack on your mountain bike (credits to velotique):



Bike racks serve a useful function whenever you have to go on a long mountain biking trip. Instead of carrying your heavy backpack on the shoulders, you could strap your bag to the bike rack.