If you are in the market for a rear bike rack you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for a rear bike rack for bikepacking or bike touring your bound to find it here. Do you need one thats going to be strong enough to hold panniers with all your world traveling gear stuffed inside or do you need one to carry a change of clothes and minimal gear for a quick overnighter?
In this article I’ll walk you through the most popular rear bike racks that bikepackers and bicycle tourers from all over the world agree on. These models are rear bike racks that have been personally recommend to us from experienced globe trotters. And if these racks work great for them, they’ll definitely be up to the task of helping you carry all your essentials.
A rear bike rack for bikepacking provides a stable place to hold gear on your bike. In good weather, gear can be strapped directly to the rack. For nasty weather or to hold loose items together, bags such as panniers can be attached to the rear rack.
Rear bike racks are usually rated to hold loads between 20 and 50 pounds, which is enough for most. A few heavy-duty touring models can carry up to 80 pounds. These racks typically have three supports per side while others may have only two.
Rear bike racks are designed to bolt to the braze-on mounts that many bikes are now built with. If your bike does’t have braze-ons, you can still mount a rack using metal C clips usually included with the mounting hardware of most racks. These clips wrap around your bike’s seat and chain stay tubes to accept the lower mounting bolt.
Keep in mind that not all rear bike racks are not created equal. Some rear bike racks for bikepacking will be able to accommodate disc brakes and others won’t so make sure the rack that you are considering purchasing is compatible.
A few of these racks don’t rely on your bike having eyelets to mount them while others do. Take note as to what your bike requires before getting one shipped to your place only to figure out that it won’t work with your bikepacking steed.
Also be sure that the rack you purchase is compatible with the type of panniers you plan on using. Most pannier manufactures will list what types of racks will work best for their panniers.
If you happen to get a rack and pannier set that doesn’t exactly fit together properly the panniers could rub or snag the wheel while riding. Take a look at this article for some pannier options.
In short, here are the best rear bike racks for bikepacking and bike touring.
- Topeak Uni Super Tourist DX
- Topeak Super Tourist DX Pannier Rack
- Tubus Rear Racks
- Nitto Rear Racks
- Ibera Rear Rack
- Tailfin Pannier Racks
- Velo Orange Campeur Rear Rack
- Blackburn Outpost Rear World Touring Rack
- Axiom Journey Transit
- Old Man Mountain Rear Racks
- Surly Nice Rack
- Salsa Wanderlust HD Rear Rack
- Blackburn Outpost Rear Rack
- Blackburn Central
- State Bicycle Universal Rear Rack
- Aeroe Spider Rear Rack
- Salsa Alternator Plus Rear Rack
- Specialized Elite Rear Rack
- Topeak MTX Beam Rear Rack
This rear bike rack is extremely popular with a lot of bikepackers. This one-size-fits-all aluminum tubular rear rack is outfitted with adjustable legs to fit most touring bikes with disc brakes. Best suited for bikes that have 24”-29” wheels with disc brakes.
Designed with heavy loaded long-distance touring in mind. This rack has an integrated side bar that delivers a lower pannier connection point allowing more space for extra cargo to be positioned on top of the rack.
This rear rack is similar to the Uni Super Tourist rack previously mentioned but is better suited for a traditional rim brake setup. It also comes highly recommended because of its price and universal fit. It has two horizontal bars that can accommodate Ortlieb panniers on the bottom, and a Topeak DX MTX Trunkbag on the top.
If you have a touring bike with rim brakes this would be one of the best options for you. It’s Topeaks toughest tubular aluminum rear rack designed for heavy-duty, long distance touring. An integrated side bar provides a lower pannier attachment point allowing more space for cargo on top of the rack.
Tubus makes some of the best racks out there along with Old Man Mountain. They claim to have the strongest rear racks in this price range and some customers would agree. The Tubus racks give you the option to hang your bags a little lower for better handling, and also gives you more clearance to strap gear to the top. If I was in the market for the best rear bike rack for bikepacking and bike touring I would definitely consider this one.
However, some have reported these racks to be a PITA to install.
The Tubus Logo Classic Rear Rack is their highly popular option when it comes to rear bike racks for bikepacking and bike touring.
Nitto makes a variety of robust and very efficient bike racks, even some for your rando bags. However, this Nitto Big Back Rack, is one of the finest, strongest, and most beautiful pannier capable rack I’ve ever seen. Nitto makes it from 9mm tubular chromoly then is nickel-plated so it’ll look good forever.
If you are after a light-weight bike rack made from carbon that is solid and tough, this is the rear rack for you. The folks over at Tailfin have built some utterly unique rack systems that are sure to be like nothing you’ve seen before. They even offer a laptop case that can be attached where the pannier would mount.
If you are hunting for a heavy-duty rear bike rack for touring that is purpose built for diehard touring, then this is one of the best choices. Featuring a wrap-around lower bar to help keep the weight low and for easy pannier removal, even if the top is loaded.
Made from stainless steel tubes and polished finish, it offers solid rust and fatigue resistance. Fits most bikes with 26″, 650b, 700c, and 27″ wheels.
Constructed of durable Easton Scandium and 6061 aluminum, this rack retains stiffness without weighing your bike down, and it give you with the option of either mounting your panniers high or low. Blackburn also included enough space to attach a rear light or reflector and constructed the rack with a narrow width to keep the weight as close to the center as possible for a stable ride.
Once you’re all packed up, the Outpost Touring Rack can carry up to 55lbs of gear. And since it’s compatible with; 26, 27.5, and 700c wheels, disc or caliper brakes, this rack will most likely fit your ride. Blackburn also includes a lifetime warranty.
This rack is a great option if you’re looking for something that offers lots of clearance. The sides of the rack bow outward slightly so that the panniers hang at an angle and the short bar at the bottom used to secure your bags extends out further creating a very small area for the weight to rest on.
It also sits pretty far back making centering the weight with the rear axle nearly impossible. This rack comes recommended by a few world tourers, but I am not confident it’s the best option due to other reviews.
If you are after something with better value than the previous Blackburn rack this might be a good option for you. Made from hand-welded, tubular 10.2mm 6061 T6 aluminum this rack comes with a generous platform size that is optimized for top loading, such as trunk bags and rear baskets.
The 280mm extension arms are just long enough to fit even the smallest of bikes and can be bent to shape without compromising the strength due to their bridged construction. Double welded for that extra bit of strength and long-term durability.
They also include a reflector/light mount and of course all the mounting hardware you need to get going. It has a load capacity of 110 lbs and the rack itself weighs just 1.21 lbs.
For the budget friendly price, this rack is surprisingly strong and light. It has a great weight capacity and is fairly light, the aluminum construction is nicely welded. Be aware that some users have mentioned that the stays or legs on this rack can be a little too short for some bikes.
Old Man Mountain have some of the strongest and most durable racks on the planet and the great thing about them is that they work well with pretty much any bike. As they use a thru axle fastener design. The rack above is the Sherpa Classic Frame which is able to carry up to 70 lbs! If you invest in a Sherpa Rack Frame and multiple Fit Kits you’ll be able to mount it to the front or rear of your bike.
The tubing of the rack is made of 6063 welded aluminum. The beauty of Old Man Mountain is the modular design of the rack frame and Fit Kit. The Fit Kit contains all the parts and pieces that you need to install the rack onto your bike. Fit Kit includes: thru axle, extenders, dropouts, OMM Pucks, and all the hardware needed for installation.
I hope this list of the best rear racks for bikepacking and bike touring helps you decide what will work best for your application.
If you find that some of these racks are unavailable or know of some I should add to the list please let me know by clicking here and sending us an email.
Be sure to checkout my other articles for more gear options. Cheers!
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