The Best Rear Bike Rack

The Best Rear Bike Rack

Our pick

Topeak Explorer

Topeak Explorer

The best rear bike rack

This rack was the easiest to install on many kinds of bikes and felt the most stable carrying heavy panniers.

Buying Options

$45 from Amazon
Topeak Explorer Bicycle Rack with Disc Brake Mounts

Topeak Explorer Bicycle Rack with Disc Brake Mounts

For bikes with disc brakes

This rack was the easiest to install on bikes with disc brakes—these require a different mount than rim-brake bikes—and felt equally stable carrying heavy panniers.

Buying Options

$50 from Amazon
$50 from Dick’s Sporting Goods

The Topeak Explorer (which comes in a version for bikes equipped with disc brakes as well) does an admirable job of fitting a wide variety of bikes more easily than any other rack we looked at—and that’s the hardest job a rear bike rack has to do. That’s due to the rack’s flexible attachment arms (some racks have stiffer, inflexible ones) and the fact that it has a sizable amount of wheel clearance to accommodate the bewildering variety of bike frames on the road. In addition, it’s sturdier than other racks that cost the same. It’s rated to carry 55 pounds, which is a ton of weight—we loaded ours with four gallons of milk (34 pounds) and carried them off into the sunset with ease. Topeak makes a few variations of this rack, including one for 29ers, a style of mountain bike with 29-inch wheels.

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Runner-up

Planet Bike Eco Rack

Planet Bike Eco Rack

Cheaper but less sturdy

It’s not the toughest bike rack we tested, but it installs easily and performs better under load better than most of the others.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

Though we found it less sturdy in testing, the Planet Bike Eco Rack was also able to fit a larger number of bike sizes than several other racks we looked at. It’s rated to hold as much weight as the Topeak Explorer, 55 pounds, but it only has two stays on either side of the rack to the Explorer’s three. This results in some shiftiness if you really load it up. But for an around-town rider running light errands, it’s inexpensive and effective, and it comes from a company with a reputation for making affordable and hardworking products for commuters.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Topeak Explorer

Topeak Explorer

The best rear bike rack

This rack was the easiest to install on many kinds of bikes and felt the most stable carrying heavy panniers.

Buying Options

$45 from Amazon
Topeak Explorer Bicycle Rack with Disc Brake Mounts

Topeak Explorer Bicycle Rack with Disc Brake Mounts

For bikes with disc brakes

This rack was the easiest to install on bikes with disc brakes—these require a different mount than rim-brake bikes—and felt equally stable carrying heavy panniers.

Buying Options

$50 from Amazon
$50 from Dick’s Sporting Goods

Runner-up

Planet Bike Eco Rack

Planet Bike Eco Rack

Cheaper but less sturdy

It’s not the toughest bike rack we tested, but it installs easily and performs better under load better than most of the others.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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