Backpacks are fun to carry. However, the weight is not always fun to carry.
Being a cyclist, I feel very lucky. It’s an underrated privilege to have a rear rack on the bike.
Why do you ask? You can attach the heavy backpack to the rear bike rack.
It’s amazing. I wonder why so many people miss out on this amazing trick. I try to help people, and now I’m writing this for more cyclists out there.
Of course, I cannot stop everyone on the road just to know this!
It was essential to let the young cyclists know about this process and also to be aware not to hold heavy backpacks on their shoulders all the time.
I will share my experience, mistakes, and the ways I found the best for attaching the backpack to the rare rack.
Why Should You Use a Rear Bike Rack for Your Backpack?
Let me tell you something from my experience. I understood how important it was to properly distribute the weight of your backpack in a hard way.
My doctor had to explain exactly why I should use the rare bike rack to carry the backpack. Yes, I got frozen back for a while.
Let me share why you should consider it as well.
1. It Will be Comfortable and Safe
Even though most of us don’t realize it so often, carrying the backpack on the shoulder can cause discomfort and back strain. It happens because of the weight on the shoulders and back.
By using a rear bike rack, you can distribute the weight more evenly across the bike. As a result, it’ll be more comfortable. Also, reduce the risk of back pain or fatigue.
2. You’ll Have a Better Balance
Riding with a heavy backpack on your shoulders can affect your balance and stability.
It mostly happens when you ride the bike faster and try to make quick turns. Mounting the load on a rear rack lowers the bike’s center of gravity, and naturally improves stability to make the ride safer.
3. Make You Visible to Other Drivers
When you attach the backpack to the rear bike rack, it won’t cover your head and body on the road. As a result, drivers of other vehicles can easily notice you even if you are in a low-light area.
It simply reduces the risk of accidents. Besides, you can have a better look at the backside without being stopped by any obstacles like your backpack.
4. Make Your Ride Easier
Carrying a bulky backpack on your shoulder can be the cause of excessive wind resistance. It can slow you down and make your cycling comparatively difficult.
When you utilize the rear bike rack, the backpack will be positioned closer to the bike frame. As a result, it will reduce wind resistance and make your ride smoother and faster.
These are the reasons my doctor enlightened me. But later on, after using the rare bike, I found some more convenient reasons.
- A rear bike rack lets you transport a larger load without putting an additional strain on your body.
- Using a rear bike rack can help protect your backpack from potential damage and extend its lifespan.
- By using the rack, you can also free up the space on your back to carry a smaller bag.
So, this is why you should always attach your backpack to the rare bike rack. For that, you should have the right type of rare bike rack.
Different Types of Rear Bike Racks in the Market
You must have the right rack on your bike. Indeed, not all types of racks are good for attaching backpacks. Well, let’s learn the types of rare racks that are suitable for backpacks.
1. Ibera Bike Rack
It is a very basic rear rack. They come with lots of hidden features and work well with any pannier. It comes with an extra metal bar welded on the back. And it ensures proper support for a heavy backpack.
2. Planet Eco Bike Rack
If you own a road bike or prefer a sleeker design, the Planet Eco bike rack might be the right choice. This rack is designed to be lightweight and aesthetically pleasing.
When using this rack to hang a backpack, it usually provides enough support to prevent the bag from interfering with the rear wheel.
3. Folding Bike Rear Racks
These special bike racks are designed specifically for folding bikes or bicycles with non-standard wheel sizes.
It simply provides a platform to hang a backpack securely. It is also adjustable and can be folded when not in use.
4. Topeak Explorer Rack
Highly recommended for commuters and regular cyclists, the Topeak Explorer MTX 2.0 Rack is known for its stability that you usually need to hang your backpack.
This rack is versatile, fitting various types of bikes, and can handle heavy panniers and backpacks with confidence.
Besides, you can use some other bike racks like the Ibera seat-post rack or Axiom rack. While choosing the rack just keep in mind that it has to be fit for the bike properly and can hold the backpack efficiently.
You Will Need a Few Tools to Do It Right
The first thing you should do is to collect the necessary gear that you’ll need.
1. Backpack with Side Straps
To attach a backpack to the rare rack, it is essential to have side straps. Adjustable side straps will be perfect. Also, they should be long enough to reach around the width of the rear bike rack.
2. Rear Bike Rack
You will need a rear bike rack installed on your bicycle. The rack should be compatible with your bike’s frame and have a weight capacity suitable for carrying your backpack.
3. Bungee Cord
A bungee cord is an elastic cord with hooks on each end. And you’ll need it to stretch the cord over the backpack and hook it onto the rack. It’ll provide a tight and secure fit.
Panniers are specially designed bags that hang on either side of the rear bike rack. If you have panniers, you can place your backpack inside them for a more streamlined and protected carrying solution. But it’s an optional thing.
How Exactly Can You Attach Your Backpack to Rear Bike Rack?
Usually, fastening a backpack to your rare bike rack is not an uphill battle. Even though I found it very complex the first time, I learned it after 1 trial and now, it’s like water for me.
I’ve divided the entire process into the following steps. Make sure to follow them sequentially.
Step 1: Prepare the Rare Bike Rack
Make sure that both your bike and backpack are ready for the task. Double-check the bike rack and make sure that it is securely mounted and capable of handling the weight of your backpack.
Step 2: Pack and Prepare the Backpack
Now, you have to pack all the things you need to carry in your backpack. Make sure to check if the weight distribution is okay. Also, use a backpack that is in good condition and capable of carrying the load you intend to transport. Check for any loose straps or damages that might affect the backpack’s stability during the ride.
Step 3: Choosing the Right Attachment Method
Usually, there are different ways you can attach your backpack to the rare bike. I always prefer attaching it using the side straps. If your backpack doesn’t have one, you can attach it using the bungee cord or a pannier.
I will let you know how to try it or other methods before I go, but here, I am describing the process using the side strap. Just make sure that the side straps are long enough to reach around the width of the bike rack and have suitable fasteners.
Step 4: Attaching the Backpack to the Rear Bike Rack
Now, you need to attach the backpack to the rack. For that, simply place the backpack flat on the rear bike rack. Make sure that it’s centered and stable.
Take one side strap and thread it through the gap or loop on one side of the bike rack. Repeat this step with the other side strap on the opposite side of the rack.
Don’t forget to adjust the length of the side straps to ensure a snug fit. Fasten the straps securely, so the backpack is firmly attached to the rack.
Step 5: Using the Compression Straps
If your backpack has compression straps, use them to tighten and compress the contents inside. It will prevent the inside things from shifting around and maintain stability.
Step 6: Balancing the Load
Now, you need to shake the backpack firmly to distribute the weight evenly in it. Make sure to place heavier items towards the bottom and closer to the bike’s center. It will promote better balance during the ride.
Step 7: Safety Precautions and Tips
You’ve done it. But you need to be mindful of the weight limit of your bike rack and avoid overloading it. Also, before starting your ride, give the backpack another firm shake to check that it’s securely attached to the rack.
It is very essential to ensure that the backpack doesn’t interfere with the wheels or any other moving parts of the bike. Maintain sufficient clearance for a safe ride.
Be cautious when making sharp turns or sudden side-change. Especially, if your backpack is heavily loaded, be more careful. Remember that the extra weight can affect the bike’s turning radius and stability.
Other Options to Attach The Backpack To Rear Bike Rack
Use a Bungee Cord
Just follow the below steps to secure your backpack to the bike rack using a bungee cord:
- First, check the rack and make sure that it is stable enough to carry the backpack.
- Now, place your backpack on the bike rack and make sure it is balanced and won’t obstruct your ride.
- Take a bungee cord and hook one end onto a rack rail or attachment point.
- Next, stretch the bungee cord over your backpack, ensuring it is secure and won’t slide off during your ride.
- Hook the other end of the bungee cord onto another rack rail or attachment point, making sure it is tightly secured.
- At this point, give your backpack a gentle shake to make sure it’s stable and won’t shift during your ride.
- You can also use additional bungee cords to provide extra support and stability for a heavier backpack.
Use a Pennier
If you have a larger pannier that can hold the backpack inside it, it can be a great idea. Just place the pannier on the bike rack, aligning the hooks or clips with the rack’s rails.
Then, fasten the pannier to the rack and open its main compartment to place your backpack inside. You can also use the external pockets for smaller items.
Finally, close the pannier’s main compartment securely and double-check all connections and attachments to ensure everything is properly secured. that’s it.
Using a Cargo Net
You can also use a cargo net to attach your backpack to the rare rack. For that, just place the net over the backpack and hook its corners to the bike rack.
The net’s elastic nature accommodates various backpack sizes and shapes. But I don’t recommend this method if you have a heavier backpack.
Also, you can use Velcro Straps or rope to secure the backpack as well. Just be careful of the weight distribution and the backpack’s interference with the wheel.
Beware Of These Common Mistakes Everyone Do
It’s about half of a decade since I have been using the side straps of the bag to secure it to the rack.
In the meantime, I made numerous mistakes that caused a lot of issues as well. So, I think you should acknowledge the mistakes I made so that you can prevent them.
- Don’t be unsure whether you’ve secured the backpack properly. Double if all straps and buckles are tightly fastened to prevent the backpack from slipping or falling off during the ride.
- Never exceed the weight capacity of the bike rack, as it can lead to instability and difficulty in handling the bike.
- Uneven weight distribution can cause issues while maintaining balance and stability while riding.
- Not using additional straps or bungee cords can cause your backpack to shift when you ride the bike faster.
- Ignoring potential rattling can cause rattling noises that can be distracting and annoying during your journey.
Also, you should periodically check the attachment points and straps during your ride to ensure everything remains secure and in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size of the backpack is good for cycling?
A backpack of 20 to 30 little is the best size to use while cycling. In this case, make sure to choose one with additional side straps and cords so that you can attach it to your rare rack.
Can a backpack in the pannier affect my ride?
Usually, a backpack in the pannier won’t affect your ride unless it is too much heavier. Here, it is better to use a double pannier and distribute the weight on both sides evenly.
Can I attach a backpack to the front rack of my bike?
Generally, it is not recommended to attach a backpack to the front rack of your bike as it can easily cause interaction with the while. But if you have a frontside pannier, you can carry the backpack in it.
Though many of you might think holding the backpack on your shoulder looks cool, believe me, it’s not good for your body.
When you have the option to slide the weight on the rare bike rack, why not utilize it? Just use the side strap or follow the other methods to attach your backpack to the rare bike rack.
But make sure to maintain the weight distribution and double-check the attachment point and the zippers of your backpack. Best wishes.