Best Rear Bike Rack For Touring & Commuting

Best Rear Bike Rack For Touring & Commuting

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This is a gear review of the best bike racks for touring and commuting 2024.

Whether you use your bike for commuting or enjoy touring on your bike, your bike needs much more than just two wheels and a seat. If you want to carry anything on the bike, whether it is for cycling around the world or cycling to work a rear bike luggage rack and panniers will be all most people will need. And for those who want to carry more there is also the option of fitting a front bike rack for more cargo carrying capacity.

It is important to note that there are various bike racks on the market. Also, not all rear bike racks are compatible with all types of bikes.

In this article, I have researched and tested the best rear bike cargo racks for touring and commuting. Keep reading for more info.

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How We Tested

All the Rear Pannier Racks in this review have been extensively evaluated and researched by the expert author who has many years of experience in Bike Touring and Bikepacking. Some of the Rear Bike Cargo Racks were purchased by the author for this review. They have been rigorously tested by the author for more than 30,000 miles of cycling through more than 20 countries around the world. The research, testing, and experience of the author have combined to come up with the Best Bike Rear Pannier Racks for Bike Touring 2024. Read the Review Policy for further details.

Best Rear Bike Rack For Touring & Commuting 2024

The Best Rear Bike Rack for Touring & Commuting 2024 are:

Rear Bike Cargo Rack Comparison Table

BrandMaterialWeightCarrying Capacity
Tubus Grand TourChromoly Steel1 lb. 10.8 oz88 lb
Blackburn Outpost Rear World Touring Rack6061 aluminum1 lb. 3.8 oz55 lb
Tubus Cargo Classic Rear RackChromoly Steel1 lb. 3 oz57 lb
PDW Loading Dock AL Rack with Bamboo TopAluminum / Bamboo1 lb. 9.6 oz55 lb
Blackburn EX-1 Disc6061 aluminum2 lb.45 lb
Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier RackChromoly Steel1 lb. 14 oz132 lb
Source: Manufacturers

Best Rear Bike Rack for Bike Touring

Tubus Grand Tour

> Strong
> Lightweight
> Good load rating of 88 lb / 40 kg
> Perfect bike rack for bike touring
> Perfect for carrying rear panniers and a rack bag on top
> Not the cheapest rear rack in this review, quality costs money.

The Tubus Grand Tour is the best rear bike rack for bike touring. If you are planning on a long-distance cycle tour and want to carry a set of rear panniers with a rack bag on top then there is nothing on the market as good as this.

The Tubus Grand Tour is made to the same high quality as all Tubus racks and made from chrome moly steel. This rear bike rack has cycled around the world on more bicycles than any other rack so it is a well-tested design.

A good thing about the Tubus Grand tour is if you want to add rear lights or fenders it is not a problem. While not everyone will want to do this it is good to know you can if you like.

Overall, if you are looking for a strong bike rack for bike touring and plan on carrying a heavy load and not just panniers but a rear rack bag on top then this is for you.

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Best MTB Rear Bike Rack

Blackburn Outpost Rear World Touring Rack

Blackburn Outpost Rear World Touring Rack

> Constructed with high-quality and durable aluminum.
> Compatible with various bikes of different wheel sizes and disc or caliper brakes.
Can hold up to 55 pounds of weight.
> Lifetime warranty with this rear bike rack.
> This is one of the more expensive bike racks on my list today.

This rear rack gives you the choice of attaching your panniers low or high. It is made of sturdy Easton Scandium and 6061 aluminum. As a result, I found that it is strong without weighing down your frame.

Blackburn built the rack with a compact width to try and keep the weight on your bike as near the center as possible for stable riding.

They have even provided a space for you to install a reflector or light onto the back of the rack.

Overall, the Outpost can hold up to 55 lbs of equipment. It is compatible with disc and caliper brakes, as well as 26 inch, 29 inch, and 700c wheels. If that wasn’t enough, it also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Best Rear Bike Rack for Commuting

PDW Loading Dock AL Rack with Bamboo Top

PDW Loading Dock AL Rack with Bamboo Top

> This bike rack looks really elegant thanks to the varnished bamboo top.
> Easy to install onto a range of bikes.
This product is incredibly lightweight, so it doesn’t add any extra weight onto your bike.
> This bike rack can only hold 55 lbs.

Anyone wishing to extend their bike’s back luggage space may find PDW’s Loading Dock appealing.

Also, I found that this rack was really easy to install onto my bike. Alloy tubing with a black finish, makes up the majority of the rack’s body.

The pannier hooks slide into cutaway areas on the rack platform, which is made of varnished bamboo. It fastens to the seat stays via an adjustable arm.

According to my research, this bike rack can support about 55 lbs of weight. As a result, this rack is considerably better suited for commuting rather than for traveling.

On the other hand, if you aren’t packing heavily for your trip, you might be able to get away with this rear bike rack.

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Best Lightweight Rear Bike Rack

Tubus Cargo Classic Rear Bike Rack

Tubus Cargo Classic Rear Rack bike rack

> Tubus is a reliable company that has been producing high quality bike racks for many years.
> This bike rack can support around 57 lbs, so it is perfect for anyone.
This bike rack will fit the majority of frame styles and common panniers.
> Some customers have noted that installation can sometimes be a bit difficult.

Tubus make some of the best and most popular racks available. This product allows you to hang your bags a little lower for easier handling and has extra room on top for straps. While it is better priced an slightly lighter than its big brother the Tubus Grand Tour, it is a good option as a lightweight commuting cargo rack.

It supports a maximum weight load of 57 lbs and fits most panniers and fits most bikes. Weighing in at only 1 lb. 3 oz it will not put too much strain on your bike frame. It is ideal for commuting as well as touring.

Overall, the Tubus Cargo Classic Bike Cargo Rack is a good lightweight option for touring and commuting.

Blackburn EX-1 Disc

Blackburn EX-1 Disc rear bike rack

> This rack is really easy to install and mount onto your bike.
> This rack is ideal for bikes that don’t have any mounts, as it uses a quick-release skewer.
The EX-1 Disc is made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum. This means it can handle decent sized loads.
> This rack is slightly wider, so your gear will be positioned further out compared to other racks I have mentioned.

The Blackburn Expedition 1 Disc rack is made to accommodate bikes without specific mounts. This is done by a modified rear quick-release skewer and securing the top mounts with the P-clamps.

Once a bike is mounted on it, the rack feels solid and safe. I found that it fits incredibly well and can support loads that weigh up to 45 pounds.

You can rely on this product because it is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it strong and durable.

Just like the other Blackburn bike racks that we previously mentioned, this rear rack comes with a lifetime warranty. Which is ideal if you aren’t satisfied with anything about the product.

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Best Heavy Duty Rear Cycle Pannier Rack

Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier Rack

Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier Rack

> Lightweight
> Able to carry very heavy loads up to 60kg
Made of high quality steel
> Not the cheapest but worth it

The Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier Rack is a seriously heavy duty rear pannier rack. If you are setting off on an around the world bike ride and want to be confident that you can carry a heavy load then this has been purpose built for you.

I used and tested this rear bike rack on my 26 inch touring bike over more than 30,000 miles of cycling. At times I was carrying more than 10 days of food and 10 liters of water. So I can confirm that this is a heavy duty rear rack that is up to the task. I also like the mounting option that will allow you to fit a rear mud guard and rear bike light. Both of which I do when I go bike touring.

It has been designed to fit 26 inch touring bikes and can fit some 29 inch bikes but clearance may be an issue with some models.

It is very quite light at only 1 lb. 14 oz / 860 grams. While an aluminum rear bike rack may be lighter it will not be as strong as this one. Another advantage is that it is made with chromoly steel which is easily repaired in remote areas if you are expedition bike touring in remote areas. Repairing aluminum will not be this easy.

It can carry up to 132 lb / 60kg which is more than enough for cyclists traveling to remote areas. Few other racks can carry such a heavy load.

Overall, the Thorn Expedition Steel Rear Cycle Pannier Rack is the rack you want when heading off around the world on your bicycle or into very remote areas where you need to carry a heavy load of food and water. I’ve used and tested this rack and recommend it.

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Bike racks are generally made from either steel or aluminum and in some cases titanium. All these materials are very durable and strong. However, each one has its advantages and disadvantages.


Steel is strong, easily repaired, and relatively cheap in comparison to other materials. If you are planning on using the rear bike rack for bike touring, this is the best option. I highly recommend using steel racks above all others.


The main benefit of aluminum is that it is lightweight. When taking into account the combined weight of your bicycle and your load, weight can be a considerable factor. You don’t want to transport more than is necessary.

Aluminum racks are lighter, while steel racks are significantly stronger. Consider purchasing a sturdier steel rack if you intend to use it for bulkier items or as a mount for accessories like panniers. Aluminum rear bike racks are best for commuting.


Titanium bike racks are strong and ultra-lightweight but if you damage the rear rack it will very difficult and expensive to repair. Titanium rear bike racks are best for those with lots of money and who want only the best material and best racks for their bikes. I have not listed any titanium rear bike cargo racks in this review.

Rear Bike Rack For Touring

How Much Can The Bike Rack Carry?

It’s crucial to take into account how much weight your chosen bike rack can handle. Their maximum load can vary greatly from one to the other. The weight capacity of most rear racks ranges from 20 to 60 lbs.

Although, with that being said, there are bike racks that can support up to 90 lbs of weight and they are best suited to around-the-world bike tourers that plan on carrying a heavy load. Usually, you will find that bike racks which can support heavier loads are more suited for touring. This is because you can carry a lot more equipment and gear on your bike.

If your rack can only support lighter loads, this is better suited for commuting. Although, you can have a heavy load rack and use it for commuting. This is great when it comes to transporting your shopping home on your bike.

In addition to this, usually, these racks with higher load capacities feature more support bars than racks with lesser capacities.

Think about how you’ll use the rack and how much weight it needs to support. An overloaded rack is a tragedy waiting to happen.


Up until recently, rear bike racks were made to fit bicycles with common wheel sizes and rim brakes. The market has altered since then, as a result of disc brakes’ rising popularity and larger wheel diameters such as 29-inch wheels.

Standard racks cannot be used with disc brake bikes since the disc brake caliper protrudes and obstructs the support bars fastened to the dropout mounting.

As a result, some companies have created rear bike racks specifically for bikes with disc brakes. I have mentioned a couple of these racks in this article.

Due to the creation of 29-er mountain bikes, Blackburn has created rear bike racks. These are more suitable for off-road biking and touring.

As a result, the reason there are so many rear bike racks on the market is that more rear bike racks have been created to be compatible with all types of bikes.

Therefore, before you consider making any kind of purchase, you need to ensure that your rear bike rack is compatible with your bike.

Rear Bike Rack for panniers


Installing a rack might occasionally seem very laborious. To complete this task, you need the right instructions and equipment. Ensure you have the necessary tools, or the rack comes with everything you need.

There is no denying that some racks are more difficult to install than others. However, it does depend on how the bike rack is mounted onto your bike.

When determining how to mount a rear rack to your bike, you essentially have two choices: eyelets and rear axle dropouts.

Four mounting points, often known as eyelets, are used to attach the typical rear rack. On the left and right, the eyelets are situated just above rear-wheel dropouts and on the seat stays.

What should you do, though, if your bike’s body lacks eyelets? Use a model that can simply be clamped to your seat post.

However, it is important to note where the bike rack mounts, will affect how much weight the rack can carry as well.

Safety Features

Nowadays, many bike racks come equipped with safety measures to guarantee that you can bike safely even at night.

To ensure that your vehicle is visible even in the dark, the rack comes with backlights attached or an area for you to attach your own light or reflector.

While most bike racks will accommodate this feature, not all of them do. Hence, if you know you will be biking in the dark at some point, it is important you can attach a light to keep you safe.


Finally, it is important to look at the price of the bike rack. Prices of rear bike racks can vary quite a lot. This will depend on the company producing the rack and what the rack is made from.


Here are the best rear luggage racks for touring and commuting 2024:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Bike Racks Fit All Bikes?

Be cautious when shopping because not all rear bike racks are compatible with all bikes.

For instance, if your bike has disc brakes, you must be careful to get a rack that is specifically made to function with disc brakes.

The majority of racks have stays that fasten to eyelets or braze-on mounts near the rear bottom of your frame.

As mentioned in our buyer’s guide, one of the first things you should inquire about is how your chosen rear bike rack will fit onto your bike.

Are Rear Bike Racks Worth It?

A rear bike rack, in our opinion, is definitely worth it. As it allows you to remove any heavy equipment or gear off your back and can be stored safely onto your bike.

This is really beneficial if you are biking long journeys. Hence, you can focus your energy on pedaling, rather than focusing on how much your body is hurting from carrying large weights yourself.

How Do You Load A Bike With A Rear Rack?

With a rear bike rack, this can make touring a lot easier. You can place the majority of your gear and equipment on this rack.

However, it is important to make sure you spread the weight out. This is because if all the weight is at the back of your bike, it can make riding more difficult.

Therefore, if you are carrying a lot of stuff, try to distribute the weight from the front to the back of the bike.

If this rack is just for shopping or anything you’re bringing home from work, you don’t need to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed.

This is only important if you have a lot of belongings to transport on the bike.

rear bike rack reviews

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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