How to Attach a Rear Rack to a Bicycle

How to Attach a Rear Rack to a Bicycle
Rear-mounted racks are used on road and mountain bikes to transport a wide range of items. Books, boxes, baskets and bags are attached to the rack on the back of the bike by using bungee or stretch cords. Rear-mounted racks are most commonly constructed of metal or metal tubing which forms a platform. The platform is attached to the bike by support bars.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bike
  • Rear-mount bike rack
  • Adjustable wrench
Step 1
Locate the retaining nuts located on either side of the rear axle of the bike. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the nuts from the threaded axle stud. Place the hardware in a small cup or dish so it will not be lost.
Step 2
Lift the bike frame slightly from the axle and slide the spacer washers off the threaded stud from both sides of the wheel hub. Remove the spacers one at a time being careful to not remove the chain from the gear teeth.
Step 3
Position the flattened end of the rack's upright support in the position where the washers were removed. Depending on the rack model the upright support will either slip onto or over the end of the threaded axle stud. Replace the nuts on the threaded studs, but finger tighten only.
Step 4
Raise the support arms of the rack and position the platform of the rack against the back of the bike seat. Use the included hardware to attach the mounting brackets to the seat. Make sure to level the rack platform before tightening the mounting hardware.
Step 5
Tighten the rear axle nuts securely using an adjustable wrench. Make sure to tighten both sides of the axle equally because this will affect how the rear wheel is centered on the bike frame.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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