I was thinking about bicycle racks recently, and I’ve noted some items that I think are worthy of mention. Of course, you can find cheap bike racks on Amazon, but we’d rather support local business, no? Don’t forget you can also get cheap Bell brand bicycle computers at Fred Meyers ~$12.
I think the most distinct website featuring bicycle equipment is MEC. This is their listing of bike racks. MEC is distinctive because they sell all weather, human-powered commuting equipment. So that includes hiking, rain gear, bicycle rain gear, and camping gear. You won’t find racing equipment here.
Harris Cyclery’s selection of bicycle racks. Harris Cyclery’s website is remarkable because Sheldon Browns advice on bicycling and bicycle maintenance is here. I learned a lot about fixing bicycles from this site.
This is a clever combination: a bicycle rack that can carry a U-lock.
I really like these PakRak heavy carriers. Here’s one on Amazon. These style models are intended to snap a top bag on top and leave room to remove the side panniers independently. Or mount the side panniers lower. The extra tubing on them should make them last longer.
Mounting panniers too low doesn’t really help if you tow a trailer, however. Dropout-mounted trailer attachments will obstruct how far down you can mount the pannier, if you’re thinking about pulling a trailer. Mounting bags very high on the back will affect your center of gravity. Ideally, you want to use a combination of low-front and rear racks to keep the weight distributed. If you’re going to pull a tandem (tag-a-long) kid trailer, or a seat-post mounted trailer, bags on top of the bike rack will also get in the way.
Bicycle racks are just the start. You might next consider seeing the very wide variety of panniers available. Jandd even has a padded laptop sleeve for their commuter pannier. If you don’t like panniers (because the raccoons eat thru them), consider buckets.
I’ll relate thoughts on bike panniers in the future. Don’t forget: every day is bike to work day :-)