Although the main purpose of bike racks are transporting, commuting, and touring making it easy to carry groceries, bags, baskets, loads, laptops, etc from one location to another, you might have seen people sitting on them.
Racks are quite strong, but can they hold a person? Can bike racks be used to carry passengers from one place to another? Is it even safe?
These are some of the questions we’ll be answering in this article to bring you clarification and clear your confusion about bike racks.
Can a Bike Rack Hold a Person?
Bike rear racks come in different sizes, strength capacity, and weight limit, so holding a person on it will depend on the particular rack you have in mind.
You should note that some rear racks were manufactured to carry not more than 25lbs of weight, especially Seatpost mounted racks. These obviously cannot hold a person.
Carrying people on these racks could make them buckle and get stuck into the rear wheel. It Could also destroy the rear axles. This could cause a serious accident, and damage to your bike.
Some rear racks however are built to handle more weight and are made with sturdy materials like steel. These types of racks can definitely hold a person.
So if you want to transport more than goods on your bike, you should invest in a heavy-duty rack that won’t get damaged while handling that kind of weight.
4 Things You Should Know (Before Using Your Bike Rack to Carry a Person)
Does the law of your country or state even permit this? You need to check and be sure so you can avoid running into problems with the local authorities.
Traffic laws in the United States are left to individual states, so the laws on this may vary from state to state.
Some countries and states do not permit the carrying of passengers, while some allow this but only passenger-specific seats should be used and racks aren’t meant for people.
So before you carry someone on your rack, especially in public streets, ensure you won’t be doing something illegal.
Carrying that extra weight on your bike will make handling quite difficult. Can you manage that?
Depending on the weight of the person, weight can be unevenly distributed on your bike which will make it swing here and there.
You may not be able to handle this for long. For your safety and that of your passenger, you should probably stick to carrying children and not adult passengers, unless you are an expert who can manage that kind of weight.
3- SITTING POSITION
Ensuring passengers sit on your bike rear rack correctly is important for safe riding.
Passengers straddling your rear rack will come in the way of your pedaling. They could catch their foot in the spokes of the rear wheel and the axles.
Your passengers should sit facing one side or the back of your bike. This will make it easier for you to pedal, and hinder accidents that may occur when their foot gets caught in the spokes.
If you plan to carry people on your rear rack, then you should invest in good wheels.
The extra weight of the people you’ll be carrying will be on your rear wheel and if it isn’t strong, it could get damaged. The passengers can’t transfer their weight to the pedals so the wheel and axles bear the brunt.
This is why you should replace them with strong and bigger types that can withstand that much weight.
This is necessary, especially if you’re going to be carrying adult passengers.
How Much Weight Can a Bike Rear Rack Hold?
A bike rear rack can hold as much weight as it is made to hold. All bike racks aren’t the same. They come from different manufacturers, have different models and types, and are made from different materials.
Generally, bike rear racks are sturdy enough to hold panniers, baskets, bags, etc. Some rear racks can even hold more than one pannier, haul gears, and even carry a person.
Before buying a bike rack, you should check the features. Usually, the weight limit will be included. You should choose one that suits your preference.
Topeak makes some of the best bike rear racks out there. If you want a sturdy bike rear rack that can handle a lot of weight, then you may want to go for Topeak Explorer. It is one of their best models that is made to handle a great deal of weight.
Can Bike Rear Racks Break?
Unfortunately, yes, bike rear racks can and do break. This happens a lot when the rack is made to carry something above its weight limit.
This is usually bad news for your bike because it can damage your bike fork while at it or scratch the frame.
This is why you should check the weight limit of that rack and make sure it fits what you’ll be using it for, before buying.
Can Someone Sit On the Back of a Bike?
Yes, a person can sit on the back of a bike. One of the ways to do that is to add another seat to your bike.
You can do this by installing “The companion seat“. The companion seat is an add-on seat that allows you to carry another person on your bike without stress and trouble. It is easily installed and quite affordable too.
Another way in which someone can sit on the back of a bike is what we’ve been discussing from the beginning of the article; bike rear racks. This is not as comfortable as the first option, but as we’ve explained, it works as well.
Can a Bike Hold Two People?
Bikes usually come with weight limits but most bikes can hold two people. Check the weight limit of your bike & your rear rack before carrying someone else, which may determine the maximum weight of the passenger you can carry.
Most carbon and titanium bikes are designed to be lightweight, so they may not be able to hold two people. You may need to buy additional components or replace some of its components, to achieve this.
How Do You Carry a Passenger on a Bike?
Carrying passengers on your bikes can be fun and daring. Knowing how to makes it easy to give your friends and family rides without issues is crucial.
There are several ways to do this and we’ll be discussing some of these options so you can choose which one works best for you.
1- Using Rear Pegs
If your bike comes with rear pegs or there’s a way to attach them to the axles, then you have the opportunity to carry passengers on your bikes.
Passengers can ride on your bike by placing their feet on the rear pegs while standing. They then place their hands on your shoulders while you ride.
1- While getting into position, place one foot on the pedal and the other on the ground. Your passenger will place one foot on a peg and the other on the ground too while placing their hands on your shoulders gently.
2- After doing this you can go ahead to put your other foot on the other pedal and start pedaling while your passenger also puts their other foot on the other peg as you commence riding.
This method is safe and comfortable. Passengers should use comfortable shoes if it’s going to be a long ride.
2- Using Handlebars
You can also use your handlebars to carry passengers on your bike. The passenger will sit on the handlebars while their legs dangle free as you ride.
This option is not really safe because you would find a hard time seeing what’s in front of you. It’s better if your passenger is small and light.
3- Using Front Pegs
Another awesome way of carrying a passenger on your bike is to use your front pegs.
If your bike has front pegs, your passenger can stand on this while slightly sitting on your handlebars. The front peg bears most of the passenger’s weight, and you have more handle of the handlebars.
Before using your front or rear pegs to carry passengers, ensure your bike has sturdy axles that are bolted on. Not quick-release axles that can easily bend or break.
4- Rear Racks & Companion Seat
Just like we’ve explained, you can also use racks and companion seats to carry someone on your bike.
Using bicycle racks to carry a person is not something unusual and isn’t a rare sight on roads.
You can do this too if you have sturdy racks and your bike’s weight limit and components can allow this. This is explained in detail in the article.
The ability of a rear rack to hold a person depends on the strength and capacity of the rack, wheels of the bike, weight limit of the bike, and so on.
There are also other ways of carrying a passenger on your bike apart from using racks. You should consider these options as well.