Freeload racks are simply the most versatile pannier racks we have come across. The attachment mechanism uses 4 nylon straps with ratchets to clamp on to two parallel bars, such as the seat stays or front forks. This means no pre-existing fittings are required on the frame and the rack works equally well on road bikes as full suspension mountain bikes.
- Light weight
- Very robust
- Works on almost any bike
- Works on back or front even with suspension
- Expensive and sides are bought separately
- Required modification to fit my Avenir panniers
- Requires 2 specialised tools for adjustment (I don’t like carrying tools that only have one use)
One problem that most pannier racks that don’t directly bolt to the frame, is that they tend to slip out of alignment. This did happen once with the Freeload, but it was only after getting soaked and drying out several times, while being repeatedly loaded with more than the recommend weigh. This was fixed in a few moments by loosening the ratchet slightly, re-aligning and tightening again (a little tighter than before). The others didn’t even have time to prop their bikes up and have a break, and it didn’t happen again.
The rack is quite expensive, costing about £80 and another £30 if you want the sides. That said, this rack feels like it will last a long time and will fit any new bike I may buy in the future. I fully recommend it!
N.B: Freeload have now been Taken over by Swedish company THULE, so look out for it with the new branding in the future.