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The Elops Seat Post Pannier Rack still bears the B'Twin name, which shows that it's a product of the mighty Decathlon sports empire. Attach it to your bike's seatpost and you can use it to carry panniers or a trunk bag up to a 10kg max – and it works a treat. Simple to fit, easy to use, versatile, very practical and inexpensive – what's not to like?
It's certainly a contender for our best pannier racks buyer's guide – check it out for other options.
I like to carry as little as possible on my back when I'm cycling unless it's for a very short journey. And if it's a trip of any length I certainly don't want to be carrying a shackle lock, tools and more on my person.
Which is where products like the Elops Pannier Rack come in. It lets you turn your road bike, mountain bike, hybrid or e-bike into a moderate load carrier. With a maximum load of 10kg it's not one for carrying the kitchen sink but it's great for the daily commute or day-long rides where you want to carry more than the minimum.
Installation is a breeze. The rack comes with four bolts and a split sleeve (Decathlon describes it as a washer) that goes around the seatpost to stop it getting scratched and marked. It's designed for seatposts from 25-32mm in diameter.
About my only criticism is that it took a fair bit of effort to tighten the four hex bolts, suggesting the threads weren't the smoothest possible. But I took the bolts out, degreased and regreased them and all was fine in the world, and the threads were undamaged if still slightly 'stiff'.
Theoretically you should tighten these to a quite hefty 9.7Nm, but I found at 8Nm there was no movement whatsoever, even at the rack's 10kg capacity. (I wouldn't put this rack anywhere near an aero or carbon seatpost; if your bike has a carbon post and you want to use the rack, I'd recommend buying a budget alloy post for the job.)
It's versatile too. If you use a beam bag rather than panniers you can shed the side rails (using a 5mm hex key and 10mm spanner) and lose 233g. Note, you can't use the Elops with Topeak's various beam and trunk bags, which are only compatible with its own dedicated beam racks.
I tried it out with a few different panniers including the Vaude Aqua Back Lights I'm testing and the Altura Heritage panniers, the bigger brother to the 16L panniers that Tass tested a couple of years ago, and another old set of Alturas. All fitted easily and securely, and I don't doubt that pretty much any pannier will fit. And thanks to the length of the rack, my heels never made contact even with the large Altura and Vaude bags when I was riding.
It also worked with an Altura Heritage Cycling Rackpack, though I had to do an extra loop with the Velcro straps on one side.
I personally prefer panniers to a rack pack, as I find the latter can get in the way when I try to get on the bike, but that could just be the lack of flexibility in my legs these days...
Also, if you're carrying anything approaching 10kg, you'd benefit from the lower centre of gravity that panniers offer, which is better for the bike's handling.
If you're using a rack bag rather than panniers this might block a seatpost-mounted rear light. To get around this the Elops has a mounting plate for a rear light or reflector.
Some beam racks come with a quick-release fitting, but I prefer this rack's four-bolt fitting for a couple of reasons: I find it difficult to get a quick-release rack so secure without more effort, and I've found that my thighs would occasionally brush the quick-release lever no matter where it was placed. This didn't happen with the Elops rack.
Admittedly, you can't swap the rack between bikes so easily, which may be an issue, but at this price you could perhaps buy a couple anyway.
Once the pannier or bag is on the rack it really is a case of fit and forget. Provided you've tightened the bolts correctly there's absolutely no swinging or swaying whatsoever, the whole setup is rigid, and I never had any situations where my heels were making contact with the panniers on my pedal stroke.
This is a simple piece of kit but no less effective because of that. In these days of multiple bikepacking luggage options, this straightforward seatpost rack is still a winner.
At £24.99 it's pretty much cheap as chips (at least in Bath's gastro pubs!) and represents Decathlon's usual excellent value.
The Halfords equivalent comes in a penny more and resembles it in many ways – both have removable side rails and 10kg weight limits, though Halfords has gone for a quick-release setup to connect it to the seatpost.
The Blackburn Central Seatpost Rear Rack has the same 10kg capacity and a similar four-bolt fitting to the Elops rack, and it's extendable, but the lack of rails reduces its versatility, and it's also more than twice the price at £59.99.
We tested the stylish-looking Arkel Randonneur Seat Post Rack a few years ago. It's still available but costs a heavyweight £88 for a carrying capacity of just 6kg.
Among Topeak's vast range is its MTX Beam Rack, a quick-release system that's nearly twice as expensive (£56.99) – and that's without the side frame pannier supports that add another £25.45. And while it would work with some strap-on trunk bags, it's primarily designed to work with Topeak's own range of luggage. (We have one in for test – look out for a full review soon.)
Aside from some bolts requiring slightly more effort to tighten than expected, it's an all-round thumbs-up for the Elops Seat Post Pannier Rack. It's cheap, easy to fit, tough – it's barely marked after extensive use – and works with a wide variety of trunk bags and all the panniers I tried it with. It carries kit safely and very securely so that you can do away with a backpack, and if you want to convert a non-touring bike for commuting and away-day luggage-carrying duties, it's an excellent choice.
It's excellent – cheap, tough, easy to install and great at carrying loads securely whether in a beam bag or panniers
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Elops Seat Post Pannier Rack 500
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"This pannier rack is designed for carrying your everyday belongings on all types of bikes.
A minimalist pannier rack that attaches to your bike's seat post. The stays prevent bags from getting caught in the spokes of the bike. Max weight load: 10 kg"
Decathlon says it's "not recommended for bike travel, as the loads carried are greater than the load limit". But it has a pretty healthy 10kg capacity.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
More from Decathlon:
Use and stability
To ensure a good grip on the seat post, degrease it thoroughly and use the provided washer ring to prevent the pannier rack from pivoting.
Be careful: if the 10 kg load limit is exceeded, the pannier rack may pivot and the stays could twist.
This model is not recommended for bike travel, as the loads carried are greater than the load limit.
Durability and repairability.
To extend the lifespan of our pannier racks, they are all repairable.
We have created repair kits containing all of the loose parts for our pannier racks: screws and removable connecting parts.
So if you've lost or damaged a part, it can be replaced without the need to buy a whole new rack.
You can find the reference code for the kit that matches your product in the SUPPORT SECTION.
Chassis 100% Aluminium Protection cover 100% Aluminium
It feels tough, and there are no moving parts, so once all the bolts are tightened everything is extremely stable and secure.
I've had it on my bike for every ride over the last month – trying it out with a rack bag and three different panniers – and it was faultless. This was for longer rides, trips for small shopping loads, and to and from playing football.
And its weight is such that I'd leave it on if I wasn't carrying kit, as the effect on handling would be negligible.
No reason to doubt it would survive pretty much anything bar a catastrophic accident. And with replacement parts available I think this is will last for yonks.
On my 10kg bike I really didn't notice it, and if you're only using it for a beam bag rather than panniers you can remove the side rails and save 233g.
Inexpensive, tough and performed very well indeed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellently – it was stable and secure with a rack bag and all the panniers I used it with.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's great – carries luggage so that you don't have to; it's versatile and cheap.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The threads for the seatpost bolts were pretty stiff.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's the same price as the similar product from Halfords, and much less expensive than the Blackburn, which doesn't have side rails, and the Topeak – for which the rails are an extra.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Cheap, easy to install and very effective. I don't like carrying much weight – if any – on my back, and this is an efficient way of carrying a lock, tools, waterproofs and phone etc – and picking up a bottle of wine from the local Tesco store (other supermarkets are available) without putting any stress on your back.
I'd use this for commuting, and with a 10kg weight limit you could use it for smaller shopping loads and maybe weekends away, especially if paired with a bar bag, frame bag or similar.
About the tester
I usually ride: 2018 Giant TCR Advanced 2 with Halo Carbaura disc wheels My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding,
Simon has been riding since he was a nipper and more seriously since his university days way back when. He has been a cycling journalist for more than two decades and reckons he has upwards of 200,000 miles in his legs. In his time he has competed (in the loosest sense of the word) in time trials, triathlons, duathlons and a lone cyclo-cross; he has been a long-distance commuter for decades – on road and canal towpath. He has also toured extensively in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and has ridden 4,000km from Cairns to Melbourne in Australia, and the 700km from Picton to Dunedin in New Zealand. If his legs carry on working, he'd like to ride from Perth to Sydney...