Guide to Rear Rack Bags (Panniers) for Electric Bikes
In some cases adding bags to the rear rack of an electric bike is not as easy as buying any bicycle bag or pannier and installing it on the rack.
Some of the racks that house the e-bike battery have larger tubing that won’t allow a some bicycle bags to clip onto.
And in some cases the battery itself gets in the way of the bicycle bag clips and does not allow them to fully attach to the rack.
The bags that work well for these types of racks have two bags that have a connection piece in the center that rest on top of the rack.
Here are some bags that work with these types of racks along with some info on the bags from the company:
Basil Tour XL Double Bicycle Bag
40 Liters or 2440 cubic inches
Water-repellent 600D poly
Fronts rounded and strengthened
Two zipper side pockets, Covered w/ ‘Soft Filling’
Double reflective stripes on all sides.
Fastening system: Straps
Find out more about the Basil Bags here (including customer reviews).
Basil Bags also offer many different colors and designs, just make sure you get the bags that have the center connection piece that rests on top of the rack.
Bike Smart DoubleWide
Designed with the needs of the long-distance commuter and the bicycle touring adventurer in mind, the BikeSmart DoubleWide features a one piece double sided saddlebag style pannier made of water-resistant nylon material.
Easy elastic attachment system.
Find out more about the Bike Smart Doublewide here.
The Axiom Appalachian is a one piece double sided saddlebag style pannier for budget minded commuters.
Water-resistant 600 denier nylon
Easy elastic attachment system
Self repairing zippers
One-piece, double sided design
The high level fabric used in all Axiom bags has exceptionally low off-gassing characteristics (open up a bag and you notice it doesn’t smell like plastic or chemicals!) that exceed even European standards
Find out more about the Axiom Appalachian here (including customer reviews).
Traditional Bike Bags
If you have a traditional bike rack setup on your electric bike (normal size rack tubing and the battery does not conflict with bag attachment) then the possibilities for you are vast! Here is some info on bags and a store that I recommend.
Ortlieb bags are well known for their high quality construction and they are waterproof.
My friends at Bike Bag Shop also have many other bags that work for commuting, touring and everything in between.
They can also help you select a rear or front rack if your e-bike does not have a rack installed now.
Another option is to forgo rack bags and use a messenger type bag or a backpack designed for bike riding. These are handy if you are running a lot of errands and want your pack to be always with you.
That’s it for now. I will add more bag options to this guide as I come across them.
If you have a bag(s) that you having been using, please share your thoughts on the bag(s) in the comment section below.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!
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Richard Jones says
Hello Pete – you are missing one pack that also spans the rear rack: Originally founded in 1981 and renewed in 2012, Richard Jones Convertible Backpacks blow off the constraints of bicycle touring with panniers that convert to a comfortable internal-frame backpack. Whether one is riding around the world, would like to be able to plan day trips that extend beyond a bike’s range (Wilderness areas?), or whether one simply recognizes the economy of having one pack that serves in both capacities, this versatile equipment extends your range. Crafted locally, touring globally – this jaw-dropping design can be seen at
http://www.jonesn2trek.com or http://www.convertiblebackpacks.us.
Until the Convertible Backpack by Richard Jones, dual-mode bags were panniers first, and then could be cobbled into a structure that could be carried on the back. With the Convertible, its hard to tell which function was formed first. It is entirely at home in both configurations, with the features you’d expect in the ‘best in class’ of either single product.
Maybe it deserves its own review?
Let’s keep in touch.
Tom Schantz says
I have been experimenting using panniers that I put over the battery mounted over the rear wheel. I put an extra batter in each bag. The battery says not to exceed 10 pounds weight on top of it but I figure since the two 10 pound bags are evenly distributed on each side that this isn’t putting too much weight. But if someone knows of a better pannier bag
for toting extra batteries (as you can probably tell I have a long commute.) It is tricky putting the pannier over the battery and I have jerryrigged a system.
I Miss the FastRider E-bike bags. Speciale made to use on an E-Bike. See the bags here:
Linda Coburn (@LCinLA) says
I have the Basil panniers on my Pedego Interceptor and they are fantastic. Very stylish while also being really functional. I use them for commuting everyday and can tote a 15″ laptop, my full-size Kryptonite u-lock and cable, a sweater, some files and still have room for my purse.