Ortlieb Quick Rack review - the bikepacking struggle is real... until this came along

Functional, versatile and refreshingly easy to fit... Ortlieb might have found the perfect pannier-rack solution

Ortlieb Quick Rack mounted to a gravel bike
(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Any rack offering clean aesthetics, a decent payload, quality construction and finish and a five-year warranty is certainly worth paying for. Ortlieb’s Quick Rack offers all these things and more. Thanks to a clever design, it can be mounted in less than 15 seconds and removed even quicker. Initial set-up is no hassle. Any tourer, shopper or commuter who also regularly cycles for pleasure will appreciate the versatility of this rack.

Reasons to buy
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    Easy to install

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    Quick to put on and take off

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Reasons to avoid
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    Nothing to note

The struggle is real - well, it was until the Ortlieb Quick Rack arrived. It's possibly the perfect solution for anyone looking to equip their bike with a decent bike pannier carrying system (opens in new tab) at the drop of a hat. It’s well made, affordable and certainly lives up to its ‘quick’ name.

I’ve fitted my fair share of racks to a variety of bikes. Some can be relatively intuitive and easy to work with - 30 minutes to have it perfectly aligned, stable and secure is good going but all too often this isn’t possible without a fight. If you only have one bike, or need to transport it in a small car, removing the rack might be an essential chore, further overshadowed by the faff of re-attaching it again at some point in the near future. 

The Ortlieb Quick Rack and Quick Rack Light (opens in new tab) were introduced earlier this year. I got my hands on the former just in time for a three-week tour from northern Spain to the UK - a super test to see how it performed.

Ortlieb Quick Rack: construction

The Ortlieb Quick Rack is made of 10mm aluminium tubing. The rack supports a maximum load of 20 kilograms and is adjustable to different bikes via the variable strut length. The whole thing has a claimed weight of 580 grams.

The Light version doesn’t have a platform and consequently tips the scales at just 440g.

Ortlieb says the rack is compatible with full-suspension bikes and can be used with carbon frames - assuming it comes with suitable eyelets and doesn’t have a carbon seat post.

It can be used with both 26 and 29-inch wheels. The maximum recommended tyre width is 2.35in (c. 59mm)

The rack has a light mount and comes with mountable QL3.1 adapters, plus all necessary bolts and washers. 

Ortlieb Quick Rack in packaging

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

Additional accessories include mudguards (opens in new tab) (in three widths, see picture below) and Ortlieb's Quick Rack Seat Stay Adapter (opens in new tab) for bikes without eyelets. I haven’t tested either of these but the mudguard is a massive plus in my opinion.

The rack comes with Ortlieb's standard five-year warranty. 

Mudguard on Quick Rack Lite

(Image credit: Ortlieb)

Mounting and performance

As with most Ortlieb products, in addition to written instructions, there’s a video (opens in new tab) that talks you through the product and includes full guidance for installing. In reality it’s intuitive and very simple; a case of setting-up the strut that mounts to the seat post and screwing the supplied hooks into (M5 or M6) eyelets.

Finding an optimal position for the rack isn't hard. Ortlieb provides two different lengths of strut, your preferred will attach above or below the rack tube and then clamp to either the seatpost, or seat tube.

In comparison to any other rack I’ve ever used, this initial ‘installation’ process is child's play. Thereafter, putting the rack on takes no more than 15 seconds, and getting it off is even quicker. The clamps are encouragingly stiff, they've become marginally easier to open and close with use. The bolted attachment points remain on the bike but are hardly noticeable.