The Decathlon ELOPS 100 Bike Pannier Rack 24"-28" won't fit every bike. Even if it does fit, it's not the simplest of racks to assemble and mount. Once on, it does what it needs to, but its 10kg maximum load limits versatility. Given the £12.99 price tag, you get a reasonable rack that does a reasonable job. It might have a shorter lifespan than some more expensive alternatives, both aesthetically and functionally. The flatpack style approach means that reliability is heavily dependant on getting all the fixings correctly positioned and 100% secure.
Not quick to mount
Won't fit all bikes
Max load 10kg
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If Ikea sold pannier racks, I suspect they'd stock the Decathlon ELOPS 100; it comes in a flat pack and requires patience and time to mount, though all necessary tools are supplied. Once you've got it on the bike, it serves its purpose well enough. It won't fit all frames, so don't assume it'll go on your bike, even if you bought your bike from Decathlon.
Construction and compatibility
According to Decathlon’s website, the main chassis is 100% steel; the rack is both aluminium and steel. Elements of the spring and lever are polypropylene.
The entire rack tips the scales at 1,220g and has a maximum load guide of 10kg.
Compatibility claims on the website are varied. You may initially read that it’s compatible with "All 24" to 28" bikes with frames equipped with inserts." Scroll down a little and there's contradictory advice: "See compatibility with Decathlon bikes on the simulator at the top of the product file. As for the other brands of bike, we can't make any guarantees, since we aren't able to test all bikes on the market. Note: not compatible with the following models of bike: The B'Twin Original 7, road bikes, bikes with disc brakes, bikes not equipped with inserts on the wheel axle and on the rear stays, suspension mountain bikes, and folding bikes."
A rather confusing bit of guidance, even for those who are happy fettling with bikes.
Some of the welding hints at the £12.99 price tag; it’s not up to the quality of that on racks from more reputable brands.
Mounting and riding
As mentioned, the entire rack is made up of both aluminium and steel. Since it's not possible to weld these two together, the ELOPS comes in several parts that bolt together. There weren’t any spare bolts or nuts in the pack, so be careful where you work to avoid losing any. The necessary tools are supplied. The spanner is a good size for working around the frame and rack, but not really up to tightening the bolts off properly (in my opinion). I used a decent spanner for this - I'd rather be safe than sorry. Without sufficient torque they would definitely loosen over time, which could result in damage to the wheel, bike, or worst case scenario, yourself.
This 'multi-part' construction leads to the 10kg limit. It’s an obvious thing to say, but if you overload it, it will be compromised in the long run.
I fitted the rack onto a Triban RC520 Women’s Disc Bike. I had no issues getting it level and achieving a secure attachment. I also tried it on a Dolan Preffisio, this wasn’t so successful, as you can see by the photo. In short, the rack doesn't fit all bikes. Since it’s flat-packed, there’s no way of knowing until you’ve unwrapped and tried.
I have had various panniers on the rack, all without issue. The V-shaped chassis means that a rigid-backed one is the best option. If you mount one pannier, such as Altura’s Thunderstorm City 20, you’ll be left with 9,150g to play with. While this will be more than sufficient for most commuters, don’t be caught out thinking it’ll carry a good bit of shopping- it may not.
The spring mounted lever is good for securing loose clothing, or small objects, to the top of the rack. I would always use a bungee too, to be sure that nothing broke loose. I’ve had a rack bag on the ELOPS 100 without issue too - a (BTR) ‘universal’ attachment one.
The rack’s finishing is not the most durable. After just a months use, it’s showing signs of wear. You can see this in the photo of the dismantled rack, taken after removing it from the Triban.
Value and conclusion
At £12.99, this is possibly the cheapest rack I’ve ever come across. There are several questions that will need answering if you are considering a purchase though: Will it fit? Can you mount it confidently and securely? Does it offer the capacity you want? If you answer ‘yes’ to all of these, maybe it’s worth a shout. Even then, it’s not guaranteed to out-last something like Topeak's Explorer Disc, which has a better quality of welding, will fit a bigger range of bikes, is more intuitive to mount and can carry up to 26kg. It’ll set you back £38. If you want something with a spring-loaded bar and are not willing to spend so much, the Lifeline Alloy Rack could be an option for a tenner more than the ELOPS 100. Halfords Disc Brake Pannier Rack is also similar, with a spring-loaded bar, for £28.
The ELOPS 100 Rack is certainly an affordable option, and not a bad one if you are travelling light. However, it’s not guaranteed to fit your bike, and you’ll need to be a little bit patient if you are mounting it yourself. For me, it’s definitely a case of you get what you pay for. I personally wouldn’t be paying for something that isn't guaranteed to fit and that limits my carrying capacity.
- Product Composition: Chassis 100% Steel
- Weight: 1220 g
- Max load: 10 kg
- Warranty: 2 years
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