LifeLine Alloy Rear Pannier Rack review

Not a fight to fit, but doesn't work with all bikes and some of the supplied bolts deteriorate quickly.

LifeLine Alloy rack
(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Lifeline Alloy Rack looks great on a bike and is capable of carrying a decent load. The spring-loaded bar is a practical addition to a wide platform. However, the rack's definitely not compatible with all 'wheel sizes from 26" to 700c'; the arms connecting the rack to the seat stays the lack length to make this possible. The bolts on the rack are not the best quality either.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Easy to mount

  • +

    Affordable - RRP £22.99

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Won't fit all bikes

  • -

    Bolts easily round out

Designing a universal rack to fit all bikes is becoming quite a challenge. Unfortunately, LifeLine's 'universally fitted to disk and calliper brakes, it's compatible with wheel sizes from 26" to 700c' description is a little mis-leading; its rack falls short, quite literally. If you can get it on the bike, it's got some merits, but it's also not without flaws. 

LifeLine Alloy Rear Pannier Rack - construction

The rack is made from 10mm alloy tubing. There’s a reassuringly stiff spring-loaded luggage bar, allowing kit to be securely clamped between it and the rack.  The whole lot tips the scales at 860g and has a maximum load guide of 25kg.

At the rear, a vertical plate with eyelets for mounting reflectors or lights has been added. I have been unable to fit anything; the variety of large and oblong-shaped eyelets aren’t the easiest to work with. There are possibly some ingenious ways around this however.

A sleek, matte black powder coat has been used to finish the rack. Well, it’s sleek looking until it gets scratched. Unfortunately this happens very easily.

LifeLine Alloy Rear Pannier Rack - mounting and riding

The rack comes pretty much ready to mount. It’s not a Krypton Factor undertaking - most will cast the instructions aside. However, I wasn’t supplied with the four 12mm M5 bolts required. In theory these should be included... so maybe it’s a Krypton Factor challenge after all.

As it comes

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

There are three possible height settings for the rack. The arms attaching the rack to the bike sit in a sliding bracket, allowing for infinite adjustment. I always needed the bracket at the very end of the slider due to the arms being so short.

Unfortunately, the bolts at these adjustment points are pretty low grade, rounding out very easily. They need to be of a better quality material in order to resist the repeated tightenting and unscrewing without deteriorating.  I’d personally look to be replacing them if I intended to tour with the rack; I wouldn't want to risk a mid-tour mishap.