Easy setup and breakdown, sturdy gear hauling, and customizable attachments — what more could you ask for?
As an avid bikepacker and adventure racer, I am always looking for ways to take weight off my back and put it onto my bike in a more efficient manner. However, most racks are cumbersome and require a great deal of time to both install them (and uninstall them) and to effectively attach gear so that it will not fall off in rough terrain.
When I first read about the Aeroe Spider bike rack, I was excited about its claims on how it could attach to any bike (including a full suspension bike with a dropper post) without diminishing performance.
I am a small woman (5’1″ on my best day) and have not yet found a bike rack or large seat bag that would fit on my small frame and be able to still use my dropper post. I started to think it was impossible until I got my hands on the Spider Rack.
My first test on it was a 120-mile family bike trip through Central Oregon on rough dirt roads, singletrack, and even a bit off-trail. I was the gear hauler, and my husband was the kid hauler.
Out of the Box — Onto the Bike
At first, all of the brackets and straps looked daunting. But after reading the instructions, the whole process took all of 10 minutes from opening the box to attaching the rack and dry bags onto my full suspension bike.
The quick-release mounting brackets and the rack’s main tubing are highly adjustable, and they can easily accommodate a 29-inch tire. The whole system sets up without the use of mounting holes or bosses, which I thought was remarkable.
The silicone-coated straps are also highly adjustable and would fit on nearly every stay shape/design from modern bike to old school. Once everything was tightened, the rack and cradle were rock solid.
With any rack that includes small, easy-to-lose pieces comes the potential downside of losing parts when taking the rack on and off. Luckily for me, I did not intend to take this rack off for quite some time. However, if you do want to take your rack on and off, I would recommend a designated box or bag. This will ensure that the crucial strap pieces are accounted for.
My favorite part of the rack was the cradle attachments. Designed to hold the Aeroe drybag (or any roll-top stuff sack), the cradles are super-easy to use and adjust to nearly any orientation. This allows for some serious customization on how you carry your gear. Even better, the bags detach in one second, making accessing that equipment during the day super easy.
Aeroe also makes a front handlebar mount using a similar attachment system that uses the same cradles — ultimate versatility!
The Aeroe Spider Rack: Gearing Up
For this trip, I took all of the cradles, one in front and three on the rear. The rear top rack has the option of either carrying your dry bag in the horizontal position or in the inline/vertical arrangement.
Since I could still use my dropper post and have it in the inline position, I chose that way. This works well on single track to ensure that you won’t hit your load on any trees.
The lower bags went at an angle, and I made sure they would not interfere with my pedal stroke or the top bag. The front cradle was perfect for holding our tent and poles.
While the racks can come with their own dry bags, we opted to use some of our own dry bags in addition to the bags they came with. If your dry bag is sturdy enough and can withstand strap abrasion, it will work great.
Every bag strapped on easily as each cradle comes with wide, ultra-durable, and easy-to-adjust straps. Once all of my gear was strapped on, I took a test ride around the neighborhood to see if anything felt off. To my delight and surprise, my bike handled just as it did before. I hardly even noticed the extra weight!
Over the course of the trip, I never had to mess with any of the bags, straps, or bolts. The whole system held up even during the roughest roads where I thought that for sure something would come loose. My favorite part of every morning (after coffee, of course) was packing up camp and seeing how fast I could stuff everything into dry bags and attach them to my rack.
For the weight freaks out there, adding 2.2 pounds onto your bike in just rack weight may be a deal-breaker. However, as an ounce counter myself, after trying this system out, I don’t think I will ever go back. The sheer volume and variety of benefits all outweigh the singular con of its weight.
Aeroe Bike Rack Specs
Aeroe Spider: Final Feedback
As a person with not very much patience when it comes to tinkering with bikes, that’s saying a lot. While the Spider Rear Rack can come with a quick-mount pod, we opted not to test that this round. But, we are excited to test it out soon.