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Every now and then, someone will ask us, “How do I attach a rear rack or fenders to a bike that doesn’t have brazed-on eyelets?” Some otherwise ideal commuter bikes don’t come ready with such mounting points, but there’s an easy and cheap solution to this dilemma.

“P-clamps” are your friends! Commonly available at most hardware stores, these cheap and simple devices are a savior for many a bicycle project:

p clamp

These p-clamps (properly referred to as “cushioned metal loop straps”) come in a variety of diameters to fit most, if not all, the tubing one might encounter on a bicycle frame. My local hardware store sells two-packs of these zinc-plated steel and rubber p-clamps for about $2.00. If you simply MUST have stainless steel bands and ultra-zoot silicone padding, McMaster-Carr sells them (but at a pretty steep price, compared to the zinc-plated models).

Nothing could be simpler to install — just spread the clamp open with your hands, wrap it around the seatstay or fork blade and squeeze it to close. Then, attach your rear rack or fenders with an appropriate bolt. Once the bolt is tight, these clamps will not slip.

I’ve been trying to convert my wife’s bike into a more suitable “bad weather” commuter by getting a fender on the front to help keep her dry and a rack on the back so she can carry waterproof panniers. The bike’s frame, however, didn’t have any place to mount said accessories. P-clamps to the rescue!

Here’s the top end of the seatstays where the upper rack struts mount:
upper seatstays

And the lower end where the rack legs would normally bolt into a brazed-on eyelet:
lower seatstay

Here’s a pair of larger-diameter clamps pressed into service on the fork blades…allowing me to mount a full-coverage fender (with custom rubber mudflap) to the bike:
fork blade

Try them out — they are real problem solvers, and for just a few dollars, you can make your bike more versatile.