“P-Clamps” Are Your Friends!

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 and get Cashfloat.


  1. Rapps

    I needed to attach a bar running horizontal to the front fork. I use a U bolt (has threads on each end) but I put clear aquarium tubing on it to prevent damage to the paint on the fork.

  2. Marrock

    You can also get the plain jane stainless P-clamps and a can of that rubber tool dip and make your own for a lot cheaper.

    You can also get the tool dip in different colors so, if you’re of a mind to, you can make the clamps match your frame.

  3. Gregg B

    Or you can use a hose clamp and strip of old latex tube to secure it to something big – like a suspension fork…

  4. Ghost Rider

    Hose clamps work well, but they can leave a lot of sharp edges to catch unsuspecting flesh…besides, they’re tacky! πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, there are a lot of non-cycling-specific hardware bits — hose clamps, p-clamps, u-bolts, etc. that can help solve just about any bike problem a person might have. It pays to think outside the box! Thanks, Gregg, Marrock and Anne for posting your tips, too.

  5. MarkR

    exactly how I mounted my rack on my cross bike.
    The work great.

  6. Jon Karak

    Another product available is the Tubus Stay Mounting Clamps. I put a pair on my wife’s bike. They appear to be much stronger/higher quality than the P-clamps I had on there earlier, which began to fail at the sharp inside-bend of the clamp.

    In addition, since the adapter is attached to the frame with more than one bolt, the rack can be easily removed and remounted.

    Like the p-clamp, it can also be used on the chain stays, but you still have the problem of clearance around the seat stay on a disk-ready frame.

  7. Marrock

    I am a fount of useless information.

    Primarily movie trivia and things that make law enforcement officials twitchy.

  8. Ghost Rider

    Me too…except my useless information is the lyrics to any number of crappy 80s songs. These lyrics spill forth without any prompting, going from my internal dialogue to actual “out loud” speech as if they’ve got a mind of their own.

  9. Marrock

    Ugh… don’t make me break out my cassettes.

    They’re around here somewhere in an old M-60 ammo can.

  10. Kevin

    Hi, I’ve been looking for some of these clamps for a few days, and can’t find any; are they specific to plumbing, electricity?

    thanks for the info!

  11. Ghost Rider

    They’re not specific to a particular application, though I suspect they’re most used in stringing electric wires.

    In any hardware store/big-box DIY store (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.) that carries them, just look for the aisle that has all the nuts/bolts/screws bins and they are usually located in the “specialty fasteners” bins.

  12. Ghost Rider

    And, if you strike out locally, they’re available from Velo Orange:

  13. Marrock

    Just don’t get the nylon ones, they’re less than useless.

  14. Gregg B

    Oh yeah, I clipped the extra length off the hose clamp with a wire cutters so that the clipped end sits under the screw. I then got a small file to round off the sharp edges and used a screwdriver to press the clipped part as flat as possible.

    The whole thing is ugly and tacky – excellent!

  15. Charles U. Farley

    @ Gregg B


  16. electric

    You can also buy zip-ties, the type with an eyelet( ) on them, though these are only suitable for mounting a fender, and I would only recommend them on suspension forks where p-clamps with a clamp diameter larger than 1″ are harder to obtain or disc tabs interfere.

  17. M

    Check out
    Solved the rear rack problem for me.

  18. dave

    thanks for this, I am a complete cycling noob, found you via a google search as I am trying to adapt my recently aquired but old bike (Dawes Shadow) to take panniers. I have a pair of beautiful army surplus rucksacks to put on it, waterproof and very strong.

  19. mikros

    Thanks for the tip! Now my old Peugeot is sporting a rack and some sweet old H. W. Carradice saddlebags. Also I can get the baby seat on – so the little dude is psyched.

  20. noan

    very nice info…

  21. David

    I had the same thought when i was trying to solve this problem. I’m wondering how much these little guys will hold. Ive got to commute with up to 40 lbs sometimes, you think it will hold?

  22. Grizzly907la

    How do they hold when you put weight on them?

  23. Ghost Rider

    They hold up fine under a load, provided they clamp tightly to the frame. If you install them and the screw passing through them bottoms out or presses both “legs” together, it’s not going to be tight enough for more than a few pounds of load. What you want, then, is a bit of a gap once the bolts are snugged down.

  24. Chris

    One word of caution: if you mount anything around the middle a tapering fork blade, there is the danger that it could work loose, slide down the fork and rotate into the front wheel, where it would become an instant, absolute brake.

    I knew someone that was killed by a mudguard stay coming loose and jamming in his front wheel. He faceplanted in front of a lorry. A sad end to a lovely, lovely man.

    Be careful out there! πŸ™‚

  25. Raiyn

    @ Chris
    First, I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m certainly not trying to discount your story, but I don’t think you’ve accurately stated the facts of your friend’s demise.
    Having a long and varied history with bike mechanics and mechanics in general, there are only two ways I can envision what you’ve described in a sudden incident is if the user supplied bolt used to fasten the P-clamp had failed. This would potentially allow the stay to rotate into the wheel the way you’ve described.
    The other way would be a failure of the stay.
    I don’t see the clamp itself failing due to the minimal stress imposed by a mudguard / fender. It wouldn’t flex anywhere near enough for metal fatigue.
    Coming a bit loose and / or sliding down the taper (even less likely with the rubberized clamps typically found and recommended.) wouldn’t do this as the stay would still be attached to the clamp AND the fender and could not enter the wheel in the manner you’ve described. One would think that someone who had performed this setup on their bike would notice a severely loose p-clamp long before the loss of the nut as it would certainly rattle and cause a wobbly misalignment of the fender.
    At any rate, this story is one more reason to use properly sized bolts with nylock nuts when using these clamps. I’d even go so far as suggest washers sandwiched on either side to ensure the clamp’s bolt hole is as flat as possible.

    But that’s my 2p worth.

  26. Jake

    Hey Guys,

    I bought a wald basket and I have a quick release front hub. There are two options for the installation which i got from

    which provided a link that took me to your page about p-clamps

    “You can replace your quick release with a bolt-on skewer, or use P-clamps to create attachment points midway up the fork.”

    My question is where in the world would you mount the p’clamp on the front to attach legs underneath the bike basket. (my bike basket is the wald 198 model. Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated

    Best Wishes,


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *