I've got a bike with an ultra-old luggage rack which isn't of the kind which has a cheap spring-loaded "clasp" but rather an elastic tether which is permanently attached to the frame at the front and is held in place by its own tension on a metal hook at the back:

Bike rack with loose tether

However, while working on the bike, I removed the rack and now don't know how to properly wrap the tether so that it stays tight: It used to have some sort of "sailor-esque" smart looping method which kept the hook at the end taut, but my landlubber self undid the knot and now doesn't know how to tie the tether properly, so now there's a huge amount of extra slack and the whole bit is loose. What sort of knot-fu do I need to make the tether taut on the rack?


  • Are you positive the length is right ? If its right while empty, then it would be too short to hold parcels at full stretch. Can you take up the slack at the forward-end of the bungee or are both ends fastened permanently ?
    – Criggie
    Aug 22, 2017 at 10:36
  • Yes, the length is right. Like I stated, there was some strange knot at the end which took up the remaining slack: The bungee tether can be pulled through the hooks at the end but it was somehow tied around the hooks to make it shorter. Aug 22, 2017 at 11:16
  • If you just want to take up slack put a figure 8 or figure 9 knot in it. A Google search will yield pics and instructions. Aug 22, 2017 at 11:36
  • 1
    @Criggie I added a closeup of the hook in the hopes of making it more obvious what I mean exactly... Aug 22, 2017 at 11:51
  • Are the ends of the bungee securely fastened or removable? (Near the seatstays). Because if you can undo one end, you might be able to use something like a midshipman's hitch
    – Chris H
    Aug 22, 2017 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


No knot is required - you just need to take up the slack in the bungee / elastic. Something like this:

enter image description here

That way you can unhook the bungee for strapping over a large thing but its still tense enough to hold itself down when empty.

  • This looks nice, but the bungee is not nearly long enough to do that. It definitely did not look like that before. Aug 23, 2017 at 5:52
  • @errantlinguist Its elastic - there will be stretch. Then reposition the hooks at the 2/3 crossbar.
    – Criggie
    Sep 22, 2017 at 1:56
  • 1
    The bungee may have aged and lost the ability to stretch. You may need to replace with a new bungee
    – Rider_X
    Oct 22, 2017 at 1:54
  • Looking back on this answer, I've made an assumption that the hook part on the right (rear) is separate to the main carrier's rack part. So it could be re-positioned at 2 or 3 other places on the rack, where the transverse rails are.
    – Criggie
    Oct 22, 2017 at 3:25

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