Because I thought I could
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wash DC Metro
Bikes: November, Trek OCLV, Bianchi Castro Valley commuter
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I've tried a seat-post clamp-on rack for commuting. If you're going to use it with panniers, you need one with pannier brackets. The ebay rack does not have them. This limits you to using a rack trunk. This clamp-on rack from Performance is similar to the one I have.
I noticed the rack may have a tendency to rotate slightly. And depending on the size of your panneirs and feet, you may have problems with heel strike. So you may not be happy with this solution. If you have a carbon seat post, using a clamp-on rack is not recommended (may damage the post).
You can use p-clips to mount a conventional rack to a frame without braze-ons. Delta makes them. Nashbar, Performance, and other online vendors sell them, and you can find them at hardware stores (if they are bare metal, use scraps of old inner tubes to protect the bike frame).
Another option is to use a front-fork rack, possibly with a small handlebar bag.
A good option (but total cost may be OK compared to buying panniers AND a rack AND p-clips) may be one of the saddlebags sold for light touring. I have not tried one but they look interesting. Search threads here and in the commuting forum for more ideas.