What kind of bike rack do I need? Do you find yourself asking that question, well if so read on for our complete guide on bike racks?
Even if you have a great locality for biking, at some point you will need to carry your bike along with you on road trips or vacations. Why? Well when you go on adventurous trips and explore the beauty of scenic views, you would want to cycle around the trails and make the most of every moment. If you go by road to your destination, you will need to carry your bike along with you. Especially, if you are a passionate rider, and living in a city, someday you would feel like going to the mountains for experiencing those adventurous thrills. But how are you going to take your bike along with you? The best answer to this question is a bike rack. You can take your bike wherever you go through a very simple process if you spend money on a bike rack.
This will save both your vehicle and bike, and you will reach the destination without any hassle.
Imagine you are going on a vacation, hiking, or camping with your family. Now you place your bikes inside the vehicle, won’t it become congested for the family members to sit inside the car comfortably and enjoy the drive in the presence of bikes inside the vehicle? What is the best solution to this? Bike rack car! When the bikes are going to be placed outside on a bike rack car, you will get enough space for sitting and bags.
The best bike racks for cars give you a hassle-free ride and become mandatory if you don’t have enough space to carry it inside your vehicle.
Things to consider before getting a bike rack
You need to consider few things before buying a bike rack car.
First and foremost, how often you ride and need to take the bike with you?
Your vehicle and its model. The vehicle model is very important as it will influence your choices.
How many bikes do you carry? There could be one or multiple bikes at a time.
The weight of the bikes.
There are many kinds of bike car racks which we will explore later here. So you need to check how would you carry the bike, on the back or roof of your vehicle?
Bikes have different prices, starting at reasonable rates and ending at very expensive rates. You need to consider the worth of the bike before purchasing the bike rack to ensure that the bike car rack can safely hold your bike.
Think rationally if the bike rack will fulfill your needs in the long run. Check if it can easily be attached to the vehicle.
Check if the bike rack car hooks the bike to the rack and the vehicle safely.
If you are a security freak, you may need to check if the bike rack car has theft protection. You need to be sure because some have and some don’t have it.
Many people find it difficult to choose the right bike rack car which suits their needs. Consider these important factors before buying any bike car rack, and you will end up buying the best bike rack car.
Kinds of Bike Car Racks
There are four main kinds of bike car racks. Generally, the price of bike car racks depends upon the number of features they offer. For instance, built-in locks, lightweight materials, and repair stands.
Let’s explore each one of them in detail.
Hitch Mount Racks or bike rack tow bar
Hitch Mount racks or bike rack tow bar are comparatively more expensive than other bike racks. Bike racks tow bar are a wonderful option for those who ride regularly. Particularly, it is suitable for users who need to take more than three bikes. Bike rack tow bar is typically made to transport two to five bikes. Two prominent features of hitch mount racks make them a favorite choice of many. Firstly, the smooth loading and unloading. Secondly, not having the hassle of elevating the bikes to the roof level and placing them there on the top.
These racks are usually of two types; hanging cradle style or platform style.
In this style, the bikes rest on a platform. What makes these bike racks best is that it’s a super easy and safe method to load your bikes. The racks are designed in a way that bikes stay in place and stay protected from any damages. The disadvantages of these racks are that they are more expensive and can be a bit weighty to carry and store when not using.
Hanging Cradle Style
In this style, bikes dangle from the rack. The good part of this style is that they are usually less expensive as compared to platform style and lightweight. The not-so-good part is that bikes aren’t that much safe in place. Because they are hanging, the bikes may bump into each other. As a result, scratches may appear on the bikes.
Roof Mount Racks
If you are the one who has no problem in elevating bikes to the roof level and placing them on the roof, then this kind of car racks are a great option for you. Since it fits to the top of your car, you get a lot of space in the trunk where you can keep other important stuff.
This can suit the needs of avid cyclists or outdoor trip freaks because of its adaptability. It’s a mid-priced bike rack car, but if you wish to add more cradles or if you intend to construct a whole rack system from the beginning, its price will increase. Many vehicles do not have mounting points fitted before, so you can construct your own. Many vehicles get the mounting points fixed when they leave the manufacturing unit. So if your car has already fitted mounted points then you don’t need to worry. You can leave the rack fitted on the vehicle roof unless it’s so essential to remove it. The disadvantages are that roof mount racks are not a better option for taller vehicles, since it gets difficult to load and unload bikes from taller vehicle roofs. These racks are not easily removed just like the other types of racks, you need specific tools to do so.
Trunk Mount Racks
Truck Mount Racks are generally the least expensive bike racks. These racks are built to stay on the back of a car trunk while straps protect it in place. Arms and cradles help in upholding the bike to keep it safe in place. These racks are very much flexible, so they can be fitted to the rear of almost any vehicle. Truck Mount Racks are quite budget-friendly, but it is important to fix them properly, and the hooks that keep the straps attached to the vehicle can sometimes harm bike paint. The best part about these racks is that they are so flexible that they can be fitted on many vehicles. Truck-mounted racks are super light and extremely mobile. They can be stored with convenience when not in use. The downside is that trunk racks are usually restricted in the load capacity. Maximum two to three bikes can be loaded on the trunk racks. The efficiency of the rack gets affected if the straps are not fixed tightly. If the straps are improperly fitted, the bikes may swing while in transit.
Truck Mount Racks
Truck Mount Racks are a good option for those of you who are concerned with budget. Usually, these bike racks are the most inexpensive. Truck mount racks are designed to fit the rear of a car using straps attached to the lip of the car’s trunk. These racks are very flexible that they can fit in the rear of almost any vehicle. These bike racks need a bit of refinement for fixing, so you may require someone to assist you in placing the entire system in the right manner. They are very portable and you can easily load the bikes. If the racks are not in use, you can fold them for keeping them because they are quite small in size. The disadvantages are that these racks are not so safe, and they can damage your vehicle’s paint and put scratches if you are not careful while fixing it.
Spare Tire Mount Rack
Spare Tire Mount Rack lets you protect your vehicle from any scratches during loading and unloading. The vehicle remains scratches-free because the spare tire bike rack is attached to the spare tire of the vehicle. This kind of bike rack has an exception that it can be placed on off-road vehicles where the extra tire can be tied to the rear door.
This is also less costly and easy to fix. It’s an excellent option for those who own an off-road vehicle with an extra tire fitted on the rear door of the vehicle.
People who love to drive away in the adventuresome places with their bikes prefer to use spare tire mount racks. The benefits of this bike racks car are that they are quite easy to fit, they are temporarily attached to the vehicle and they are mid-priced. The downside is that only two bikes can rest on these racks. Tire covers are to be detached which is obviously a bit painstaking task.
Even after being fully aware of your bike rack type, you still need to make sure a few things.
The bike racks must be safely fixed to the vehicle. You may need to frequently check that.
Bikes must be safely fitted to the bike car rack.
The number of bikes on the racks must not surpass the limit of bikes the rack has been designed to carry.
You must not surpass the maximum weight allowed by the manufacture for the particular rack.
Try to avoid keeping any items on the loaded bikes as the items may get separated in transit.
Maybe some of you think that buying a bike rack car is a difficult task, so to avoid the struggle of buying the right bike rack for your car, you may prefer to load your bike inside the vehicle.
But have you thought about it? Imagine, you don’t have the bike rack car with you, and now you have to go on a road trip with your family. You are an avid bike rider or you simply wish to cycle around the trails. For this, definitely you need to take your bike with you. How are you going to do that? You will put it inside your vehicle. The trouble comes when first you have to dismantle the bike so that it can fit inside the car. While doing this, there is a chance that the bike leaves grease spots everywhere.
Next, you reach the destination and now you have to ride the bike. What next? You will have to assemble it again. Won’t be it inconvenient and time-consuming? Moving on, if you go into a dirt trail and your bike gets dirt stains, you will definitely be reluctant to put it back inside the car. Another quite serious factor, which people normally don’t give attention to is that the temperature inside the car gets very hot in summer which can cause damage to the tires.
Lastly, if all your family members wish to carry their bikes, then it is near to impossible to put all the bikes in one vehicle.
Now imagine if you have a bike rack, you won’t have to face any of these situations. Bike racks have been built by integrating engineering and innovation to give you racks that can perfectly transport your bike on vehicles. Go through the pointers that we have mentioned before buying a specific rack and consider all the rationalities. Choose from the different kinds of bike racks and get the one that best suits your needs and budget.