Whether you are on a road trip for a few weeks or a weekend camping trip, having your bicycle at your disposal offers an opportunity to explore places differently. That said, transporting a bike while on the road is tedious. A bike carrier for cars or a bike roof rack comes in handy during such situations. It makes your trip more comfortable and safe because transporting bikes in the car by folding seats or in the trunk is risky. You may also need to dismantle your bike every time you decide to take it on your adventure trips if you don’t have a bike rack. So, now that you are aware of the importance of a bike rack, let’s discuss some essential points to keep in mind before purchasing. So, here’s everything you must know about a bike rack.
The vast diversity in prices
Like any car accessory, there are many varieties of car mount for bike or bike racks, and they vary in price. The price primarily depends on the type of bike rack you choose. For instance, bike carriers that accommodate bicycles and spare wheels on the car’s roof are relatively cheaper than those that accommodate the bike behind the car. The materials of the bike rack and the brand are also the factors for the varying prices. Aluminum bike racks are more expensive than steel ones.
Which type of bike rack fits your car?
Here’s the next thing you need to know about bike racks. As we mentioned earlier, there are many varieties of bike racks available. So, you must decide which one fits your car. Here are the four types of bike racks available on the market.
One of the most common types of bike racks you’ll find on many cars is the hitch bike rack. They are a type of bike rack that attaches to the rear of the vehicle. Loading and unloading bicycles are extremely easy for this type. The only downside to it is the added length at the back, making maneuvering and parking difficult for some drivers. Hitch bike racks are suitable for almost all types of vehicles. So, if you drive a hatchback or a boxy SUV, a hitch bike rack can easily accommodate two bicycles at the back of your car.
As the name suggests, this type of bike rack accommodates your bicycles on the car’s roof. Suitable for most heavy and small vehicles, roof bike racks are also among the prevalent types of bike racks. However, the car’s roof must have crossbars installed to accommodate a bike rack on the roof. Finding a high-quality roof bike rack is also easy, as many renowned brands offer them. If you think you can manage to get the bike up on the roof every time for loading and unloading, go for a roof bike rack. However, keep in mind that accessing indoor parking lots can be tricky with these bike racks.
3. Truck Bed Bike Racks
If you drive a truck or a mini truck and want to carry your bicycle in the back, truck bed bike racks are an ideal option for you. These roof racks are designed specifically for trucks and offer exceptional support and grip to the bikes placed on the truck bed. Loading and unloading the bikes is a cakewalk with a truck bed bike rack, and it does not even add extra length or height to the vehicle. However, you may have to compromise on losing the cargo space to transport your bikes with this type of bike rack.
4. Trunk Strap Bike Racks
If you are on a tight budget and looking for an affordable bike rack, the trunk strap bike rack is ideal for you. There is no hassle in installing the bike rack as it is a fabric strap that attaches to the trunk of your car. You can rest assured about your bike as these straps can hold them securely while the car is in motion. However, accessing the trunk may be tricky when you install these strap bike racks. Also, they are prone to theft as cutting the fabric strips is all a thief needs to access your bicycle.
Installing the bike racks
Now that you’re aware of the various types of bike racks, you may wonder whether installing bike racks on the car is easy or not. Most bike racks are extremely easy to install and come with a detailed user guide for installation. Use the manual to know about the fitting positions and other steps. Also, ensure that all the contact points between the bike rack and car are clean. If you think you need expert help at any point, don’t hesitate and check whether the company offers technicians for installation. Whether you install it yourself or have an expert do it, having an extra set of hands to help with the process is always beneficial.
Bike racks are one of the best accessories for adventure enthusiasts. Whatever type of bike rack you choose, make sure it’s from a renowned manufacturer and made from high-quality materials. You must consider factors like the bike rack’s weight and capacity before buying. It should be easily able to handle your bike’s weight.