A Buyers Guide To Types of Bike Racks and Choosing the Right One

Biking is a great cardio activity. If you love to go mountain biking or simply take your bike on road trips, there is a need to invest in quality bike racks. Carrying a bike on your car can mean potential problems if you don’t have bike racks for cars. It is important that you invest in the right car bike rack to ensure your safety.

The main objective of using a bike carrier is quite simple – to carry the bike with ease when you’re riding in your car. There is a wide range of choices that you can find whether you shop online or at local bike stores. It is important that you find out the various bike racks in the market and pick one that meets your needs or requirements.

You will only compromise your safety if you pick the wrong bike rack. It can also lead to damaged, stolen, lost bikes, or worse your vehicle can incur scratches. In order to make an informed decision, there is a need to identify your needs. How often are you going to use it?  Do you need a special type such bike racks for SUVs? Will you transport one or two bikes? How much is your budget for the bike rack? There are other considerations when looking at bike racks but these are the most important ones. If you can answer the questions, then you will surely be able to find the ideal rack.

It is important that you find out the different types of bike racks for cars. This includes the strap-on trunk, hitch bike racks, and roof bike racks. Each of these rack types have good and bad points. To ensure that you find one that will work for you, your vehicle, and your bike, you have to make comparisons. For trucks and SUVs, you will need to look for specialty bike racks that suit such vehicles.

A Look at Strap-On Bike Racks

This truck-mounted carrier is the most affordable. If you’re on a tight budget, there is a need to look for racks that cost around $40 – $140. The frame of the carrier is where the straps are attached, and is further joined with the car’s rear bumper, hatchback, and trunk. Before you place the bikes, make sure that you have setup the carrier properly.

Why should you get the strap-on carrier? This is ideal for a rented or leased vehicle. The carrier is not that hard to setup and when not in use, it can be placed inside the trunk. It is possible to get this type of carrier under $100. If there are good points, then you should also watch out for some disadvantages. The weight of the rack and that of the bike rests on the vehicle’s body, and can cause damage to the sheet metal or paint. If you don’t secure the rack properly, it might snap and your bike will tumble down. Since the rack is truck-mounted, you can’t get anything from inside the trunk without removing the rack.

Roof Mounted Bike Racks

This type of carrier is ideal for station wagons, minivans, and SUVs. You can attach the rack over the existing crossbars or roof rack. However, if the car doesn’t have an existing roof rack, you will spend around $200 or more to install one. The main advantage of this rack is that you can use it for other purposes, not just for carrying bikes. Make sure that you pick the right tray design to accommodate bikes with odd-frames.

In comparison to the strap-on, installing the roof rack is a bit complicated. You will need to follow the instructions carefully to make sure that the overhead structure is secured and has low clearance. If you use this on a tall vehicle, you will find it hard to lift the bike to the roof. It is also important that you check on the rooftop’s weight allowance to avoid problems.

Hitch-Mount Bike Racks

This rack is available in different sizes and specs. It is possible to find one that suits your vehicle. Take a look at the various classes of hitches (Class I, II, and III). The most popular brands of hitch-mount racks can cost around $100 to $400. If you’re on a tight budget, you can settle with the less popular brands, but don’t sacrifice quality.

Installation is easy and you don’t have to remove the wheels when mounting the bikes. Securing the bike in place is not that hard. Since the racks are hitch-mounted, you don’t have to worry about scratching the vehicle.

If your car doesn’t have a trailer hitch, you may need to spend more by choosing this type of bike rack. Depending on the rack that you purchase, you might need to cut the rear fascia or drill holes. Make sure that the bike rack doesn’t cover the taillights or the license plate. Otherwise, the authorities might give you a ticket for this particular violation.

Being an active biker will mean that you should purchase some accessories like bike racks. Now that you know the different choices that are available in the market, it will be much easier to make an informed decision. Establish a budget and determine your needs. Once you are finished with this aspect, you can now proceed with the installation.

Traveling with your mountain bike is not that hard if you have quality bike racks. The vehicle model is an important consideration when choosing the ideal rack. You can ask experts about it but if you simply do your homework, you can save the trouble and end up with the best deal.

Educated customers don’t just buy the first product that comes their way. You must shop around and check on product warranties, mounting instruction, and package deals. Even if you’re not an expert with bike racks, it is possible to make the right purchase. After you’ve made the best buy, read the installation instructions carefully. You have to understand the steps down to the last detail. When the racks are installed, you can now mount the bikes. Drive safely with bike racks and don’t forget that you’re carrying your precious bike outside the car.

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