If you are looking for ways to help get your family more active and into the outdoors, one of the best things you can look into is the various bike racks for cars on the market today. Of course you’ll need to have bicycles as well, but sometimes people are reluctant to get into cycling with the family for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they don’t live in an ideal place for family bicycle outings, while other times it’s because they fear they will get bored only riding around in their immediate neighborhood. Both of those problems are easily overcome by simply getting a bike rack for your car, truck, SUV or minivan.
If you do decide to go this route, the good news is that you have a tremendous variety of options to choose from when it comes to bike racks. On the other hand, that can be a curse too, for some people who aren’t sure what they want or need for their particular situation. Not to worry. While the choices are many, you can narrow them down pretty easily by answering a few general questions about the way you plan to use your bike rack. From there, you’ll know that you only want to look at trunk mounted bike racks for example, or perhaps you will want a roof rack for your bike. Another option might be a hitch mounted bike rack if you have a standard 2 inch trailer hitch installed on your vehicle. Once you know the style or rack you want to purchase, you can start looking at the various brands such as Thule, Saris, Yakima, Hollywood Racks and others.
So let’s take a look at some of the points you’ll want to consider so you’ll be able to narrow things down a bit.
How often do you think you’ll be using your bike rack? The reason this is important is because you can have a rack that is (more or less) permanently attached to your vehicle, or one that you can quickly and easily add and remove as you need it. The obvious benefit of the first style is that it is much more secure against possible theft of your rack and/or bicycles. On the other hand, if you only plan to carry your bikes on occasion to get to your riding spot and come home, the easy on, easy off style might be better. You can simply remove the rack and lock it inside your vehicle while you’re off riding if theft is a concern (they’re that easy to take on and off).
As mentioned above, you’ll also want to consider where you want to carry the bikes. On the roof or behind the car? Roof top bike carriers leave you total access to all doors and the trunk/rear hatch, but they can be more difficult when loading your bikes into position. With a trunk mounted bike carrier you don’t have to lift nearly as high, making things much easier.
Also, consider the actual bike (or bikes) you’ll be carrying. How many bikes to you need to carry and what kind? Some manufacturers make 3, 4 or even 5 bike carriers, so you should be able to find what you need. If you ride a bike that is somewhat out of the ordinary such as a recumbent or a tandem, you also might need to look into special racks or bike rack accessories to accommodate properly.
Finally, once you’ve made all the determinations above and you’ve chosen the bike rack manufacturer of your choice, you’ll want to do one last bit of research to make sure you’re getting the perfect rack for your vehicle. Check with the manufacturer to make sure that the bike rack you plan to purchase is designed to work with your specific vehicle. Make sure you confirm the make, model and year of your vehicle as even slight variations can make the proper fit… not proper any longer. Get it right the first time, and get confirmation that the manufacturer said it would work on your vehicle so that in the event of any problems, you’ll easily be able to return it and request a solution (though if you follow everything above, you really shouldn’t have any issues whatsoever).
The beauty of having a good bike rack for your car is that it makes it easy to load up the whole family with their bikes and do some great, healthy exploring, exercising and just generally having fun together.