Bike Racks Buying Guide
Like anything else, bike racks come in a bunch of styles and designs depending on how they will be used. Some racks come equipped with attachments so that they can handle more than two bikes at a time--for family road trips and the like--while others work better mounted on more compact vehicles and can accommodate a smaller number of bikes. The price-tag often increases with size and complexity, but it may be well worth it to suit your needs. So consider the following information before purchasing your first bike rack, your wallet and your wheels will thank you.
Questions to Ask
What car will I use with my bike rack?
- You have to consider which vehicle you are going to use most often with your bike rack, because this will determine the mounting style of the rack. They can be attached on the top of the vehicle or on the rear. Specifically, sports trailers are those racks that are used to carry many bicycles, which work best on SUV s and other vehicles of larger stature.
How many bikes will you need to transport?
- The more bikes, the bigger the rack and the more attachments.
What size and shape are most of your bikes?
- Different racks can accommodate different bikes, from road bikes to mountain bikes and children's bikes. If your bikes are heavier, your rack will need to be made of sturdier materials (which will be more expensive). If your strictly loading children's bikes , the rack will need to be smaller and come with special attachment features (also more expensive). Consider what you will most often use your rack for in order to determine the best style and size rack for you.
Will you need to lock it up?
- If you're toting around some fancy bikes that you use for racing, you might want to purchase a rack that has a locking system and other security features.
Unique Style Racks
Hitch Mount Bike Racks
These racks are Ideal for any vehicle with a standard size trailer hitch receiver. These models mount around the receiver, leaving the hitch open for towing a trailer, boat etc. As an added bonus, most hitch mount bike racks fold or swing away so you can still access your cargo.
Spare Tyre Mount Bike Racks
This makes good use of otherwise dead space on the back of your truck or SUV. This rack bolts through your spare's wheel for holding a pair of bikes while leaving your hitch unobstructed for towing additional items.
Trunk Mount Bike Racks
If you need a more portable bike rack, these racks may be your best option. Trunk mounts have padded hooks that latch on to your trunk or rear cargo door and can more easily be removed while still allowing for secure carrying. They also have adjustable straps so they can fit nearly every size vehicle.