Cycling right to your doorstep, with quick access to the best roads and trails in your area, is what most cyclists would love to do. Alas, this is not always possible.
We often have to drive to a group meeting point, a race start line, a trailhead or a place that is not easily accessible by pedal alone. If your bike fits in your car, so much the better! But most of us will need to invest in a bike rack to get to our cycling destinations.
Bike racks come in a dizzying array of options and choosing the best one for your needs can be a daunting task considering not only the different installation options in your car, but also type compatibility. of bike(s) you wish to transport.
Barend Smit, Marketing Director of MotorHappy, has provided a short guide on how to choose the best bike rack for your vehicle.
Trunk carriers are designed to be attached to your car using a system of straps and hooks. They often have rubberized contact points which minimize movement under the weight of the bikes once attached to the car.
• Usually the cheapest and easiest option
• Quick to attach and remove from the car
• Easy to load and unload bikes
• Does not require additional accessories to mount on most cars
• Less secure in terms of bike retention and risk of theft
• May restrict rear view mirror visibility
• Bikes with odd frame shapes can be difficult to transport
• Rubber “feet” can scratch the car’s paint finish
To use roof bars, you will need cross bars. The type of crossbars that fit your car will depend on whether you already have vertical roof rails. Most rack accessory manufacturers will have a handy assembly guide.
• Frees access to the safe
• Unlimited rear visibility
• Compatible with most bikes
• May increase car fuel consumption due to increased aerodynamic drag
• Difficult to load and unload bikes especially if you are not very tall
• May require additional accessories, such as crossbars, if your car does not already have them
As the name suggests, hitch mounts attach to your car’s hitch receiver. If your car doesn’t already have one, you’ll need to have one installed first. They come in different sizes.
• Easy to install and remove from the car
• Easy loading and unloading of bicycles thanks to the low position
• Wide compatibility with different types of bikes
• Mounting without contact with the body of the car means that there are no scratches on the paintwork
• Vouchers are expensive! You will need to get a hitch receiver for your car if you don’t already have one
• Risk of damage to bicycles in the event of a rear collision
• May obstruct view of vehicle license plate
Many riders will spare no expense when it comes to their bikes and cycling gear, but are hesitant to invest in a high-quality rack,” Smit observed.
“Cheap racks can damage your bike and even pose a hazard to you and your car. Do your research on the best rack option for your car and bike, and buy a well-built rack from a reputable brand will ensure trouble-free journeys to your cycling destinations.
When loading and unloading your bike from your car, chances are you’ll scratch the paint or dent your car. Dent and scratch insurance coverage will help keep your car in good condition and will cover you for any repairs of minor scratches and dents, and even some interior damage.