A guide to selecting the best-fit bike rack for your vehicle, number of bikes, and bike styles.
When purchasing your next bike rack, it is important to know the various methods to transport your bike(s) on your vehicle, the features, and benefits of specific rack models, along with knowing the capability and limitations of certain styles and vehicle placements. Most cyclists are searching for the rack style that will be easy and simple and easiest to use, while also keeping their bicycle safe, secure, and ready to ride when unloading at your destination.
Do bike racks fit all cars?
The first questions you should ask when selecting a bike rack for your vehicle are what type of vehicle do you have and just how many bikes you want to carry.
Bike racks come in a variety of styles and will be mounted on a vehicle’s roof, in the hitch receiver, on the trunk hatch or trunk, over a spare tire, or in the bed of a pickup truck. The type of vehicle you have will identify what bike rack options are available. Please consult the buyer’s guide to find what bike racks will continue to work with your automobile. When you have determined what options fit your vehicle, after that you can narrow down the style predicated on how many bicycles you would like to carry.
How to choose the right bike rack?
After determining the number of bikes you plan on transporting, it is possible to determine how you would like to carry your bikes. You can find four options:
Rooftop bike racks
And 4 rear of car styles:
Hitch bike racks
Trunk bike racks
Spare Tire bike racks
Truck bike racks
Here are the benefits of each, including the features and great things about each rack style by where they put on the vehicle:
Why choose a rooftop bike rack:
Rooftop mounted bike racks offer you full access to the trunk of their vehicle, enable you to carry one bicycle each, can accommodate most wheel dimensions, and be found in either fork-mounted bike rack options that secure dropout or thru-axle of your fork as the attachment point, or can be mounted without taking the leading wheel off with upright roof bike racks, and easy to use solution for the user. While these styles require either factory-installed or aftermarket crossbars, fork-mounted or upright roofing bike racks are excellent for sedans and smaller SUVs with a lesser loading height or models that do not need a hitch receiver installed.
Benefits of rooftop bike racks:
- You have a roof rack, but do not have a hitch receiver and don’t want to install one.
- Your vehicle includes a lower roof height.
- You need full access to the rear of this vehicle.
- You do not have plenty of storage space
Why choose a rear-of-car bike rack?
Hitch-mounted bike racks:
Hitch-mounted bike racks will be the most common style of bike carriers and so are a great option if you already have a Class 1-5 receiver hitch on the vehicle, or plan on installing one.
These bike racks can carry 1 to 5 bicycles, are an easy task to mount, and limit heavy and high lifting. Hitch racks also come in two styles: platform hitch racks can have around 4 bikes, are designed to make loading and unloading quick and easy, fold up when not in use, and easily accommodate a number of frame styles.
While hanging hitch racks can carry around 5 bikes and secure them by their top tube on the bike and comes in two variations, racks that either tilt down or swing away to enable trunk access. Both designs of racks can be found in models to accommodate both 1 ¼” and 2” hitch receivers.
Benefits of hitch-mounted bike racks:
- You have a 1 ¼” or 2″ hitch receiver.
- You want to carry multiple bikes.
- You need to easily load and unload them.
- You need to carry different bike frame styles.
- You want the added security for transporting their bikes
Trunk bike racks:
For vehicles without a roof rack or hitch receiver, a trunk bike rack can be an ideal option.
This style of rack can transport or event 1 to 3 bikes, are foldable, and store easily you should definitely in use, which makes them a great option for cyclists who ride infrequently or have limited space for storage in their garage or homes.
Benefits of trunk bike racks:
- You do not have a rack system or hitch receiver and perform not desire to install one.
- You are a casual rider that will not ride often.
- You want an economical option.
- You do not have plenty of storage space
Truck bike racks:
Truck owners, both light use and heavy-duty models, have the option to easily load their bikes onto an in-bed bike rack for mounting inside the bed of these trucks.
Benefits of truck bike racks:
- You do not have a roof rack system or hitch receiver and perform not desire to install one.
- You use the hitch receiver for other purposes.
- You want to transport bikes in your cargo area.
- You live close to where you ride and require a simple option for an instant commute
Spare Tire Bike racks:
This is for cars and SUVs that the spare tire at the back. This bike rack goes on the spare wheel.
Benefits of Spare tire bike racks:
- Unless you have a park right down the street from your house or trails in your neighborhood, at some time you will most probably want to transport your bicycle to a certain riding location.
- A spare tire bike rack is a good solution to take your bike on an on- or off-road adventure.
- Easy to install. Spare tire bike racks are simple to assemble and use up very little space when they’re not in use. It’s also fairly easy to mount and remove a bike from the spare usually tire bike rack.
Usually allow trunk access. As soon as you install a spare tire rack on your trunk, it is possible to usually open the tailgate on many types of vehicles.
- The units are also strong and secure and able to function on rough roads and during bad weather.
No hitch required. If you don’t have a trailer hitch, no problem. Spare tire bike racks don’t use a hitch. But if you do possess a hitch, it is possible to still tow a trailer while transporting your bikes on the spare tire.Whatever your vehicle, or however many bikes you plan on taking with you on your next ride, there are a host of bike rack styles for your next trip. Before you select the bike rack for you, it’s important to research the options out there to ensure you have the best model for your automobile and your needs.