How to Select the Best Bike Rack for Your Car

How to Select the Best Bike Rack for Your Car

Stationary bike trainer

Shopping for bike parts and accessories? There are a lot of bike accessories on the market, but few beat the practicality of a bike rack to get you to new and exciting cycling locations.

Here’s an overview of the bike racks you may see to help you decide which one is right for your purposes:

Roof Racks are versatile, stable and secure bike racks that can also work for boats, skis, surfboards, snowboards and cargo boxes. They allow you easy access to car doors, trunks and rear hatches, so they’re especially good for the adventurous traveler who packs heavy and enjoys nature in a variety of ways. However, they do require you to reach overhead to secure bikes, and drivers have to be aware of wind resistance and height restrictions. Still, roof racks are often highly recommended for their moderate cost and versatility as bike racks and storage supporters.

Trunk Racks are a much cheaper and more portable option. Loading and removing bikes is much easier, and these bike racks can be used across several vehicles, unlike permanent roof racks. However, they can make it more difficult to get to the trunk or hatch, and bikes are less stable. Trunk racks are great for drivers who split bike transport between a few SUV’s, sedans or hatchbacks and only need to carry 2-3 bikes.

Spare-tire racks are simple to install, easy to load, and can also be adapted to carry skis and snowboards. More advanced models can be pretty expensive, and more basic models may restrict trunk access. Obviously these are only available for vehicles with rear-mounted exterior spare tires, and they’re usually lightweight and compact. However, they can usually only carry two bikes.

Truck racks consist of internal rails or support beds that run across the bed of a truck to support 2-4 bikes as well as cargo boxes and boats. The cost is moderate and the installation is simple and not permanent, and bikes are stable and easy to access. It’s also one of the only options that doesn’t alter the size of your car while loaded with bikes.

Hitch racks can be a little more on the expensive end and often block access to the trunk or rear cargo area. However, they can be adapted to carry skis, snowboards and cargo holders and are simple to install and easy to load. They can be put on cars with hitches from class II and up and can carry 2-5 bikes. Some even fold flat against vehicles when not in use to provide extra clearance.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to bike storage, so choose the option that fits your needs best!

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