How to Select The Right Bike Rack For Your Car
How To Select The Right Bike Rack For Your Car
A bike rack makes it easier to transport one or more bikes wherever you want to go. It could sit on top of your car or sit on the rear of the vehicle. However, it doesn’t require a trailer hitch, and you don’t have to worry so much about maneuvering the car when you have a bike rack. Here’s how to select the right bike rack for your car.
Gather The Necessary Information
How heavy are your bikes? How many bikes do you want to carry? Can you load that much plus a bike rack on the roof of the car? If you’re considering a rear-mounted bike rack, how much can you load on the back bumper? If the car has a trailer hitch, how much weight can you load on it?
Compare The Options To The Vehicles You Have Or Want to Own
We mentioned the need to determine the weight and size of the bikes, because heavier bikes or pairs of bikes may not work with a cheap vertical bike rack. However, that’s not all you need to worry about. One reason why there are so many bike racks on the market is because they have to fit such a wide range of cars. For example, there are bike racks made to connect to luggage racks on the top of your minivan or station wagon. These obviously won’t fit on the back of a small passenger car.
You may find that your car isn’t sufficient to carry several bikes and a bike rack. Find a new ride in Houston, and know how much space and weight the bikes take up. You don’t want to buy a van so tall you can’t mount the bikes on top of unless you want to risk hitting the bottom of the local bridges while driving to your destination. If you’re considering buying a truck, know how the bikes will fit in the truck bed and what bike racks will hold them securely in place.
Once you understand what works with your vehicle and the bikes you want to carry, you only have to choose between the few available options. Note that you may need a car rack that fits your particular vehicle.
Decide If You Want to Carry Anything Else With You
Not all bike racks will handle things other than bikes. Do you want to be able to carry paddle boards and skis using the same carry rack? Do you need a bike rack that will let you carry your youngest child’s tricycle? Would you like to be able to add more gear over time, such as replacing a bicycle with a dirt bike?
Research The Available Options
Now that you know the necessary weight range and dimensions of the bike rack as well as the type of bike racks that work with your vehicle, you’re going to need to narrow down the options to the best one for you. Read the reviews for each potential model. Does the lock sometimes come undone, dropping your bike on the road? Are they hard to install and remove, something that can cause problems if you want to put something else on the bike rack the next day? If the bike rack presents serious issues, strike it off your list. Once you get to the two or three best contenders, you can choose based on price or value-added features.
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.