Being a cyclist on the go means having an easy way to transport your bike to your favorite paths and off-road trails. Installing a bike rack on the back of your car is the easiest way to get the job done. But which bike rack for cars is right for you? The answer depends on everything from your needs to your budget. Here are a few ways to narrow the field:
Are you in search of a more permanent fixture for your car to be used every weekend? A roof rack or high-end hitch rack may be the best options. Roof racks also accommodate other gear, so you can use your rack for bikes in the summer and snowboards once the weather shifts. Hitch mounts are unlikely to scratch your vehicle and they can fold down when you’re not using them. If you’re only looking to use your rack occasionally, REI recommends a trunk rack that can be switched between vehicles easily.
Not all car racks cost the same, so understand your budget before you get your heart set on one. Trunk and spare tire racks tend to be very affordable, so they’re great for beginners or other price-conscious shoppers. If you’re ready to invest in a long-term solution and you have a healthy budget in mind, consider a cargo box, hitch rack, or roof rack to lug your bicycles.
A roof rack may sound ideal for your bike transport, but do you need to be able to enter parking garages or drive under other low clearances? If so, you’ll need to change your game plan and install a trunk hitch or other rear-mounting rack. Likewise, a rack that mounts to the hitch or trunk will elongate your vehicle, so if you need to park in a short parking space with bikes on the back the bikes may stick out. A bit of measuring now can eliminate stress later. The right bike rack for a SUV may be different than one for a smart car.
One of the main advantages of a hitch, spare tire, or trunk rack is that you don’t have to lift the bike too high off the ground. If you’re handling the bike alone or have a tall SUV, it may be unrealistic to secure and unlock your bike to a roof rack or cargo box.
Some racks will hide your rear license plate, which is illegal in some parts of the country. If you’re often traveling on the road out of state or a location you’re not familiar with, be sure to find a way to display your plate or use a roof rack to avoid a ticket.
Check out these options to begin your search:With a new car rack, it’s time to hit the open road. Do you want to find new and exciting places to take your bike? Sixthreezero is here to help. Join our Journey Club to uncover new and exciting ride locations around the globe!