Bike Racks – How to Choose the Right One

For outdoor enthusiasts, picking out the correct bike rack for their situation can be extremely frustrating at times. There are so many types available at this particular moment, and the one that will mount correctly on the current vehicle has to be ascertained before making a purchase. By having this kind of information available, it can save the time and hassle of having to return the wrong one. Essentially, it comes down to a choice between 4 major types of bike racks that are currently being offered by manufacturers. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages that must be carefully weighed before making a choice for purchase.

1). A Roof Mounted Bike Rack is one of the most popular designs among outdoor and cycling mavens at this time. It can be easily adapted to most car or sport utility vehicle (SUV) roofs, leaving access to the trunk in case more equipment needs to be carried. For those folks with a roof rack on their vehicle already, this makes the choice embarrassingly obvious. But for everybody else, there are other styles that will fit on cars or SUV’s that don’t already have a roof rack on top.

The only drawback that most consumers see is that there is no protection from wind and moisture using this method of transport. There is also the chance that any kind of flying debris can slam into the bike at high speed, causing damage to the cycle. Another issue involves forgetful drivers who somehow don’t remember that the cycle is on top of the car and enter a low clearance area, causing a major mishap to the bike.

2). The hitch bike rack is another option, but there has to be a hitch on the car or at minimum a receiver capable of using one. For those drivers in this type of situation, this can be a great choice. There are a great number of these versions, but only two main types: fixed and flexible. The former allows the bike to be mounted tightly on the back of the car, while the latter has some flexibility to allow car owners to be able to get into the trunk if necessary. This model helps to protect the bike against damage from airborne projectiles as seen with the roof mounted model. But unless the flexible or swing-away style is purchased, it is hard to get into the trunk for supplies without having to remove the bike entirely from the rack.

3). A Trunk Mounted Bike Rack can be fixed directly to the car, and is ideal for short excursions. These are popular because of the reduced cost associated with this model. The advantages include protection from debris and ease of mounting the rack. It is also especially important for bike riders who don’t want to use their roof and don’t have a car equipped with a hitch already. However, it is not as sturdy as the other two, and there will be some jostling associated with this model. Of course, being able to get into the trunk or even a hatchback can be next to impossible with this type of mount.

4). Truck Bed Bike Rack is the final option for persons interested in taking a bike on a long trip. This style mounts directly to the truck bed itself, and is able to carry more than one bike if necessary. When compared to just putting the bikes into the bed of the truck without any kind of protection, this model has proven to be very beneficial. It can provide the type of security that will keep the bikes from banging into each other, causing dents, bent wheels and flat tires at worst. It will take up the bulk of the bed space however, and for long trips this may be crucial, since a ton of supplies will most likely be needed for any trip away from home.

No matter what choice is made, having the ability to transport a bicycle on either a long or short trip can be beneficial for fitness enthusiasts or dirt bike riders everywhere. The hardest part will be deciding on the best course of action to protect the unit while also being able to effectively make the trip too.