Tips for Choosing a Bike Rack for a Car
If you love riding a bicycle and travelling by car or any other vehicle, there is one life-changing object that can help you connect these two loves – a bike rack. Bike racks or carriers attach to your vehicle and help you transport your bike securely, so whether you are going camping alone or with friends or family, you are up for some mountain biking or you are simply exploring new towns, you can have your favourite two-wheel companion anywhere. Bike racks are extremely convenient and useful, and even if you only have one bicycle, it’s recommended that you get one, not only because it will make transportation easier, but also because that way you will have more space inside your car if you need to carry a lot of things on your trip.
And the best news is that bike carriers are easy to instal and because there are many different types and you can find one that will also work best for you. In other words, if you take the time to choose one, you can be certain that you will use it. Good quality bicycle carriers are sturdy and will keep your bicycle safe during transport. But just like bikes and cars, there are many types to choose from, so before buying one there are several things you need to take into account.
Types of Bicycle Carriers
If you are sitting on your computer trying to find a quality single bike rack, to carry your bicycle safely with you, you’ve probably learned that it’s not as straightforward as it looks, because there are more types than you’ve thought. Bike carriers are either rear-mounted or roof-mounted, and both options have their own advantages.
As their names suggest, roof-mounted bike racks carry your bike on the roof, whereas rear-mounted bike racks carry it attached to the back of your car. Both types offer many different models that work in different ways. Mainly, it’s up to your personal preferences, although there are some limitations depending on your vehicle.
Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers
Roof-mounted bicycle racks need to be installed on bars that are fitted to the roof. There are two most common options: one features a pivoting arm that holds the bike’s down tube, while the other holds the fork dropouts on a front bar after you remove the front wheel of the bike. Many bicycle enthusiasts consider the second to be the most secure one. The biggest advantage of roof-mounted carriers is that they allow you access to your car boot. They are also a good option if parking space is an issue.
Rear-Mounted Bicycle Carriers
A rear-mounted single bike rack for car is also an ideal option if you want to use the roof space to carry something else, or if you don’t want to invest in roof bars. They are attached to the back of the car, generally with straps. Rear-mounted bicycle racks are more affordable, easy to instal, easy to use, they can be easily removed if you don’t use them and many people find it much easier to secure their bikes on them, than on roof-mounted bike racks.
Both rear-mounted and roof-mounted bike racks also have some disadvantages. Rear-mounted bike carriers will obviously interrupt the access to the boot. And they can also hide the number plates and/or the rear lights and might increase the width of your vehicle. On the other hand, roof-mounted bike carriers will increase the height of the vehicle and slightly affect the running costs. You’ll also need roof bars and it can be hard to fit the bikes on the roof, especially if you aren’t tall.
Other Things to Consider
When you are choosing a bike carrier, your goal is to find something that will fit your car, that will keep your bike secure, and most importantly that won’t cause you problems. For instance, you don’t want a bike carrier mounted on your roof if you are short, but you also don’t want a single bike carrier mounted on your trunk if you need access to your boot.
Furthermore, in order to choose the right bike rack, you need to consider your vehicle and your bicycle. When it comes to your vehicle, it’s important that you know that not every bicycle rack will fit every car. And rear-mounted bike carriers are vehicle-specific, so make sure that you check before buying one.
Furthermore, you need to think about how many bicycles you want to carry, as well as their type. Different bikes have different wheel sizes, weight, frame materials and so on, so you need to try to find a carrier that will accommodate all of those characteristics. Nevertheless, there are also single bike racks that can carry a wide range of bicycle types, whether they are urban bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, BMX bikes, touring bikes, electronic bikes or any other type.