Choosing the Best Bicycle Car Rack

January 25, 2018

As the weather improves, it's time to hit the road — on your bike! For the outdoor enthusiast who wants to get lost in the woods, finding the perfect bike rack for your vehicle is a must. The better the bike the rack, the more fun you'll have without having to worry about transporting your bikes (or losing them on the way).  

Here are a few things to consider when looking for a bike rack that suits you.

What kind of car do you drive?

The type of vehicle you drive makes a difference. Bike racks for pickup trucks are different than those that attach to your average sedan. 

If you've got a truck, why not just toss your bikes into the empty bed and go? Unfortunately, unless you secure them, your bikes are going to slam into each other and slide around as you drive. They might even bounce out! Some truck bed bike rack options to consider are pads for your tailgates or a physical in-bed bike rack. If those options are too expensive, you could always opt for a classic hitch rack on the back.

Note: the images shown below are real recommendations based on Amazon ratings and reviews. RepairPal receives no compensation from Amazon or manufacturers for posting products.

Hitch racks

hitch rack amazon
Image courtesy of Amazon – Top rated – Swagman Bicycle Carriers

Hitch racks are pretty common, and they come with a lot of benefits. Hitch racks are versatile for all body types, so if you're short, this is probably one of the easier racks to load and unload your bikes from.

They also have the ability to carry several heavy bikes at once through different terrains. One of the things you should keep in mind is your rear visibility when carrying bikes; rear hitch racks can sometimes obstruct your view.

Trunk racks

saris bike rackImage courtesy of Saris – Top rated – Saris

Similar to hitch racks are trunk racks. These racks can be used to haul bicycles on vehicles that don't have a hitch. Trunk racks face similar visibility issues, but are very popular for those driving smaller sedans or coupes.

Roof racks 

roof bike rack
Image courtesy of Amazon user – Top rated – CyclingDeal

To get your bikes truly up and out of the way, a roof rack is a great option. A roof rack also gives you more room, leaving the trunk open for storage space. When traveling, you won't have problems with visibility, but keep in mind that you'll to use caution when going under bridges, through parking garages or in other places with low clearance.

About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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