By James Raia

How to transport your bicycle with a car

In any amateur cyclist’s life, there will come a time when they want to test their strength at different places than the roads around home. They will want to try out cycling in different sceneries than the ones you are used to. But how do you make sure that your equipment gets to your destination safely? For that, you will need a bike rack to mount onto your car.

Various types of bike racks

You have a lot of choices when it comes to purchasing a bike rack but you should know that not every bike rack can be attached properly to every car. The most common types of racks for carrying bikes are hitch racks, roof racks and trunk racks.

Hitch bike racks

Hitch bike racks are a great choice if you need to carry multiple bikes and you plan on doing it regularly. They can usually carry from two to five bikes simultaneously. However, to use a hitch rack you will need a receiver hitch installed on the back of your vehicle. If your car didn’t come with one, you can get it installed by professionals for an additional fee. After that, mounting a hitch rack is a breeze.

Hitch bike racks come in various models, suitable for most budgets. The most advanced, and expensive, hitch racks will allow you to have a fully accessible trunk even if the rack is loaded. If you’re not sure what kind of rack you need, check this list of hitch bike rack reviews. Hitch racks are very sturdy so your bikes will be safe but be prepared for sway if you travel with a fully loaded rack in the back.

Roof bike racks

These racks are the most versatile because they can be used to carry not only bikes but also other types of sports equipment, such as skis or surfboards. Because the rack is on the roof, you have full access to all the car doors and trunk at all times. Most cars have space to carry up to four bikes at once. Most roof tracks are able to carry bikes with no adjustments but some will require you to take down the bike wheels first.

The main drawback of roof racks is that loading and unloading is a pretty strenuous activity. It can also hinder you if you drive in space with low-clearance – underground parking lots are not really an option.

Trunk bike racks

Trunk racks are the least expensive option for carrying bikes on your car. Similar to hitch racks, they are also mounted on the rear of your car but don’t require a separate receiver hitch. They are easy to install and easy to load and unload.

However, they are not the sturdiest racks. You probably won’t have problems with bikes falling off of it completely but they will most likely sway and maybe even touch one another while you are driving. Trunk bike racks are good if you need to transport your bikes occasionally and don’t want to spend a ton of money on additional equipment.

This is all you need to know about bike racks. Visit Be Your Car website for reviews of other car equipment.