What You Need to Know Before Buying a Bike Rack

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Bike Rack

Buying a bike rack is a great idea. You can take your family off for an adventure on the summer holidays, or you can take yourself on a healthy bike ride exploring some of the country’s most beautiful bike trails. Either way, you’ll have more room in your car for other things when you have a bike rack installed. But the process of buying a bike rack is more complicated than it may first seem. First of all, there are many different types of bike racks to choose from. Second of all, there are countless other things to consider when you’re about to choose from the large variety of bike racks out there. Here’s what you need to know before buying.

Kinds of Bike Racks

Roof Mounted Bike Racks


  • Greater security for more expensive bikes
  • Good for boot access and unloading luggage


  • Bikes on top of a car can cause drag
  • Securing bikes on the  roof can be awkward

Boot Mounted Bike Racks


  • Very affordable type of bike rack
  • Easy to install and use


  • One of the least secure bike racks
  • Can only carry a limited number of bikes

Tow Bar Mounted Bike Racks


  • Durable and secure
  • Easy to mount your bike on


  • A more expensive option
  • Rely on a tow bar for operation

Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Bike Racks

What Are Your Bike Weights?

The combined weight of all the bikes you want to carry with your bike rack will determine which bike rack you should choose. Some are sturdier than others and will carry greater weight than others.

What Are Your Tyre Widths?

Some bikes racks are suitable for certain tyre widths and not others. Road and recreational bikes tend to have thinner tyres than a mountain or cyclocross bikes. The latter may not fit with some bike fittings or mounts, so check this out before you make a decision.

Does Your Car Have A Spoiler?

If you have a plastic spoiler on the back of your car, then don’t buy a boot mounted bike rack, as your spoiler will impede the fittings for the rack. The plastic also won’t be sufficiently strong and sturdy to take the load of the bikes.

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

You can buy bike racks at a wide range of different price points. The right choice of rack depends on how you’ll be using it. Are you going to be venturing into the rugged countryside in your 4WD? Then choose something durable enough to stand up to that terrain. You’ll pay more, but it will be worth it to get the right bike rack for the job.

How Patient Are You?

Some bike racks are a lot easier to install and use than others. Have a good think about how you would like to access your bikes and what style of bike rack would best suit you. Remember, certain bike racks make the boot of your car off-limits, which may be another important consideration.


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