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Which Style of Bike Rack?

August 12th, 2011 | Posted by JustinW in Product Selection

With so many styles of bike racks currently available on the market, we want to help you select the right style bike rack for your situation.  Whether you are heading across the country or just cruising to the local park, usage is an important factor in selecting a bike rack.  Also consider the type of vehicle you have.  This may limit you in the number of bike rack styles available.  Finally, cost is another important factor in selecting a bike rack.  You can often save money by buying online over your local bike shop with high overhead costs.

Questions to ask:

How far will you typically be traveling? – Greater durability and quality is important for longer trips.  You don’t want bikes shifting around or even falling off a poor quality bike rack.  Stick to brands that focus on reliability and stay away from private label products that often skimp on quality.

What kind of vehicle do you have? – Your vehicle type will often rule out what bike rack options you have. If you have a rear mounted spare tire, a spare tire rack may be a good option for you.  Vehicles with a hitch receiver have the option of a rear mounted bike carrier.  However, typical passengers sedans usually only accommodate roof racks or trunk mounted bike racks.  While the option of a roof rack may also be appealing for its versatility, SUVs and larger vehicle may have clearance issues as well as difficulty mounting the bike at an elevated position.

How much are you willing to pay? – While a roof mounting system offers versatility, they often cost more that alternatives like trunk mounted racks.  Remember that cost is only one variable in selecting your bike rack.

Overall, the most important factor is finding a rack you are comfortable using.  If you have difficulty reaching the roof of your vehicle, a roof rack may not be the best option.  If you are concerned with maneuvering in traffic or finding parking spaces, don’t select a rack that increases the length of your vehicle.

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