The trend of buying bike racks for cars has increased quite dramatically in recent months. This not only has to do with the high cost of gasoline, but also with the growing popularity of a very familiar sport. The problem is that there are also a lot of bike rack returns because people buy the wrong rack and end up with scratches or loose racks and are generally not happy with their purchase.
So if you’re thinking of getting car bike racks anytime soon, read this article to find out what common mistakes you can avoid when shopping for a bike rack.
1. Choose the right bike rack for your car
There are 5 main types of bike racks for cars and trucks. They are roof mount, hitch mount, trunk mount, tire mount, and truck bed mount. The type of rack you buy will depend on the type of car you have, among a few other things.
If you have a car with a liftgate and no hitch receiver, your choice would come down to a trunk mount carrier or roof rack. Now, you need to check that the model you are going with will fit the car you are driving. Also make sure the rack includes any extras like additional locks, bars, or straps if you need them. More expensive racks often have good padding for protection, lifetime warranties, and good customer support, but they don’t always include all the parts you need.
The fine print and reviews of most products will soon let you know.
If you have a rear hatch, but want a hitch-mounted rack, because you need trunk access, then all you need to do is install a hitch receiver. Before you run out and buy a hitch receiver, make sure you know how many inches it needs to be for your rack to fit. Also make sure you get the hitch mount bike rack that is the flip type or can be lowered. Some models are fixed so you won’t be able to open the trunk anyway!
2. What kind of bike do you have?
A 4-bike rack will transport 3 bikes comfortably, but you’ll often find that the fourth will only accommodate, if not at all. This is because the rack is designed for general frames and not for ladies’ bikes, kids’ bikes, tandems, etc. Make sure your bike frame and size best fit the rack you choose.
3. Choose a larger shelf instead of a smaller one
Riders get so involved in their riding that they often get the whole family hooked. So if you plan to get a bike rack for just one or two bikes, maybe consider getting one for 3 bikes. They aren’t much more expensive and chances are you’ll find yourself inviting a friend or family member because you have extra room for friends.
4. Be careful not to damage your car paint
This happens to those people who buy the trunk mount bike rack that comes with straps. This does not imply that this type of frame is bad, just take the necessary precautions to avoid scratches. You can buy cheap rubber padding and place it between the frame and the car for extra care. Also make sure the car is clean and dust free when attaching the rack to avoid sanding effect. Finally, choose a rack that will fit your car correctly. A poor fit will mean it will be a bit loose and end up rubbing a lot. If you have to buy a trunk-style rack, choose one that doesn’t rest on the rear bumper. That will help you a lot.