The trend of buying bicycle racks for cars has been increasing quite dramatically in recent months. This is not only to do with the high cost of gas but, the growing popularity of a very family orientated sport. The problem is that there are also a lot of returns of bike racks because people buy the wrong bike carrier and end up with scratches or loose racks and are generally unhappy with their purchase.
So if you are thinking of getting car bike racks anytime soon, read through this article to find out what common mistakes you can avoid when buying a bike carrier.
1. Choose The Correct Bike Rack for Your Car
There are 5 main types of bicycle racks for cars and trucks. They are the 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 hatch back and no hitch receiver, your choice would be narrowed down to a trunk mount bike rack or the roof top bike rack. Now, you need to check that the model you are going with, will fit the car you drive. Also make sure that the rack includes all the extra’s like locks, extra bars or straps if you need them. More expensive racks often have good padding for protection, life time guarantees 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 hatch back, but want a hitch mount bike rack, because of the reason that you need access to the trunk, then all you need to do is get a hitch receiver fitted. Before you rush out and buy a hitch receiver make sure you know how many inches it should be so that your rack fits it. Also be sure to get the hitch mount bike rack that is as swing away type or can be lowered. Some models are fixed so you won’t be able to open your trunk anyway!
2. What Type of Bike Do You Have?
A 4 bike rack will carry 3 bikes comfortably but you often find the 4th will only just squeeze in if not at all. This is because the carrier is designed for general frames and not for ladies bikes, kid’s bikes, a tandem and so on. Be sure to ensure that your bike frame and size will be best suited to the rack you choose.
3. Choose a bigger rather than a smaller rack
Bikers get so into their riding that they often rope the whole family in. So if you are planning on only getting a bicycle carrier for one or two bikes, maybe think of getting one for 3 bicycles. They are not that much more expensive and you will most likely find yourself inviting a friend or family member along because you have the extra space for friends.
4. Be Careful of Damaging the Paint Work on Your Car
This happens to those people who buy the trunk mount bike rack that come with straps. This doesn’t imply that this type of rack is a bad one, just takes the necessary precautions to prevent scratches. You can buy some cheap rubber padding and put it between the frame and car for extra care. Also make sure the car is clean and dust free when you attach the rack to avoid the sandpapering effect. Lastly choose a rack that is going to fit your car properly. A bad fit will mean it will be a tad loose and end up rubbing badly. If you do have to get a trunk style bike rack, then choose one that doesn’t rest on the back bumper. That will help you out a lot.