Car racks are the best way to transport a bike via car. If you need transport your bike to mountain trails, a race, or anywhere you want to; a Car rack is the best way to do so. It is extremely important to know that not all racks work on all cars, even if a car is compatible with a certain type of rack it may still be a bad idea to use that kind of rack because it may not be practical.
Trunk Bike Rack
Trunk bike racks are less expensive and not too difficult to install and uninstall. Trunk bike racks can work on most kinds of cars except for pick up trucks. Before buying a trunk bike rack please have a professional inspect the back door or trunk of the car that is going to be installed on. If you shopping on your own be mindful if your car has a spoiler on the trunk. The spoiler could interfere with proper installation or be damaged if installation is forced. If the car is a mini van, SUV or compact the top and bottom of the rear door must be inspected. The top of the rear door is sometimes made of plastic, if it is the trunk bike rack cannot be mounted. The plastic top can be ripped off from the weight of the bikes and the bumping of the road. Trunk racks do vary in price because some racks are better than others. This will be specific to each brand.
The Outway offers everything the previous the Thule Passage has, but a few extra features. Instead of using rubber straps that have to be manually pulled on and tensioned the raceway uses a dial system with cables that are much stronger and tighten down to the exact tension needed. The Outway opens and folds easier since the side tabs were replaced with one lever that on the middle on the middle of the rack. These are the kind of differences you can expect between different types of trunk racks from other brands when comparing their entry level and better racks; Though here at Tread Bike Shop we’re big fans of Thule
Roof Bike Racks
Bike roof racks are made up of two main parts, the roof rack (which has multiple small parts) that is mounted to the car and the bike rack that is mounted to the roof rack. Roof racks use fit kits to make specific roof racks were on specific cars (make, model and year). Most car rack brands have a fit guide on their website but we really like the one from Thule. As the name describes bike roof racks are bicycle car racks that are mounted on to the roof of your car. The benefit of bike roof rack is that the rack is mounted on to the car and is safe to leave on your car. There is no need to remove the rack it self. Bikes are secured to the roof rack from the wheels or the back wheel and fork, this is beneficial for a person who is very cautious about any damage to their bike frame. It also doesn’t hurt that roof racks look cool. The only set back to roof bike racks is that the bike is on the roof, so if you feel that reaching the top of your car is too much trouble a bike roof rack may not be for you. The prices for the bike racks them selves do not vary too much as it is just a difference of bike mounting options, but each bike rack only holds one bike. You must purchase one bike rack for each bike you wish to carry and the amount of bike racks you can place on your roof rack is dependent on how wide your car is. If your car does not have a factory cross bar or mounting kit you will need a whole kit which will include the parallel bars, Cross bars, and fit kit. Depending on what is built in on your car and your plans a complete roof bike set up can run $250-$1000. It is worth contacting us to confirm because your car may have some factory parts built in that could lower the cost. After your roof rack have been installed you can now install your bike rack. We have installed hundreds maybe thousands; please reach out to us if you require assistance or have further question regarding roof racks
Hitch Bike Racks
A hitch bike rack is a rack that is mounted using the receiver that is built into the back of car. Most cars can have a hitch bike rack installed on them; the car only needs to have a receiver. Most cars can have a receiver installed. It’s not always optimal to install one on any car. Many sedans ride height are too low to the ground to safely drive on and off driveways or ramps with out scraping the bottom of the hitch rack. Cyclist with heavy or many bikes who don’t want to use a roof rack or can’t, should use a hitch rack. At Tread Bike Shop we can assist you in procuring a receiver for your car if your car does not have one. Receivers come in two sizes 1.25” and 2”, this primarily serves for load capacity but for the hitch bike racks affects which racks you can use. Racks are available for both sizes but not every model. We generally recommend getting the 2” receiver since there are more options available for that size. The cost of hitch bike racks vary, the differences consist of built in locks, ease and method of mounting and capacity; one example of a big difference would be the Thule Apex XT Swing, This hitch bike rack is able to swing horizontally to the side of the car making access to the trunk/back door easier.
- Installation difficulty is medium, for both the owner and thieves so it must not be left on. Although the installation and deinstallation is not too difficult it does require a small amount of work due to the straps and positioning.
- Holds 1-3 bikes depending on the model.
- Fits most cars, except for sedans with large spoilers or SUV’s with a plastic cover on the top of the trunk doors
- Professional required to install the roof rack or at least show you how, the same goes for the bike rack that is installed onto the roof rack.
- Each bike rack only fits one bike so must purchase additional racks average car can usually handle up to 3 bikes larger cars can handle 4
- Fits the majority of cars but this must be confirmed, there is no predictability on which cars will work and which wont. You or the professional you consult will need to inspect your car and use a fit a guide (we can do this for you)
- Bikes are mounted on to the roof, convenient for accessing the car, potentially inconvenient for mounting and dismounting
- Cost varies greatly $$-$$$$
- Professional required to install receiver if your car does not already have one
- Hitch rack it self is easy on and off.
- Greatest bike capacity, some models can hold up to 5 bikes.
- Receivers and rack are compatible with most cars although it is not advised on every car due to vehicle ride height.