When you’re in the market for a new bike rack for car, truck, minivan or SUV, you have a lot of choices in front of you. Not only do you have many different manufacturers to choose from such as Thule bike racks, Yakima, Saris, Bell and many others, but you also have different rack mounting approaches and styles from which you’ll need to choose.
How To Choose a Bike Rack Type
For example, you could go for a roof rack, a trunk mounted bike rack, the hitch mount bike rack if you happen to have a standard 2 inch trailer hitch installed on your vehicle, or if you happen to have a rear, externally mounted spare tire, you might opt for a spare tire mount bike rack.
Additional variables you need to consider when choosing a type of bike rack is whether you want a more or less permanently attached bicycle rack that will be on your vehicle whether you’re transporting bikes or not, or if you would prefer a more temporary, easy on — easy off type of system. And of course you need to plan ahead as to how many bicycles you plan to transport once. Maybe right now you’re just thinking of transporting your own bicycle; but what happens if a bunch of friends want to go with you? Or obviously if you have a family and you all like to ride together, you’ll need to find a bike rack that accommodates two, three or even four bikes at a time.
Of course price plays a factor in most people’s buying decisions, and it’s no different when it comes to a bike rack for car, truck or other vehicle. However, always remember that you get what you pay for. When you’ve already invested money in your bicycle (or bicycles), the last thing you want to do is cut corners on it teeth, poorly made bike rack that may not be up to the task. And this isn’t only about the protection of your bicycle; you also need to keep in mind the safety of other people on the road. Imagine the kind of mess that could arise from a bike coming off a bike rack, or a bike rack coming off a vehicle. Not pretty.
This is also why choosing a vendor and/or manufacturer who stands behind their product is extremely important. Sometimes certain vehicles are designed in such a way that you need a very special mounting system. Even though the sales material might say “Works on almost all vehicles!”, you don’t care about that… you need to make sure it works on YOUR vehicle or it’s worthless to you. Especially if you’re ordering your bike rack online as opposed to your local bike shop, make sure there is a very clear, very straightforward return policy in place. Free shipping is something else you might want to shop around for when you have made a decision on a specific make and model bike rack.
For what it’s worth, ordering items through CARiD.com is often an excellent option. Not only do they offer top-notch customer support, but you can shop for, and across compare many different manufacturers, makes and models all in one place. On top of that, customer reviews allow you to get objective, real-world feedback about how the product works for people just like you.
Yes, these are a lot of types of bike racks. However, it will be well worth your time to think it through carefully before making a decision. However, if you use the points mentioned above to narrow down the type of bike rack you want, and if you stick to the more reputable brands mentioned above such as Thule, Yakima, Saris, Bell, Schwinn, Allen or Hollywood bike racks, you should be in good shape. And again, if you’re looking to purchase your bike rack for car, truck or other vehicle online, make sure you inquire about free shipping and return policies.