2020 has been a difficult year with the Coronavirus pandemic changing our lives considerably. Many people have become furloughed or lost their jobs and we have all spent months at home under lockdown.
Thankfully, the situation has now eased somewhat and we are able to get on with our lives, with some semblance of normality, and one of the ways we have done this is by hitting the great outdoors and doing some exercise. Anyone who ventures out at the weekend will see thousands of cyclists on the roads, enjoying the scenery and getting fit at the same time, however, many people like to take their bikes further afield and this requires a bike rack or similar type of attachment.
With the market awash with different options we are now going to take a look at the advantages of using a bike rack.
The first type of bike rack that we will look at is a boot rack, that will securely tie your bike to the back of your car. These are generally lightweight and cheap, often only costing up to a couple of hundred dollars and they utilise straps to secure your bike tightly to your boot whilst it rests on arms that protrude from the back. The main advantage that this type of rack provides is the ease of use as the rack can easily be moved from one vehicle to another. They can also be removed and stored in the garage when you are not transporting bikes so that you are not carrying excess weight and cutting down the aerodynamic performance of your vehicle.
Hitch mounted rack
Hitch mounted racks also carry your bikes on the back of your car, but this difference here is that they utilise a more robust frame. They come in two styles, the first being a cradle whereby the bikes hang off an arm, and the second being a platform where the bikes sit on a base that extends from the lower rear of your car. The big advantage that these types of rack offer is the number of bikes that it can carry – up to five. This means that the whole family can enjoy a cycling trip together with no one being left out. Bikes are very secure and should not move around during transit and the frames are heavy-duty and keep the bikes well off the ground. You will feel comfortable driving your vehicle with five bikes strapped to the back and you will still have full visibility out of the rear window.
Roof-mounted racks are the best options for the serious cyclist who is heading to the mountains for a summer of gruelling but rewarding pedalling. Whilst they can be expensive they offer excellent stability and can cater for up to half a dozen bikes, so a whole group of you can travel whilst only using only one vehicle. The best roof rack for your bike will fit seamlessly on to the roof of your car as it will be made to fit the pre-existing grooves that were manufactured into your car, saving you time and energy trying to fiddle around making it fit correctly. As the bikes are on your roof you still have full access to the boot of your car and there are great locking mechanisms in place meaning that you can leave your bikes out overnight safe in the knowledge that any would-be thief will have a hard time removing them.
Spare tyre racks
Many people drive sports utility vehicles and these often have a spare tyre fixed to the boot meaning that it is difficult to attach bikes to them. Furthermore, these types of vehicles are rather tall meaning it is hard to reach the roof to store your bikes there. The solution is to buy a rack that attaches directly to your spare tyre on the boot. The beauty of this type of attachment is that it is temporary so you can remove it easily when not transporting bikes and it is also lightweight and very cost-efficient. So, if you drive this type of car and are only travelling locally this is the rack for you.
As we have learned there are several different types of rack on the market, each with their unique advantages. Some are designed to fit specific types of vehicles, whereas others such as the roof rack are more heavy-duty, can transport bikes over great distances, and have better security features. Whatever your needs, do your research first and then you can enjoy your first cycling trip without any hitches.