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Our Favorite Bike Racks Reviewed and Rated

last updated Apr 11, 2019
There are times when it won't work to just head out from your house to hit the right trail. Sometimes you need to transport your bike to the ideal location for that perfect trail or path or if you are going on a trip and want to make sure you have your trusty ride by your side so you can hit the road, and in these instances, it is essential to have the ability to transport your bike. Or you may just need extra storage space for your bikes when they are parked that maximizes your space. This is where a bike rack comes in handy. The best options are going to be those that will keep your bike secure and protected when attached to your vehicle. We looked at the rack style, it's ease of use, and the features offered to assess the best there are.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research

icon
Bikehand
98.7/100 our score
Style
98
Ease of Use
99
Features
99
Bikehand
Why is it better?

Patented simple push-in design

Very stable

Works well for heavy bikes

Foldable and portable

Heat treated steel with a fantastic powder coated finish

Fits most all bikes from kids 26" to 29" Mountain Bikes, 650c -700c Road Bikes

Lifetime warranty

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Bikehand
Test Winner: Bikehand
Researched Sources
3
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.9k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
18
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Style Ease of Use Features By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.7
Style
98%
Ease of Use
99%
Features
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$45.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Style
97%
Ease of Use
99%
Features
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$449.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Style
95%
Ease of Use
98%
Features
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$419.00
See Deal
$649.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Style
94%
Ease of Use
96%
Features
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$99.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Style
96%
Ease of Use
96%
Features
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$136.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Style
95%
Ease of Use
93%
Features
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$129.93
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Style
93%
Ease of Use
95%
Features
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$49.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Style
89%
Ease of Use
90%
Features
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$599.95
$599.95
See Deal
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Style
94%
Ease of Use
88%
Features
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$349.00
See Deal
$399.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Style
87%
Ease of Use
90%
Features
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.04.19)
$539.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Bikehand
  • Hollywood Racks
  • Kuat Racks
  • Allen Sports
  • Swagman
  • Delta Michelangelo Canaletto
  • CyclingDeal
  • Thule
  • Yakima
  • Saris
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorite Bike Racks

1. Bikehand

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.7
Bikehand
Style
98
Ease of Use
99
Features
99
best offer for today
$45.00
Pros:

Patented simple push-in design

Very stable

Works well for heavy bikes

Foldable and portable

Heat treated steel with a fantastic powder coated finish

Fits most all bikes from kids 26" to 29" Mountain Bikes, 650c -700c Road Bikes

Lifetime warranty

Cons:

Very light, can have difficulty keeping it in place when rolling your wheel into the well

Could be more stable

Bikehand has its own patented simple design that allows you to easily push-in. The front holder tilts when you push your bike into the rack which makes this a great standing option for heavier models like those of downhill, mountain, and beach bikes.

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Ease of Use

This unique standing bike stand is practical and easy to use with its foldable design you can take it with you without taking up much space. Using a simple system that of a one-pull-knob your stand will fold and flatten in no time. You won't have to worry about having your bike laying on the ground or leaning against buildings where the paint and finish could get scratched or buffed.

Durability

The high-quality heat treated steel uses a highly attractive powder coated finish. It can fit most bike models and if used properly can last forever. The wheel well is nice and deep allowing the wheel of your bike to sit firmly into the holder and stay firm and secure.

Cost and Value

A fair price for a stand-up option that can keep your bike from leaning on walls. It is sturdy and will not tip over easily.
If you need some support should you need to do some minor repair or maintenance, this is a great tool to help you with your tasks. The folding function makes it very easy to pack up and take with you.

2. Hollywood Racks

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Hollywood Racks
Style
97
Ease of Use
99
Features
99
best offer for today
$449.99
Pros:

Heavy-duty platform style

Holds up to 4 bikes (max. 50 lbs. per bike)

Features patented "No Wobble-no tools" hitch tightening system, and a keyed alike locking hitch pin with 8' security cable is included

Fits 2" hitch receivers only

Folds flat against the car when not in use and tilts down for easy cargo door access

Adjustable wheel holders allow the bike rack to fit up to a 60" wheelbase bike

Cons:

The locking system could be improved as the holes are may not fit the pins fully

Can be difficult to lift when there is more than one bike, could use a locking lever

Hollywood Racks makes a very easy to use a product that offers superb versatility and adjustments. It can accommodate up to four bikes or a combination of a couple of bikes and a nice amount of gear. It is sturdy and it will conveniently fold flat against your car when you aren't using it as well as it can tilt downward so you can get to the door with ease.

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Company

With over 40 years in the business, this company has been operating since 1973 when they made trunk-mounted in Hollywood, California. They are a family-owned business interested in making quality products that have detailed designs which are easy to use.

Versatility

The rack can be modified and adjusted to offer you a ton of use. With a trike adapter kit, you can have an adult trike and an adult bike set up. Additionally, there is a cargo basket you can get which will plug right into the base rack allowing for you to carry 2 bikes and a nice amount of gear as well, up to 100 lbs. of it. Or you can choose to hook up four bikes and hit the road.

Cost and Value

A reputable company is known for making top tier equipment, this sturdy model is super adjustable and can offer a ton of versatility. It is sturdy enough to take on the load without wiggling or swaying when in use. The pin and string design makes it easy to figure out placement and helps to keep all the pieces without losing them, and best of all set up is done simply in minutes. All of these great features and benefits come at a price, this product is pricey.

3. Kuat Racks

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Kuat Racks
Style
95
Ease of Use
98
Features
99
best offer for today
more shops
$649.00
$419.00
See Deal
Pros:

Made with an adjustable front tire cradle system

Re-designed pivot with optional foot assist

Fully integrated cable locks

Trail Doc included

Front tire ratchet design with the intuitive release

Cons:

Very heavy

The mounting bracket can squeak

Kuat Racks makes a durable, high-quality, high-end rack. It is a very popular option that has been updated and streamlined to be functional and easy to use.

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Security

If security is a priority this is a product where protection takes precedence. The 2 separate integrated locking cables provide extra safety. These are easy to use as well and the lock sand pin locks are all keyed alike

Easy to Assemble

It takes about 10 minutes to assemble this piece. This ease of use and ease of building make for a very convenient rack to use and to get set up. Once put together, it will sit secure and it won't move, wobble, or sway they way you'd expect from a solid rack of its stature

Cost and Value

This is a very expensive rack, but you get what you pay for. The stability, the ease of use, the durability of the materials, and the extra solid frame make this a top-quality option. Serious bikers who want to hit trails regularly and don't want any type of movement in their rack and bikes will appreciate the heavy duty design of this product.

4. Allen Sports

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Allen Sports
Style
94
Ease of Use
96
Features
97
best offer for today
$99.00
Pros:

4-bike rack fits vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch (Class III or IV 2" hitch)

22-inch long carry arms individually secure bicycles with Allen's patented tie-down system

Folding carry arms quickly drop out of the way when the rack is not in use

Rack sets up and installs in less than 5 minutes

Sturdy steel construction with black powder coat finish

Lifetime warranty

Cons:

The company could provide better product support

This rack only tilts down doesn't fold completely down

Allen Sports makes a product that is simple to use and provides rugged durability that will allow you to safely drive your bikes to your favorite locations. This product has a high-performance volume carrying up to four bikes using a hitch insert that is secure and easy to attach.

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Features

Folding carries arms make it easy to collapse and save space when you are not using the rack. The tilt-away main mast makes it very manageable to lift the gate and obtain access to the rear of your vehicle. Along with the nice feature of the tie down to help add extra security for your bikes to add extra security for a wide range of bicycle frames, styles, and sizes that you choose to take with you on your trips providing you with more adaptability.

No-wobble hitch

The hardware included with your purchase helps you to secure the rack into your receiver hitch. The bolt that is also included, makes it easy and safe to tighten the rack in place at a snugness that limits any vulnerabilities.

Cost and Value

This product is well priced for the heavy duty construction and solid attachment system. The capability to hold up to 4 bikes allows you to enjoy a ride with multiple friends or family and the fold away mechanisms make this a less bulky product that can give you room when you aren't using it.

5. Swagman

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Swagman
Style
96
Ease of Use
96
Features
95
best offer for today
$136.95
Pros:

Carries up to 2 bikes

Fits a 1-1/4" and 2" hitch receiver

Center arm folds down to allow access to the rear-of-vehicle without removing the rack

Upright ratcheting arms easily adjust to different bike frame sizes

Transports up to 2 bikes, compatible with 1 1/4" and 2" receiver hitch also has a built-in anti wobble hitch device

Takes only a few minutes to assemble

Cons:

The universal connector can fit loosely

It's hard to store, due to the bar on the receiver hitch is not removable.

Swagman makes a rack with a securing system where the bikes you carry will be held tight at each wheel as well as at the frame. This offers you a more secure, stable, and adjustable for your car and your bike. The cushioned hooks are adjustable and allow for various sizes to be able to get a tight attachment.

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Features

You can move up to two bikes and the anti-wobble hitch to make sure you can transport your ride securely. The upright ratchet arm is adjustable so that you can tighten different frame and style bicycles. The soft padding on the grip arms makes it very safe for the paint and finish of your ride.

Easy Access and Accessories

The center arm will fold down which will allow you to get to the rear area of your vehicle with no problems. You can add a locking hitch and 10mm security cable as well as a fat bike tire tray to increase the functionality of your rack.

Cost and Value

A moderate priced product that is lightweight, well made and very easy to use. It has a ton of security, once the clamp is pulled down you can be sure that it is not going anywhere.

6. Delta Michelangelo Canaletto

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Delta Michelangelo Canaletto
Style
95
Ease of Use
93
Features
92
best offer for today
more shops
$129.93
Pros:

No attachment or drilling needed

Fast and easy installation

Adjustable arms

Premium silver powder coat finish

Rubber bumpers for protection of surroundings

Rubber arm sleeves

Dimensions: 83 x 19.75 x 16 Inches, Maximum Load 80lbs (35kgs)

Popular model

Cons:

Holes may not be aligned properly

Heavier bikes can pull the hooks down

Delta Michelangelo Canaletto is a gravity stand that won't require you to have to put any man hours into drilling into your walls and putting unnecessary holes. It is highly stable, adjustable, and can be put together in mere minutes. This product is a big space saver so if you have limited room, this will help you maximize what you do have.

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Takes Up Little Space

If you have limited space this product will be a big help if you enjoy your outdoor activities such as cycling. It seamlessly leans against your wall and uses minimal space on the floor. It will get your bike up and out of the way so you have easy access to it while also ensuring you make the most out of the space you have available.

Solidly Constructed

This is a substantial system that is well painted for durability and has robust arms with rubber protectors that will ensure safe storage of your bikes. It can keep your ride off the ground which helps with space but also makes cleaning beneath the wheels much easier especially if you hit some muddy trails during your day's trip.

Cost and Value

This is a well-priced space saving option that is perfect for any size room. If you like to live minimally but can't give up your riding gear, this will help you have the best of both worlds.

7. CyclingDeal

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
CyclingDeal
Style
93
Ease of Use
95
Features
91
best offer for today
$49.99
Pros:

Comes with 5 bike holders

Economical option

10lbs net weight

High quality shining powder coating helps with weather resistance

10 years warranty

Cons:

Made out of aluminum that can be fairly thin

Not suitable for smaller bikes

CyclingDeal will hold your bikes upright with a nice looking, durable powder coated steel finish. You can fit four bikes with an easy quick release system that allows for separation. Fairly lightweight, this holder comes in at a mere 13 pounds.

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Neatly Positioned

You can neatly store your bikes upright in either 90-degree angles or diagonally depending on how you build it. When you have finished filling it up full of your favorite or your family's bikes, it will be weighed down so you won't have movement. If you want some extra protection you can always screw it into the floor and you will have added sturdiness.

Nice All-Around Product

This product will come to you well packed to stand up to shipping. The powder coated metal increases durability and wears allowing for a clean look that will be less likely to have any defects when you receive them. The construction is quick easy as the mainframe simply clicks together so you virtually can not mess it up.

Cost and Value

A well-made product that can hold multiple bikes and comes in a sturdy, durable finish and packaging, this product is well priced for what you are getting.

8. Thule

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Thule
Style
89
Ease of Use
90
Features
94
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Carries up to 4 bikes with Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Add-on (sold separately, 2” receiver only)

Robust design

Very easy to use

No-tool install

External handle to lower the rack for trunk access

Total stability even at speed

High-quality build

Cons:

Only the front wheel is locked

Thule makes a product that is really robust and sturdy. It is stable even at speed and it is built extremely well.

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Fantastic Design

You have a rock-solid rack when it is attached to the hitch. The bikes can mount easily and best of all quickly, making your trips l less frustrating and much more fun.

Supreme Functionality

You are going to swoon over the functionality. It can fold up when you aren't using it allowing it to reduce bulk and stay out of your way. That function also helps your access to the hatchback. making it useful and practical in real-life terms.

Cost and Value

This is an expensive option but if you are a serious rider, you will see where that money has gone. It can stand up and stay solid through heavy use. The bikes stay firm and do not wobble which is what you'd want.

9. Yakima

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Yakima
Style
94
Ease of Use
88
Features
88
best offer for today
more shops
$399.00
$349.00
See Deal
Pros:

Transport 2 bikes regardless of frame design, suspension, or wheel size

Ideal for fat bikes, kids' bikes and fenders

Secures bike by the frame with padded arms

Low tray height for quick and easy loading and unloading of bikes

Fits 1.25" or a 2" hitch receiver right out of the box

Folds down with bikes loaded for rear-of-vehicle access; Folds up when not in use

Cons:

Heavy

The main support arm that connects into the hitch may be wobbly

Yamika makes a rack that is versatile enough to fit most bike frames. It tightens up securely and easily and can hold up to 2 bikes.

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Almost Universal

The fit of this product is pretty near universal as it can fit most any tire and style regardless of design, suspension, or size. Holding up to two bikes on time, that gives you the flexibility to bring multiple models or one for your friend when you are on your next cycling trip.

Safe for Frames

This product secures tightly the frame and pads it to protect the finish and pain with padded arms. You can attach it with any standard hitch and it will fit 1.25" or a 2" receiver.

Cost and Value

This is a fairly pricey product but that will offer you excellent durability, the ability to easily load and unload, a simple ratchet system, universal fit for bikes as well as fit to both large and small cars, all the while having a sharp look with or without bikes. It has a hitch lock with a key and it is reliable for the price.

10. Saris

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Saris
Style
87
Ease of Use
90
Features
88
best offer for today
more shops
$539.99
Pros:

Hitch mounted rack carries up to four bikes, of up to 35 pounds each

Ratcheting straps

Revolutionary bar design allows for amazing range fitting 12" kicker bikes to 29" fat bikes

Tray style steel frame construction; fits standard 2-inch hitch only

Built in Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

Heavy

Spring loaded pins may have difficulty with durability and functionality

Saris makes one of the best selling racks, offering a 4-bike capacity allowing you to enjoy a ride with your family and/or your friends.

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Works Well with Most Bikes

This product has the ability to carry most any style of bike and the ability to load and unload your ride is super simple giving you more ability to enjoy your rides over fussing with your equipment.

Padding

This rack uses proprietary cushion pads for the cradle along with rugged injection-molded wheel trays that ensure you have a solid and tight fastening allowing for optimal protection.

Cost and Value

There are many features that make this product really great for protecting your bike and also allowing you to use it easily.
It is practical for compact storage options and vehicle access with a solid brand reputation along with excellent customer service make this a really strong option. It does come at a high cost but the overall construction is quality and hard-wearing.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

There are a couple of different types of bike racks that you can choose from. Roof bike racks will be attached to the top of your vehicle. In order to accomplish this, you must have a base roof frack that the bike rack then attaches to. In this category, there are two different styles. The first is fork mounts where in order to attach your bike you need to take off the front wheel of your bike which allows you the ability to clamp that front fork seamlessly to the rack. The other is the upright mount. This option allows you to skip the step of taking off the front bike tire, you can keep it on. The entire bike is held in place upright.

The other way you can attach your bike is to the back of your car, or the trunk. These tend to be the most popular system used and they work by being attached to the trunk with the use of upper tipped metal hooks which act as a barrier between the rack and the bike helping to absorb shock and keep a grip that gives a sturdy hold to your bike. These also have protective features for your car such as foam or rubber pads that cushion the connection between the rack and the trunk or bumper. Additionally, they serve to offer extra support.

Hitch mount bike racks work by using a trailer hitch, as dictated in the name. Your rack is attached behind the car and these also have two different subtypes. The hanging hitch will affix itself directly to the bike frame with an adhesive material for securing straps such as Velcro or rubber. The other subtype is the platform hitch which uses a platform for the bike to rest. This has an arm that will hook over and around the bike or around the front tire of the bike.

Ease of Use

Most bike racks are designed for easy installation. Getting one of these products and attaching it to your car shouldn't be a stressful job. It should be fairly straightforward and stress-free with basic tools and minor adjustments. Because you are adding gear to your car, keeping things light will go a long way as far as wear and tear on your vehicle and on towards your gas mileage. Lighter rack options are not only easier to carry, but they also tend to be much less fuss when installing. You aren't going to want to spend a lot of time hauling super heavy racks to and from your vehicle which will end up in you just keep it on there and that can cause significant wear to your car. This is the last thing you'd want.

Folding ability of a rack is important because when it is not in use it takes up unnecessary space. If your rack can be folded down it becomes less troublesome and awkward and much easier to get around and use your car without rack arms being in your way. Keeping the footprint small when not in use makes it much easier to get around and use your car itself.

When you aren't using your rack and it is not attached to your car, a model that can easily be stored saves space in your garage or house and causes you less stress. If it can be folded in one unit without having to be disassembled each time you are more likely to remove it when not in use, which is good for your car, and it's less likely to take up valuable real estate in your home. That can make a big difference especially if you have limited space.

Last, the ability to assemble easily helps improve your use. In general, most models only need to be assembled once, but for some that require disassembly, those that can be put together with ease and taken apart with ease can make a big difference in your stress and will make you more inclined to use it. Those models that have clear, straightforward instructions that require minimal tools are ideal options. Sometimes, racks may even include the tools needed for assembly which makes the process very well-rounded and especially simple.

Features

There are some features that racks can have which can be very useful and address a specific preference you may have.
The ability to be locked is one. While it would be nice to be able to trust that no one is going to rob you while you make a stop, the reality is you have to be careful and realistic. If you are traveling and have your bikes with you but need to make a stop, those models that have locking features which actually lock the rack to the vehicle will make you feel much better when running your errands. Additionally, there are higher priced models that also have the added feature of a locking system that ensures if the bikes are attached that they can be securely locked into the rack ensuring that both your rack and bike stays with you. You can really end up spending a couple of hundred dollars on a good rack and the last thing you want is to have it go missing.

If you will need to access the trunk while you have your rack set up you may want a rack that has a tilting or swinging function which allows you to move the rack out of your way when you need to get into the back. For most models, you will still have to take the bikes off if you have them attached, but if you just have the rack hooked up and it has a function like this you can still have convenient access to your trunk while the rack is attached. If you are performing a roof rack, you wouldn't have to worry about one that has this function because these racks are far out of the way of any opening doors or trunk access.

Another feature which may be preferable is having a rack that won't come into contact with the frame of your bike. Some cyclists are very particular when it comes to their bikes and wouldn't even want to tempt fate by risking that the rack could scratch their frames. Many of the tray-style racks, as well as the roof rack styles, will hold your bike by the wheels which take the frame out of the equation allowing for a lessened risk to the bike's paint. These types of racks also work for a much wider range of bike models.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
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Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Style
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#2
Ease of Use
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#3
Features
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Which rack is best for you

There are several styles of bicycle racks available in the automobile mount style. The best ones are easy to use, hold your bike securely, and protect it from being damaged.

Maintenance is Key for Longevity

Bicycle racks need to be maintained properly for longeveity. This includes proper washing and protection from the elements. All moving parts should be lubricated according to manufacturers directions. All check all fasteners to be sure they tight before each use.

Other Factors to Consider

Value

Installing a bike rack onto your vehicle or using one in your home or garage to better store and protect your rides will come with many style options as well as price ranges. These racks and soar in price to hundreds of dollars or be less than a hundred dollars. Depending on how hard you are going to use your system, the features you need, and the functionality can all go into deciding the overall value of each product. Many of the higher priced models come with tons of features and have excellent stability and strength for heavy usage making them a great value for some. While others who casually ride, may not need all the bells and whistles so buying a top-end model could be a lot of money for not as much need or use making them not the best investment. Assess your need, think about where you want to attach your rack and what you want to use it for, look at your budget, and you will be able to make a list of the things you need versus those things that are optional you can determine what is the best value for your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What are some tips for successfully using a bike rack?
a:

For the roof mounting option, remember when you are going under a low bridge or into your garage. It is very easy to forget the location of your bike on top of your car and how much height it adds to your vehicle and when you are distracted or just trying to get home for the day you may forget you have it hooked up there and that can make for a bad day. Try to keep something in your car that you can see or need to use, such as a garage remote, in such a way it triggers your memory and reminds you that to have your bike on the top of your car. If you can remember you have it up there, you are less likely to run it into your house or concrete and damage it.

For a trunk or hitch mount rack located in the back of your vehicle, when installing ensure that you put your bikes on where they are high enough and have enough space from the ground or road so that if you hit speed bumps or uneven terrain you aren't going to be banging them up too bad and causing damage this way. Additionally, it can get hot near the exhaust of your vehicle. Rubber doesn't tolerate extreme heat well, so ensuring those rubber tires are high enough away from the exhaust to reduce the risk of melting, popping, or degradation to the tires is vital.

q: Should I really be concerned about theft?
a:

You can never be too careful and if you have invested a good amount of money on a product you'd be pretty bummed if it got lifted. Trunk racks can be very vulnerable because they are only held into place with straps. The straps are not hard at all to cut and then take the rack. So finding an option that has a stronger, the more reliable locking feature is the first thing to look for. Also, back that system up and ensure that you are keeping your equipment safe by also using a third-party bike lock. These systems working together will make it significantly harder for a thief and this difficulty could be a deterrent all in itself.

q: What are the pros and cons of hitch racks?
a:

Most vehicles come equipped with a hitch receiver so that you can easily add a hitch mount. If your car doesn't have a hitch receiver, it is normally not too complex to install one. There are many positives as well as negatives that come with these style mounts.

Some positives to using a hitch rack include:
There are many lower-cost options
The installation is pretty simple for most models
There is a minimal amount of lifting and weight needed to attach bikes
There is more distance between bikes and the car so that both the cars paint and finish as well as the bikes can be less likely to be scratched
You don't have to make a long-term commitment when attaching one because these are not permanent
There are models that can fold flat against a vehicle which offers more space allowing you to have better clearance for parking or storage
Safety can be easy to find as locks are common with all models

The downside of hitch racks include:
Trunk or rear-door access may be difficult to access or be totally blocked
Swing-away models can be very expensive
Larger options which can accommodate more bikes tend to be heavy
Without trays, there could be swaying while in transit and bikes can bump each other
There may be difficulty locking in those bikes that are strapped-in
There can be obstruction of taillights, rear license plate or driver's view out of the rear window
The length of the vehicle is substantially extended making it difficult to maneuver if the driver isn't used to and aware of the extra length the hitches adds
Frame adapters may be needed for women's, kids' or full-suspension bikes
Spare tires may cause difficulty with fit

q: Do you have to cross paths with other competitors in a road course?
a:

No. According to USA cycling rule 3A1, there will never be an approved course that will cause riders to cut through other groups of riders.

Sources

  1. REI, How to Choose Car Racks, Outdoors Equipment Store,
  2. USA Cycling, RULES & POLICIES, USA Cycling National Organization,
  3. USA Cycling, Road Racing, USA Cycling National Organization,