There's one auto accessory that a biking enthusiast simply can't do without-that's the bike rack. The bike rack lets you bring your bike wherever you go. It also keeps your bike securely in place as you travel. Now, for most bike owners, finding the right bike rack can be quite the challenge. The sheer number of options out there is enough to make any shopper second-guess his decision. This guide will help you make an informed decision when buying a new bike rack.
Types of bike racks you can choose from
1. Strap-on trunk rack-If you want to save money, then the strap-on trunk rack is a good choice. That's because this rack generally costs less than $100. Aside from being affordable, the strap-on trunk rack can also carry up to three bikes. And since it stores easily inside the trunk, you won't have to worry about losing this bike rack. The only downside to this rack is that it's not as secure as the other options below. See, the strap-on trunk rack comes with straps that can be cut easily. This rack also requires a number of cables and straps to keep the rack and the bike in place.
2. Hitch-mount rack-As you can already guess from its name, the hitch-mount rack attaches to the trailer hitch, making it an ideal choice for SUV and minivan owners. Many bike enthusiasts also prefer this type of bike rack because it doesn't require the removal of the bike's wheels. Depending on the brand, the price of the hitch-mount rack may range from $100 to $400.
3. Roof rack- The roof rack makes a great add-on for bigger vehicles like SUVs, minivans, and station wagons. This is because this type of rack attaches directly to the crossbars and rain gutters. The main advantage of the roof rack over other bike carriers is its capacity to hold as many as seven bikes at once. Not only that, this rack can also be used to carry skiing and canoeing equipment. Sold at $50 and up, the roof rack can be a really good investment. The only problem is that it's also pretty tricky to install. Plus, you can't drive under areas that require low clearance, like a number of bridges, garages, car ports, and drive-thru restaurants.
4. Pickup Rack- For pickup truck owners, the pickup rack is the best bike carrier for their vehicle. A pickup rack is installed in the bed of a pickup truck. This rack is capable of holding as many as four bicycles. Priced at about $60 and above, the pickup rack is also quite affordable. Now, when buying this type of rack, just make sure the rack will fit your truck bed.