As a result, certain simple tips can help you avoid these problematic situations and end up having the best experience of your trip with a bike rack. Through this article, we will discuss simple tricks that you can use to enhance your riding experience with a bike rack.
As a result, you will be able to know about the smallest detail, which can change the course of your entire journey, right from the beginning.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends, whether you’re in the hills or the timberlands, you’ll find helpful tips that are the perfect accompaniment to your next adventure. Check out these helpful hacks and be prepared for an unforgettable trip.
What I do when I travel with a bike rack
The tricks below are arranged in a way that keeps these criteria in mind while it is easy to implement and useful at the same time. Have a look at them.
Tip 1: Get the bike rack that is compatible with your vehicle
Obviously, it goes without saying that the bike rack you choose for your car needs to be compatible with the type of vehicle you drive.
There is a surprising number of bikers who have the wrong idea about this and buy a bike rack that is not even compatible with the car. They buy a bike rack without thinking about the car and regret it once they try to set everything up.
The same thing won’t be ideal if you have a truck or an SUV, since such huge vehicles would need a hitch-mount bicycle carrier. So, if you have a hatchback or sedan, a roof-mounted bicycle carrier will be ideal. However, you’ll need a hitch-mounted bicycle carrier if you have a truck or sedan.
Tip 2: Have a clear idea of where you are going for the trip
This is one of the most important things you should do before you go on a bike ride. The reason is simple. You will not get the same experience if you ride on a smooth road versus a rough path through a mountain. That is why it would be best if you had different types of bike racks for different kinds of roads.
Please allow me to clarify this. If you are going through the forest, it is best to put the bike rack on the back of your car. The reason for this is that if you mount the bike on the roof, it may cause trouble while crossing low-hanging spots.
The opposite exists when it comes to cycling. Bike racks should be mounted on the car’s roof when going through bumpy roads. Imagine your bike hanging at the back of your car. There is a good chance that your bike will fall off the rack if the car jolts on the rough road.
What am I suggesting? First, if you’re planning on going into the woods, I suggest you get a rack that you can mount on the back of your car. If you plan on going into the mountains, you’d be better off getting a roof rack.
Tip 3: Make sure the size of the bike rack matches the car
As soon as you identify the perfect spot for the rack to be installed, it’s time to get into the details of how you will mount it.
When you have to get out of your car every now and then to adjust the roof rack, it can be a headache. If you get the perfect model of the roof rack, I mean the one that fits your car perfectly, you can avoid this hassle.
Ensure that you go through your car’s manual first. It should have all the information you need on your car’s size. Then go through the manual for the rack you intend to purchase. See which rack matches your car’s size, and choose that rack. That is the simplest method of choosing the right rack for your car.
When you have installed the ideal option, you will no longer need to worry about having to adjust and re-adjust the rack during every 30 minute period after you have installed it.
Tip 4: Use a bungee cord to keep the bikes secured on the rack
It is a secret tip that many people don’t know about. You will never hear anyone tell you to use a bungee cord to keep the bike hooked to the racks, but it is one that everyone should know.
In the event that your rack comes with straps, they usually aren’t the strongest ones. In this case, you will have to use the bungee cords instead.
The ropes’ elasticity and sturdiness make it easier to keep the bikes in their places. They also have a smooth texture that minimizes scratching the bike’s body, regardless of how tightly you tie the rope to the bike.
Regardless of how you tie them, make sure they are never caught in the car’s wheel when you’re driving. This can cause accidents and cause permanent damage to your bikes, so instead, tie the extra cord to the main knot or cut off the excess. This can prevent you from having serious problems down the road.
Tip 5: Keep the essential equipment near your reach
You should ensure that your preparation includes making sure you are able to handle unpleasant surprises. To do this, you should make sure that you have all the essential tools at your disposal.
What am I talking about? Let me explain. Imagine you are on the mountain top you have been wanting to hike with a bike for a very long time.
When you reach there, you realize you are unable to untie the rope knot on the bike, which means you are unable to get the bike off the car, which means you are without access to your bike. If you do not have the right equipment, this can be the end of your trip.
Nevertheless, if you keep an army knife in your car, you can use it to cut the rope and rescue your bicycle if you need to.
In my opinion, the most important thing you should keep in your car’s back seat apart from an army knife is extra bungee ropes, tape, and a welding machine if it’s possible to do so. I believe that this will save you lots of trouble in the future.
Tips 6: Stay in good health condition
Having to travel with a bike rack means that you will have an extra load on your back. This situation is unique and requires you to drive differently than you would normally do.
There is nothing to worry about. You won’t have any trouble driving a car unless you are drowsy due to a lack of sleep or if you are feeling ill. The car might get out of control if the driver is feeling ill.
As a result, it is important that you eat a healthy meal before heading out on the tour. As well as eating healthy foods, you need to make sure that you stay hydrated and get enough sleep in order to make it through the course.
It is true that the usual driving style is bound to change a bit when you are traveling with a bike rack, but you do not have to worry about it too much, if you keep your concentration while driving, you will gradually get used to it. This is true even for trips without a bike rack, but traveling with a bike rack is a special case because here, all the usual driving styles change a bit.
Tips 7: Pick your resting spot
It is not wise to drive your whole journey in one go, unless your destination is just a mile away from you. This will tire you out quickly and will have a negative effect on your health in the long run.
As a matter of fact, these are not the only reasons for stopping, and if you are traveling far, you should stop every 45 minutes, or at least every hour, to take a short 5-minute break. You can at this time drink a cup of coffee or get a bathroom break, if you need one.
Even if you drive on the smoothest road, you never know when something will loosen up the bicycle and cause it to fall from it’s place. Whatever you do, make sure that you check the bike rack during this break time.
It is sufficient just to check the knot on the bike and give it a little jerk to see if the bike is securely fastened or not.
Tip 8: Check the tire pressure
In the majority of cases, a bike rack weighs around 17 to 20 kilograms, which leads to an increase in pressure on your vehicle’s wheels as a result.
The car wheels must be in good shape in order to have this extra object hooked on the back. Otherwise, the tire pressure must be accurate so you can have this extra object hooked on the back.
In this case, what you can do is, right after attaching your carrier to the car, check your tire pressure before setting off. If you notice something is not right, you should have it checked right away.
Tip 9: Carry chains or padlocks with you at all times
The most likely scenario is that your bicycles will not always be within your line of sight. You might have to go to the bathroom or converse with a friend for a few minutes. Thieves will exploit these moments to steal your bike and paddle away with it.
My point is that you should never compromise your safety when riding a bicycle. Always ensure that the cycling equipment you have is equipped with a padlock or a chain. If you are not using your bicycle, lock it up with the bike rack.
Tip 10: Don’t leave the bike hanging on the rack
There are many people who realize that hanging their bike on the rack can save them time and effort, but don’t consider the consequences of their actions. This is not a good practice and should be avoided at all costs.
The problem with hanging a bike from the rack is that the bike is prone to constantly hitting the back of your car while driving, resulting in not only a breakage of the delicate components of your bike, but also a damage to the back of your vehicle.
In order to make sure your bike and your car are saved, it is important to make sure that it is securely mounted on the rack.
Tip 11: Wrap the bike with a water-resistant cover
The weather has nothing to do with the condition of your bicycle. No matter whether it is sunny or gloomy, almost all the components of your bicycle can be damaged. At the same time, normal sunny weather can cause the rubbery parts of your bicycle to melt.
In addition to these factors, it is also possible to get dirt from the road and get clogged in different parts of the bike, resulting in the damaged components. All of these can happen while you are driving the bike.
A good solution to this problem would be to cover your bike with a water-resistant cover, which you can find on Amazon for as little as $15. Doing this will not only protect your bike from rain, but it will also help prevent dirt from entering the bike.
Tip 12: Make sure the rack can put up with the weight
There’s no doubt that all the bike racks are sturdy. That’s a fact that no one can dispute. Yet, not every bike rack is built in the same manner. Some bike racks are made to carry a single bicycle, whereas others are designed to carry multiple bicycles.
What type of rack is right for you? Will you be traveling with more than one bike on the back of your car? If so, then you will need a rack that can take the overall weight. But if you only need to carry one bike, then any rack will do.
It is imperative that you do not compromise at this point since bearing more weight than the limit can lead to devastating accidents.
Tip 13: Get a small trailer for more bikes
Having one rack won’t suffice if you’re traveling with a large group. It is most likely that one rack can hold up to 3 bikes, but not more. So, what if there are five of you and only one car on the road?
When this happens, you can rely on a small trailer that comes with built-in bike racks and secure your bicycle to the trailer. Basically, you have to set up the trailer as a rolling bike rack, hook it up with your car, and that’s it. Now you have a bike rack that travels with you wherever you go.
I would recommend you to take this route for traveling with multiple bikes because it is a cheap, easy, and safe way to do so.
My Final Two Words
Ideally, your trips and adventures should be hassle-free without any worries. However, in order to do that, you must take essential precautions. Fortunately, you now know about most of them, which makes it easier for you to prepare for them.
It can offer you the best experience of traveling with a bike rack when you take all the necessary preparations, select the right tools, and plan your journey thoroughly, no matter whether you are going into the woods or casually hiking around a mountainous region.
As long as you get certain things right, you will be good to go. With the tips discussed in this article, one of the best things about them is that they are easy to follow but also offer great value in the long run. Therefore, please do not hesitate to try them out.