You see, nothing confuses a bike owner as much as a bike rack. There are loads of different kinds of bike racks for cars on the market, so it’s understandable if you were feeling confused.
In actuality, one could say that car bike racks are not universal in the sense that they are not available in all cars. However, with some modifications, some car bike racks can be made to be universal in a sense.
The purpose of this article is to clarify some of the most important things you need to know when it comes to car bike racks.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you will have a clearer picture of what car bike racks are all about and what they are going to do for you.
As a result, you will also be able to decide which of these options is best for you.
The first thing we should do is see if there is a bike rack that can fit every car.
Can Any Car Bike Rack Fit Every Car?
There are some types of car bike racks that go well with a particular type of car. As I briefly mentioned above, bicycle racks are not exactly a universal bike rack. There are some types of bike racks that work well with a particular vehicle.
In addition to that, there are a few bike racks that can be adjusted to fit a particular type of bike.
On the other hand, a roof bike rack cannot be mounted on a car that does not have crossbars, and a hitch bike rack cannot be mounted on a car that does not have hitch receivers.
There are some bike racks that are only applicable to SUVs and sedans, while there are others that are applicable to trucks.
Aside from that, some bike racks are designed to be easy or difficult to load and unload when loading your bike onto your car, depending on how they are constructed.
It is important to remember that many cars have the same width with a similar size trunk. So, if you can add some straps to some car bike racks, that may allow them to work with most cars. However, this is not something you want to risk when embarking on a long car trip.
Having said that, if you ask me, I would say that each of the bike racks is designed to beLet’s take a look at the various types of bike racks and see if they are universal or if they aren’t so that we can get a clearer picture.acks and see if they are universal or not.
3 Things To Consider
An important factor to consider when it comes to the universal nature of a bike rack is that there are 3 important things to consider.
Bike Racks Are Specific To Bikes
Obviously, not all car bike racks can accept all kinds of bikes. For example, some bike racks are able to adjust so that they can accommodate both adult and children’s bikes at the same time. However, other bike racks may not be able to accommodate both.
There is a reason why it is impossible to say that a bike rack is universal because of this.
Prior to making a purchase, make sure you check the width specification of the bike rack that you intend to purchase.
Bike Racks Are Specific To Vehicles
A few other reasons why bike racks cannot be universal is that manufacturers or car bike racks design them to fit particular types of vehicles. For example, some bike racks are made to fit pickup trucks, whereas the same rack may not fit SUVs and sedans.
Bike Racks Must Fit With Vehicle Attachments
Despite the fact that a car bike rack is compatible with a particular model of car, it does not ensure that it will fit in the car. The integral accessories, such as a hitch rack receiver and other accessory attachments for the vehicle, must also be compatible with the bike rack.
Which Bike Rack Can Qualify As A Universal Car Bike Rack?
Roof Bike Rack
The roof mounted bike racks can be used on a variety of different kinds of cars. There are different versions that are designed to fit different types of cars. However, you will need crossbars on your car before you can mount this rack on your car.
It is also possible to attach the rack to your car door frame or rain gutter if you do not have crossbars. If you do not have crossbars, you can improvise by mounting clips.
As a result of this, does this rack then become universal? No, that’s not the case.
It is best to use a roof bike rack with smaller cars. It is not possible to use the rack on a pickup truck because it will look completely out of place.
Roof bike racks can be used on a wide variety of vehicles, but they are not universal car bike racks because they cannot fit every type of vehicle. As such, roof bike racks cannot be considered to be universal car bike racks.
Trunk Bike Racks
It is not uncommon to see trunk bike racks used on many cars everywhere. Bikers love trunk bike racks because they are easy to use, easy to install, and they are super easy to mount and unmount the bikes onto them as well.
Using a trunk bike rack is as easy as attaching it to the trunk of any car that has a trunk. All you need is a strap.
Considering the fact that you need only straps to hold your bike in place in trunk bike racks, it can be said that they are universal in nature.
It is important to remember that not all cars have trunks. Another example would be a pickup truck with a bed that makes it impossible to mount a trunk bike rack on it, since it has a bed.
Is it possible that trunk bike racks will qualify as universal bike racks in the future?
While trunk bike racks may look as if they could be used on all types of vehicles, they certainly cannot be and therefore cannot be considered universal because they cannot be used on all types of vehicles.
Hitch Bike Rack
A hitch mounted bike rack works with a variety of types of cars; however, pickup trucks and SUVs are the ideal vehicles for this kind of rack.
If your car doesn’t have a hitch receiver, you will have to get one at an additional cost if you want to install a hitch bike rack on it. If you don’t already have one, you can purchase one at an extra cost.
You can’t even imagine how it would look if a hitch receiver was installed on a small car like a sedan, can you? In fact, I don’t even think it is possible since it would certainly look awkward.
In order to make use of a hitch bike rack, you have to make sure that your car has a little bit of height.
Due to the fact that not every car is able to hold a hitch bike rack comfortably, hitch bike racks cannot be referred to as universal bike racks due to this limitation.
Suction Bike Racks
Due to the fact that suction bike racks can be suctioned to any part of a car, some might say that suction bike racks are universal bicycle racks.
As for your claim that these bike racks are universal, you are not far from the truth. Even the manufacturers of these bike racks claim that this is the case.
There is no doubt that suction bike racks will be your best option if you want a bike rack that can be added to any kind of vehicle.
Does that mean that they can be referred to as universal bike racks? Well, based on the points raised above, it is safe to say that they can be considered as universal bike racks.
It is important to keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable with suction bike racks. There have been cases when suction bike racks have failed in the bike community. The absence of straps makes suction bike racks one of the least preferred bike racks among bikers.
Spare Tire Bike Racks
A spare tire bike rack is exactly what its name implies: it attaches to the spare tire position of a vehicle.
In order to attach the spare tire bike rack to the spare tire, you need straps (straps are not included in the kit). Spare tire bike racks are easy to attach and detach because of their light weight.
There is one problem here, however, which is that not all cars have spare tires mounted on the body of the car. As a consequence, if your car does not have an outward spare tire position, then it will not be possible to use this on it.
Due to the fact that this type of rack only fits certain types of cars, it limits the types of cars for which it can be used.
Therefore, it is important to mention that spare tire bike racks do not qualify as universal bike racks, as you are already aware of this.
Truck Bed Bike Racks
As with spare tire bike racks, truck bed bike racks cannot be used on cars that do not have truck beds and do not have spare tires.
Thus, it can be fairly safely said that truck bed bike racks cannot be considered universal bike racks for any kind of vehicle.
What Is The Right Type Of Bike Rack For Your Car?
SUVs and Minivans
There are several types of bike racks that can be used on SUVs and minivans because of the way they are designed. Although there are plenty of options for bicycle racks, a hitch bike rack would be most suitable in this case. The reason is that the hitch bike rack allows you to easily access your trunk. It is also the most compatible with SUVs and minivans, and has the greatest capacity.
Almost all bike racks will work well with sedans. However, there are some that may not work well. Despite the fact that hitch bike racks can be mounted on sedans, the weight of the bike and the low clearance can cause the car to hit the ground during a hitch. For best results, a roof bike rack will work best for a sedan. You can also use a trunk bike rack, but may not provide you with the best security for your bike.
It is also worth mentioning that this is another type of vehicle that is able to use any type of bike rack. However, if you would like the best experience, you should go for a truck bed bike rack. However, if you are not planning on using your truck bed, you can use a hitch bike rack instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make a car bike rack universal?
It is possible to retrofit most car bike racks to your car with a few straps and cords, but this might not be possible with suction bike racks because there is no provision for such a thing. On the other hand, the universal nature of suction bikes means that they can be used on many different cars.
Is there a way to know if my car can accept any type of bike rack?
It is best to check with the manufacturer of the bike you want to buy in order to find out if such a bike rack will fit your car or not. Every manufacturer lists the vehicles their bike racks will fit, so if your car or its model is not listed, you can be certain that such a bike rack will not work for your car.
If I decide to go for suction bike racks as universal bike racks, can they be trusted?
There are some people who have experienced a lot of damage to their cars and bikes when using suction bike racks, but many people have had good experiences with them as well. Suction bike racks are built to work on most cars, and their suction power is strong. Be aware that you are going to use them at your own discretion if you are going to do so.
It still remains to be seen whether or not car bike racks are actually universal or not. While some car bike racks might be compatible with every model of car, this does not imply that they are universal.
Despite the fact that suction bike racks are said to fit any car, not all people would be willing to take the risk of using such a bike rack.
Hopefully, with the information contained in this article, you will be able to find the right bike rack for your car as a result of the information found here.