It is quite possible for you to have exhausted all your options, but you are still having trouble finding the right guide to purchasing a bike rack for that beautiful bike that you own. One article talks about three racks, another talks about five racks.
What should be believed? Who should be believed? What if there are still other options?
You have come to the right place, as this is the place where you will find all the answers to your questions.
There are a number of different types of bike racks out there, which is why I have created a comprehensive guide that will help you pick the right bike rack for the person you love without getting burned out by choosing one.
Having said that, let’s dive right in!
There are a number of different types of bike racks for cars that can be used
If you were asking me if I had an honest opinion about something, I would say that you will have a number of bike racks. People divide these things into classes depending on where they will be mounted.
Roof Bike Racks
There is no mystery to their name, it tells you all you need to know about them!
One of the most popular ways to transport bikes is with a roof bike rack, which is connected to the roof rack of your vehicle or the upper door frames of your vehicle. It is one of the most convenient ways to transport bikes if you already have a roof rack system.
As for the design of the roof rack, you have the option of choosing between a fork mount roof rack in which you can mount your bike on both wheels or an upright roof rack in which you mount it on both wheels.
Among its biggest advantages are the fact that these racks offer you an unrestricted view of the rear window and can be accessed entirely without having to unload your vehicle, as well as the fact that it is easy to install and maintain.
As an added benefit, these racks can accommodate up to 7 bikes, so they’re a great choice for those with larger vehicles. They are also one of the most affordable options in the market for those looking to replace their traditional option for carrying their bikes.
This is a setup that has the biggest disadvantage of causing your vehicle’s aerodynamics to be messed up and increases its fuel consumption by almost 30% while at the same time creating a rattling sound as a result of the increase in fuel consumption.
Depending on the situation, these don’t always make for the safest option because of the lack of sturdiness. You also have to lift your bike all the way up to your head to store it, which increase the chances of both your vehicles getting damaged.
Here are two different designs that you can choose from.
Upright Roof Mount Racks
There are a few types of bicycle wheel covers available on the market. These don’t require you to remove the front wheel from your bicycle in order to load them. As long as both wheels are attached to the bike, you will be able to load them with the bike standing upright (hence the name).
As a result of what they offer, they provide easy access to the car’s trunk. They also allow for rear-view mirror clearance. The hoops are large enough to accommodate different types of bikes. In addition, they have the advantage of being able to carry other sporting gear on them when you do not use them as bicycle carriers.
There is no doubt that the increased fuel consumption of their cars is a disappointment. They should also consider lifting your bike upright to load it over the roof of your car would also be a time-consuming and tiring process, as well as potentially damaging the roof of your car during the lifting process.
Fork Mount Roof Rack
In addition, these racks require that you remove the front wheel of your bike before you load it up above your car. Your bike is attached to the rack by means of the fork, which is why it is called a “Fork Mount Roof Rack.”.
Compared to upright roof-mount racks, they have better aerodynamics, so they produce less noise than upright roof-mount racks. Additionally, they hold your bikes much more tightly by the fork, which is much easier to access and provides an increase in rear-view clearance.
After an exhausting and sweaty ride, you might not want to open the front wheel and mount your baby again, and that’s where the problem arises. If you also consider the possibility of roof racks damaging your car, then you will be in for a ride home that isn’t so smooth.
Hitch Bike Racks
They come in different sizes and specifications depending on the various classes of trailer hitches that you can install on your car (Class I, Class II, or Class III) and can be mounted at the back of your vehicle by sliding them onto the receiver tube of the hitch.
If you own a taller vehicle, hitch mount racks are a great option for you, as they are compact and cost-effective. They are easy to use because you simply hold them by their necks and mount them over the hitch rack. Then, using the attachments provided, secure them tightly into place, and you are ready to go.
Getting down on my hands and knees is not something I would want to do after a five-hour adventure ride. I have been able to put that habit behind me, thanks to these racks, and now I can just drive back home safely without lifting my bike up.
As a result of the fact that they do not interfere with your car’s aerodynamics, they also burn up to 30% less fuel than roof racks, which unfortunately is something roof racks are guilty of, which unfortunately is also the case with them.
It is easy to install and remove them, and you can mount 4-7 bikes at the same time.
In the past, I have had friends who have forgotten that they had a bike up there while parking their vehicle. I am sure it was not a pleasant experience. With these racks, you would not have to worry about the possibility of beheading your bike when you park your vehicle.
Aside from keeping your bike away from your car chassis, they also ensure that they are not scratched or dented by each other. Additionally, most of these bags are equipped with a number of built-in locking mechanisms to prevent your babies from being stolen, which is every traveler’s worst nightmare. I have experienced it, and I am a real believer.
Probably the biggest drawback of the design is the fact that the trunk is mainly rear mounted, so it blocks access to it. There are some designs, however, that move away from the trunk, but as we move further up the design ladder, the higher the price becomes as well. It blocks rearward visibility and creates hindrance while parking as well.
Additionally, if your vehicle doesn’t come with a hitch, you will need to install one if it doesn’t come with one.
When it comes to designs, there are mainly three types of them:
Platform Style Hitch Rack
There is a platform style hitch rack that behaves like a platform and allows the bike wheels to rest on the platform, so you can load your bikes without having to lift them into the hitch rack by putting the wheels of the bike on the platform.
In all honesty, the main advantage of these racks is their sturdiness and security. They are well designed to hold your bicycles, both on the wheels and the frame, safely and securely. They have ample space between them to keep your bikes from coming into contact with the racks and it makes loading and unloading easier.
While they are very heavy, storing them can be a hassle when they aren’t in use. Installing and disassembling them can be a bit of a hassle as well. There is also the issue of blocking access to the rear end of the vehicle when they are not in use.
Hanging Style Hitch Rack
Unlike platform racks that support the bike frame on a platform, hanging racks rest the bike frame on the racks themselves, which makes them lighter than platform racks.
They were quite easy to install and uninstall, and they didn’t extend very far from the car, so it was easy to store and transport them back and forth between cars. Over and above that, I found the installation and uninstallation to be really simple.
In order for the bikes to not touch and scratch each other from this contact, you will need to raise them higher, and that is a huge disappointment for me. It is also necessary to use an adapter bar if your bike does not have a straight tube to be able to use it. It was also necessary for me to use an anti-sway bar to keep my babies from swaying and getting hurt.
There are also different designs available for these racks as well.
Tilt Down Hitch Racks
In order to gain access to your vehicle’s hatch, you will want to use these racks, which will allow you to tilt the carrier down, thus opening the door for you to access the hatch. These racks will pivot up and down by means of levers.
As a result, I was able to find them for both a 1.25 inches and a 2-inch hitch, and I was able to access the rear end of my vehicle with ease. Storage was also very easy, as well.
This rack appeared to be tilted down so that my bikes would be close to the ground when I tilted it down, which I found to be very dangerous since it could damage the bikes and place scratches and dents on them if you are not careful.
Swing Away Hitch Racks
You can use these racks to load up your bicycles up to a full 180 degrees, even with your vehicle hitch point attached, and you can swing them away from your hitch point in order to give you unprecedented access to the back end of your vehicle.
There is no doubt that these are one of the most appropriate hitch racks to use, especially if they can swing 180 degrees away from your car while fully loaded. Also, these hitch racks come equipped with integrated cable locks throughout the frame, so you can feel safer securing your precious cargo with these racks.
I found it to be a little difficult to install, and the swing-away feature makes it a bit wobbly when it is not being used, so storage is also an issue.
Trunk Mount Bike Rack
You don’t need a roof rack to mount a bike rack on your car, even if it doesn’t have a trailer hitch. All you need is a trunk mount bike rack for your car.
The racks are mounted on the back of the car, and you can secure your bike with straps and keep it supported on its side by arms and cradles. Most of them include anti-sway cradles for the protection of your bike from other drivers.
As well as fitting on all types of trunks and rear doors, these racks are equipped with foam pads to minimize the impact of any possible contact between the car and the bikes. They can also be mounted on all types of car trunks and trunk doors.
On my flat car trunk, it only took me five minutes to install it.
In addition to being able to fit any vehicle, even those without a tow bar, their biggest advantage lies in their ability to convert from one vehicle to another.
In comparison to other way to secure your bike to your car, this method has two major drawbacks, the first is that it does not give you easy access to your trunk and the other is that it is not the safest method because it is limited to straps and nylon hooks without any locking mechanisms built in.
Furthermore, they cannot handle a large number of bikes or a few heavier bikes as well.
Don’t think this will happen to you if you own a fully-suspension mountain bike.
Bumper Mounted Bike Rack
It is possible to install these racks on the rear bumper of your car using a bolt-on receiver if your car has a steel bumper fitted on it. This rack is a good option for drivers who are cautious as they provide rear sightlines.
Furthermore, the racks are spaced far apart so that your babies do not rub against each other and injure themselves as a result of rubbing against each other.
I found them to be sturdy enough that they could support the overall weight combined of the bike, a trailer or car, and the trailer pulled by the car. I could also see that there was some space between my bikes.
As well as providing clear rear visibility, they allow you to drive your vehicle and bike safely and securely backwards while staying protected from accidents.
There are a few problems that I encountered with them. First of all, they can only be used with steel bumpers, not aluminium or spot-welded bumpers. Second of all, they can only be used if the bumper is square.
Due to the not-so-great locking mechanisms in their cars, I had some very unpleasant experiences on some very bumpy roads.
Spare Tire Bike Rack
If you own a Jeep, then you just might want to use these compact racks to fan the flames of your adventurous nature.
The setup process can be completed by keeping your spare tire in place, attaching this rack to the back of it, and that’s all that needs to be done.
They do the same thing as hitch racks, by providing straps and locks to secure bikes to the racks.
Due to its compact size and easy access to my car’s trunk, I found that this bike rack was much more affordable than larger bike racks which may be because it was easier to access my car’s trunk.
In addition to that, they can be used without a tow-hitch, which makes them very convenient.
In order to use this device it is necessary for both you and your vehicle to have a spare tire of the right size installed and that you are able to use.
You should also be aware of the fact that since this is mounted on a spare tire, you need to look at the weight limit of the spare tire. Do your research, as we mentioned earlier.
Truck Bed Bike Rack
For the first time in my life, I mounted my bikes on my first pickup truck, and I had a lot of learning to do.
Obviously, if you have a truck that is capable of hauling bikes, you can use it to haul your bikes if you have one with these racks!
I have always been concerned about the safety of their bicycles, even though they are capable of transporting them easily.
It is one of the easiest racks to use, and it doesn’t require a tow bar, so it is a great choice for those who don’t have a tow bar.
As far as size and specifications are concerned, you do not have to worry about them as they are really adjustable with different truck bed sizes and let you transport bikes in the same condition in which they were manufactured.
There will be a real space crunch in the bed of your truck.
Although it might seem as if you can carry a lot of bikes, you can only carry about three to four safely. Some of those bikes do not have proper locking mechanisms so they can be stolen in the future.
Tailgate Pad For Bikes
You can transport your bikes using the tailgate of your truck, as the name suggests, since you can use the tailgate for this purpose.
A pair of these pads are rectangular-shaped and are attached to the tailgate of your truck. They fold over and cover the entire area, providing a supportive base for your bike to rest on while you’re driving.
The pad can be used to carry any type of bike, from a road bike to your favourite mountain bike, so you can use it to carry any kind of bike you want.
There is no doubt that this rack is a decent one that can save you some money if you are on a tight budget. It is pretty easy to install and remove as well.
Several types of bikes can be transported with this bag as well as other sporting equipment like surfboards, ladders, and other items that are useful for sports.
The problem with these racks is that although they are safer than truck bed racks, they don’t offer the same level of protection for bumpy trips over long distances. Also, mine lost its soft interior over time.
As well, most of them will require that you unload your bike before you open your tailgate before you can park your vehicle.
Fork Mount Bike Block
Essentially, this is the same as what it sounds like, a bike block that is mounted on a front profile rail and attached to a bike fork, allowing the bike to be adjusted as needed, giving your bike a compact position. These can also be used for the transportation of bicycles on small trucks or trailers.
It is very easy to install them without any hassle, they are very easy to use, and they take up very little space since they do not need much space to function. They are also very economical.
It is also possible to use these shelves to store items in your garage or shed, which gives you even more storage space.
The majority of these blocks fail to be durable, with the exception of those made of aluminum alloy. After a certain amount of time, they start to rust and become ineffective.
Suction Cup Bike Racks
A new invention in the world of bicycles, the suction cup mounts are small cups that attach to the roof of your car by using suction cups in order to hold them in place, while air pressure holds them firmly in place.
This product provides you with a sufficient grip on your bike without the need to use straps or bolts to hold it in place, which makes it much more convenient to use.
It was very easy to install, and I found that the suction cup racks are compact and really easy to store. Not only that, but you can also mount all of your different types of bikes on them.
If you do a little research, you can find a variety of affordable options that will meet your needs for the budget that you have.
As far as safety is concerned, vacuum cups are not the most reliable choice for holding on to your bike because they can easily be damaged. Most of these cups do not have integrated cable locks to keep your bike secure.
The suction surface on this product is quite delicate, so you need to take good care not to damage it if you want to ensure an intact suction surface.
Additionally, some of them do not work on cars that have rear spoilers on the rear.
Recumbent Bike Racks
When you own a recumbent bike, then you can choose to buy a rack that has been specifically designed to carry bikes that have a laid-back reclining position. These racks are designed to carry short wheelbase bikes as well as long wheelbase bikes.
Having a solid steel construction, they are guaranteed to last for many years to come.
In most cases, due to a sufficient distance between them, your babies will remain undamaged, avoiding any collisions between them. Most of these products have platforms that are large enough to provide good ground clearance, so they are more likely to stay safe.
Make sure that you obtain clearance from both sides of your car to avoid your baby being hit on any side of the vehicle, as they might block your access to the rear of your car.
There are many instances in which the vehicle is buckled down with straps which are insecure and not as safe as they should be for your bike, this results in your bike experiencing extra sway as a result of the vehicle being clumsy because of this.
Suppose you own a tricycle, and you have no idea what type of bike rack is required for your baby to ride along on the back. Atrike carrier will be the answer to your question.
A trike carrier can carry a wide variety of trikes such as tadpole trikes, delta trikes, etc. Some of these carriers make sure that the carriers do not come into contact with the frame of the trike.
In order for all three wheels to be held firmly in place, they have been designed ergonomically to accommodate that situation.
Several of these racks are designed so that they can be mounted on both 1 14-inch and 2-inch receiver hitches. They may be able to hold your trike in such a way that it maintains zero contact between the trike frame and rack, which prevents any damage to the trike body.
It is important to note that most of them block the rear of your car. However, there are some that can be moved with the trike to allow you to gain rear access to your car. The cost of the design increases as you go deeper into this rabbit hole of different designs, so it no longer remains as cost-effective as we would like it to.
As a matter of fact, many of them only come with straps attached to your trike, which can pose a threat to its security.
The different types of bicycle storage racks that you can find on the market
According to Velominati, the optimal number of bicycles to own is n+1. Therefore, whenever something new comes onto the market, you’ll already have it. Although it may not exist in reality, it is there nonetheless, and before you know it, you have built up a collection of a road bike, two mountain bikes, a hybrid bike, and a full-suspension mountain bike, this time in reality!
Having a stockpile of bikes that you have bought as a result of your temptations can make it difficult to find a storage space when you surrender to those temptations.
Let me now take over and share with you everything that I know with you. It is time for you to put up your hands and surrender once again.
Wall Mount Bike Storage Rack
If you want to hang your bikes vertically; you simply mount them on the wall and hang them vertically. This is one of the simplest and easiest storage options you can use for your bike rack. You can store many bikes with this option while only taking up a small amount of space.
If you decide to go with this option, ensure that there is sufficient space between the ceiling and floor for your bikes to be hung, as well as enough space on the wall and in the room adjoining to ensure that those racks, if they protrude out of the wall, will not be a hindrance.
There is no doubt that it is perfect for small spaces, so you can store anything with it. Whether it is your mountain bike or your kid’s bike, you can store all of them together in this storage option.
There will also be a variety of alternatives to choose from because it’s such a common storage solution, which adds to its appeal because it’s such a common storage choice.
I had bumped into one of my bikes that was mounted on a wall mount by accident, and it was not a pretty experience at all. Their obvious disadvantage is their tendency to stick out of the wall.
There are also a number of difficulties in using this option without the help of an adult. The idea is to have something convenient for every member of the family, but this is not the case here.
The frameworks for these are made of steel tubing, and they lean up against the wall, giving the appearance of being flimsy, but actually they are very sturdy, and the more weight you place on them, the more durable they become.
It is important to know that when you hang your bike on a stand, the weight pulls the center of gravity downward and sideways towards the wall, thus securing it vertically and horizontally. By using the downward pull, you are securing the bike vertically, and by using the sideways pull, you are securing the bike horizontally as well. Thus, your bike is secured on both sides.
The stand is very easy to assemble once you receive it, and it only takes a few minutes to get it up and running.
Generally, this is not required to be attached to the wall, but you may need to use the straps when installing it if you wish to use them. Attaching and removing the frame is so easy as long as you have a firm grip on the frame.
In addition, the stands are unattached, which means that they take up some space in your living room. Furthermore, the screws that attach the stand come off with time, resulting in a deterioration of the entire set up.
Ceiling Mount Bike Storage Rack
I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be able to store your bike rack without you having to touch the floor. That’s what ceiling-mounted bike racks can help you achieve. They are the perfect choice for tiny apartments or condos since they require no contact with the floor.
Depending on the mounting mechanism, they mainly come in two different types when it comes to the designs of the mounts. Let us take a closer look at both types of mounts.
Ceiling Mounted Hooks
The bicycles are in this case attached to the ceiling with closed looped hooks which come in different designs and are equipped with various locking mechanisms in order to ensure the safety of your bike while it is on the hook.
Due to the utilization of unused ceiling space, there is the obvious advantage of the freed up floor space as well as the ability to hang bikes of different frames and sizes without the hassle of hanging them on the floor.
Additionally, they are very sturdy to support the weight of the bike as well as guide the rear tire so that the bike stays upright during transit.
In case you are choosing to use ceiling hooks to hang your clothes, make sure that you do not go for plastic hooks but rather opt for aluminium hooks that have aluminium hands, and additionally, make sure that you opt for rubber padding as chances are that the screws that hold the hooks to the ceiling will wear out over time.
The ceiling might need to be secured with additional screws in order for them to be attached securely.
As a result of these bikes being hauled up using a pulley system, the gear can be raised up and lowered easily without having to worry about it slipping down. Your baby is held in place using additional non-elastic cord ropes, and its weight will be uniformly distributed.
My bike is anchored with tight non-elastic ropes to hold its weight without stretching, and the pulley system makes handling the bike a simple task. In addition, I was able to easily handle my bike as the pulley system makes the task much easier.
There is an auto-lock mechanism built into most of them, so you don’t have to worry about your vehicle being accidentally released.
Getting a bike up and down without a kickstand can be a bit tricky. Many bikes can come with a rope with a fairly cheap quality, making it stretchable and making it hard to pull down the bike.
The bikes can get damaged if they hit against one another when hung together. If that happens, you’ll need to measure the distance between the bikes before you set them up in order to prevent the bikes from hitting each other.
My final words are as follows:
We are going to end this discussion here because I hope this discussion will help you to understand the different types of bike racks that can be found in the market and unload some of your worries, and then we can work together to organize, transport, and store your bikes in a safe environment.