There are times when you’re ready for that next adventure, but you need to make sure that you take your bike along with you. It sounds like a great idea, but the problem is that your vehicle doesn’t have a hitch mount.
Getting a hitch mount might be more difficult than you think, and you might not want to spend extra money either, which is another reason why many of us are familiar with this situation. What other options do we have?
As it turns out, we don’t have to give up completely. There are a number of options available, depending on the fit, number of bikes, and type of vehicle. It is also necessary to determine the best course of action in each case.
Therefore, we are going to explain how to transport bikes without a hitch for various setups and situations in this article. Let’s get started!
Bikes can be transported in a variety of ways without the use of a trailer hitch
There are a lot of alternatives to hitch-mount bike racks that you can choose from these days. There are roof racks, spare tire bike racks, truck bed racks, trunk bike racks, roof mounted bike racks, and number of other alternatives.
If one wants to take the bike on a camping trip, they could simply throw it in the back of their car and call it a day. But that does not exactly make it the most elegant solution, and it takes up important space. If you’re taking the bike on a camping trip, you might not want it to take up half the space.
I have compiled a list of some alternative methods which you can use if you don’t want to use a hitch to transport your bike.
Bike racks on roofs for transporting bikes
First of all, one of the most convenient and effective methods of transporting a bike with your vehicle is using a roof mount. Roof mounts are simply mounted on the roof of your vehicle, and that’s all there is to it.
I might have simplified it a bit in the above paragraph, but let’s dig a little deeper and find out more about it.
How to mount roof-mounted racks on a vehicle with a roof rack
It is essential to note that most of these racks come with some sort of feet that you can use to secure them to the roof of your vehicle. Most of them are attached to the crossbars that are located on the roof of your vehicle.
As such, it is necessary for you to have a good understanding of the size, shape, and the amount of space between the crossbars of each side. There are a number of ways in which you can mount a crossbar in this manner. Clamps and mounting plates are two such methods.
As for vacuum cups, most of them use them for the purpose. Don’t worry, they are pretty secure, and you won’t have to worry about your bike moving around.
Using this method of installation, you will not have to worry about your vehicle’s dimensions in order to get a rack installed on it. You can also easily mount and remove it when you feel the need for it.
Roof-mount rack bike mounting styles
You can find a wide range of these racks in various styles, such as fork mounts, wheel mounts, and frame mounts. Based on what you choose, these racks can make a great difference in the way your bike moves.
In order to mount a fork, for example, you will have to remove the front wheel of the bike, which is something many users preThere are some fork mounts that are slotted, which means when you loosen them, the axle and wheel will be removed from the fork mounted. On the other hand, there are fork mounts that do not have slots, which require you to remove the axle from the side.e axle from the side.
There are a few types of wheel mounts available for use, which permit you to carry most types of bikes, even if they come with disc brakes. If taking the wheel off sounds like a chore you’d rather avoid, a wheel mount can be of service. It requires no wheel removal.
A frame mount is a mounting system in which the bike is held by its frame, and this is also a pretty versatile system (unless the bike has a composite frame, so that is to be expected).
What are the benefits and drawbacks of roof-mounted bike racks?
Using this type of rack has several benefits, the first of which is that you are not limited by what you can use them for. These rack products are quite versatile, which means that you can use them for transporting different types of bikes as well as other accessories.
As an added benefit to this type of mount, you are able to use the trunk, hatchback, or rear door of your vehicle without any obstructions from the bike and the rack. This allows you the opportunity to save space inside your vehicle by not having the bike and the rack up on the roof.
The issue is that the clearance above the trailer hitch is a problem, especially if there are crossbars on the trailer. You do not have to spend any extra money if you have crossbars, though!
It is very likely that you will bump into something if you are passing through a smaller area with a lower ceiling because chances are you will bump into something while passing through there.
There are also many people who may not be comfortable lifting their bikes every time they want to ride, which is also an important aspect to keep in mind.
Bike racks that mount on the trunk of a vehicle provide a simple way to transport bikes
These racks are attached to the back of the vehicle’s trunk, as indicated by their name, and thus have become the most popular choice for users looking to maximize versatility and save money.
There are plenty of racks that can be found within a tight budget, and are still capable of retaining all of their features. Let’s look at how these racks can be mounted to a vehicle in more detail.
The process of installing trunk-mounted bike racks on a vehicle
Racks that mount on your vehicle’s trunk are some of the easiest to mount because most of them rely on straps for mounting. This means, unlike roof-mounted racks, these racks do not require any specific measurements to be taken for them to fit your vehicle’s trunk.
As the mounting mechanism is very versatile, the user doesn’t need to limit himself to installing these on the trunk of the car. He can also mount them on the hatch or the bumper of the car as long as the mounting mechanism allows it.
Don’t worry, there are still products out there that still work with spoilers, even though many products on this list may be unusable if your vehicle has one. Don’t worry, you can still get products that will work with spoilers. All you have to do is verify this prior to making the purchase.
It is clear that these are ideal for the occasional user, the regular user, and anyone on a budget (or someone who is looking to save money).
How to mount a bike on a trunk-mount rack
In order to make use of a trunk-mounted rack, you’d need to choose a bike that has a horizontal crossbar and a large frame. The horizontal crossbar will provide the bike with enough clearance during transportation so that it doesn’t collide with the ground while being transported.
Nevertheless, if a bike has an unusual frame, you may need to plan ahead in advance. For instance, a bike with a small frame may not fit perfectly on some of these racks.
In such cases, you can use an adapter bar. But doing so would make things more tedious and require precise measurements. After all, it does contradict the idea of these racks being the most easy-to-set-up ones.
With these products, you are able to transport up to three bikes at a time, which is plenty for most people.
Would it be a good idea to transport your bicycles with trunk-mount racks?
A significant benefit of using these products is their ease of use. Thanks to the strap mechanism that allows them to be attached to your vehicle in a matter of minutes, you’ll be able to put them on your vehicle in a matter of minutes. That also means that they’ll work on most automobiles, even those that don’t have hitches or crossbars. You can read more about the difference between a hitch bike rack and a trunk bike rack here.
As far as price is concerned, trunk-mount racks are usually more affordable than other options. They are also suitable for those on a tight budget, because they don’t require extra parts to be mounted.
There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when looking for cheap internet options. The first is that most of these options don’t come with any security measures, which is a huge disappointment.
Furthermore, there can be the chance that, depending on the design and mechanism of the rack, the paintwork of your vehicle may be damaged. Since the experience is largely dependent on the fit, there is a tiny amount of risk associated with the rack.
Spare Tire Bike Racks for Transporting Bikes
It is also possible to mount the bike on the spare tire on the rear of your car if you have one. If you have a spare tire on the back of your car, that would be simple. Many people who own Jeeps or SUVs have spare tires, so this is a great idea.
How to mount spare tire racks to your vehicle
As a rule, a spare tire bike rack mounts directly to the spare tire. This means that for the user to be able to properly install the rack, they must remove the spare tire cover. And unlike the previous style of racks, you must ensure you measure everything correctly.
You may not be able to use the bike rack if your tire’s depth is greater than the width of the rack. Many bolt-on bike racks are unable to fit your tire if it is too deep for them to reach.
As well as measuring the tread on the tire, it is also a good idea to make sure the tire is not wider than 10″-12″ from one side to the other, as many bolt-on products will not work with tires that are wider than that.
In terms of the mounting mechanism, many of these racks come with options for offset spare tires to ensure maximum compatibility, so we’re all set as far as that is concerned as well. Many of them come with options for straps and bolts to secure things in place.
Bike Racks with Spare Tires – Mounting Bikes on Them
There is not much difference in the way these products haul the bikes than we have seen before. Usually, the rack will be either dual-armed or single-armed, depending on how the bike will be mounted.
Dual-arm racks are quite simplistic, and they make a great choice for bikes with standard frames and can be used in combination with unusual frames with the purchase of an adapter. This is because the former comes with two cradles that hold the bike frame, while the latter only has one.
It is important to note that single-arm racks require users to use the topplate in order to keep the bike frame in place. This, of course, means that the rack can accommodate a wider range of bike frames.
It is important to note that these racks can carry only a relatively small number of bikes at a time. They can normally fit between two and three bikes at once and are pretty secure most of the time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of spare tire bike racks?
If you don’t have a hitch, but have a spare tire, then spare tire bike racks are relatively affordable, making them accessible to everyone. If you do not have a hitch, but have a spare tire, then this method is an easy recommendation because they are available in all sizes and shapes.
Additionally, with the rear-mount bike rack, it is possible to transport multiple bikes as well. As far as bike transport is concerned, you do not have to lift the bicycle like you would with a top-mount bike rack.
In spite of that, you might find yourself at a disadvantage as a result of that very advantage.
One of the problems with most of these systems is that many of them require the user to remove the bike if the vehicle has a hatchback. If the vehicle has swing-out doors, you can leave the bike mounted.
The main disadvantage of these racks, however, is that if you have a door with a maximum weight-bearing capacity, you will need to ensure the bikes do not exceed that limit. Other than that, these racks can be an excellent alternative.
There are other methods of transporting bikes without the use of a hitch
In the absence of a hitch, the options mentioned above are some of the most efficient ones to choose from. However, there are some other methods that you can implement.
For instance, it’s possible to opt for a truck bed bike rack for a pickup truck. The products are secure, and it’s possible to transport even 5-8 bikes with ease with this kind of rack.
Furthermore, they avoid any type of contact with the frame, which is a great deal of worry for the user, and it’s also not necessary to remove the front wheel in order to use them.
There is no doubt that most people do not own pickup trucks, which is the reason why these options are not as universal as those above. However, you can certainly opt for them if they are applicable to your vehicle.
A few things to keep in mind when transporting bikes without a hitch
The following tips can help you make this entire process much easier if you know how to haul bikes without a hitch and your vehicle does not have a hitch mount to begin with.
- A good starting point is to know exactly how many bikes you plan on transporting. The options will change drastically depending on how many bikes you choose to carry. Of course, you should also take a look at the weight capacity of the racks for safety reasons.
- When it comes to roof mounts, ensure that you have a clear understanding of how they work. You need to be aware of the crossbars and their dimensions.
If you’re looking to replace the front wheel on a bike, you may also need to remove the bike’s front wheel in many cases. This is something it’s best to avoid if possible.
- Often, people overlook the importance of security when it comes to their vehicles. For example, many trunk-mounted racks aren’t nearly as secure as they should be. Consequently, it is vital to pay close attention to this aspect of your vehicle’s security.
- You should take into account how the bike’s design plays a significant role alongside the vehicle’s measurements. For example, if you have a child’s bike that does not have a standard frame, make sure that you are able to haul the bike without having to buy additional tools.
Lastly, I would like to share my final thoughts with you
While there are plenty of bike racks that attach to a hitch in your vehicle, it is important to note that there are many other options available. If you have been questioning the benefits of hitch-mounted bike racks, now you know the answer.
Make sure that the measurements and requirements you have are correct, and have a great time on your adventure!