Cycling in far off places, another city or simply on the other side of town sometimes requires a drive to the destination first. Unless you have a large panel van, you are probably going to need a bike rack. There are literally hundreds to choose from ranging in price from around $50 all the way up to $600. But it isn’t necessary to break the bank if you are in need of a car mounted bike rack.
You’ll first need to determine how many bikes you ultimately need to carry and keep in mind ‘the more the merrier’. If you have kids this will be fairly easy for you to answer and there are many simple racks that can safely secure a large number of cycles to your vehicle. BUT if you are thinking, “It’s just me and my Spouse’s bike,” you might want to think again. Will you ever want to transport a third or fourth bike for friends? It might be a nice option to have in the future if you ever want to host a small bike outing at the beach.
Now you need to determine if you want a hitch mounted rack or one that works with simple straps that attach to the trunk or rear door. The hitch mounted racks are definitely the safest as they require a trailer receiver on your vehicle and make for the securest transporting of bikes. They are also capable of carrying a lot more weight and are a better option if you are planning on leaving the rack on your vehicle full-time. However, you may need to install the trailer mount and these racks generally tend to be more expensive. There are also roof racks which allow you to attach the bicycles to the roof of your car, but unless you have really lightweight bicycles and a ladder, putting bicycles on the roof of a car can be very cumbersome.
Here is a list of some of the highest rated and affordable bike racks:
- Allen Ultra Compact Folding 2-Bike Carrier
- Pro Series 63124 Eclipse Black 4-Bike Hitch Mounted Bike Carrier
- Saris Sentinel 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
- Allen Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
- Allen Deluxe 5-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver)
- Yakima Super Joe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
The biggest concern is safety. You want to make sure you are securing your bikes to the vehicle in a way that will be fine at higher speeds and long distances. It is not only keeping your bikes safe but also the other cars around you. Nobody wants to see some 10-speeds bouncing down the freeway at 65 mph!