Bike carriers have transformed the way bicycle enthusiasts travel, freeing them from public transportation and allowing them to travel further away. The ability to transport your own bikes on the back of your vehicle, van, or even caravan has made cycling holidays and group excursions even more pleasurable, whether you're a road cyclist heading to a weekend sportive or a mountain biker heading to a specialized MTB track.
Though they look to be simple to use, and many are, not all bike carriers are suitable for all cars. Furthermore, not all carriers are appropriate for all motorcycles. Choosing a bike carrier entails more than simply fitting the mechanism and knowing how to load and unload it properly. Even the most experienced among us might make fundamental mistakes since we are appropriately focused on the car and the bicycle, sometimes overlooking the wider picture.
So these are the most typical blunders people make while selecting the correct bike carrier.
- Not checking that the rack is compatible with your vehicle
Make sure the rack will fit your vehicle, whether it's a caravan, 4x4, car, or hatchback. Always ensure that the manufacturer's suggested weight limit is more than the total weight of your two bikes plus your own body weight.
- Neglecting the rear-mounted spare tire
Most cars with rear-mounted spare tires will necessitate the use of an appropriate-sized rack. Hitch racks will necessitate a connecting bar long enough to position the rack away from the car and clear the spare tire. These racks' weight carrying capabilities may be limited. There are also Spare Tire Strap-on Racks available. These racks are either strapped onto the spare tire or screwed on through the center of the wheel.
- Not checking if your bike frame suits the rack
Check that the bike frame is suitable with the bike rack's support arms. Allow a bike's wheels to dangle too close to the ground or too close to the tip of the exhaust pipe. Some unusual bike frames, particularly women's bikes, will necessitate the use of a frame adapter bar to keep the bike level on the rack and out of harm's way.
- Not buying bike racks with additional security features
The convenience of bike racks can also be a disadvantage. Thieves will go after the bikes on your bike rack. Installation of some security bolts, designed to be picked up by the wheel and tire, may prevent bike theft. The bolts are attached with a special tool. Since the tool is not readily available, nobody can easily steal your bike.
- Not considering the route you usually drive
One of the most common mistakes when choosing a bike carrier is to purchase one for a vehicle you may not use for its primary purpose. For example, if you only use your 4×4 for weekend trips to go to the shops, a roof-mounted bike rack may be fine, as long as it's compatible with your vehicle. However, if you're a keen off-roader and you regularly make long journeys to mountain biking destinations, an alternative is more than worth considering.
A roof-mounted bike rack on your 4×4 means that the underside of your vehicle will be subjected to more wear and tear than usual. In addition to this, the weight of the bikes could place undue strain on the roof itself, potentially causing problems when driving in non-roadworthy conditions. This can be avoided by using a bike rack for the purpose for which it was constructed for, i.e., road or off-road use.
Yes, you get what you pay for. But that doesn't mean you can't find a bike rack that is affordable and does the job well. Use this guide to help you make the right choice concerning the type, style, brand, and price of the bike carrier you choose. It's a critical decision, with a lot riding on it.
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