Here are Five Great Bike Racks from Which to Choose
Swagman XC Cross-Country 2
|NO. Bikes: 2 Style: Hitch|
|The Swagman XC Cross-Country is designed to fit 1 1/4 and 2-inch receivers and features a series of quick release, adjustable tire hoops along with a ratcheting top arm. These ensure this bike rack fits a large range of bikes, suitable for family use.The top arm is designed to fold down, while the base folds up to keep everything out of the way when not in use. The frame grip arms are padded to protect your bikes’ finish. It is designed to carry two bikes.Read More|
Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike
|NO. Bikes: 5 Style: Hitch|
|The Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike is designed to carry five bicycles and fit a standard 2-inch receiver. The 28 inch long carry arms can secure each bike individually using the patented Allen tie down system that keeps your bikes firmly fixed in place under all road conditions.The folding arms drop completely out of the way when you are not using the rack, and the entire rack can be set up in five minutes. This rack is backed by Allen’s lifetime warranty.Read More|
Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike
|NO. Bikes: 4 Style: Hitch|
|The Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike is also designed to fit directly into a 2-inch standard receiver and can hold up to four bikes securely in place using the patented Allen tie down system. It features folding 22-inch arms that can be dropped out of the way to allow you access to your trunk or tailgate when you are not using the rack.Setup takes five minutes or less and the entire unit is finished in black powder coat to ensure it will not rust. This rack is backed by Allen’s lifetime warranty.Read More|
Hollywood HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike
|NO. Bikes: 4 Style: Platform Hitch|
|The Hollywood Racks HR1400 is designed to fit a standard 2-inch receiver and offers a heavy duty platform that can be adjusted to hold either two or four bikes. The bikes are placed into wheel holders and use padded clamps that slide onto the frame tube to keep them secure.It also features a tool-less installation and 9 feet of security cable to help prevent your bikes from being stolen. When not in use the rack can be folded flat to keep it out of the way.Read More|
Saris Bones 805 (2-Bike) Trunk
|NO. Bikes: 2 Style: Trunk|
|The Saris Bones 805 is a trunk mounted rack made from injection molded 100 percent recyclable materials. These materials make the Saris Bones 805 the strongest trunk bike rack on the market. The arc-based design allows the rack to fit over the top of most rear spoilers and allow you to separate your bikes into different levels to keep them protected.It features ratcheting anti-sway straps to secure the bikes into place and keep them stabilized while you are traveling to your next ride.Read More|
|Swagman XC 2-Bike||Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike||Hollywood HR1400 4-Bike||Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike||Saris Bones 805 2-Bike Trunk Rack|
|Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review|
|1 1/4 Receiver||Yes|
|2 ” Receiver||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Comes With Security Cable||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Price Range||Around 160||Around 90||Around 400||Around 110||Around 150|
|Folds Up/Down Out Of the way||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Holds No Bikes||2||4||4||5||2|
5 Options for Purchasing Your First Bike Rack
Depending on where you live and the type of riding you plan to do, you may find it necessary to load the bikes on your vehicle and drive to your destination. Unless you have a pickup truck or a van, a bike rack becomes an essential part of your vehicle. However, there are several different styles of bike rack from which to choose. The hard part is deciding which one will be the best fit for your vehicle and your needs. In order to do this, you need to ask yourself a number of questions and come up with the right answers.
How Many Bikes?
The first and most obvious question you need to ask, is how many bikes you expect to carry on the road. At the same time you need to consider what type of bikes you plan to carry. Different styles of bikes come in a range of sizes and by virtue of this some are heavier than others are. Will your bikes be coming home muddy? If so does the bike rack you choose need to be strong enough to carry these heavier bikes covered in mud.
One more thing to keep in mind is whether you will be adding more bikes to your collection. Take a good look at each type of bike rack to see how easy it will be to load and unload and how securely each will keep your bikes locked in place. Finally think about how much space you will need to store the bike rack when you are not using it.
Three Main Types of Bike Rack
Essentially there are three main types of bike rack on the market, these are trunk mounted, roof mounted, and hitch mounted.
Hitch Mounted Bike Racks:
These bike racks are designed to slide into a standard receiver style tow hitch or onto the ball itself. They are typically among the most expensive, but are well-built and can carry the heaviest loads. Some feature plate hold-downs, while others use U-bolts or chains you can use to lock your bikes in place. The more expensive models are hinged to allow you to access the trunk or tailgate of your vehicle. They will actually swing away or lay down to give you access.
The Hitch receivers come in two sizes, 1-1/4″ and 2″. So the bike rack simply slides into it and locks with a pin going through the receiver and bike rack to secure it. Depending on the style you can carry 2-5 bikes on it.
- Easy To Install
- Easy to load the bikes on to it
- Most models allow access to rear door or hatch back
- Simple to remove when not in use
- The more advanced models are pricey
- Lower end models block rear access
- You will have a little sway when driving
Roof Mounted Bike Racks:
To all intents and purposes if your car is designed for a roof rack to be mounted on it, you should be able to install a roof mounted bike rack. In most cases these racks are designed to hold up to four bikes. The simplest versions of these have a cup designed to hold the front forks and one for the rear wheel. Others feature a channel designed to hold both wheels, straps to keep them locked in place, and an adjustable upright arm to help hold the frame in place. Most have some form of integrated lock to reduce the risk of your bikes being stolen.
Most versatile system; more secure and stable; unimpeded access to car doors, rear hatch or trunk Some hoisting and reaching required; wind resistance; may not fit in low-clearance spaces.
- More Secure and Stable
- Does not block rear access to doors or trunk
- Hard to reach up top to put bike on
- Does have some wind resistance
- Have to worry about low clearances
The Strap or Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
These bike racks are mounted on the trunk or tailgate of your vehicle using a series of straps. They tend to be extremely adjustable to fit the widest possible range of vehicles. The racks sit on suction cups or foam feet to protect your paint, and the straps are used to hold the rack securely in place. They are the easiest to use and are also the easiest to steal both the rack and your bikes.
- Lowest Cost of all Racks
- Easy to load the bikes on the rack
- It’s portable from car to car
- Cannot access the trunk without taking it off
- Straps tend to sway in the wind
- Bikes Sway and can hit each other
If you still have questions about which would work best for you please leave a comment or email me for me help. It really comes down to price, how many bikes you need and your vehicle. Keep focused on that and it should help narrow down your choice. You can find more information on my home page as well here.