How to safely use bike racks on a car

Video How to safely use bike racks on a car

However, ahead of your road trip, there are several key factors you need to consider.

What are the different types of bike racks?

If this is the first time you are planning on attaching a bike rack, it is important to know what style is needed.

There are three main types of rack – rear mounted, tow bar, and roof – and users should be aware of the pros and cons each of them offer.

Rear mounted bike rack

These bike racks are the most commonly found style here in the UK, as they are the most cost-effective option for multiple bicycles.

Read more: How to transport your bike by car – check out our simple guide to car bike racks and more

They are designed with a metal frame that sits against the back of a car, with four to six straps that can be hooked onto the edges of a car boot.

If you’re planning on going for a bike ride further away from home then a rear-mounted bike carrier is ideal, as they are efficient and don’t require any additional mounts or attachments. These racks can fit up to three or four bicycles.

Rear mounted racks are simple to install and can be stored easily. However, buyers should be aware that they do not fit all models of cars and should check it is possible they can be attached to your vehicle. They can also take up space within the boot, so it is important to consider this ahead of travelling.

Obviously soft tops can’t have racks on them – but some hatchbacks also struggle to support the weight and shape of the bikes and rack. The only way to be sure is to check with the manufacturer directly or from the manual for the specific model.

Roof rack

Read more: How To Put A Bike On A Bike Rack: A Simple Tutorial 2022

Roof-mounted carriers are attached on to bars that are fitted horizontally across the top of the vehicle which clamp on a pivoting arm attached to the down tube. The benefit for this rack is that it doesn’t impact the amount of space available in the boot of the vehicle – and is easy to install and remove. Roof racks can also accommodate three or four bicycles, depending on the size of the vehicle.

Unlike rear mounted racks, they do not obstruct car lights or number plates – something that can cause legal issues, and even fines up to £5,000. As a driver, you should also be aware of other driving offences and their punishments.

Drivers should also consider the impact having bikes on the roof will have on the aerodynamics, fuel consumption, and handling of the car, especially in high winds and adverse weather conditions. Also, be aware of any height restrictions.

Tow ball and tow bar bike rack

There are two variations of tow ball rack. Attached directly to the ball, one is physically bolted on using an adjuster screw – and the other fits itself around the tow ball with a clamp to secure it to the car.

Read more: How to Carry Bike on Roof without Rack

The tow bar mounted rack is fitted to the mounting plate underneath the vehicle.

If your car is fitted with a tow ball or bar, then they can carry up to five bicycles – and many modern cars that have a tow ball are designed so a boot can still be opened while the bicycles are attached.

The RAC has a range of bike racks available, which can be found at the RAC Shop.

What else could you need?

If you are looking at taking a trip with your bicycles – a rack for your car is not the only item you may need. The RAC has a range of Travel & Touring items, including products suitable for winter driving, breakdown kits, car covers, first aid and more.

Through this article, we hope to help you understand more about How to put a bike on a roof rack the most detailed and complete is Dennis Point Campground MD.

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