There are a few types of bike racks available on the market and the right one for your vehicle is going to depend on a few different factors. This includes what type of car you drive, how many bikes you need to transport, and your preferences. Below, we take a look at some of the most common types of bike racks available.
Hitch Bike Racks
Hitch mounted bike racks directly lock into the back hitch of your vehicle and hold the bikes a few inches out. Hitch racks can carry two to six bikes and typically fold down or swing out to allow access to your vehicle’s trunk or truck bed. The main concern for a hitch-mounted bike rack is to make sure that the rack fits your vehicle’s hitch size.
There are two kinds of hitch bike racks:
- Hanging bike racks are compact and can carry up to five bikes at a time. They have a rod with arms that support bikes by the frame.
- Platform-style bike racks can carry two bikes with extensions available that allow you to transport up to four bikes at a time. Unlike hanging bike racks, platform-style bike racks hold your bikes by the wheel on a tray, preventing them from spinning during transport.
Rooftop Bike Racks
Rooftop bike racks typically require an existing rack system to mount onto. Your bikes stand vertically right on top of your vehicle and are the preferred method for vehicles without a hitch or rear tire mount.
Before you stack your bikes on your rooftop bike rack, consider where you’ll be driving and if there are any low overhangs that might interfere with your bikes. We also advise checking your car’s manual to ensure how much weight the roof of your vehicle can support.
Trunk racks are strapped into place around the edges of your vehicle’s trunk lid or door. As one of the most inexpensive designs that fit most vehicles, these folding bike racks are a popular option.
If you own an open-bed truck, there are a few different mounts and accessories available that secure your bike in place during transportation. These include bike forks connected to a bar across the bed or on the truck side rail (much like a traditional sidewalk bike rack) or a protective pad over the tailgate.
There are a number of ways to transport your bikes that can match the design of your vehicle, your budget, and the number of bikes you need to mount. If you’re unsure of which bike rack system will best fit your needs, always speak to a professional who can guide you to the right product and will install your bike rack for you.