Rear, Roof, or Trailer: What is the Right Bike Rack for You?

Choosing the right bike rack for your car is a tough decision. The safety of you, your bike, and your vehicle is paramount, especially when going off the beaten track.

At Pendle, we’ve spent decades creating high-quality, steel bike racks designed to last a lifetime. We are also keen cyclists ourselves and look for new ways to improve the cycling experience. To help you find the perfect bike rack for your vehicle, we’re going to look at roof-mounted bike racks,  tow bar mounted bike racks and bike trailers.


Towbar rack, Roof rack or Trailer?


Deciding what bike storage system to use depends on several factors such as your vehicle, the type and number of bikes you have, and of course your budget. If you drive a land rover, range rover, or other vehicles with high ride height you may find a towbar mounted bike rack easier to use while if you’re towing a caravan you may lack the space to mount a rear-mounted bike rack. As you can see bike racks are vehicle specific so knowing which bike rack fits your car is the first decision to make. 

Next, you’ll want to look at what bikes you use. Road bikes are famously light, ideal for lifting and locking into a roof rack. Mountain bikes and electric bikes, by comparison, can be heavier and may be easier to transport on a rear-mounted bike rack. Make sure you find a bike rack that supports your type of bike safely and can carry as many bikes as you need to take.

Finally, budget and personal preference is always a factor. Our bike racks are made in the UK designed to last a lifetime. Whatever you decide, make sure you invest in a good bike rack that will hold your bikes securely. 


Towbar-mounted bike racks

Towbar-mounted bike racks are easy to install and use. Rear-mounted bike racks fit cars of all models from Land Rovers and Range Rovers to hatchbacks and saloon vehicles. All you need is a towbar, be it flange-mounted, swan neck or detachable. At Pendle, our rear-mounted bike racks are robust and versatile, all-steel designs. 

These come in Hang-on towbar racks or our wheel support towbar racks. Our hang-on rack is available in three setups, the zero-offset H4 for most vehicles, the 150mm offset HD model for flat back vehicles like the Land Rover Discovery, and if you carry a spare wheel on the back (i.e. Land Rover Defender) then the 250mm offset HL will fit perfectly. If you tow a trailer or caravan and want to fit a rear-mounted bike rack too, we also offer H-range height extensions and high W2 poles to make the most of your carrying capacity. 

Strapping a bike to a towbar-mounted rack is quick and easy. You don’t need to reach to the roof of your car or lift heavy bikes. Instead, all you need to do is place your bikes side by side, horizontal to the car, and strap the bikes in securely. Padding on the arms protects your bikes from bumps and prevents any damage to your vehicle. It’s also important to ensure your wheels are secured to prevent spinning. 

One of the few downsides to this method is it may limit your rearview. This takes a little getting used to but is something that becomes second nature over time. It is also a legal requirement that you don’t obscure the rear lights on your car. This is why every rack in the PBR range comes equipped with a plug-and-play LED light unit included in the box. Just fix your spare number plate in position and away you go!


Bicycle trailers

Finally, if you have a towbar and want to transport several bikes then a trailer may be the best option. The Pendle bike trailer is available in 6-bike and 12-bike options for large families and cycle teams. This trailer, like all of our products, is made in the UK and support local communities.

Trailers, however, do have some considerations to keep in mind before you invest in one. You’ll need somewhere to store your trailer when not in use and driving with a trailer can also take some getting used to. Just as with the tow bar racks, you will also need a spare number plate for the trailer and ensure that all the LED lights and towbar connections are in good working order. Once you have all of this in order, you’ll find transporting bikes with a trailer easy.


Trike racks 

Especially popular with older riders and those who are looking for a more comfortable ride. The added wheel also adds stability and space for storage if you need it. Pendle bike racks take this into account and we are pleased to offer trike rack solutions that are easy to load and unload while also offering top-notch quality and safety.


Roof-mounted bike racks

Roof-mounted cycle carriers clamp to the roof of your vehicle via your roof bars. Bikes can be attached to the roof in different ways. The most common method is attaching the bikes with both wheels attached through a pivoting arm that secures around your bike’s down tube.

Another popular method is to remove the front wheel and attach the bike via the front fork dropouts to the bar. This second method does mean you’ll need a place to store your front wheels in the boot of your car. Our new roof rack uses this method and can be loaded at a comfortable height before lifting onto your car, saving your back and your paintwork.


Pendle Bike Racks

From the early days of Pendle Bikes, we’ve always offered products that are strong, simple, and safe. Much like our brand, our products are robust and have been helping cyclists connect with nature to experience new trails, trips, and routes. We’re proud to be a local employer that sources material and builds robust bike storage equipment. Our commitment to keeping production in the UK is central to our identity and makes it easy for customers to obtain support, spares, or replacements.

If you would like to find out more about our products or just want to get in touch with us please feel free to give us a call. We can’t wait to help push past your boundaries and reach new peaks.

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