Choosing The Best Bike Rack
Choosing the best bike rack for you, your bikes and your car is an important decision. It can make or break your day on the road, so you want to make sure that you've chosen the right one for you. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to pick a bike rack and then realising it doesn't fit your car or you can't get it on properly. You need a bike rack that's going to last and be easy to use—but how do you find that?
Here are some things to consider when choosing a bicycle rack for your car:
1. How many bikes do you need to carry?
If you have a family of four and want to bring all of their bikes along with yours or perhaps you are part of a road cycling or mountain biking team, then a 4-bike rack or even a cycle trailer may be the best for your needs.
2. What type of vehicle do you have?
If you drive a 4x4, SUV or people carrier, an upright tow bar mounted bike rack may be best for carrying multiple bikes at once. If you drive a saloon or hatchback, then a boot-mounted rack might be better suited for your needs.
3. How easy is it to fit the bike carrier to my car?
Some bike racks can be quite difficult to fit to your vehicle, some are much more straightforward. Some can also be attached to your bike and lifted onto your car all in one go.
Which Bike Rack is Right for Me?
If you're looking for a bike rack, there are several things to consider before you make your purchase. First and foremost, you'll want to think about what kind of vehicle you have. Do you have a hatchback, saloon or are you looking for a bike rack for an SUV? Do you have a large truck that can accommodate four bikes? Do you have a towbar attached?
What about the bikes themselves? Do you only need a rack for one or two bikes? Do you have one of the new electric bikes, and need an ebike carrier? Maybe you have a trike… is it an upright trike, or a recumbent trike? You'll also want to think about the type of bike racks available. Are there any that offer lifetime guarantees (like ours)? Then you can have peace of mind that it’s built to last.
The good news is, there are tons of options out there (and many here on our website) - so many that it can be difficult to figure out which one will be right for you! That's why we've put together this handy guide on choosing the best bike rack for your needs. Here we’ve listed the main options to look out for.
Types Of Bike Rack
There are so many different types of bike carrier racks and cycle trailers on the market, and each one has its own set of pros and cons. Here's a quick rundown of some of the most popular bike carriers for cars:
1. Bike Roof Racks
These car roof cycle racks can either be mounted directly to your car, or they can be attached to your crossbars (which attach to your roof). Roof racks can be bulky and expensive, but they're also typically very secure and provide plenty of storage space. They're also usually rated for carrying heavier loads than other kinds of racks. They’re not always great for tall vehicles such as 4x4’s and SUV’s as you have to reach up to get your bikes on and off. Plus you have to consider the height as you go through low tunnels and into car parks with height restrictions. They are a great bike rack for saloon cars though as well as hatchbacks.
Check out our range of roof mounted bike racks.
2. Boot Mounted Bike Racks
Boot mounted racks are designed specifically to fit on the boot of your car - typically they’re a good bike rack for hatch back cars. This makes them more compact than other types of racks and easy to fold and store away — but also less secure than roof racks and towbar racks. They're great for lighter loads or shorter distances. If you plan on doing long trips with heavy bikes, however, this may not be the best option for you.
3. Towbar Mounted Bike Racks
Tow bar mount bike racks are probably the most common type of rack available today because they're easy to install, sturdy and can be used for multiple bikes or all different types, so they make a good family bike rack. They’re also a great way to transport trikes and eBikes.
Check out our range of towbar mounted bike racks.
4. Bike Trailers
Looking at a way to carry all the bikes for your family on your car, then a bicycle trailer is a great option. These are perhaps the easiest to install and set up, as they just hook up to your towbar. This means it’s easier to lift the bikes separately onto the trailer either before or after they’re connected to your car. They’re also bigger, therefore can carry more bikes. But they also mean you have a longer vehicle and if you’re new to towing this can be quite daunting. That said, if you’re serious about trailers, ok with towing, and have somewhere to store the trailer when not in use… they’re definitely a great option for big family bike holidays and days out. They’re also great if you’re a regular at cycling events and a top quality mountain bike trailer is well worth an investment whether you do this for fun or at a semi professional or even professional level.
Check out our range of bike & cycle trailers.
Bike Rack Fitting Guides
When it comes to fitting our racks to your car… don’t worry we’ve got this covered here on our bike rack fitting guide page.
Bike Racks & Cycle Trailers at Pendle
When it comes to our own range, all our bike tracks and trailers are made by us, here in the UK. They all come with a lifetime guarantee and if they’re in stock, they’re usually sent out and with you within 2-3 days.
If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and our team will help to ensure you get the right bike rack for your car and bike. Then you can get out there and take your cycling adventures even further afield.