I still remember I wanted to join a biking event in Laguna Niguel. I do live in California and it’s 54 miles / 87 km driving from me. that’s why I was looking for a bike rack that will hold my bikes in place while I’m driving. I want one that is durable and will hold two bikes. 

But, while I was searching for the best one for me, I got confused because there are many different types of bike racks out there, and not all will be perfect for any car. Also, they all are so expensive! then I started researching and tried to find what kind of bike rack should I get for my car. And most importantly, fit my pocket money. 

So now, I’d like to share my experience and help you pick the right one. Sound Good? Stay with me.

The Different Types Of Bike Racks

There are basically four types of bike racks that exist on the market: Roof Mount, Hitch-mount, Trunk mount, and Truck bed bike racks. Each and every type of rack has different features and benefits.

  1. Rooftop Mount Bike Rack

Roof Mount racks are the most common type of rack. They’re simple, durable, and affordable. These racks attach to your car’s roof using a mounting bracket and strap. They won’t damage your car and they’re sized to carry 2-3 bikes.

Rooftop Mount Bike Rack
Roof Mount Rack

Because they require no drilling or plumbing, they’re perfect for vehicles with flat roofs or difficult-to-access areas. However, because rooftop mounts can be quite heavy-duty, they may not appeal to those who want a lightweight bike rack.

  1. Hitch Mount Bike Rack

The Hitch Mount Bike rack is the perfect rack for anyone who wants to take their bike with them on a long road trip. It can be mounted in any type of vehicle, including cars, trucks, and SUVs. 

Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Hitch Mount Bike rack

This bike rack includes an easy-to-use locking mechanism, and it can hold up to 4 bikes. It’s also designed with safety in mind: the frame hooks slide over the front wheels of your bike, so you never have to worry about it falling off while you’re

  1. Trunk Mount Bike Rack

This bike rack is perfect for those who have a small car or truck with no room in the trunk to carry bikes. The bike rack is designed to be installed on the back of your vehicle and hold up to 4 bicycles securely in a compact space. 

Trunk Mount Bike Rack
Trunk Bike Rack

It can be installed in almost every vehicle, including Sedans, SUVs, Mini Cooper, and Honda CVR, without any extra tools needed!

  1. Truck Bed Bike Racks

These racks are designed to be installed on truck beds, allowing additional space. This can be a great option if you want to travel with your bicycle or want to store it in an accessible place. They are safer than leaving it on the roof. 

What Kind Of Bike Rack Is Best?

Ultimately, it depends on your needs and what type of bike rack you are looking for. One option is a roof mount rack that can be installed on your car’s rooftop. These racks are typically easy to use and can transport multiple bikes at once. 

What Kind Of Bike Rack Is Best

They can also be expensive, however, so if you don’t need a lot of space they may not be the best option for you. Make sure that you don’t damage the car while installing or removing the bike rack from your vehicle. 

If you’re looking for a Bike Rack, choose one with an easy locking mechanism that won’t harm your car’s paintwork and prevents people from stealing bikes when parked outside shops or restaurants, etc.

It’s also advisable to choose a bike rack with straps to help keep it steady on top of your vehicle.

Can A Bike Rack Go On Any Car?

Yes, a bike rack can go on any car. However, it’s advisable to take the measurements of your car and see if it fits in the bike rack’s frame.

Let’s take SUVs and cars for example and see which bike rack should you opt for. 

SUVs

If you have an SUV or truck, I’d suggest getting a hitch-mounted rack because it will give more space for your bikes and keep them safe.

Also, you need to find out how much clearance there is under your car so that the rack won’t hit or get stuck while driving.

Car

A roof rack is ideal for a car. The hitch-mounted bike rack will be too big and will not fit a small car properly. A roof-mounted bike rack is easy to store and simple to put on.

What Size Bike Rack Do You Need?

The size of the bike rack you need depends on your vehicle. How many bikes do you want to carry, Bike racks have different sizes, weight capacities, and attachment types, so it’s important to choose the right one for your vehicle. 

Because all vehicles don’t have enough space to accommodate every kind of bike rack on the roof. For example: If you have a Mini Cooper, then a trunk mount rack would be perfect for you. 

Otherwise, you will need a hitch mount rack. The reason is, Mini Cooper doesn’t have enough space on the rooftop. And the other hand, If you have an SUV or truck, then it’s best to get a hitch rack.

The best way to find out what size bike rack will fit your vehicle is to measure the circumference of your car and check the rack dimension.

How Do I Choose a Bike Rack?

The process of buying a bike rack isn’t as simple as it may seem. Many people still find it difficult to choose the best model for their needs, leading to disappointments and frustration. 

There are many things you have to take into account before you make a purchase:

  • Frame Contact

Singularly or in pairs, the frames of bicycles are designed for contact with a vehicle rack. Since there’s no suspension system on the frame, it doesn’t spring back when it contacts the rack with enough force to lift the bike off the ground. 

This can be essential if you are concerned about damaging your bike’s paint with rough or rough-edged racks that contact your bike’s frame at several points.

  • Trunk Access

Some bike racks rest on the back of a vehicle and do not extend into the trunk or hatch area. This feature allows you to access your trunk without removing the bike rack. It’s helpful to pick up groceries at a supermarket or transport other items after you return home from a ride.

  • Bike Capacity

Each type of rack can accommodate different numbers of bikes depending on the number of arms and size. You can find racks with as few as one and as many as three arms. For your first bike rack, you should try to find one that can fit at least two bikes.

  • Security & Locks

You should buy racks that allow you to lock your bikes and thus secure them during transport. Secure racks provide an extra layer of security, discouraging vandalism and theft while allowing you to remove your bike if needed.

  • Ease of Loading

You should buy racks that are easy to load and unload. This means having plenty of room for bikes, straps to secure the bikes in place, and access door pull that slide out from their opening.

How Do I Know If A bike Rack Will Fit?

A bike rack is a fixture used to support the bike from which the bicycle can be ridden. If you’re unsure if a bike rack will fit, there are some things to remember. 

  • Bike Rack Style

Bike racks are either a platform style or a hanging style. The hanging type is best suited for a building parking garage. On the other hand, the platform style is best suited to be fixed on the side of a building, although it can also be mounted on the front of a vehicle.

  • Eyelets

Most bike racks have eyelets on the back. These eyelets are used to hook the frame to bolt fixtures that are located in a building or parking garage. If your bike doesn’t have eyelets, the rack won’t be able to be used.

  • Bike Size

Most bikes have a minimum height and width. Your bike rack should be at least high enough to accommodate the size of your bike. For example, if your bike is 35 inches tall, you’d want a rack that is between 46-51 inches high. 

Should You Carry Your Bikes On The Roof Or Behind Your Car?

When you think about carrying your bikes on your car’s roof, you may wonder if this is safe.  Not only is’t safe, but it can create more storage room in the car.

However, it’s best to carry your bikes behind your car. 

You should carry your bikes behind your car because the roof rack does not secure your bike.  There is a chance that your bike could accidentally fall off.  If you put bikes behind your car, it’s safer. 

How to Load Bikes Without A Hassle

Loading bikes without a hassle is easier than you think. Transporting your bike on a car rack or trailer sounds like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for loading your bike and transporting it effortlessly:

  • Make A Ramp

Loading the bike may be a little tricky when you get to your bike rack. That’s why you should build a ramp up onto the car. This can be any flat object that can support your bike’s weight and will allow you to get the bike on the car and off more easily.

  • Remove The Pedals

Before you load your bike, remove the pedals. Removing the pedals will make it a little easier to transport, and you won’t have to worry about damaging your bike. Furthermore, it’ll reduce the weight of the bike a little bit.

  • Make Room

There are two things that you need to do before loading your bike. The first is to make room for it, and the second is to secure it. 

Use some bungee cords or rope, and place them around the handlebars to ensure the bike quickly. Attach these cords to the bicycle rack, then attach them to your car.

  • Backup Cameras 

If you carry your bike on the back side of the car, it can block the back camera. You’re better off carrying the bike in the front of the car, so you’ve got a clear view of the rear cameras.

FAQs

What kind of bike rack will fit my car?

Well, it depends on the intended use. Many buy a bike rack because they enjoy going to the beach, camping, or taking frequent short trips. For these types of uses, a  Hitch will probably work well.

How much does it cost to install a bike rack on a car?

A typical installation costs from $100 to $300 or more. This depends on the experience and type of vehicle that is being installed.

Final Word

So now you know what kind of bike rack should you get.
Racks are a great way to store your bikes, but you must be careful when choosing the right bike rack for your vehicle. Measure your car and consider all the aspects of the bike racks you like. 

Most importantly, choosing a bike rack that fits your vehicle will keep your bike safe, secure, and comfortable while transporting it. I shared everything from my sleeve to make it easy and quick for you to choose the best bike rack for your vehicle. Thanks for reading!