No one can deny the health benefits and the pure joy of riding one’s bike but transporting your bike to various exotic locales and tracks can be cumbersome and difficult without the right equipment - in this case, a sturdy bike carrier.
Most people don't know that cycling is one of those incredibly powerful exercises that works the entire body and improves muscle tone by requiring constant engagement and coordination between different parts of the body. It increases hip mobility, cardiovascular fitness and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease significantly.
People with arthritis may be surprised to learn how cycling is a powerful antidote to their joint and muscle pain. In fact, recumbent bikes and stationary bikes are used in physical rehab clinics all over the world to help recover muscle tone following injuries, surgeries, etc.
Cycling to work, if and when it's possible, is a great alternative to driving. To begin with, traffic is incredibly stressful (NOT the best way to start your day) while cycling wakes you up, gets you some exercise and saves you gas. Hmm, seems like a no brainer really!
Now for anybody who's concerned about the environment, switching over to cycling over commuting whenever possible should be a priority. Not only will you never have to worry about parking but if you think about it, owning a car is a huge, expensive responsibility. You have to pay for insurance, gas, maintenance and GOD FORBID if you get in a wreck - then, my friend, you are really screwed. Replacing a bike is significantly less expensive and riding one is certainly less dangerous.
Now if you want to bike somewhere scenic and beautiful, you're going to need a bike rack to get your bike out to your destination.
Bike racks were made to securely move all kinds of bicycles from one place to another conveniently and without hassle. No matter what model or year car, SUV or truck you have; there is a bike carrier to help you get your bikes into the mountains, woods, etc., so you can get started on one of the most dynamic exercises ever. Bike racks for cars, bike racks for trucks and bike racks for SUVs are available for virtually any size or model of vehicle.
There are bike racks for cars, bike racks for trucks, bike racks for SUVs and even rv bike rack models!
Of course, the type of vehicle you have is a big determining factor on which bike rack will be a perfect fit. Ultimately there are three different main types of bike racks that one should keep in mind: rear mounted bike racks, roof mounted bike racks and hitch mounted bike racks. While other variations on these main categories exist, keeping your selection to these three types will make choosing the right one the easiest.
Roof Mounted Bike Racks
Roof mounted bike racks are one of the most secure fixtures for bike transporting. They can safely carry up to two bikes on the roof of any sedan or sports utility vehicle. By placing your bikes upright on top of your car will keep them free from any accidental rubbing and scraping. Roof mounted bike carriers keep your bikes in pristine condition regardless of how far you are traveling. These carriers also increase your wind resistance. It is important to note the necessity for a crossbar system to have a successfully installed roof-mounted bikerack. If your vehicle doesn’t come stocked with a crossover bar then aftermarket ones are available. For bar installation check out our informative crossbar system install guide.
3 questions to consider before purchasing a bike rack
1. How often will you use it?
Roof racks definitely make taking your bikes from your home to your destination easy. But give a thought about how often you will be making that trip. If you’re riding out to the mountains for that once a year drive, would spending few hundred dollars to install the roof mounted bike rack really be worth it? On the other hand, if you’re a weekend warrior that tramples the trails every Saturday then do you want to be hauling your bicycle and playing mind games trying to fit your wheels inside the trunk or back seat of your car? Think about the convenience and frequency of the usage the bike rack might get.
2. How many bikes will you need to load?
Are you a lone wolf who likes to take his bike and cherish the intimacy of your solitary self in the mountainous terrains? Or are you the type who enjoys taking the whole pack out for the cycling adventure? Roof mounted bike racks for sedans can usually carry four bikes while a larger van can hold as many as seven. It is also important to not exceed the weight allowance set by the vehicle or rack manufacturer.
3. Do you own a specialized or odd shaped bicycle?
Roof racks are available in two main types: fork-mount bicycle carrier, that clamps the bike’s front-wheel fork and upright mount, that holds the bike’s frame or pedal crank. While the Fork mount career requires for the front wheel of the bicycle to be dismounted every time you load your bike, it assures that most types of frame can be secured and should be easier to carry the bike above the roof. Upright mounts on the other hand does not delegate for you to remove the front wheel however may not accomodate bike’s with unusual frames.
More About Roof Mounted Bike Carriers
For those who want to transport their bicycles and don’t want to change the way they drive, they should look into roof mounted bike racks. These carriers are fastened to the top of your roof via a crossbar system that you can additionally install or are already a feature of your vehicle. Roof bike racks keep your bicycles in pristine condition while you transport them.
By installing a roof mounted bike rack, you are enhancing the storage capacity of your vehicle as well as allowing yourself to be free of obstruction when you’re en route to explore the great outdoors. Roof racks can also carry different outdoor activity equipments like snowboards and canoes with a purchase of accessories and carriers.
Roof mounted bike racks are the most secure way to move your bikes around but they require a little bit more from their owners than other carriers. Since you are housing your favorite bikes on top of your roof, lifting your bike on to your car’s ceiling can be difficult for some. Boost ladders can make this process much less demanding.
There are many different brands and types of carrier including thule, yakima, dell, 4 that can carry dirt bikes, mountain bikes and just about any kind of bicycle atop your car.
Rear Mounted Roof Racks
Rear mounted roof racks are popular amongst bikers because they can carry multiple bikes. Some rear cycle carriers can safely transport up to five bicycles at one time. While one will have to factor in the extra inches behind their vehicle when they drive around, rear mounted roof racks are very convenient. Unlike the roof-mounted variety, one only has to lift their bike waist high to harness it on the rack. Many rear bike racks come with a fold down which allows one to access their trunk without removing the rack.
Rear mounted bike racks are the most convenient type of bike carrier available. They go on the back of your vehicle so one only has to hoist their bikes up to their waste and some models can hold up to five bikes. Rear carriers come in a few different types themselves, though the many share many of the same characteristics. Rear mounted bike racks attach to the back of sedans and SUVs from under the car. Installation can be done at home with minimal tools. They often come equipped with a fold down mechanism that allows one to access their trunk without having to remove their bike rack.
Rear mounted bike racks can be split into two different categories; hanging cradles or wheel clamps . Hanging cradle rear-mounted bike racks utilize arms and cradles. The arms are the piece which protrudes out and is where one hangs their bikes. Bikes hang on cradles which keep them from ruining each other and your car’s exterior. These carriers have an L shape and usually fasten to a vehicle’s hitch. Wheel clamps have clamps that are arranged parallel to the car’s bumper. Simply place your bike on top and lock the clamps on the wheels and they are safe for travel. Wheel clamp bike racks are better for SUVs because they are built to be taller. Both these types of racks can be outfitted with a locking hitch pin which will make sure your favorite bikes are protected when you aren’t around them.
When you're going through the technical aspect of installing bike racks and all that jazz, just keep in mind and look forward to getting up into the nature trails, breaking a good sweat and breathing in some sweet mountain air.
Rear bike carriers are very lightweight yet durable so you don’t have to worry about your bikes weighing you down. While it may seem obvious to some, a rear vehicle bike rack will add a few inches behind your car or SUV that you will have to account for while driving. When choosing the right rear mount bike rack for your vehicle you will want to make it doesn’t grossly cover up your tail lights and license plate. Always have your car’s back end measurements handy when purchasing a rear-mounted bicycle carrier.