Just like riding a bike, a bike rack installation is something you never forget. After all, with the bike racks industry being so popular right now, leading manufacturers are innovating new designs to set themselves apart with ease of installation. Because, when it comes down to it, Thule bike racks and Yakima bike racks are designed to hold bikes, just like Swagman bike racks and Allen bike racks. A major deciding factor between the top brands is installation.
Hitch Bike Racks & Roof Bike Racks Explained
Racks are broken down into two main types: the hitch bike rack and the roof bike rack. Hitch mounted racks like the Thule T2 slip right into your vehicle’s hitch receiver. They’re designed to carry up to five steeds and they come off and on the vehicle with ease. Roof mounted racks on the other hand, must be used in conjunction with a roof rack. Once the rack is mounted, a separate rack is required for each bicycle. Once the roof rack is in place, installing the roof mounted bike rack is nearly as easy as the hitch mount.
Lock it down! No matter if your new bike rack is a hitch mount or roof mount, always get a lock for your rack. The boldest bicycle bandits and parking lot purloiners are not easily discouraged, and simply locking your gear to an unlocked rack is an invitation to take everything—rack and all.
It Depends on Your Vehicle Model
The vehicle you drive will dictate to some extent the rack type you use. A Honda Ridgeline bike rack, or any truck for that matter, will be hitch mounted or simply placed in the bed. That’s because trucks have high roofs, and they’re usually equipped with a hitch receiver. A Mazda 3 rack on the other hand should be roof mounted or trunk mounted, since a hitch is not nearly as common for a car that size.
Trunk mount racks will traditionally have foot pads that get positioned against the bottom of your trunk and securing straps that clip into place above the trunk lid. Once the rack is positioned properly, the securing straps are then tightened to ensure no slack is present. Before loading a bike, it's not a bad idea to apply downward pressure with your hands to ensure the rack is sturdy and ready to load.
Bike Rack Features
Once you decide on the rack installation type, features are a major consideration. No matter which brand you choose, its important to keep the following features in mind:
- Easy on and off
- Folding design that stows away with ease
- Sturdy straps that keep your 2-wheeler secure
- Proper capacity to hold the number of bikes you need to carry
- Locks that keep the rack and your steeds in place
- Solid Warranty