Advantages Over Hitch & Trunk Mount Bike Racks
- Roof-mounted bike racks are usually less expensive than hitch and trunk bike racks, so you have more spare funds to spend on carbon fiber handlebars, leather saddles and performance rims
- Since your cycle rides on top of your vehicle, you always have easy access to the tire pump, toolkit and cooler stashed in your trunk or cargo area
- You don’t have to go through the hassle of installing a trailer hitch or blocking your receiver if you also plan on pulling a trailer along with your Huffy
- With your two-wheelers riding up high, there’s no risk of them accidentally bumping, scuffing or scraping your backend
- While rear-mounted racks can block your back window, roof bike carriers stay out of the way for full visibility and safer voyages
- Thanks to their small footprint and out-of-the-way placement, you can leave your rooftop bike rack on your vehicle or store it in your garage without taking up a lot of space
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Things to Consider
- By design, roof mount bike racks carry only one bicycle at a time. So when it comes to capacity, the real question is how many carriers can you fit on your roof. Most vehicles have space for at least two, but you can squeeze three or four onto larger SUVs and vans. Just make sure that your roof rack is rated to support the weight.
- When you trust your two-wheeler to a bike rack, you want to know that it’s strong enough to survive the trek. And durability often comes down to the materials. Most roof bike racks are constructed with a metal tray (steel or aluminum) and either metal or composite hardware. If you want a rack that can withstand a lot of roadway abuse, pick one with more metal parts than plastic.
- To wheel or not to wheel—that is the big question you face when picking out a roof bike rack. Traditionally, roof-mount racks require you to take off the front wheel. If your bike is equipped with quick release skewers, popping off the front wheel is no big deal. But if you have to wrench on your axles to loosen it up, it can be a real pain
- From kayaking to snowboarding, there’s a wide world of extreme sports to enjoy besides biking—and a wide range of rooftop carriers to hold that equipment. If you dabble in other outdoor activities, you want a bike rack that’s easy to install and remove so you can swap your Bianchi for your Burton without breaking a sweat
- Bike bandits are always on the lookout for easy targets, so security is a critical consideration when picking out a roof bike rack. Many racks have built-in locks to secure your bike into the rack itself. For a double line of defense protection, though, look for a carrier that also locks to your roof rack
- In the world of rooftop bike carriers, there are two primary styles for parking your pedal pusher: fork-mount and tire-mount racks. Fork-mount bike racks grip your bike’s front fork, which provides a lot of stability and minimal frame contact. On the downside, you have to take off your front tire to use them, and they’re not always compatible with extreme forks or disc brake systems. Tire-mount bike racks use special cradles, straps and sometimes frame arms to secure your cycle. You don’t have to take off a wheel, and they work with all types of frames and brake systems. However, they usually cost more and may not provide as much security as a fork-mount rack