How to Choose a Bike Rack

Now spring has sprung
families and avid cyclists alike will be packing up their cars and heading out
into the hills with their bike in tow. Carrying your bike over long (or even
short) distances doesn’t have to involve loading your car’s boot up to the
rafters with bikes and all your gear.

While many people do this
(how else would we know you can fit two mountain bikes and a weekends worth of
camping gear, food and beer in the back of a Fiat Punto!) a dedicated bike rack
can be quicker, leave room in the car for passengers, as well as keeping the
inside of your car looking more car-like and less like a mud bath.

There is a massive range
of different shaped and sized bike racks out there, from tow ball mounted racks
through to roof racks; and we’ve picked out some of our favourites for lugging
at least 2 bikes around, because we all know cycling is more fun with friends
or family!

Tow ball mounted bike racks

While not the cheapest
option, tow
ball mounted bike racks
are incredibly popular, easy to install and
remove, accept most bikes and can come equipped with a whole range of high-tech
bells and whistles to make life easier and keep your bikes secure.

The Thule
9502 2 Bike Cycle Carrier
is a more budget-orientated option, but is
still incredibly user-friendly and secure. We’ve been hammering these racks,
along with its 3-bike
9503 sister
, for years and while they forgo some of the flashier
bits and pieces these are solid, reliable racks that will do the job for years
to come.

Thule 9502 2 Bike Cycle Carrier

If you want the ultimate
in ease of use and security though, you need Thule’s
939 VeloSpace XT
. The 939 has 3 locking arms for the ultimate in
security and it can even be combined with the Thule BackSpace XT cargo carrier
to give 300l of extra storage space. The 939 has also been designed with the
latest bikes in mind. As such, you’ll find the wheel trays are wide enough for
tyres up to 4.7” wide and the extra-long cradles can handle bikes with a
wheelbase of up to 1300mm, so even the longest of DH and Enduro bikes will feel
right at home!

Roof mounted bike racks

If you already have roof
bars on your car or want to avoid the expense of adding a tow ball, roof
mounted bike racks
are a great, budget friendly way of carrying
bikes around. While they need to be permanently fixed to the car and it helps
to have a small step or box to hand to make lifting bikes onto the roof easier,
there can be no doubt these are great value for lugging your bikes around.

Thule 532 FreeRide Cycle Carrier at Tweeks Cycles

532 FreeRide Cycle Carrier
one of the best value bike racks on the market. With an incredibly easy-to-use
design featuring a locking arm mechanism that accommodates most bicycle frames,
quick-release wheel straps and self-adjusting frame holders; the 532 FreeRide
is perfect for transporting your bike around without breaking the bank.

If you don’t like the idea
of shelling out for roof bars or having your bike carrier permanently attached,
then SeaSucker have the answer. Their range of suction cup-based bike carriers
are incredibly secure; these aren’t like those awful cups on your sat nav! The SeaSucker
Mini Bomber
is their 2-bike carrier and it takes mere seconds to
mount or remove, and is so small it can be easily stored when not in use. It’s
also incredibly versatile; fancy fitting it to your supercar to show off down
the local trails? No problem!

Boot mounted bike racks

The most economical way to
carry your bike on your car is a boot
mounted bike rack
. The racks clip or strap onto the boot of your
car, so it’s important you check compatibility as soon aren’t compatible with
certain cars, often those fitted with large boot spoilers. Easy to install,
remove and store; boot mounted racks are ideal for occasional use, though if
you plan to travel with your bike a lot it may be worth look at the other
styles of rack available.

If you want to carry 3
bikes as cheaply as possible, Hollywood
Racks Express 3 Bike Cycle Carrier
is the undisputed top dog. With
an easy to fit design that suits a range of vehicles, the Express is reliable,
functional and offers exceptional value. It doesn’t include any kind of locking
mechanism, so if you want to leave your car and bikes unattended, you should
definitely factor in the cost of a decent bike lock.

Saris Bones 3 Bike Cycle Carrier at Tweeks Cycles

Saris Bones boot mounted
racks have been the most popular around for years. The versatile arc design is
compatible with most cars and the design is of the strongest around. The Saris
Bones 3-Bike Cycle Carrier
is extremely versatile and easy to use,
with top tube ratchet straps to ensure your bikes remain secure and are rubber
coated to protect your bikes finish. While the bikes are going now where on the
move, like the Hollywood rack there is no locking mechanism for when leaving
the car and bikes unattended, so a suitable lock and cable is a worthwhile

No matter what rack you
get though, the benefits are the same; you can travel with multiple bikes and
people, and go off to explore new places to ride you may never have had the
chance to ride before. This alone is a great way to breathe new life into your
cycling. It can get pretty boring riding the same places over and over again,
so somewhere new to ride can reinvigorate you and get the love for cycling
flowing again!