Bike Rack / August 15, 2018 / Avelaine Labrecque.
Just recently I was shopping for a new roof bike rack and was surprised at how many options and styles were out there. I had to return two different racks before I found a style that met my needs and worked on my car. While shopping for my new roof bike rack I came across a few resources that I will use from now on to help with all my future rack needs. Choosing the best bicycle rack for your vehicle can be a timely and confusing process. It gets complicated trying to figure out which racks will work on your vehicle. Can you use a roof bike rack or do you need a trunk-mounted rack? Will you be able to carry multiple bikes at a time or are you limited to just one? Well youre in luck.
I would also suggest getting a receiver bike rack that fits both Class 2 and Class 3 hitches. You cannot get Class 3 hitches for all vehicles and if also makes it easier to move the hitch to other vehicles such as your friends car because its their turn to drive. Some other issues to keep in mind when using bike racks. First when you have 2 or more bikes on you bike rack they will probably rub together and scratch you bikes. There are accessories that will help you keep your bicycles away from each other but I have not used them "yet". And second some smaller mountain bikes will not fit on your bike rack.
If you opt for a towing hitch mount bike rack the kind that allow you to transport bikes and tow at the same time be aware of the maximum tow weight (normally from 2000 to 3500 pounds). Some of the towing hitch mount bike racks come with a tow bar attached but you can still only tow small loads such as small trailers or boats. With the exception of the fixed frame rack most of the hitch mount bike racks fold or tilt for ease of access to the rear of the vehicle or for parking. Racks that fold down do not allow easy access to the vehicles rear cargo area but are convenient for parking.
Specifically I purchased the Thule Spare Me bike rack. It attaches with a plate that goes behind the spare tire and has a threaded square tube that holds the rack in place. Then a lockable bolt tightens the rack against the tire and keeps it from falling off the end. The rack also folds down when not in use to keep it out of the way. I have been satisfied the this bike rack since I purchased it a few years back. I have no complaints it has served its purpose and it does exactly what it is supposed to. But I wish I had bought a receiver hitch bike rack. I already had a receiver hitch on my Jeep and the spare me bike rack adds extra weight to the spare tire that was not designed to support extra weight. I must note I havent seen any problems with the spare tire on my truck but Im still a little concerned.