Bike Rack / July 21, 2018 / Avelaine Labrecque
Remember the purpose of the rack is to get your bicycles safely securely and conveniently to and from the rides. When you start bicycling usually you begin by your home. But when you get more serious about biking you might want to ride in different areas. That means you will probably need to get a bike rack for your vehicle to open up your bicycling opportunities. There are many types of bike racks and they all work well but it depends on what type of vehicle you have. There are racks that attach to the trunk or rear hatch of a car. There are racks that attach to the roof of your vehicle (these racks offer more versatility for other items such as skis or cargo but can be rather expensive).
Hitch mount back racks that fit into the receiver come in either 1.25-inch or 2-inch shank sizes so it is essential that you know the size of your receptacle. Consult the vehicle owners manual for this information. Many racks however can be adapted to fit either trailer hitch. The size and style of carrier you buy will depend upon the type and number of cycles you have to transport. Know the tongue weight (TW) of the bike rack you plan to buy which is not a difficult task as there are only two. The 1.25 TW (1.25-in shank) can safely carry one or two bikes while the 2 TW (2-inch) can handle up to five.
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.