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Auto Accessories – Bike Racks: Safe And Secure Way For Your Bike

Picking the perfect bike rack for your vehicle depends upon the make of your own vehicle and the bicycle in order for you to avoid damaging everything when you put the rack and the bike on the car. Also, how many times you use a rack and if you are carrying more than one bike should be considered. Another concern is how the rack holds and secures bikes firmly to avoid theft and stability when traveling.

Roof-Mounted Carrier

They are usually attached to an existing roof rack with crossbars found in a lot of SUVs, minivans, and station wagons. Or they can be installed with mounting feet and clips that are installed to a vehicle’s upper door frame or rain gutters. Buying a roof rack is needed to complement the carrier of your vehicle. Choosing a roof mount would also mean choosing the method of installing the bicycles. You will have to remove the front wheel of the bike and store it until you reach your destination to install it back. It may be a setback but it is easier to hold the bike and various types of frames can be easily installed unto the rack. Upright mounts carry the bike by the frame or pedal crank. No need to take out the front wheel, but you have to take the bike higher and certain types of frames cannot be accommodated.

The Good and the Bad

This type of rack uses for various activities, you can attach other equipments for skiing, canoeing, but you have to get accessories or different carriers. It is also good for transporting other items like building materials. There are racks with lockable mounting available. Racks can be custom-fitted to existing factory hardware or mounted with the rack manufacturer’s nonpermanent footing. Lastly, it can hold tandem and odd-framed bikes, depending on the carrier “tray” design used.

Given the difficulty to install, it may also touch the vehicles body and may affect paint when the vehicle is dirty. It may also affect wind resistance reducing gas mileage more than the other types of racks, and it can produce wind noise. It is not exactly custom-fit and so it may not fit properly on curved-roof vehicles or convertibles. You must also take care not to exceed the vehicle or rack manufacturer’s rooftop loads on an SUV, as the higher center of gravity can compromise emergency handling, leading to a rollover accident. Lastly, a vehicle cannot go inside a parking garage or under any overhead structure with low clearance.

Hitch-Mounted Carrier

Hitch-Mount Racks come in various sizes to match the class of hitch on the vehicle. They are categorized in two classes. Class I hitches have 1.25-inch openings that are designed for most cars and small car-based SUVs. The second are Class III hitches with 2-inch openings found on pickups and truck-based SUVs. Your choice depends upon the number of bicycles needed to be carried.

The Good and the Bad

They are easier to install because of a sliding hitch. Normally, you need not to take out the front wheels to mount the bikes. It is easier to lift and secure bikes in the rack. And there is less degree of damaging a vehicle’s paint through scratching when you mount bikes in this rack.

It is expensive to get a trailer hitch. It may also require you to drill holes in the vehicle’s chassis or cutting rear. It can affect warranty for small cars if the vehicle is needed to be serviced. Other cars do not have access to the car’s liftgate. You will need paddings to avoid scratching bikes from each other. Bikes may also be damaged if you are backing into something or get hit from behind since you cannot also see from your rearview mirror. You can also get tickets if the license plates or taillights are obstructed.

See: Gas credit cards

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