All About SUV Bike Racks


Planning to ride your bike on a tour or a trail? There are many scenic areas where a bike is the perfect vehicle to get around, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether your destination is the mountains, seashore, or just the local park, you might need to transport bicycles on your car to get there.

Many drivers own Sport Utility Vehicles, and want the convenience of an easy-to-use rack to carry bikes. The problem is that there are so many choices, it can become confusing. The price range can vary widely, depending on the style and complexity of the bike rack. Various designs of racks attach to the SUV in different ways, and it can be difficult to know which is the best for your situation.

Do some research first, and get opinions from experienced riders before you make the purchase. Online forums and chat rooms are good places to start, because many bicyclists are passionate about their sport, and that includes all the gear to go with it. You’ll get a good idea of the convenience of different types of racks, and maybe even learn where to get the best buy on the rack you are considering.

Friends who have purchased a rack for their SUV are a good resource, because you will be able to take a look at their choice to determine whether it would work for you. Many cyclists belong to clubs, and asking around in their circle of biking enthusiasts will also give you some good pointers on racks that are tested and popular.

What types of bike racks are available to fit on your SUV? Basically, they fall into three categories – roof-mounted carriers, strap-on carriers that attach to the trunk, and hitch carriers.

Roof-mounted bike carriers can be fitted right onto an existing roof rack or crossbars on your SUV, or otherwise clip onto the upper door frame. Bicycles are carried upright on this type of a rack, which can accommodate unusually shaped bikes and tandems as well. They don’t fit into parking garages, of course, so if you plan to park outdoors this may be a good style for you. These carriers can carry up to seven bikes on large vans. Plan to spend a hundred dollars at the very least for this style (if you already have a roof rack).

The second type of bike rack on the market straps onto the trunk of your SUV, and is the least expensive option. Metal arms support the weight of the bike in this setup, and more expensive styles have indented cradles in the arms to carry multiple bikes. You will have to adjust the straps to get a tight fit with this type of carrier to keep it secure while driving. Be careful that no metal parts of the clips or rack are touching the body of your vehicle, so as to prevent scratches and dents. These racks tend to block the driver’s view while on the road, and you can’t open the trunk while the bikes are on the back, but the carrier stores easily in your SUV when you reach your destination, so theft is less likely. These types of carriers start around fifty dollars and go up from there.

If your SUV has a trailer hitch, you might want to choose a hitch carrier to transport your bicycles. Easily installed into the existing hitch, these racks vary in size depending on the number of bikes you want to take with you. Depending on the style, you may have to strap the bikes securely to keep them from coming into contact with each other and scratching. You will spend at least $125.00 for this type of rack, and some styles may run several hundred dollars.

Once you have chosen the right rack for your SUV, you’ll be ready to go on your next great biking adventure!

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