Bike Racks & Bike Carriers for Cars

Need help choosing the right Bike Racks? Read the definitive buyers guide down below. Read More

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Choosing the right bike rack for your car can be a daunting task. There are so many options out there it takes time to figure out where to start. So, what should you look for? What should you avoid? How do you know if it is the right fit for your vehicle? What about the bikes themselves? Is there anything else you need to know before making the purchase?

We'll cover all these questions and more! We'll give you an overview of what bike carriers are, different types, use cases and more. Keep reading to get the tips on choosing the right one for your needs. Finally, if you are not sure, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff to help you choose the right bike rack for your needs.

Bike Rack Basics

Bike racks are essential if you need to transport your bike from one location to another. They allow you to transport your bike safely and securely.

Bike racks come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. The best option for you depends on your needs and preferences. No matter what type of rack you choose, there are some basics to keep in mind:

    • Your rack should be sturdy enough to support the weight of your bike. 
    • Your bike and the vehicle should have space between when transporting so they don't hit or damage each other. In order to do this, you need to make sure to select a bike rack that suits your vehicle and bike shapes and sizes. This will help protect against any damage to your vehicle and bicycles, and it will also help prevent damage to other vehicles when transporting them.
    • Ensure that any clamps or straps are large enough to fit over your tire without forcing them on. This ensures they won't move around while driving and cause scratches on your car's finish.
    • If your bike has a rear suspension system, be sure to place it on the rack so that the suspension stays compressed during the drive. Some racks have specific designs for this purpose, including integrated spring support. But if not, make sure you use a bungee cord or something similar to hold the rear of your bike down securely, so it doesn't bounce around while driving.
    • Be sure that no part of your bike touches your vehicle or any other object outside the car. This includes bumpers, mirrors, and other parts that stick out of your vehicle when not used. You don't want them getting damaged during transport. 

    Types of Bike Racks

    There are many different types of bike racks, and they each have their own special purpose. Here are a few of the most common:

    Hanging Bike Racks

    If you're looking for a compact bike rack that allows you to carry 2-5 bikes and doesn't take up much space on the back your vehicle, hanging bike racks are the way to go. They're great for people who want to be able to carry multiple bikes without having to attach them on the roof or remove any space from their vehicle.

    Platform Bike Racks

    These racks attach on your car rear hitch, towball and on some occasions, rear door. Platform racks are great for people who want to easily attach the bikes on the rack. Platform bike racks are also recommended for e-bikes.

    Vertical Bike Racks

    Vertical racks attach on your car rear hitch and are great for people who want to take their bikes to rugged terrains and need to transport the bikes through uneven roads.

    Where to Mount Bike Racks

    There are many different ways to transport your bikes and each mounting option has its own perks and purpose. Here are a few of the most common:

    Roof Mounted Bike Racks

    Roof mounted bike racks attach to the roof racks on your car. There are several options to suit different types of bikes. These bike racks can stay on the roof when not used, so there’s no hassle taking the racks on and off. If you have a car with a high roof, it can be difficult to put the bikes on the racks.

    Towball Mounted Bike Racks

    Towball-mounted bike racks are for vehicles that have an existing towbar. The towball can accommodate both hanging,- and platform type bike racks to carry multiple bikes at once.

    Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

    Hitch-mounted bike racks are suitable for cars with an existing square hitch. The hitch can accommodate hanging, - platform, - and vertical bike racks. These rigid racks have the models with highest load ratings out of all bike racks and allow you to carry up to 6 bikes at once! 

    Trunk Mounted Bike Racks

    Trunk-mounted rack systems are relatively easy to install, but they only work well if you have a bike with an oddly shaped frame or handlebars.

    Boot or Hatch Mounted Bike Racks

    This type of rack attaches to the rear hatch or boot (trunk) of your vehicle. This type of rack is convenient because you don't have to remove any parts from your vehicle when attaching it. The downside is that it's not as stable as other types of racks and can be difficult to install on some vehicles.

    Spare Wheel Mounted Bike Racks

    A spare wheel mount is similar to a boot or hatch mount, but instead of attaching to your vehicle's boot or hatch, it attaches directly to your car's spare tire. This can be very handy if you're going on a long trip with multiple bikes in tow.

    What to Look for in a Bike Rack

    But not all bike racks are created equal, and you must ensure that the one you choose is safe and secure. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a bike rack for a car and SUV:

    Bike Rack Compatibility

    You need to make sure that the bike rack you choose is compatible with your vehicle. If you have an SUV, it may be easier to find a hitch-mounted rack that can hold multiple bikes. In contrast, if you have a sedan, you may opt for a roof-mounted rack instead.

    Location and Use

    Where do you plan on using your bike carrier? Suppose it's just for occasional use when travelling with friends or family on short trips. In that case, any bike carrier for car will work for you. If you plan on using your bike rack regularly, ensure it's constructed from durable materials that won't rust or corrode over time!

    Construction and Mounting Style

    Does the style of construction fit with how often you plan on using the bike rack? For example: if you're going to be using it every day, look for a lightweight yet durable design made from aluminum alloy rather than steel. This will help save space in your trunk while still providing plenty of strength when carrying multiple bikes simultaneously!

    Load Capacity

    If you're transporting bikes, it's essential to know the load capacity of your rack. You can get away with a smaller load capacity if you're transporting one or two bikes. But if you're planning to transport a family of four, you'll want to look for racks that can support up to four bikes at once (or more). 


    Some bike carriers are more expensive than others. They might be worth it if they have extra features like straps, padding or lights for added safety and protection while travelling.


    When choosing what kind of bike rack is right for you and your vehicle, safety should be one of your top concerns! Some types of racks can cause damage to vehicles if not installed correctly or securely fastened down before driving away. This could even lead to serious injuries if things go wrong while riding or driving.

    Ease of Use

    You want your bike rack car to be easy to use, especially if it's going on and off frequently. A good rule of thumb is that it should be simple enough that even someone who doesn't typically work on cars can figure out how it works without trouble! Look for a model with easy-to-use straps and locks so that you can secure your bike quickly and efficiently every time. 

    Bike Rack Installation

    One of the most important things to consider when buying a bike rack is how it will be installed. Different types of bike racks have different installation methods, and it's important to make sure you know how to install your particular model before you buy it.

    A bike carrier for cars will include an instruction manual or a link to its website where you can find instructions for installation. If you don't have either of these things, make sure you do some research into how to install your particular model before you buy it.

    Choosing the Best Bike Rack for Your Need

    There are many factors to consider when choosing a bike rack for a car, including what kind of biking you do, how many bikes you need to transport at once and where you plan on going with them. The type of rack you choose will also depend on the type of vehicle you drive.

    If you're doing light, recreational biking and can lift your bike easily, a roof-mounted carrier will be your best bet. Roof-mounted bike racks are ideal for vehicles that have lower roofs such as sedans or hatches. 

    If you want to carry as many as five bikes, a hitch-mounted bike rack allows the highest load rating. It can carry more load and is extremely stable and easy to install. 

    If you want to mount the rack on a towball of an existing towbar with secure and convenient attachment systems, a towball-mounted bike rack is a great option.

    If you have a 4WD’s & SUV’s this usually means a roof mount bike carrier is not a great option. 4WD’s can be too high to be suitable for roof-mounted bike racks. The spare wheel bike carrier could be an option for you.

    Let’s Choose the Perfect Bike Carrier for Your Car

    Choosing the right bike rack car is all about knowing what you need and finding the product that fits your lifestyle. If you're an avid cyclist looking to take your bikes everywhere, a roof-mounted rack may be best for you. Or, if you have a tall car or SUV, then a hitch-mounted rack is more practical. Regardless of which type of bike carrier you choose, we hope that this guide has helped clear up any confusion about choosing one.

    At Roof Rack and Tow Bar World, we want you to enjoy your bike rides as much as possible. That's why we offer a variety of quality bike racks for your needs. We've got options to help you bring your bikes wherever you go.

    The best part is that our team of experts can help you choose the right product for your lifestyle. We'll figure out what kind of rider you are, what kind of car you have, and what type of riding experience you're looking for. Once we know all that information, we'll help you find a bike rack that fits all those criteria perfectly!


    Q: What is a bike rack for cars?

    A: A bike rack is the best way to transport bikes on the back of your vehicle. It will securely hold your bikes, keeping them safe and secure. It's also easy to install, so you can be on your way in no time.

    Q: What are some types of bike racks for cars?

    A: There are many different types of bike racks for cars, including trunk-mounted racks, hitch-mounted racks, roof-mounted racks, and more. You'll want to choose the type of rack that works best for your needs.

    Q: How do I know which type of bike rack will work best for me?

    A: There are many different types of bike racks for cars available today, so it's essential to shop around until you find one that fits your needs. If you need a roof-mounted rack but don't have much room on top of your car's roof panels (or if they're too small), then choosing something else would be better suited for your needs.

    Q: Can I install a bike rack on my car?

    A: Yes, you can install a bike rack on your car. There are several types of racks that can be installed on vehicles, from roof-mounted racks to hitch-mounted racks. Choosing the correct type of bike rack for your vehicle and your needs is essential.

    Q: Can I put my bike on top of my car?

    A: Yes! If you've got a roof rack, you can put your bike rack on top. Many people do this to make the most of their car's cargo space or to keep their bikes out of the way while driving.

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