Buying A Bike Rack

Buying a Bike Rack: Six Things to Consider

Buying a Bike Rack: Six Things to Consider

By Samuel Maina Kang’aru

1. How Many Bikes Need to be Transported?

There is a world of difference between a bachelor who plans to hit the trail every weekend and a businesswoman who has to transport a large number of bikes every day. The bachelor will probably be best served by a strap-on, trunk-mounted carrier, while the businesswoman will probably need a hitch-mounted rack or something more specialized.

2. Does the Rack Need to be Moved from One Vehicle to Another?

Certain carriers, such as roof-mounted types, are not suitable for situations where they have to be moved frequently from one vehicle to another. In such cases, hitch-mounted or strap-on racks are a much better choice.

3. How Secure is it?

A roof mounted carrier or one that can be locked in the trunk of a vehicle may be the best choice for those planning to travel to areas that are not secure.

4. How Much Are Buyers Willing to Spend?

Carrier prices can vary dramatically, from tens of dollars to several hundreds. This is the result of several factors, such as the number of bikes a rack can hold, whether the rack is meant to be attached to the roof or trunk, the quality of materials used to make a rack and extras such as padding, color and finish. Potential buyers should also consider other costs. For instance, a vehicle with a roof-mounted rack will use more gas because of poor aerodynamics and the resulting increased air resistance.

5. What Kind of Vehicle Does the Potential Buyer Have?

Certain racks are unsuitable for some types of vehicles. For instance, hitch-mounted carriers categorized as Class III can only be used with pickups and other large vehicles, while roof-mounted racks may not be a good choice for cars with a with a high center of gravity.

6. How High Can the Buyer Lift a Bike?

A roof-mounted rack is a bad choice for someone who cannot lift a bike very far from the ground, as they are not only likely to damage it, but also injure themselves in the process. In such cases, a trunk-mounted carrier would probably be a better option.

Buyers wading through the large variety of bike racks in many stores may have a hard time picking out the right one. However, they can solve this problem by asking themselves a few simple questions, and turn the process of selecting the right rack from a chore to a pleasure.

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