Now that summer has finally arrived, it’s prime time to get out and explore the open road on your bicycle. If you don’t live near a bike trail, you probably need to consider buying a hitch mounted bike rack for your car, so you’re not shoving your bike in the back of your vehicle all season. Choosing the right hitch for your vehicle can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for.
The bike rack market is divided into three sectors: there are roof mounted racks, trunk racks and hitch mounted racks. Hitch mounted racks are superior for a number of reasons, but to use one your vehicle must already have a hitch.
Hanging, platform and hanging wheel-only mounts are the three most common types of hitch mounted bike racks. The one you end up buying really just depends on your personal preference, but it’s also important to consider how many bikes you’ll be transporting and what type of bikes they are.
Hanging mounts attach to users’ vehicle hitches in Eugene, OR and literally “hang” their bikes from their frame with Velcro or rubber straps. Some of these mounts can hang up to five bikes, which is great for families who enjoy biking together. Hanging five bikes on one rack might sound like a bad idea, but these are very sturdy racks. Sometimes bikes make contact with one another, but it’s usually very minimal and won’t damage the bike.
It’s incredibly easy to get a bike off of a rack that has a hanging mount because the bikes are hanging from the back of your vehicle at about chest level. Hanging mounts are terrific for all types of bikes that have normal frames.
Hanging wheel-only mounts
A hanging wheel-only mount works basically the same as the previous mount, but the bike hangs from its wheels rather than from the frame. Wheel-only mounts are also great for families. They can carry up to four bikes at once and you don’t run the risk of having frames collide with one another. For that reason, these mounts are perfect for expensive carbon fiber bikes that shouldn’t make contact with one another.
On the opposite end of the mounted bike rack spectrum lie the platform mounts. These attach to vehicle hitches in Eugene, OR and hold the bikes up on a little platform. Platform mounts tend to be sturdier than hanging racks, but that means they’re also bulkier. Heavy duty platform mounts can hold up to four bikes, so they’re also good for a family of cyclists.
If you have a couple of expensive carbon fiber frame bikes, installing a platform mount with wheel clamps is a great idea. The secure platform mount will ensure your bikes won’t knock in to one another and damage the frames.
If your vehicle has a hitch, and you want to transport multiple bikes, buying a hitch mounted bike rack is your best option!