If you live in a city, chances are you’ve seen one of those big green bike racks mounted on the back of a car. This type of bike rack is great for commuters and anyone with trunk space. But do trunk bike racks provide safe transport for your bike? Here, are some things to consider before using this type of rack
Top 3 considerations for trunk bike racks
Installation is one of the most important factors when it comes to buying a bike rack. Whether you’re using your own or purchasing a bike rack to install on your car, your bike needs to be mounted within a few inches of the rack. You also need to be careful not to get too close to the car, especially if you have a bumper on your car.
A bicycle rack should also be able to be removed from the vehicle without damaging the bumper. Once you mount the rack, ensure that the bicycle is level and the brakes are engaged. Some racks are fitted with adjustable brake brakes so you can keep the brakes on while you remove the rack.
Some trunk bike racks are fitted with a single-sided design, meaning that the rear wheel of the bicycle is supported only by one side.
What are the benefits of using a trunk bike rack?
Some of the benefits of using a trunk bike rack include Fast and easy loading/unloading It fits in your trunk and makes it easy to find a space Using this type of rack is usually much more cost-effective compared to buying a separate bike box A trunk bike rack can be set up and taken down easily.
A trunk bike rack is compact in size and easy to maneuver, However, while a trunk bike rack may provide a lot of benefits, the safety of your bike should be the number one priority.
What makes a trunk bike rack safe? Fortunately, there are several different types of bike racks designed to give you a secure, convenient, and comfortable bicycle transportation experience. With these types of bike racks, the bike will be suspended in a special, secure and protective, plastic basket or box.
What are the disadvantages of using a trunk bike rack?
While your bike will stay upright, the distance that your bike will be from the rear wheel will be much greater. Your bike will also feel weightier, and this means that it’s less stable when you pedal. If your bike has fenders, you might also experience more issues with dust getting in.
In fact, if your bike doesn’t have fenders, you may even have issues with insects, other small animals, and possibly larger animals, such as raccoons and bears. You can’t use a trunk bike rack if you have an electric bike.
And it’s not even safe to cycle with a trunk bike rack on your car if you have a mechanical issue. What are the advantages of using a trunk bike rack? The ease of use. This is the biggest reason why you should use a trunk bike rack.
Should you use one with a safety strap?
The general rule of thumb for using trunk bike racks is to strap your bike to the rack using a safety strap. If you live in an area that doesn’t have bike racks or you don’t have room for a trunk rack, that’s totally fine. For anything where you’re concerned about theft or vandalism, a safety strap can be your best bet.
Your trunk can either go on the bike rack or be placed on top of the rack. While it doesn’t prevent theft, it gives you a good amount of security from thieves.
Can you ride on the rack? When parking your bike on top of a trunk bike rack, you’ll be driving it onto a metal bracket. So can you ride your bike on the rack? For some bikes, absolutely. The problem is that there are some bikes that have a unique way of getting on and off of the rack.
How to secure your bike?
According to Built Bicycle, a trunk bike rack requires four of the following steps: Choose a bike rack for your vehicle (recommended for about 3.5 feet tall or over). Opt for one made with 4×4 steel. Invest in a bicycle rack pump or adaptor. Install the bike rack on your vehicle and secure it to your vehicle’s hitch.
Allow a maximum of 10 inches between the weight of your car and the weight of the bike. (Note: the smaller the vehicle you have, the higher you can mount a trunk bike rack.) But is it safe for a child to ride on a trunk bike rack? Experts recommend leaving the bike secured to a car’s hitch.
If that’s not possible, a bike rack with a child seat is preferable. If you must use a bike rack with a child seat, make sure to use a U-lock to secure the bike to the rack.
Someday I might build my own rear rack with a full suspension frame and speed bump shocks. But for now, I am going to use a combination of the methods I have found to be the best. This method saves me a lot of hassle and money and allows me to put my bike on the back of my car with safety in mind.
I hope this little guide has shown you that there are many options and with the proper planning, safety and technique, you can find a safe way to transport your bike in the car.