• Auto bike-rack

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  • Looking to buy my first automobile bike rack, now that the kids recently all learned to ride. Any recommendations on one please, for 3-4 bikes? Or on what are the things I should be looking out for or avoiding?

    Thank you in advance. Daniel

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    Question by daniel

I also wanted to transport 3-4 bikes (which is quite a weight) and we have an SUV so putting them on the roof was out (height problems for car parks, ferry problems etc), so I went for a tow hitch type as I wanted something that could take the weight. I got a Thule hitch rack. Obviously you require a tow hitch on the car but if you already have one then it’s the best way to transport bikes I think. Also my last rack was fine in all respects but it used rubber clamps which locked the whole thing tight but at the same time I could see it flexing the rear car window which I didn’t like.

Overall you need to consider the following points –

Roof mount: probably the most secure way of transporting bikes, especially the ones that lock onto the front hub of the bike (you have to take the front wheel off), its what the pro’s use but you may not want to remove the wheel which, unless you purchase a wheel carrier, has to be stored in the vehicle. Also the whole setup relies on the strength of your roof bars and height may be an issue.

Rear mount – these usually employ two metal hangers that attach into the lip at the top of the tail gate, as I said the one I had distorted the glass which I thought could smash with extended use. This type may also scratch paint work where the hangers attach.

Hitch mount – may be expensive to have a tow hitch installed especially for the purpose, it also extends the vehicle length (remember it’s on when reversing), they come with rear lights which feed into the vehicle electrical system but require a license plate (tag).

Storage – you may want to consider the storage size when not in use.

Whatever type you select (and I’ve owned them all over the years), purchase some additional straps to secure the load even further. Hope you find one that works out.

Answer by darren
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