Transporting Your Bike by Car: Options and Limitations

13
Oct
2017

Bringing your bike with you when on a road trip means more of exciting destinations awaiting you down the road. However, unless you’ve got an estate car, it’s not so easy to stuff your bike into your vehicle. It’s because cars are usually invented without bikes in mind. Luckily, there are other ‘outside’ bicycle-carrying options that help you enjoy a ride full of opportunities. Neither of them is perfect; you just choose what suits your specific needs more. 123spareparts.co.uk, the UK’s leading dealer of automotive parts, tells about the tools and options of transporting a bike in a car and their pros and cons.

In a boot of an estate car

Estate vehicles (those with a big trunk behind the back seats) allow transporting your bikes minimally disassembled if you fold down the rear seats. Another type of a car will also work with the rear seats folded, but this option will leave little space inside the car (meaning no rare-seat passengers). Another downside is that your car interior can get really dirty. The boot option is the safest possible as it keeps your bikes perfectly locked, almost invisible for the thieves, and protected from the elements. What is more, you don’t need any special tools for using this option (except for the bike disassembly) and the fuel consumption isn’t tangibly compromised.

On a car roof rack

Getting your bikes mounted on the free space above your car roof is a genius invention that helps keep bikes away from your clean interior and paintwork. Roof racks come in different designs: some of them allow carrying fully-assembled bikes while others require taking off the bike’s front wheel. Modern roof racks accommodate to different sizes of wheels and avoid any potential damage to the frame. You will need some extra locks to prevent a bike theft if you leave the car with the bikes on its top unattended. The disadvantages of this carrying option are a high price, increased fuel consumption, and often complicated (and physically demanding) fitting process.

On the boot rack

Fitted to the boot with straps and hooks slotting through its lid, the boot rack is capable of cradling several bikes on its ‘arms’ without compromising the fuel consumption and your budget. The mounting process is much easier than that of the car roof rack because you easily access the rack and don’t have to lift bikes above your head. Similar to the roof-top transportation, you’ll need to shell out for locks to prevent a bike theft. If not mounted securely, the construction can damage the paintwork and the bike itself. This option can worsen lights and plate visibility for other drivers.

 

On the tow rack

Tow ball bike carriers are very convenient and reliable constructions that securely attach to the car without damaging its paintwork or worsening the fuel consumption. The rack allows cradling 2 to 4 bikes behind your vehicle, and usually has its own plate and lights mount. The only disadvantages are a high price and bulky non-folding design.

 

 

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