The pros and cons of different bike carrier options.
Spring is well and truly here! This signals a return to outdoor activities and for the writer of this article, it means getting back to road cycling and mountain biking. While there are a ton of great places to go cycling, they may be a bit far away, and the road to get there may not always be bicycle-friendly.
Carrying bicycles inside a vehicle isn’t an ideal solution for your bicycle or your vehicle. Not only will you be bringing in dirt and grease, a car’s interior lacks proper securing points, and you’ll be limited in the number of friends you can bring along if you have to fold down the rear seats. This leaves us with four locations to load your bicycle, each with its own pros and cons:
Trunk carriers are secured onto your vehicle’s trunk thanks to straps and rubber mounting points.
Generally more affordable
Higher risk of damaging the body of your vehicle as the mount and latching points form pressure points on the trunk
May not fit on all vehicles
A popular option among sedan and hatchback owners, roof mounts latch onto your vehicle’s roof rack.
Does not restrict the rearview of the vehicle
Maintains a clear access to the tailgate/trunk
Your vehicle is more likely to have roof rails rather than a factory-mounted hitch
Multiple variations are possible: fork mount, frame mount and wheel mount
Can be difficult to lift bicycles onto tall vehicles
Restricts access to parking in low level garages
Slightly increases fuel consumption
Difficult to fit more than 2-3 bicycles
User-friendly and capable of easily carrying up to 4-5 bicycles, hitch mounts are a popular option.
Good option for larger and taller vehicles
Able to carry more bicycles
Leaves the roof of the vehicle free to carry other items. A roof box, for instance
Will require a hitch installation if your vehicle doesn’t have one
May block rearward visibility
Makes it difficult to access the trunk – although high-end models can tilt to allow access
Pickup truck options
If you own a pickup truck, you can also use bed carriers or a tailgate pad.
Bed carriers are stable and sturdy, and hold the bicycle within the box
Tailgate pads are generally more affordable
Bed carriers may require an assembly to latch onto the truck bed
Tailgate pads can block rearview cameras and may not fit perfectly on some tailgates
When considering your options for carrying bikes, this list is a great starting point but it is a good idea to check with your individual dealership to see what options are recommended for your vehicle. From all of us at the Wyant Group, we hope you have a great time cycling – and just as importantly, a great time getting there!