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Are Bike Racks Worth It? (Read This First)

Bike racks are becoming a necessity since they provide easy storage that’s simultaneously safer too. As they come in different types, materials, and styles, there’s almost one for each and every kind of rider out there. However, the popularity and availability of it does warrant the question,

Are bike racks worth it?

Bike racks are known to be a highly useful and worthy towing accessory, used by both professionals and amateurs. They are easy to take on and off and come in all shapes and sizes. This also comes with its nuances for the wrong size and model can cause damage to the bike, rack, and the car itself.

There are four types of bike rack mounting systems: spare tire mount, hitch mount, roof mount, and the ever-popular trunk mount. 

Since a variety of models are available, it’s advised to have the right information so you can choose the right model for you so they fulfill your needs and preferences.

When choosing one, keep in mind your frequency of use, whether it is compatible with your bike and the number of bikes you want the rack to hold, as well as the ever-important budget.

Are Thule bike racks worth it?

Thule is a brand that’s growing recognition for their stellar bike racks, with their roof racks becoming a top-tier choice amongst many. 

But just because they are popular wouldn’t mean they are worth it. It’s better to do your research to see if their line of products would fit your needs and wants. 

Their roof racks are known to be brilliant but they clamp directly onto the frame so the chances of damage are higher than other options.

It should be mentioned however that the jaws that clamp onto the frame are designed in a manner to minimize the risks of damage as much as possible.

Thule has also fine tuned their design and formula to the point they can abate damage while remaining strong yet lightweight. They also win points for having a variety of replacement parts that can be bought separately for upgrade or repair. 

Is a hitch bike rack worth it?

Hitch bike racks are steadily becoming a go-to option for many for how safely they hold the bikes while traveling making it worth it. But like everything under the sun, they have their pros and cons as well.

Hitch bike racks make lifting and taking your bike off the rack super easy and user-friendly. But they also extend the length of your car so maneuvering the vehicle becomes extra challenging.

They are also known to limit access to the car’s rear, so it’s important to choose a model that is compatible with your size hitch’s receiver.

Hitch bike racks are more expensive than their other counterparts, but they also allow you to carry multiple bikes at once, so it’s a great option for frequent users who need to haul two to five bikes at once.

A few reasons why or why not bike racks are worth it

Bike racks understandably have their pros and cons, depending on their make and model. What works for you could easily be the point of contention for another, which is why it’s good to know what makes them worth it and what doesn’t.

What makes bike racks worth it?

Keeping this short and to the point, since this has been previously discussed-

  • Bike racks let you store and park your bike on your own turf so you don’t have to worry about a parking space.
  • They also keep your bike parked securely since the clamps are designed to keep the bike, rack, and car as safe as possible.
  • They are long-lasting since they are made of material that’s tried and tested, so if you invest in one it will last you a while, if not a lifetime.
  • The same material and design also make them durable.
  • Installing them on and taking them off is easy and beginner-friendly and usually, a matter of minutes.

What makes a bike rack not worth the hassle?

Now that we know the primary use and merit of bike racks, let’s check out the cons that make consumers hesitate before buying one. Surely knowing about the potential problems will make the user wiser and more prepared to deal with them, if it, unfortunately, happens to them.

The problem with Roof Racks:

To start with, you will have to lift the bike high up to properly mount it, so people with injuries or disabilities do not have easy access. They also do poorly without covers in rough weather, since the bike will get filthy and accumulate dirt.

The issues with Hitch Mount Racks:

While hitch mount racks let you carry multiple bikes; they increase the chances of you getting rear-ended. Hitch racks also carry the possibility of the bike getting dirty.

What about Trunk Racks?

Though fan favorites, trunk racks are built in such a manner that they will inherently scratch and warp your beloved vehicle over time. They are also known to be not as secure as other options since the securing straps tend to wear out.

In general, bike racks can become a heavy, costly expenditure if they are not the correct model or type for your vehicle and lifestyle. They can also end up damaging the car by chipping away the paint or scratching it.

This is why it is recommended to always do thorough research when investing in one.

Why are bike racks so expensive?

Bike racks can be expensive due to the racks needing to be made of material that can withstand continuous force and pressure. So, the way the rack’s designed matters, essentially making you pay for the engineering as well.

Ultimately, you are paying for their quality, capacity, and features as well.

Do bike racks damage your car?

Bike racks damage your car only when they are mishandled or installed incorrectly. If that’s not the case, the other way bike racks can damage your car is when external, unwanted, and unwarranted pressure is put on it.

In other words, mostly user error causes the bike rack to damage the car.

Are bike racks safe?

Bike racks have been thoroughly designed to be safe, which explains why their popularity is only growing more and more. If you are still unsure, you can always take extra precautions such as using protective layers and so on.

Bike racks are worth it for riders who need a safe, proper way to park their bikes. Once you know how to deal with the potential problems, it should be smooth sailing from then on.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do Bike Racks Need a Hitch Ball?

Do Bike Racks Need Lights?

Can You Open The Trunk with The Bike Rack?

Can You Put Electric, Carbon, or Other Bikes On a Bike Rack?

Do You Leave Your Bike Rack On Your Car?