Are Rear Mounted Bike Racks Safe Or Not? Which Type Is The Best?

Bicycles can be a great way to get from one place to another, but transporting a bicycle can be a lot more difficult. Whether traveling to a race or the next holiday destination, transporting bicycles can be challenging. 

Are rear mounted bike racks safe? Safety has been known to be a problem when using rear-mounted bike racks but only when they have not been installed correctly, or properly maintained. Rear-mounted bike racks are not known or sold for their safety features but rather for their simple and easy-to-use design.

Four types of bike racks are used to transport bicycles. Roof racks, rear-mounted racks or trunk racks, hitch mount racks, and spare tire mount racks are all used to transport bikes. The rear-mounted bike rack is one of the most used. 

The Pros And Cons Of Rear Mounted Bike Racks

Most cyclists opt for the rear-mounted bike rack as their first choice. The affordability and simplicity of the design and setup make it an attractive option for most recreational cyclists. Most of these racks are light and easy to attach to a vehicle which is great when cyclists want to go!

The design is simple and is built as a metal frame that rests against the back of the vehicle with straps that clip or hooks into the edges of the boot and two arms that the bicycles can attach to. 

The Pros Of Rear Mounted Bike Racks

  • The rear-mounted bike racks, also known as trunk racks, are more affordable and can be found at almost any cycling store. These racks are easily accessible, and they are the cheapest option financially. 
  • Rear-mounted bike racks are also said to be the simplest way to carry multiple bikes. The basic rack design makes it easy to mount the bikes and can usually fit at least three bikes at a time. Transporting multiple bikes at once is common when going on a family holiday or even a race with backup bikes.
  • Rear-mounted bike racks are easy to use and can be used by almost anyone. It isn’t difficult to set up or attach to the vehicle’s boot. The frame is light and relatively easy to lift. Easy use makes it a great option for single women or young cyclists.
  • When the rack is not being used, it folds up neatly and can be stored easily without taking much space. It is also possible to use the rack as a stand to store the bikes in a garage or storage facility. 
  • The design of the rack makes it adjustable and able to fit on most car brands or designs. Most racks will fit most car makes and their different designs and features.
Rear Mounted Bike Rack
Rear Mounted Bike Rack

The Cons Of Rear Mounted Bike Racks 

  • There is a limit to the rack’s load capacity. Most racks can hold two or three bikes at a time. This is fine for recreational cyclists, but professionals might want a rack that can handle more.
  • The efficiency of the rack is dependent on the tightness of the straps that hook into the boot. If the straps are faulty or loose, it can cause the rack to shift or slide, which could compromise the security of the bikes. It is important to check the straps and rack before traveling thoroughly.
  • The minimalistic design of the rack can make it difficult to effectively lock or secure the bikes to the car if there is a need for security or prevention from theft. There are ways to lock the bikes, but it can be more difficult to find ways to secure the bikes effectively.
  • Some rear-mounted bike racks are better suited to certain types of vehicles. It can take some time to figure out which brand or make of rack will best suit your current vehicle.
  • It can take some time to figure out how to place and mount the rack properly on your vehicle, so it is important to factor that into consideration when traveling with your bikes and new rack.
  • Rear-mounted bike racks prevent access to the boot of the vehicle when the rack is mounted. This can be a frustration, especially during long road trips.
  • When the rack is mounted, and the bikes are clipped in, they can obstruct the rear lights and number plate, which may hinder the visibility of your vehicle to other cars traveling behind. It is also important to check your area’s road-worthy vehicle rules before traveling with a rack.
  • The bikes can poke out the sides of your vehicle when mounted on the rack, which will enlarge the width of your vehicle. It is important to take note of this before traveling to ensure safety.
  • The mounting pads on some racks have been known to damage the paint on a vehicle, and it is recommended to add extra padding to protect the vehicle when traveling.

How Safe Are Rear Mounted Bike Racks?

Overall, rear-mounted bike racks are safe and easy to use. They are the most affordable and effective bike racks for everyday cyclists. It is always important to be thorough when checking the security and stability of the rack when mounting it. The bikes should always be checked to be clipped in tightly and have enough padding and protection. 

These racks make it easy to use extra rope or chains to secure the bikes even more. The only times that rear-mounted bike racks have not been safe have been because of the following reasons:

  • The rack is old and compromised.
  • The rack was not properly mounted.
  • The straps were too loose and not hooked incorrectly.
  • The bikes were not correctly mounted on the rack.
  • There were no adequate security measures to prevent the bikes from being stolen.

Which Type Is The Best?

The best type of rack can be largely dependent on the cyclist’s needs. It is all dependent on how frequently the cyclist will travel, how many bikes will be transported, what type of vehicle will be used, and other factors that all play a part.

When safety is the primary factor in deciding on a rack type, the hitch-mounted bike racks are the best option. These racks are more expensive, but they have better security features like locks and clips that keep the bikes secure. 

Thule T2 Pro XTXTR Hitch Bike Rack
Thule T2 Pro XT/XTR Hitch Bike Rack

They are still easy to use and will have less chance of damaging your vehicle. Many deciding factors help individuals decide what the best type is for themselves, but when it comes to safety, the hitch-mounted bike racks are a great option!

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08/15/2022 06:06 am GMT

Are rear mounted bike racks safe Conclusion

Rear-mounted bike racks are a generally safe and effective way to transport bikes and are a great option for their price availability. Although other options may offer better safety features, the affordability and features of rear-mounted racks make them strong contenders.

Every cyclist will have their preferences and needs and must make the final decision based on those factors. Generally, the rear-mounted racks are great for recreational cyclists!

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