If you’re serious about mountain biking, one thing you’re going to have to figure out is how to transport your bike to all the great destinations you’re going to want to go biking in. Often times, that means investing in a bike rack. A bike rack on your can can provide you with a secure and reliable way to get your bike where it needs to go, but it’s important to use them safely and properly so that neither your bike, your car, or anybody else on the road has to deal with a bike rack mishap. With a little knowledge and practice, you’ll be able to put your bike rack to safe and effective use, so if you’re new to bike racks, review the tips provided here and soon you’ll be driving your bike to distant trails with ease.
Make Sure The Rack Fits
Owners of small cars, or people who need to transport more than one bike at a time, may have difficulty fitting an adequate rack onto their vehicle. If you’re really serious about mountain biking, consider upgrading to a bigger car that can carry your bikes with ease. For anyone who plans on making the best use out of their investment in a quality mountain bike, having a car that can readily transport them can make or break their mountain biking lifestyle.
Remember Your Overhead Clearance
When you first start driving with a roof-mounted bike rack, it can be all too easy to forget that you have greatly reduced overhead clearance. Many a bike owner has plowed their bikes into the top of a garage or carport! It can help to create a visual reminder when you’ve got the bikes on top; one common trick is to put your garage door remote inside a cycling glove.
Pay Attention to Rear Rack Placement
Make sure that any bikes mounted to the rear of your vehicle are up high enough that they won’t hit the road when you go over bumps or inclines. You also don’t want the bicycle wheels to be in front of the exhaust—they can actually melt. For maximum stability, make sure the lower feet of the rack are resting against your car’s bumper. Also, be careful when you’re backing up!
Master the Art of Bike Rack Maintenance
Inspect the rack often, make sure it hasn’t come loose and that all the components are in good shape, not rusty or worn. See if straps have gotten stretched out and need to be tightened or replaced. On long trips, make frequent stops to make sure the bikes and rack are secure.
Secure the Wheels
If you’re driving for a considerable distance, you’ll probably want to use a bungee cord to keep the bike wheels from spinning freely.
Remove the Rack When Not in Use
Lastly, to keep your bike rack in good shape and protect it from the elements, remove it from your car and store it someplace safe when you know you won’t be using it for a while.