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Bicycle Carriers

When you need to transport your bike on vacation or to a bike trail, don't be tempted to place a cover over the back seat or in the trunk and put your bike in there. Racks specially designed for carrying bikes make loading and unloading faster and easier and reduce the possibility of damage to your bike or vehicle.

There are three basic types of bike carriers: truck bed, rooftop, and rear mounted.

  • Truck bed carriers are mounted in the open bed of a truck and, depending on the model, can carry multiple bikes and gear. They can be installed permanently or temporarily, so it can to be put in another vehicle
  • Rooftop carriers allow you access to your vehicles’ trunk, back door, or towing hitch. Rooftop models can carry more bikes than rear mounted models and will accommodate longer bikes like recumbents and tandem bikes. You can also carry other items like surfboards and golf clubs. Rooftop racks are not for the weak, as you may find it difficult getting the bikes on top of your vehicle; if so, consider getting a booster step that temporarily attaches to a vehicle wheel to give you a higher working platform.
  • Rear mounted carriers attach to the bumper, trunk, spare-tire, towing hitch, or in a receiver. Generally less expensive than rooftop models, they are also easier to install and load. Look for a model that folds down or swings away so that you can open the trunk or back door. Not all racks work on all vehicles (for example, those with protruding, off-center spare tires won't accept most rear racks), so check the specifications before you buy.

Regardless of which bike carrier you choose, it should be sturdy and hold the bike(s)

securely. A good locking system is important so the bike does not fall off or is easily stolen. To protect your bike from rubbing against another bike or the vehicle, from the weather, and from bug splatters, consider covering your bike with a protective bike cover.


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