How to Install a Bike Rack (Hatchback, SUVs, Roof Racks)

Are you a person who loves to ride a bike everywhere you go? Then you might own at least one of your favorite models of bike.

It is more fun alongside a workout having a bike for yourself. Although, a regular riding experience may not possible if you are a person who needs to be on the road.

The importance of a bike rack comes in place to carry around your bikes along with you. However, before getting into how to install a bike rack, there are things that you have to know.

There are different models and versions of bike racks available from many brands. Some of them have the same configurations, and some others are explicitly designed.

Besides, there are different types of bike racks available. Those are used for mount onto the different parts of your vehicle. The different bike racks include a roof rack, hitch rack, tailgate pad, spare tire rack, and trunk rack.

These models are installed differently, and some have a specially designed system for more security reasons. Here is a short description of different types of racks and how they are used on vehicles.

Roof Bike Racks

A roof bike rack is designed to be used on top of the car, SUV, or any vehicle you prefer. The bikes will be standing in an upright position that might be locked onto the wheels or the forks.

Either way, the back wheel will be seated into a special slot so that the chances of going sideways are less. These kinds of racks are best to be used with vehicles that have an easily accessible height.

If you’re searching for the best roof bike racks, you should check out this article.

Hitch Bike Racks

Hitch bike racks are the most recommended models of racks in the market because of different reasons. First of all, it is the safest rack that can be used on the vehicle. Second, the rack will be installed with the help of a hitch receiver that either already integrated into the vehicle or you can install an aftermarket one.

The matter is that your vehicle needs the strength to carry around some weight on the back. Two different kinds of loading techniques are available for hitch bike racks. One is a hanging model in which the bikes will be hanging from single or dual arms.

Another one is a platform model in which locks will support the bike from top and bottom. However,  the weight will be supported by the base platform where the wheels are locked. The platform model racks are recommended for expensive bikes that have expensive painting work.

Spare Tire Racks

Recommended: Best Spare Tire Bike Racks

These spare tire racks are used alongside the spare tires on the back of the SUVs or spare tire mounts. It comes in handy for vehicles with a hitch receiver and needs to load bikes on the back end. In addition, spare tire racks come with a hanging system for bikes with either a single or a double arm.

Moreover, these are some of the most compact-looking and working models of bike racks out there. It provides more ground clearance than a hitch rack and more safety than a roof or trunk mount rack.

Trunk-Mount Rack for Bike

Some cars may not have any hitch receiver or a spare tire system to load bikes on the vehicle’s tail end. So here is where a trunk-mount rack comes in handy. You can easily install a trunk rack onto your car’s trunk door, and it has straps in different directions for stability and security.

Three is the maximum number of bikes held by a trunk rack capable of maximum holding capacity. The reason is that the trunk door will carry the whole weight of the rack and bikes. So, to prevent damages to the trunk with overload, reducing the capacity is the best way to go.

However, the advantage of a trunk bike rack is that it can be used on any car and SUV that you might use.

Tailgate Pads

If you have a truck, then there will be no space for a roof rack, or using a hitch rack may not be practical. Here you can use a tailgate pad on the tailgate of the truck. It will provide more security to the paintwork of the tailgate alongside the bikes.

Most of these products are rugged-looking so that you can leave it on the tailgate even if it is not in use. Besides, it offers security to the tailgate itself in all climates.

Read more here about the best tailgate pads.

How to Install a Bike Rack on a Hatchback

There are many hatchback model cars available which include normal and sportier models. And the answer to the question of how to install a bike rack on a hatchback is followed.

Some of them are equipped with a hitch receiver on the back end of the car. In this case, you can use a hitch bike rack to load bikes on it.

However, hatchback cars are not much good when it comes to ground clearance. That means you may have to use a hanging model rack to get enough ground clearance. In another case, if your car does not have a hitch receiver, then the available options include a trunk rack and a roof rack.

You can easily use a trunk-mount rack on a hatchback because of the easy installation and accessibility it offers. These racks are installed on the trunk door with a base stand supported by straps to different car sides. Unfortunately, you cannot access the trunk of your car when the rack is loaded on this kind of system.

If you need access to the car’s trunk, you can go with a roof rack. This will become easier when the car does not have much height than you can access easily. You can use a roof rack to securely keep the bike on the top if you have a crossbar.

How to Install Bike Rack on SUV

There are different ways to go with a bike rack on an SUV, so here is a small look into how to install a bike rack on SUV. You can first consider a hitch rack because most SUV models come with an integrated hitch receiver.

In the case of no hitch receivers, there may be a spare tire fitted on the back of the SUV on which you can use a spare tire rack. Another model uses a trunk-mount rack, but it is easier and safe with a spare tire rack.

With a spare tire rack on the board, you can access the trunk like you normally do. Besides, using a roof rack on an SUV might get hard in usability because of the vehicle’s height. Many SUVs in the market now have a high roof that will make it very difficult to take a bike down and up to the rooftop.

Moreover, a hitch bike rack is also perfect when it comes to an SUV. It provides enough ground clearance in any road circumstance.

How to put a Bike on a Roof Rack

There are different models for roof racks also available in the market. Most of them need a crossbar facility on top of the vehicle to be installed securely.

It has an integrated lock system, and tool-free installation is possible with these models in which the rack will grab onto the crossbar. Besides, the rack packages come with extra straps to give the bike’s rack more stability on top of it.

Another kind of mounting technique used for roof racks is vacuum cups. These can be fixed onto the vehicle’s roof without any medium between the rack and the car. However, a crossbar locking system provides more security for the rack and bikes for extreme terrain conditions.

As mentioned earlier, roof racks either lock the bike from the front wheel or the fork after removing the front wheel. Removing the wheels and using the fork offers more stability and space management advantage on the roof. Although, it makes it harder than normally locking as the whole bike along with the wheel.

Conclusion

As the final note, a specific solution for how to install a bike rack totally comes after some other basic questions. Questions such as which kind of vehicle and rack are you using. However, all the rack models available nowadays come with effortless installation and removal processes.

If you got any idea about installing the rack from the above information, then go with the right rack and install it properly. More information will be available on the user manuals available with the rack products.

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