Bike Racks for Cars: Pros and Cons

November 30, 2021

In this article, we'll look at some bike racks for cars, their advantages and disadvantages. Most cyclists will agree that life would be so much fun and easier if we can bring our bikes anywhere. In this article, we will talk about the different kinds of racks for your SUV or even for cars like Ford Mustang that most cyclists dream of, their advantages and disadvantages. Below you can find my explanation of the key points to consider when choosing a bike rack.

Types of bike racks

We examined the pros and cons of bike racks for cars, keep reading to get to know about them in more detail:


Platform racks, although heavier and more expensive, provide many advantages over other designs. The stable platform, on which the front wheel and rear wheel are in the tray, practically eliminates the risk of swinging during transport, and at the same time, it is possible to transport different types of bicycles. You can find examples of such racks on

Minimal contact with the bike frame protects the bike while driving and reduces the risk of damage to the frame. This type of bike rack is ideal for newer, thicker tires.

The hitch mount design will allow you to load multiple bikes at chest level, making loading easier.

The hitch platform mount is ideal for providing ample space between bikes, resulting in less damage from colliding frames. Hitch mounts can be used for almost any style of bike, as long as the vehicle and the hitch can support it.

A common concern with hitch mountings is how much they will hinder the ability to reach the trunk of the vehicle. A common solution to this problem is to buy a tilting rack that allows you to pivot the bikes to provide access to the trunk.

Hanging rack

Similar to luggage-style racks, bicycles hang from racks. They are usually cheaper as they do not have trays, they have their drawbacks compared to the platform.

Since they are hanging off the rack, they are not suitable for many women's bikes and hybrids with their sharp-angled tubes or strange shapes, so it is difficult or impossible to get them to fit correctly on the rack.

If you have a carbon fiber bike, I would also stay away from them to eliminate the risk of frame breakage.

Bumper mount

Perhaps the most popular style of bike rack is the trunk. The rack carrier is a convenient option for transporting multiple bikes and can be easily stored when not in use.

Luggage rack brackets require no additional assembly, such as a hitch, and eliminate many of the hazards associated with roof mounting. These mounts are usually very lightweight and easy to use. They can be easily strapped to the trunk or hatch.

When purchasing a roof rack mount, you'll want to consider your vehicle and make sure it fits. While most struts are lightweight, if you choose a model that doesn't fit your vehicle, you risk scratching or warping your vehicle.

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of rack-mounted racks:


  • Versatility - they are suitable for almost any car or SUV and do not require additional equipment.
  • Cost - they are quite affordable.


  • Safety - it is sometimes difficult to secure bicycles with a truck-mounted rack of low-quality.

Roof Mounted Bike Racks

This type of rack requires you to lift your bike onto the roof of your car or SUV and then secure it. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.


  • View - Because the bike is mounted on top of the car, the bikes do not obstruct the view through the rear window.
  • Trunk Access - With bicycles on the roof of your car, you have unlimited access to the back of your car.
  • Bicycle Safety - Because the rack secures the bikes using the tires, there is no danger of frame cracking or paint peeling from rubbing bikes.


  • Securing the bike - Since you need to lift the bike over your head and secure it to a rack, ideally this is a two-person job. One for lifting and holding the bike, the other for securing the clamps. If you have a heavy bike, you cannot physically lift it over your head.
  • Garage access - Another real danger is that now a car with bicycles on the roof is much higher than without them.

Features of bike racks

  1. Soft attachment points are the last thing you want the struts to scratch your car. The strut points that hit your vehicle should be padded with high-quality foam. If there are straps that hold the rack securely (usually on rack-mount models), make sure they are covered with rubber to avoid damaging the paint.
  2. Security Cables - Some bike racks come with cables that can be blocked so thieves will have a hard time trying to get your bike out of the rack. Even if the rack doesn't come with cables, there are usually spare bike locks to keep your bike safe.

Access to the trunk of the car

One of the biggest advantages of a hinged rack over the trunk is the ability to access the trunk.

All of the struts listed here can tilt away from your vehicle, allowing you to store whatever you need in the trunk. In contrast, rack-mounted racks mean you need to be well prepared or ready to remove and replace the bike rack.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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