If you’re like most people and you’re a little turned off travelling abroad from the fallout of the coronavirus crisis in 2020, then you’re looking to get suitably geared up to embark on a couple of adventure weekends in Ireland or the UK instead. Family holidays are an important break away from the day to day routines, but they can so often be filled with stress and anxiety about what items to bring and what to leave behind. If you’re holidaying locally, then you’ll absolutely want to bring bikes along for all the family to enjoy, but this can be challenging. You know you need a bike carrier, but with so many options out there, it can be difficult to land on the one that best suits your needs. Or maybe you’re finally going to challenge yourself and do some real adventure cycling! Here, we give you a rundown of the best bike carriers of 2020 and everything you need to know before you buy.
Which Bike Rack?
There are 4 different types of bike racks available, based on how they would fit onto your vehicle:
Choosing a bike rack for your vehicle will come down to your personal preference and will depend on what existing equipment you already have on your car. Not all bike racks will automatically fit on your vehicle, for example, if you don’t already have a towbar, then you wouldn’t purchase a tow bar mounted bike rack (unless of course you plan to get a towbar!). Here’s a rundown of each kind to help you choose.
Rear Door Bike Racks
Rear door mounted bike racks are really versatile and one bike rack usually fits lots of different makes and models of cars. They come with straps and adjustable arms which can fit to the contours and shape of your car. Rear door mounted bike racks can carry up to 3 bikes simultaneously but this capacity can sometimes be reduced due to the shape of your car, like if you have a rear spoiler attached. Note - ladies bikes will need a bike frame adapter bar because almost all rear door bike racks require a crossbar to mount them securely.
Best Rear Door Mounted Bike Racks
The Peruzzo Venezia 3 Bike Rack carries 3 bikes and is a very compact, flexible and secure bike rack. It is incredibly quick and easy to fit and can fit on most cars on the road today - hatchback or estates. Folds up neatly and is lightweight and easy to store. It’s gloss grey in color and contains plenty of padding to help protect your car.
Made by Italian cargo carrying experts Nordrive, the Follow Me T3 bike rack is another highly versatile bike rack, fitting most vehicles on the road today. It’s grey with fully adjustable nylon joints so you can get the perfect fit to your car. This particular rack fits most triangular-frame bicycles and is suitable for carrying up to 3 bicycles.
The G3 Frame bike rack is not only the best looking rear door bike rack around, but it's also the most versatile bike rack on the market, allowing it to be safely fitted to the widest range of vehicles on the road. The G3 Frame bike rack can carry up to 3 bikes on the rear of your car. Very simple to install and remove, no permanent fixings are required to mount this cycle carrier. As an added bonus, it comes with adapters for fitting to glass hatchbacks. This is arguably the most refined and solidly constructed rear door cycle carrier on the market and it folds away really neatly too.
Roof Mounted Bike Racks
Roof bike racks sit on the roof of your car and need to be secured on to a set of roof bars first. Each roof mounted bike rack will carry 1 bike, (not multiple), but you can fit more than one roof mounted bike rack to your roof bars so that you can carry more bikes. You can expect to be able to carry up to 3 bikes on the roof of your car, this can sometimes vary to 2 depending on the available width of your roof bars and if you are carrying anything else on your roof bars, like a roof box.
With a highly aerodynamic design, the Acuda II Bike Rack can carry bikes with a wheel size ranging from 16 inches right up to 29 inches. We’re not going to lie, the Acuda bike rack just looks fantastic, especially when it’s mounted to a set of Aguri roof bars. The Aguri Acuda Bike Rack is just as high quality as a roof mounted Thule bike rack, but without the expensive price tag, and comes in a gloss black or pure steel color to match your vehicle / bike. Not suitable for carbon frame bikes.
The Nordrive Bike One Bike Carrier is really versatile and can carry multiple bike frame types, and pretty much any size wheel. It comes in gloss black or silver to match your roof bars and your car / bike colour. Really affordable price and its compatible with lots of different types of roof bars.
Towbar Bike Racks
Towbar mounted bike racks lock on to the ball socket of a tow bar and can allow you to carry up to 4 bikes simultaneously. What’s neat about these, is that you can access the inside of your boot easily because the racks can tilt down, leaving the boot unobstructed.
The Peruzzo Pure Instinct is a fantastic towbar mounted bike rack that rivals the Thule Rideon in looks and quality, but wins hands down on the price. Extremely easy to fit and remove, it can carry up to 3 bikes and it also comes in a 2 bike variant if you wanted something a bit slimmer. It tilts for easy boot opening using a simple foot pedal, and comes complete with a hologrammed rear light bar and space for a number plate. Black in color.
The Aguri Active towbar bike carrier can carry 3 bikes simultaneously and looks stunning. It’s a silver and black bike carrier which can also be adapted to carry 4 bikes using an extra bike adapter kit - cool! No additional tools are needed to mount this, just a towbar. The Aguri Active carrier can fold forward with bikes attached to allow you access to your boot. Fully equipped with position light, indicators, license plate light, fog light and reverse light.
How to put on a bike rack
Don’t be scared! Fitting a bike rack is actually a very straightforward process and it is not difficult to do, anyone can do it. But you need to know what type you’re fitting - for example, if you’re fitting a roof mounted bike rack, then you absolutely need to have a set of roof bars fitted first. (Don’t worry, we’ve made a full guide on how you do that here). All of the bike racks we’ve outlined in our guide come with detailed fitting instructions and usage guidelines, and for most of the racks, we have also made a video on our YouTube channel which shows you exactly what to do. Bike racks can usually be fitted by one person but it’s always worthwhile having someone else around to help in case you have to let go of the rack at a certain point.
We hope you’ve found some useful information in this guide and if you have any questions or you’re still not sure what bike rack will be suitable for your needs, contact our Travel & Leisure experts and we’ll help you.