Bikes provide a unique convenience and satisfaction not found in any other transport means. That is why you probably carry it on your vehicle even when traveling out of town or want to sample some trails.
But how do you transport your bike, on the rooftop or the rear? Whichever method you prefer, the question of whether you need a hitch has probably ever crossed your mind. After purchasing that bike rack, the hitch is the next question. So, do you need one?
This article will discuss if you need one and what hitch class best suits your needs.
Do Bike Racks Need A Hitch?
Most bike racks do not require a hitch, but some require one for installation. Therefore, this is the first thing to consider when buying a bike rack. Additionally, if you transport the bikes on the rooftop, you will not need a hitch, but if on the rear, you will most probably need one.
There are three main types of bike racks;
- Trunk racks
- Roof racks
- Hitch racks
For hitch mount bike racks, they allow you to carry up to four bikes at once with no need to remove wheels or pedals. This rack type is mounted on your vehicle’s trailer hitch and allows you to transport your bikes without having them in view as roof-mounted racks do.
Further, these are great for people who want their bikes out of sight while transporting them but still have easy access if they need access during their trip, such as when stopping for gas or going into a store for supplies. Hitch mount bike racks are also great for people who don’t want to hassle with removing their pedals before attaching them to their vehicles’ roofs.
Therefore if you choose to transport your bike in the rear, you must have a hitch to help in easy access and security.
Can You Put A Bike Rack On A Car Without A Hitch?
Yes, you can put a bike rack on a car without a hitch. You may want to consider getting one of those hitchless bike racks if you do not have an existing hitch on your vehicle, and they come in different styles and sizes.
The best thing about these racks is that they are easy to install and remove, making them great for people who don’t want to alter their vehicle permanently.
The most common type of hitchless bike rack is the trunk-mounted rack. These racks are usually made from steel or aluminum, depending on the model you buy. This type of rack does not require any tools for installation or removal because it uses straps to fasten itself securely onto your car’s trunk lid or rear door area.
There are also hitchless rooftop racks available for purchase today. Still, these tend to be more expensive than the trunk-mounted models because they require a lot more engineering to make them safe enough for use on cars without hitches installed already.
Essentially, if you have a vehicle not equipped with a hitch, it doesn’t mean you are out of luck. Several options exist for putting a bike rack on a car without a hitch.
Is It Worth Getting A Hitch For Bike Rack?
It is worth it and beneficial to get a hitch for your bike rack. However, it depends on your vehicle type. It is worth it if you have an SUV or van that can haul more than one bike.
You can take your bike on any road with a hitch-mounted bike rack. You don’t have to worry about the terrain or whether or not there will be enough room for your vehicle to pass through without damaging the bike rack or hitting it with other objects on the road. Besides, you can carry multiple bikes simultaneously and still have room for other items in your car. Hitch-mounted racks are also very easy to use and install.
Also, when using a hitch, safety is guaranteed. This is one of the main reasons why people get a hitch for their bike rack. If you do not have one, driving around with a bike in your vehicle may be challenging. This means you need to take extra care while driving, so the bike doesn’t fall off or hit any other cars on the road. With a hitch, there is no such problem as it will ensure that the bikes remain secure throughout the journey.
What Class Of Hitch Do I Need For A Bike Rack?
The type of hitch needed will depend on your vehicle’s weight. There are four classes of hitches, each defined by the vehicle’s weight. Class 1 hitch if your car is light-duty, Class 2 hitch if your vehicle is medium-duty, and so on.
A Class 1 hitch is only meant to carry up to two bikes and should not be used as a daily driver unless you’re just interested in biking. It’s also okay to take it off-roading because bike racks with this hitch are usually lightweight and easy to install onto any vehicle.
A Class 2 hitch can hold up to three bicycles while maintaining stability when driving on paved roads. You can also use this on dirt trails. Remember that these hitches aren’t recommended for heavier vehicles as they put more strain on them than lighter ones. Exercise caution when going over bumps or rough terrain, as you don’t want any unexpected accidents.
A class 3 hitch allows for heavier loads since it can hold up to five bikes without compromising safety during transportation. This makes them great options for long vacations where multiple cyclists will be traveling together.