Cycling on one terrain throughout the year can be tedious because the life of a cyclist should feature thrilling adventures, where you try out different terrains to give you a diversified riding experience. Inevitably, to try out various riding trails, you will have to transport your bike.
There are many efficient ways of transporting your bike, but using a rear-mounted bike rack is the most common because it is convenient and affordable. However, many out there question the safety of these tools. Are rear-mounted bike racks safe? I will extensively address this issue in the below article to settle any doubts you may have.
Are Rear-Mounted Bike Racks Safe?
Rear-mounted bike racks are safe because they undergo numerous industrial tests that guarantee your bike gets safely attached while transporting it to a different location.
However, if you fail to follow the recommended mounting procedure, you may compromise the safety of your car, bike, and other motorists. Let us take a look at the different scenarios;
Safety of the Car
A rear-mounted bike rack can scratch the surface of your car if you do not secure the feet and bumper properly. You may have to repaint the exterior to restore uniformity.
To prevent this, strengthen the straps to prevent wobbling while in transit. Additionally, use cotton socks to minimize friction between the surface and the rack.
We have also discussed how to protect the paint of your car from bike rack scratches.
The safety of your bike is paramount when transporting it at the back of the car. Strapping your bike on the rack requires patience and precision to ensure it gets held rigidly. Failure to do so leads to wobbling, and the bike may fall off if you are speeding or taking sharp corners. If your bike topples, it may get permanent damage.
Some rear-mounted bike racks tend to cover the backlights. It may be dangerous because you may hinder road communication with other motorists. For example, you may wish to take the next turn, but the motorist behind you fails to see the indicators.
You, therefore, increase the chances of a road accident because they may bump into you. This leads to the question should you attach lights to your bike rack?
Are rear bike racks good?
Yes, rear bikes racks are good because they offer the necessary versatility and convenience of transporting your bike by strapping it to the hatch.
You, therefore, do not have to worry about space and the safety of the bike. Additionally, there is a wide range of rear racks available in the markets. They feature various sizes made for all vehicle brands.
Rear bike racks are also affordable compared to other racks. You get a budget-friendly option if you are traveling on low funds. For example, Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch is affordable and can transport 1-5 bikes, thus making it ideal for a family escapade.
How do I choose a rear bike rack?
There are different factors to consider when choosing a bike rack. They include the shape of the bike, dimensions, cost, and so much more. However, I am going to focus on safety. Below are some safety considerations you should think about before buying your rear bike rack;
Consider a Rear bike racks with Locks
Choose a bike rack that offers in-built locks. The locks ensure that;
- Your bike remains tightly held on the rack while driving, thus reducing the probability of falling. You do not want your expensive bike falling and getting damaged in the process.
- Your bike remains secure if you leave your car in the parking lot. Although strapping conveniently holds your bike, it does not secure your bike from theft like the locks.
Additionally, choose a rack that you can attach to your car securely, without strapping. You ensure it remains safe even when you are away.
Weight of the bike
The weight of your bike should guide you while searching for a rear bike rack. If you buy one that cannot hold your bike, your bike will fall off while driving. Additionally, you may end up destroying it and incur the cost of buying another one. Read the manufacturer instructions to know about the load capacity of each rack.
How to make a rear-mounted bike rack more secure
There are various ways you can make your rear-mounted bike rack more secure to prevent bike or car damage. First, strap it strongly to prevent it from wobbling while driving at high speed. Doing so also ensures the bike does not fall and get damaged and preserves the vehicle paint, where the surface and rack come into contact.
Secondly, use pads on sections where the rack comes into contact with the car surface to minimize friction between the two. Consequently, you reduce the chances of movement because the pads efficiently absorb the vibrations and thus enhance the safety of your bike.
Rear-mounted bike racks are safe if you follow the appropriate loading procedure. If you acquire a bike rack with locks, the process is straightforward because you will only mount it and engage the locks. However, if you are using straps, the process may be complicated as you have to ensure the straps hold both the rack and bike in place. It, therefore, requires precision and patience to ensure the safety of your bicycle, car, and other motorists.
Consider the weight of the bike and the availability of locks when buying your rear-mounted bike rack to secure it and the bike.