Why All the Best Bike Racks Never Get Talked About
By: Steve Richardson
If you’re talking about your bike rack, there’s a fair bet you’re complaining about it. Why else would you spend time talking about it? Bikes, trails, thrills and spills is where it’s at. But, if that darned bike rack has caused you problems, they could be big ones and then you’re ready to let fly! Bikes stolen off the rack, or damaged in transit, banging into your car or worst of all, falling off and banging into someone else’s car, that’s worth venting your spleen over.
So what do we need to look for in a bike rack that will make sure we never have to talk about it from the day we buy it until, well, forever! What must a bike rack do for you to enjoy the quiet life, sitting, or rather, carrying in the background, with absolutely no moaning about it, either to its face or behind its back?
Let’s take a look at what makes us cyclists happy when you have to take your prized possession, your bike, on a road trip. What does your bike rack need to do for you…
- Hassle free installation –
Right from the off, fixing a bike rack to your vehicle must be straight forward, quick and easy. Nothing is going to get you hot under the collar quicker than knowing even before you start you’re in for a long wrestling match with an unhelpful rack.
- Fits as snug as a bug –
When you step back and look at the rack fixed onto your vehicle, are you confident it won’t rattle loose, is it there to stay. You want an attachment system that sticks your rack to your vehicle like a hungry blood sucking leech. In other words, the bike rack fits as snug as a bug and it ain’t going anywhere until you take it off.
- Simple to load and unload –
If it takes a lot of your time and effort to haul your bikes on and off a rack then it’s a pain right? Of course it’s a job that has to be done, but why make a job difficult when it can be easy, the simpler and quicker the task is to load each bike on and off the better.
- Fits whatever shape and size of bike you got –
As we know bikes and bike frames come in all shapes and sizes, and good bike racks are designed to deal with it. Maybe a crossbar adapter can neaten things up if creating a horizontal top tube would improve clamping. But clamping points of contact can be wheels, a frame, front forks, fitted to standing upright or hanging bikes sitting in a secure cradle with anti-sway or stood up in trays with wheels tied down.
- Lock up securely –
Make sure you can lock your bikes onto the rack securely, some bike racks have poor security measures and that’s a recipe for disaster. You need to know when you return to your vehicle after a rest break, your bikes are still there! Also it’s important to be able to properly lock the bike rack to your vehicle, it will prevent thieves stealing your rack when it’s not in use. But also bear in mind that it is still possible for bikes that are very securely locked onto a bike rack, but if the bike rack isn’t safely locked onto your vehicle you can lose the lot when the bike rack is detached with the bikes still attached.
- No damage –
It’s not a great feeling getting to the end of your journey only to find scratches to your vehicle’s paintwork because a bike has made contact, or the fixing points of the rack have been rubbing against your vehicle caused by vibration. Equally you won’t be a happy biker when you find damage to your bike because the rack doesn’t keep distance between bikes, or it won’t clamp the frames properly. Of course, the worst situation of all is seeing your bike fall off whilst you’re driving because the vibration has caused ties to loosen. A good bike rack handles these potential problems.
- No shake, rattle and roll
Driving causes vibration, the general shake, rattle and roll of normal road conditions, including bumps, potholes and wind drag all lead to challenges that any bike rack worth its salt will deal with by using anti-rattle, anti-wobble, anti-sway, and anti-slide technology, your bike rack needs to effectively deal with these conditions.
Make sure your bike rack overcomes all of these ‘7 deadly sins’ and then you’ll never have to give it a second thought, you’ll not have a bad word to say about it, and your bike rack will be happy enjoying a quiet and un-noticed life, which is just the way it should be.
If you would like to find out about different categories of bike rack and detailed information about what they offer visit best bike rack reviews.
Steve Richardson, www.bestbikerackreviewsite.com
Steve loves all things bikes but when his bike rack fell off loaded up with 4 family bikes, heading down the highway at the time looking forward to a vacation, he’s since got a bit geeky about bike rack essentials!