If you’re a runner seeking to break into the biking scene, one of the first things you’ll want to invest in—besides a bicycle—is a hitch bike rack. These racks let you take your ride with you anywhere you need to go. When you’re in the market for a new hitch rack, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of different styles and kinds of bike racks. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are five qualities to consider when buying a hitch bike rack.
1. Ease of Use
When you’re looking for the perfect rack, ease of access is one of the most important factors to consider.
Look for one that is lightweight and that will be easy to take on and off when you need it. You should also look for a rack that requires no tools to hook it on, as it’s not always practical to have tools with you wherever you go.
Keep in mind, though, that light racks also may mean that they cannot carry as much weight. The perfect hitch bike rack is one that is easy to put on and carry but also has the strength to carry what you need.
According to a buying guide by TheXFire.com, the best-ranked bike racks are those that are easy to assemble and disassemble. A guide like this one can come in handy when you’re ready to dive into reviews of the best racks on the market.
Another important factor to consider is the cost of the product that you’re considering. It is important to set a budget for your shopping, and there are a lot of different options for the best value bike racks.
These less expensive racks are great for those who want a simple rack for single bikes. However, if you’re looking for a rack that can handle more than one bike—or heavier bikes—you may want to spend the money to get the best quality and keep your bikes and other drivers safe.
Speaking of having more than one bike on the rack, you’ll want to decide if you need a multiple bike rack to accommodate your whole family’s bikes.
If you’re the only one who will be biking, you won’t have to spend as much on your rack than people who are planning on riding with the whole family.
Additionally, consider your family’s lifestyle. If you will be needing to take off the rack every time your teenager drives the car to prevent accidents, look for a lightweight and portable model that is easy to remove.
4. Specialty Racks
Sometimes, there are cases where a specialty model is necessary. For example, if you have a tandem, electric, or fat-wheeled bike, you may need to consider the specialty racks, built specifically for these models.
These mounts are sometimes more expensive because they are made with your particular bike in mind.
5. Your Vehicle
Another important thing to keep in mind is the style of your vehicle.
With most racks, the vehicle is not that important, but it is necessary to note that some products require a certain height off the ground in order to be used.
If you have a vehicle that has low ground clearance, consider buying a hitch-mounted bike rack that has a built-in rise in the shank. This will prevent it from hitting the pavement when going over dips in the road.
Overall, hitch-mounted bike racks are an incredibly useful way to transport your bike to the most sought-after riding environments. You should do your research, however, before you purchase a bike rack that is not right for your vehicle, your bike, or your lifestyle.
Use these five qualities to consider which rack is the perfect one for your specific needs.