Best roof racks for cars

How to Carry Your Bike on a Road Trip with a Car Rack

One of the challenging sport or leisure gears to carry is your two-wheeled machine. Besides keeping it safe from damage during transportation to your chosen destination, you need to keep it safe from bad guys. 

Whether you are going to spend a long holiday in the mountains or a weekend get-away cycling, you will need your bike in the proper condition. The safest way is to carry it on the car roof rack using a bike rack. But is it only a bicycle that can be loaded on a car rack?

What Can be Loaded on a Car Rack?

The automotive industry is minding the transportation needs of its customers. In return, they have released car roof racks that make it possible to carry bikes with cars, among other items. 

By mounting your bike on the car rack, your outdoor activities will be spiced with fun. You can go to bicycle excursions, explore the woods nearby, or decide to hit the trail in your area without hassles. 

A car rack will also be required if you are carrying;

1. Mattresses

This is one of the popularly hauled items on car racks. To keep it secure, you will need to wrap the mattress in its bag and secure it using the packing tape. Use some strong ropes and straps to tie it to the rack securely. The fastenings should be well-centered. 

Note: You will be sleeping on it, so ensure it is kept dry and clean.

2. Your sporting gears 

Although you have your car rack installed firmly, you will need to use few bucks to purchase custom-built roof racks for your equipment. Such custom racks include bike racks, kayaks, snowboards, and surfboards. These kinds of roof racks are useful in protecting your expensive sporting gears.

3. Other luggage 

These may include camping equipment or if you are on hunting escapades, the hunting tools. Mostly you will need a foldable clamshell for the items with soft bags to ensure they are safe. 

Any rattling sound that you hear while driving, it is a sign that your cargo is not well-secured. Just pull over and do proper fastening. What are some of the installation tips when carrying your bike on a road trip? Let’s briefly look at that.

Installation Tips

Before you haul your bike rack on the roof, ensure you have the best roof rack for your car. There are currently multiple brands in the market. However, this will be determined by the items you are carrying. 

These roof racks are more stable and don’t block any access for your vehicle. The only problem of having roof racks is their cost and the energy required to lift the gears overhead.

Benefits of roof racks for cars

Whether your bicycle is carried uprightly, upside down, intact or the front wheel is removed, there are specific installation tips you should know:

1. Check the bike transportation laws

Before you start mounting your bike on the roof of your car, ensure that you are familiar with rules governing the transportation industry in your area. If your road trip is traversing to other states, you will need to know their laws. This will be safe for you from unnecessary fines. 

2. Check your car’s manual

This will help you know the weight that your vehicle is allowed to carry on its roof. This ensures you are safe together with your car. Every vehicle’s manual indicates the maximum allowable weight on both its roof and boot. 

3. Test your rack

Ensure you test the rack you have installed. The fact is, not all bikes fit certain racks, especially women and children models.

4. Ensure you secure the tires of the bike

No matter how you carry your bicycle, ensure the wheels are not bumping or swaying around. Use a strap or maybe a bungee cord to secure the tires.

5. Buy slightly longer load bars

The manual of your vehicle will recommend a specific size of the load bars that you can use. However, it would be best if you bought a load bar that is slightly longer than recommended. This will make it easier to carry other items. 

Conclusion

If bike rack installation seems like a hard nut to crack for you, then you can visit a professional mechanic in your area to help you out. Besides, if you are purchasing a new car, you can carry your bike racks to your dealer and let them install the racks for you. But remember to read all the reviews for roof racks to get the right bike racks for your car.

Or you can consider the bike rack for your car that is mainly used to carry the bike. With that, you will have the liberty of carrying your two-wheeled machine in any road trip you are going without compromising the condition of your vehicle, the safety of your bike, and other road users.

References:

(1) Top 8 Best Roof Racks That Will Make Your Travelling a BreezeAutance.com, September 7, 2017

(2) Why You Need a Bike Rack for Your Car?Volkerbicycles.com, January 20, 2020

(3) Roof rack (Wikipedia)