Bicycle Network: Where to Ride
Cars: carrying your bike
The best way to carry your bike will depend on what sort of car you have, how many bikes you want to carry and how often.
There are four main options:
bike beaks, which fit on a tow bar
strap-on racks, on the back of your car
floor mounts for utes, trucks and wagons.
For safety reasons, stoplights, tail lights and vehicle indicators must not be obscured by the rack or bicycles and make sure the the rack and its attachment to the vehicle (usually the tow bar) are strong enough to carry the bicycle(s).
Bike Racks for Cars
Three types of racks:
- Roof racks
- Rear of car: tow-bar
- Rear of car: hanging from car body
- Cost about $150 for bars and maybe $120 for a fitting for each bike
- Some require the front wheel to be removed.
- Can fit up to 6 bikes if you have a wide car, lots of money and you pack them in tightly
- They’re up out of the way and you can still open your boot/rear station wagon door
- Can carry lots of bikes
- No fear of your bikes being smashed when you get rear-ended
- No need to mess around with moving your number plate or buying an extra one
- Cost (though less of an issue if you can use the roof bars for you windsurfer etc)
- You might forget them and drive under a car port (two people I know have done this)
- Cost - approx $150 to $250 (plus the tow-bar)
- Bolt off the tow-bar
- Very sturdy and can carry up to 3 bikes
- Hang away from the car and scratch it less
- Generally sturdy
- Some allow you to get to the car boot and some can tilt to assist this
- You need a number plate attached to the rack (either a special bike one or move your car one there when you are using the rack)
- Some need a bit of energy to bolt and unbolt (though not all)
- You need a tow-bar ball on your car.
Rear of car hanging (portable) racks
- •Around $170
- Hang via a series of straps from the boot or rear window
- The rack is supported on the car via rubber mounts so as not to damage the car
- Usually carry up to 2 or 3 bikes
- Portable, you can use it on your car or a friend’s and they don’t need a tow-ball
- Mounts on a wide variety of car styles, wagons, sedans, etc
- Comes in specialised versions for mounting on rear-stored spare tyres on 4WDs
- You have to attach a number plate to it for whichever car it’s on
- A bit less sturdy than the others.
- May need a couple of extra side securing straps
- Possibility of damaging car with pedals etc
- Also sometimes difficult to get all bikes on the rack without bashing into each other