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How to Install a Bike Rack

Just like riding a bike, a bike rack installation is something you never forget. After all, with the bike racks industry being so popular right now, leading manufacturers are innovating new designs to set themselves apart with ease of installation. Because, when it comes down to it, Thule bike racks and Yakima bike racks are designed to hold bikes, just like Swagman bike racks and Allen bike racks. So, the only deciding factor between the top brands is installation.

Installation Tip: Lock it down!

No matter if your new bike rack is a hitch mount or roof mount, always get a lock for your rack. The boldest bicycle bandits and parking lot purloiners are not easily discouraged, and simply locking your gear to an unlocked rack is an invitation to take everything—rack and all.

Hitch Bike Racks & Roof Bike Racks Explained

Racks are broken down into two main types: the hitch bike rack and the roof bike rack. Hitch mounted racks like the Thule T2 slip right into your vehicle’s hitch receiver. They’re designed to carry up to five steeds and they come off and on the vehicle with ease. Roof mounted racks on the other hand, must be used in conjunction with a roof rack. Once the rack is mounted, a separate rack is required for each bicycle. Once the roof rack is in place, installing the roof mounted bike rack is nearly as easy as the hitch mount.

It Depends On Your Vehicle Model

The vehicle you drive will dictate to some extent the rack type you use. A Honda Ridgeline bike rack, or any truck for that matter, will be hitch mounted. That’s because trucks have high roofs, and they’re usually equipped with a hitch receiver. A Mazda 3 rack on the other hand should be roof mounted, since you probably don’t want to put a hitch on any car that small.

Brand Loyalty Also Kicks In

Once you decide on the rack type, brand loyalty is your only other consideration. Volvo drivers love Thule, truck drivers love Yakima, and according to some of the Softride bike rack reviews we’ve seen, everybody loves Softride. But no matter which brand you choose, look for the following features:

  • Easy on and off
  • Folding design that stows away with ease
  • Sturdy straps that keep your 2-wheeler secure
  • That it holds the number of bikes you need to carry
  • Locks that keep the rack and your steeds in place
  • Lifetime Warranty

Pro Tips

Here are some pro tips to make your bike rack installation even smoother:

  • Double-check compatibility: Ensure that the bike rack you choose is compatible with your vehicle's make and model.
  • Follow the instructions: Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions carefully for a secure fit.
  • Regular maintenance: Periodically inspect and maintain your bike rack to ensure it remains in top condition.
  • Practice loading and unloading: Practice securing your bikes on the rack before hitting the road to streamline the process.