Car rack guide

Are you ready to rack and roll?

A bike rack for your car gives you the freedom to bring your bike with you, wherever you go.

There are several different types of car rack available. Which one you choose will depend on the type of car you drive and the number of bikes you want to carry.

If you’re not sure how many bikes you might want to carry in the future, err on the side of caution and opt for a rack that allows you to carry more rather than less.

Boot racks

Basic bike carrier

These are the simplest and most common type of car rack.

Boot-mounted car racks consist of arms to hold the bike which are attacked to the boot of the car by adjustable hooks and straps. They will fit most vehicles and hold one-four bikes.

  • ✔ Portable.
  • ✔ Cheap.
  • ✔ Easy to mount/remove.
  • ✔ Easy to take bikes on/off.
  • ✔ Once straps are set up, they don’t need adjusting again for the same car.
  • ✘ May need a light/number plate board.
  • ✘ Must allow for extra length/width when reversing.
  • ✘ Incorrect fitting may damage paintwork.
  • ✘ May need an adaptor for a glass/fibreglass boot.

Towbar racks

Strong support

These racks sit on a car’s towbar, which bears the weight of the bikes and rack.

The best thing about towbar racks is they can take a lot of extra weight as they are supported by the towbar. They are easy to remove for storage when not in use.

  • ✔ Less risk to paintwork.
  • ✔ Can carry up to four bikes.
  • ✔ Low height makes it easy to lift bikes on/off.
  • ✔ Very strong and sturdy.
  • ✘ You need a car with a towbar.
  • ✘ Can’t tow a trailer while in use.
  • ✘ More expensive.
  • ✘ More difficult to fit.
  • ✘ Need a light and numberplate board.

Roof racks

Up top

Roof mounts put your bike up out of harm’s way on top of the car.

There are roof carriers that you attach your whole bike to, or carriers that lock onto your bike’s dropouts with one or both wheels removed.

  • ✔ No issues with reversing/parking.
  • ✔ Does not obstruct boot.
  • ✔ Can be left in place when not in use.
  • ✘ More expensive.
  • ✘ Beware of height barriers, garage doors etc.
  • ✘ Higher fuel consumption due to drag.

Spare wheel racks

4x4 carrier

Spare wheel racks attack to the strong mounting points on the rear of a vehicle that holds the spare wheel.

Spare wheel racks are just for 4x4 or SUV type vehicles that have the spare wheel mounted on the rear.

  • ✔ Secure mounting.
  • ✔ Avoids marking paintwork.
  • ✔ Does not obscure number plate and lights.
  • ✘ Only for vehicles with a rear spare wheel.
  • ✘ Usually only for one or two bikes.


Rack up the extras

Whatever rack you choose, there are loads of accessories to dress it up.

Don’t forget to buy a lights and number board if you need one. Also, consider extra security accessories like straps, locks, cargo nets and top tube adaptors.

Tredz Online Sales, Castell Close, Swansea Retail Park, Llansamlet, Swansea, SA7 9FH
E-mail: | Tel: 01792 799508