Your budget will determine the type of car bike rack you want. Roof racks tend to be the most affordable car racks, starting from around £30, while entry level boot racks begin around £40 and towbar racks from £50.
If you're planning on transporting more than one bike, you'll want a higher budget to buy a more sturdy cycle carrier.
Road bikes use slim tyres and will easily mount to most car racks. However, if you're transporting mountain or some hybrid bikes then you'll want to consider the width of your tyres.
Some MTB's come with very wide tyres (such as 27.5+ MTB’s and fat bikes) that won't fit into the standard wheel holders on roof racks and towbar racks. You can buy specialist bike racks made specifically for these types of cycles, and brands like Thule offer adapters to accommodate wider tyres.
Most car racks with come with a recommended maximum weight per bike, which will depend on the style of rack you’re using and the durability of it. Most roof and boot racks have a max weight of 15kg.
Towbar racks are generally stronger, so can fit bikes up to 20kg. These weights can be found on our product pages. It’s worth remembering that E bikes are heavier than standard bikes, so choosing a rack that can accommodate the extra weight is essential.
Roof racks will carry just one bike, but you can fit two or three racks to your roof, depending on the size of your vehicle. Boot racks often fit three bikes but can go up to four in rare exceptions (check the maximum weight capacity of the rack).
Towbar racks can also fit up to four bikes as weight isn't so much of a problem.
Car racks will fit most standard road, hybrid and mountain bikes. However, bikes with long a wheelbase, such as enduro and downhill MTB’s may struggle to fit the length of the wheel holders.
You can buy extenders and adaptors to help with this, although you can get adaptor beams which fit to your seatpost and headset for easier mounting.
Also, if you’re using a long wheelbase bike with a boot or towbar rack, be aware that the front and rear wheel may stick out on either side of your car. When measuring your wheelbase, remember the distance is from your front axle to the rear axle.
If you're going to be using the rack regularly, you want it to be easy to use. A roof rack is ideal for securing your bikes out of the way. You don't need to worry about reversing or parking unlike with boot and towbar racks. You'll also have access to your boot.
However, because your bikes are so high up they can be fiddly to mount. Boot and towbar racks make it easy to secure bikes but you'll need to be careful parking up.
The easiest bike carriers to use are the innovative new vacuum suction SeaSucker racks. All you do is press the vacuum cups down to create an initial seal then press the vacuum pump until low pressure keeps the pump fully depressed. To attach your bike simply remove the front wheel and attach the front dropouts to the metal bracket with the QR lever. The whole process takes a few seconds.
Drag reduces fuel economy. If you're heading up to the highlands for an epic weekend away, then a roof rack may not be your best bet.
Boot racks and towbar racks keep your bikes out of the wind for more efficient aerodynamics.
If your car has a standard metal sheet rear spoiler, you may be able to use a boot mounted rear rack. It’s very unlikely you will be able to use this type of bike carrier if your car has a plastic rear spoiler (as the plastic will be too weak to support the combined weight of the rack and bikes).
Please check our car rack compatibility section for more information.
Before you buy a car rack you should determine if you need to fit a light board to your car. Your number plate and rear lights have to be visible from all angles at all times. The easiest way to do this is by fitting a light board. Don't fit the light board to your bikes (this is illegal), fit it to the car rack itself.
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Please note that bulky products and bikes shipped to outlying UK regions are excluded from free shipping.
Please note that Pre-Order dates can sometimes change due to updated stock information.
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We will give you a full refund or exchange on any item that is returned to us unused/unfitted, in a resaleable condition and in its original packaging (where possible).
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If your item develops a fault or arrives damaged, please contact us first so we can resolve the issue for you as quickly as possible.
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