If you’re heading off on holiday across the Channel this summer, then why not take your two-wheeler along for the ride? With several elegant mounting solutions available, it has never been easier to take your bike along. Regardless of where you go, new lands are often best explored on two wheels. And once you get off the beaten track, there is often a deeper connection to be established with those you meet.
If you aren’t used to driving with your bike in your car, you may have many questions. How are the bikes secured? Will they obscure my vision? And is my car still roadworthy with £10,000 worth of carbon bicycles attached?
Let’s dig a little deeper and see how you can embrace the green alternative this summer.
Travelling with your bike
At Decathlon, we stock a wide range of mounting systems. Whether your mounting option connects to the hitch, roof or boot, they all provide you a secure solution for driving with your bike in your car.
If you’re headed out of the country, bikes can be easily brought on ferries. The only requirement is at the time of booking, to specify the additional height and length of your vehicle.
Type of bike racks
Bikes aren’t really designed to fit into cars. While some manage to disassemble a bike and place it in the boot, it’s certainly not an ideal solution, especially if you’re holidaying. For optimal security and convenience what you need is a bike rack. Bike racks offer a method of transporting your bike safely in your car, whether on the roof or attached behind. Let’s take a look at the main types.
Tow hitch bike racks
Top hitch rack designs provide a versatile and simplistic solution if your driving with your bike in your car. Secured to the hitch via a racketing arm, they can be easily attached and removed. One useful feature that has been incorporated into many models is the ability to tilt the rack. This allows the boot to be opened and accessed even when the rack is mounted with bikes attached.
Hitch racks provide a secure clamp on the bikes and can hold a variety of bike types. The only disadvantage is their weight when compared to other lighter rack options.
Roof rack bike carriers
Roof bike racks come in two flavours. Some require the removal of the front wheel where the front fork is clamped down for a secure hold. Others secure the complete bike via a hoop that secures the front wheel while the back wheel is strapped. Both methods offer the advantage of holding bikes securely without actually touching the frame and running the risk of damaging paintwork. For those with carbon bikes, this has always been a cause for concern with other bike mounting options.
For those worried about rear visibility, roof mounting options provide the best option when driving with your bike in your car. Just be careful of the overhead obstructions!
Boot mounted bike racks
Held in place with straps and rubberised feet to protect the car paintwork, boot mounted racks are one of the simplest methods for mounting bikes. They may not work for all bikes, but they almost certainly work on any type of car.
Usually capable of holding 3 bikes, they’re often the perfect bike mounting system for those family cycling adventures. They come in a lightweight design with an easy installation procedure. And designed to fold up compactly, they can be easily stored away when not in use.
Things to keep in mind
It’s worth remembering that bikes on rear-mounted racks can obscure lights and number plates. In order to stay in compliance with the law, you may want to consider purchasing a lighting board. They help ensure your car is roadworthy by providing lights and a space to mount your number plate.
These ever more convenient solutions make travelling with bicycles a much more enjoyable experience. With the success of these mounting options, many car manufacturers have in fact begun including them as optional extras which can be included with the car upon purchase. Discrete in their nature, they provide the most efficient mounting system around. In most cases, they simply fold and slide underneath the boot when not in use and provide hands down the best solution for travelling with bikes.
Whichever mounting method you choose, just remember to make the most of the trip!