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Six Tips For Buying the Right Bike Rack

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The idea of a "right" or "best" bike rack is almost as hard to define as the "right" or "best" bicycle for you. But here are six tips to help you buy the one you need -- the one that offers the best combination of features, quality, and price for YOU is obviously the only "right" bicycle carrier you need to be concerned about!

You could easily spend hundreds of dollars for a good new carrier, or get by with only tens of dollars in expense to buy a good used one. Because there are a wide range of prices out there, and because there are many features available in all price ranges, never start with price considerations first. Instead, consider the following:

Tip 1: What vehicle are you planning to use the rack on?

You need to know exactly what type of vehicle and if at all possible exactly which vehicle you will mount the carrier on. You need to know all this so you can decide on how you want it to mount on the vehicle. Will it bolt to the frame? Will you be mounting it on brackets or braces attached to a bumper? Once you know the details, you can choose the right rack for your specific vehicle.

Tip 2: How many bikes will you usually be carrying with your bike rack?

You might find a great deal on a 2-bike rack, which would be perfect for you and a friend. But suppose you have a group of friends, or a family, and you want to carry 4 bikes on the rack? Likewise, a great deal on a 4- or 6-bike (they're HUGE!) rack isn't very "great" if you will never need to carry that many bikes. A bike rack that's too big can be cumbersome and nearly useless.

Tip 3: Where do you want the bikes to be racked?

That is, physically where do you wish to carry your bikes? Do you want a roof rack? How about something mounted on the rear of your vehicle? Maybe you'd even like to install a hitch and pull a trailer bike carrier. (Now you know why Tip 1 was important: Knowing the vehicle you're using you've probably already decided this.)

Tip 4: What size and shape are your bikes?

Some of the fancier bike racks may be great for your $7,000 high-tech Trek racing bike, but how will they handle your kids' 20-inch BMX off road bikes? Never consider a bike rack or bike carrier without thinking about how it will fit your specific bike or bikes.

Tip 5: Who will normally be loading the bikes onto your rack or carrier?

Don't assume your 90-pound, "5-foot-barely" daughter will be able to load bikes onto the same rack arrangement as your "6-foot-and-taller," 200-pound son the linebacker! This will ultimately be an important factor in deciding what type of bike rack you want to buy and where you will mount it.

Tip 6: NOW think about how much you can afford to spend.

Pricing should be one of the last considerations if you're serious about getting a quality bike rack. Once you've taken all 6 tips into account, go to your local bike shop, or take a trip online and see what meets your needs at a price you can afford.

If you are able to lead or ride your bicycle literally everywhere you want to go, a bike rack may not even be in your thinking. But in the real world, bike racks or carriers are necessary for most bikes and biking. Follow these 6 tips for buying the right bike rack and you'll do well.


Mark Lander is experienced internet marketing consultant and writes articles on  Bike Shop Worcester Park, Cycle Shop, Cycle Shop Worcester Park, Cycle shop Kingston Upon Thames, Cycle Shop Ewell, Cycle Scheme, Cycle To Work, Bike accessories, Bike helmet etc. 

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