A trunk bike rack has quite a few advantages over some of the other types of bike racks. For sedans and coupes, they’re sometimes the only option available. For some SUV owners, who don’t want to get a high altitude nose bleed every time they hoist their bike up to a bicycle roof rack, a trunk bike rack makes sense. If you don’t have a hitch receiver already installed on your car they make sense too.
Some benefits of a trunk bike rack
- As a whole, this is one of the least costly group of bike racks.
- You don’t have to have a car with a hitch receiver (trailer hitch) already installed on your car…or a roof rack on your car.
- There’s usually enough adaptability in these racks to accomodate most cars.
- Trunk bike racks are quite easy to install.
- Compared to a roof rack, it’s much easier to get a bike onto a trunk bike rack.
- For the less than hardcore rider, these are ideal since they are easy to get onto and off of the car when not being used.
- Most trunk bike racks fold down so that they don’t take up much room in the garage when they aren’t being used (which is most of their lifespan).
Potential problems with a trunk bike rack
- The stability of trunk bike racks can be suspect if the points of contact on the trunk aren’t spaced widely enough.
- If you need to get into the trunk (and that isn’t too much of an expectation…is it?), you’ll have to remove the bikes from the trunk bike rack.
- For those of you who have a spoiler on the back of the car, you may have trouble getting the trunk bike rack to fit correctly.
- If you aren’t too happy about hanging your bike from its frame (high dollar carbon frame?), you may want to stay away from this style. But if you have a bike with a carbon frame I don’t you’d fit into the category of an ‘occasional’ bike transporter.
- If you have an oddly shaped frame you may need an adapter to get the bike onto the rack securely.
I’ll do my best to give you some of the info I’ve gleaned from perusing a whole bunch of trunk bike rack data. It should save you some time and make you aware of features you didn’t know various trunk bike racks offered.
Like most cyclists I think of Thule and Yakima when I think of bike racks. Maybe that’s because Thule and Yakima are big time in bike roof racks.
Think about it- roof racks are way up there where we can all see them. To top it off, the big decals on the roof racks are great advertising. Few people notice the humble Allen trunk bike rack, especially if it’s on a car trunk, obscured by a bunch of bikes. I didn’t know that Allen bike racks have been around for over 40 years. They tend to be the no frills, steady-as-she-goes type of trunk mount bike rack. They’re made of zinc coated steel and have a lifetime guarantee.
Back To The Thule Car Trunk Bike Rack
Thule has a few features that should be considered in the trunk rack world. They have a patented ‘Fit Dial’ system. This allows you to fine tune the rack’s dimensions to fit your trunk optimally. As an example, this would be helpful if your bike rack is contacting your trunk over a license plate holder, or too high/low on the trunk.
Thule also features ‘No Sway’ cages to hold your bike (or whole herd of bikes) on the rack without them flopping around in the wind, perhaps even swaying into your trunk.
One of the sites I visited stated that Thule racks weren’t available for shipment to Canada. I can’t figure that one out. I didn’t see the same restriction at other dealers, so maybe someone in their dealership got caught badmouthing Curling or Canadian bacon.
Putting A Yak Out For Yakima Trunk Mount Bike Racks
Yakima racks have a few features that I find to be interesting.
First off, they’ve labeled their straps so that you can know which of the six straps go where. It’s such an obviously helpful idea that I’m surprised others don’t offer the same feature. I know that when I take my non-Yakima trunk bike rack out of the garage and try to put it onto the trunk, the unwrapping and organizing of straps is frustrating. Hooray for Yakima!
Yakima also offers a steel core security strap that goes around the trunk bike rack and then is inserted into the open hatch or trunk of the vehicle. Sounds good.
A casual thief would like to steal only the bikes. A moderately ambitious thief would go for the bikes while they are locked to the trunk bike rack. Only a very ambitious thief would take bikes, rack, and ‘steel core strap’ attached car as well.
The Yakima QuickBack 3 Bike Rack is a great choice out of the Yakima line.
Most of the brands also feature adjustable arms to hold the bikes. The trunk rack will sit on the car at different angles so being able to change the arms until they are horizontal is critical.
Saris Presents Designer Car Trunk Mount Bike Racks
Saris has gone with a few interesting ideas. They’ve enlisted the services of a designer with some background in the clothing fashion industry. He’s designed the Saris Bones 3 to have unique ‘lines’, and has chosen to use !00% recycled, non-rusting materials.
The Saris Bones Trunk Rack (3Bike) trunk racks are offered in purple, pink, yellow, and gray (boring).
I know that I do a lot of kidding on this site, but it’s absolutely true about the colors, and the fashion designer. I actually really like Saris because of the unsurpassed customer service I’ve received on my Powertap unit.
Summary- a trunk bike rack is usually one of the more economical bike racks, it’s convenient to get onto and off of the car, easy to store, and most importantly it comes in pink, purple, or yellow
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