If you’re a bicycling enthusiast and you’ve decided to put a bike rack on the top of your vehicle, one concern you’re likely to have is whether that rack will cause your vehicle – or your bike – any harm.
After all, bike racks are made out of steel and can easily scratch off some of the paint on your car or truck, but does this mean that you should forgo your desire to have one of these racks? The simple answer is, not necessarily.
While it is possible to damage your vehicle when you install a bike rack, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, once you learn a few simple tricks and learn how to install a bike rack properly, this should never happen.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, can a bike rack damage a car? This is good news because there are things you can do to prevent damage from occurring.
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Some Things to Keep in Mind
There are a few simple things you can do to greatly reduce the chance of scratching your vehicle when you’re installing your bike rack. Scratches to your vehicle, even small ones, can cost you a lot of money in repair bills, which no one wants.
To avoid this, you can take advantage of the following suggestions:
As you can see, you have to both install the rack and attach your bicycle properly to reduce the chances of scratching your vehicle, but the good news is that if you take your time and perform each step correctly, this is a lot easier than you think.
Wondering, can your bike rack damage a car, no longer has to be a concern because there are definitely steps that you can take to make the job a lot safer.
If you’re curious about the paint protector products, check out the 3M Clear Paint Protection Vinyl Film, which is a 6” x 60” film made out of clear polyurethane that you simply place on top of your vehicle.
After the film is applied, it is virtually invisible, but it does an amazing job of protecting the top of your vehicle so that it is much more difficult to scratch and damage. It is a very effective and inexpensive way to protect your vehicle before installing your bike rack.
The above steps may sound simple, but they are very important if you want to protect your vehicle. Even just a small amount of dirt and grit can scratch your vehicle, especially with a bike rack being rubbed against it.
In addition, not attaching the bike properly can cause the wheels to move about while you’re in transit, providing yet another way to damage your vehicle.
Using Your Bike Rack Properly Is Also Important
To review, installing your bike rack the proper way is the first step to making sure your car isn’t damaged in the process. The same goes for a roof rack used for carrying snowboards, fishing poles, and luggage.
Regardless of which type of rack you choose, you also have to use it the right way after it’s installed; otherwise, the installation process won’t matter. To reduce the odds of damaging your car and using your bike rack in the proper manner, here are a few more tips:
Of course, these rules apply mostly to roof racks, but there are other types of bike racks as well.
Hitch Racks and Trunk Racks
The other two types include hitch racks and trunk racks, and they, too, need to be installed and utilized properly to keep your vehicle safe and scratch-free. For instance, to use hitch racks safely, you should adhere to the following suggestions:
Finally, if the bike rack you’ve chosen is the trunk-mount type, here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re using it correctly:
Regardless of the type of bike rack you end up with, continuing to use it properly from then on is crucial if you want to keep your vehicle damage- and scratch-free both now and in the future.
What Type of Rack Should You Choose?
You now know about the three types of bike racks and have the basic answer to the question, can a bike rack damage a car? Let’s now explore a few bike racks that fall into the three main categories.
Rooftop Bike Racks:
CyclingDeal Rooftop Bicycle Rack with Lock
This bike rack costs roughly $45 and is, therefore, very affordable for everyone. It is made out of high-quality steel and doesn’t require that you remove the bike’s front wheel first.
It is also lockable and, therefore, keeps your bike safe from theft as you travel from one location to another. It even comes with straps that keep the bike on there even more securely, and it fits bikes of all sizes and types.
The CyclingDeal bike rack is also easy to use and easy to install, and it comes with a one-year warranty for your peace of mind. It is a great rooftop bike rack that can lay down flat when it isn’t being used, further reducing the chances of damage to your vehicle.
Yakima Rooftop Bike Carrier for Roof Racks
This is a carrier and, therefore, you’ll need to have a roof rack already installed on your vehicle. You don’t have to remove your bike’s wheel to make sure it is safe, and it is a sleek, modern-looking carrier that accommodates all bikes whose crossbars have a spread of between 18” and 35”.
The mounting hardware makes it super-easy to install, saving you a lot of time in the long run. You can also use this carrier for any bike with wheels that are between 26” and 29” in diameter and with tires that are up to 4” wide. It also fits most types of bikes, including mountain bikes, making it a reliable product that works great every time.
RockyMounts BrassKnuckles Bike Rack
This bike rack can accommodate a bike weighing up to 45 lbs. on many brands and up to 35 lbs. on factory crossbars. It doesn’t come into contact with the frame and, therefore, won’t scratch either the car or the bike, and it is compatible with bike wheelbases of 34” to 48”.
The stainless-steel mounting straps fit most round, square, aero, and factory crossbars, and it even has an ergonomically designed handle shaped like brass knuckles for an attractive and modern look.
Hitch Bike Racks:
Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks for 2-Inch Hitch
If you have a 2-inch trailer hitch and you need to carry around up to five bicycles for your next outing, this is the rack for you. The arms are each 28” long and the bikes you attach can be secured tightly and properly with Allen’s patented system.
It is also easy to install and easy to use, and its stainless-steel construction and black powder coat finish offer a lifetime of enjoyment. Allen Sports also makes several other bike racks, many of which are lockable and come with additional features.
Saris Superclamp Hitch Car Rack
This is an expensive system, but well worth it due to the number of benefits it provides. You can carry several bikes on a single bar, and the tilting feature means you never have to unload your bicycles just to let out your dogs or remove something from the back of your vehicle. It also comes with integrated locks, great-looking reflectors, and even a built-in bottle opener.
The Superclamp bike rack by Saris is also sturdy enough to accommodate all types of bikes, from e-bikes to mountain bikes and many more.
Car Dress 2-Bike Hitch Rack
This rack is great for a variety of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and minivans, and it can accommodate two separate bikes at a time. Its tilt-down feature makes it easy to get things out of the back of your vehicle, and it can accommodate many types and sizes of bicycles.
It also has quick-release folding arms that allow you to essentially hide the rack whenever you aren’t carrying around your bicycles.
The Car Dress hitch rack is also made out of UV- and rust-resistant stainless steel and is lightweight at under 10 lbs. It is easy to install and easy to use, making this one purchase you won’t regret.
Venzo 3-Bike Rack
This is a universal trunk bike carrier that is compatible with most vehicles as well as most types of bicycles. It even comes with a super-strong buckle strap to make sure your bikes are secure and safe the entire time.
The carrier is both UV- and rust-resistant and, therefore, is built to last, and it is lightweight at a little more than 13 lbs. It is also reasonably priced at around $55, making it affordable for nearly everyone.
The Venzo 3-bike rack also comes with a lifetime warranty for convenience, although it may require an adaptor bar for some kids’ bikes and ladies’ Y-shaped bike frames.
Tyger Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack
A great carrier rack for under $60, the Tyger bike carrier will fit vehicles of all sizes and designs, including SUVs, minivans, and full-sized sedans. There are two-bike and three-bike models available, and the lower frame is even padded to keep the bicycle away from the vehicle.
It consists of foldable carry arms that make it convenient when you’re not hauling bikes around, and you can install the device in minutes, not hours.
The Tyger bike carrier also has a limited lifetime warranty to give bike owners the peace of mind they need and deserve.
Hollywood Racks Over-the-Top Trunk Bike Rack
This bike rack comes in models that can accommodate both two and three bikes at a time, and it is a high-quality, long-lasting rack that you can enjoy for many years to come.
It comes with three different types of straps to ensure your bike is secure as you travel, and it is perfect for SUVs, hatchbacks, and many other vehicles.
The Hollywood Racks trunk bike rack has soft rubber cradles to protect the finish on your bike, and it can accommodate bikes weighing up to 35 lbs. each. It even comes with a guide that can help you decide if your bike can be used with this device.