It's time to hit the road for vacation, bikes in tow – usually on a rack attached to the outside of your car. The last thing you want to do is reach your destination with one or more of your bikes damaged.
Here are some tips to ensure that no damage occurs to your bike or vehicle during the trip:
CONSIDER THE TYPE OF BIKE RACK YOU HAVE
Depending on the type of bike rack you have, there can be different issues to encounter. Most motorists use trunk-mounted conveyors. These fit a variety of cars and provide easy access to bikes, although they may get in the way of getting into the trunk. Before installing it, make sure there is no dirt that could scratch your car paint.
See Installation Instructions
Be sure to read the installation instructions carefully so that the device is securely installed and you understand precisely how to use the straps. You want to be careful not to inadvertently wound the car paint with the ends of the tapes. When the loading is finished, be sure to test and tighten the straps again, as they may pop out during the process.
Rotate the bike pedal
To avoid scraping the car's paint, try turning the pedal on the first bike so that it rests securely on the license plate. If you have several bikes, you may want to secure padding between them because it can bounce around while driving, which could damage one or both bikes.
Make sure the bike is at a good elevation distance
Make sure the bikes are at a sufficient height off the ground so if you are going up a steep hill you will not pull it out. Likewise, make sure the wheels are not near the vehicle's exhaust pipe as this may melt rubber or plastic and damage tires or any accessories near them.
TYPES OF BIKE RACKS
Using a hitch rack
if using a hitch rack The hitch, which can work if you have a hitch welded to the back of your vehicle, you have other options for carrying your bikes. With this type of rack, bikes don't flush against the back of the car, so you don't have to worry about paint scraping. However, you have to allow for the fact that you are now driving a much longer vehicle. This is especially important when backing up. You don't want to forget that the bikes are in the back.
Keep in mind that although bikes on the traction rack may look as if they will stay in place with the help of gravity alone, they can separate and fly off the rack or crash into each other as you scramble along the road . To avoid this, be sure to tighten the Velcro straps to keep the bikes in place.
Using a Roof Rack
When you come to roof racks, they have the advantage of providing easy access to the rear of the vehicle. However, the bikes can be difficult to get on and off the rack due to their height. Moreover, it can be very easy, especially on a long trip, to forget they are there, which can cause a huge problem in areas with low clearance. It can be helpful to leave a reminder to yourself in the car, perhaps on the dashboard and on the garage remote, that your bikes are ahead. Otherwise, you could end up smashing the bike and garage as well as damaging your car.
With all this in mind, you'll be able to bike in peace with the sun on your shoulders and the wind in your back after you reach your destination, and again when you get home, and all of your belongings completely intact.