Driving with a bike on our car

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Cyclists who go on vacation by car don't actually have to leave their two-wheelers behind. We will tell you how to fasten them to a car and what to use.


Bike racks for cars can be divided into the roof mounted, the trunk lid mounted, the tow hitch mounted, or the spare wheel mounted. The most popular and also the cheapest type are the roof ones. However, in order to install them, we need so called base beams, which have to be fixed across the roof. There's a countless number of them available on the market. Their prices start with about 7.07 EUR, but the ones worth recommendation cost about 23.56 - 47.12 EUR.

 

Cyclists who go on vacation by car don't actually have to leave their two-wheelers behind. We will tell you how to fasten them to a car and what to use.

 

There's also a huge selection of bike handles to choose from. The simplest ones cost from 11.78 EUR up. However, these are uncomfortable devices, as the bike is fastened here with knobs or screws. What makes it worse, it might turn out to be unstable when driving with a bike attached.

 

A better solution are handles with automatic hooks and an anti-theft lock. After placing a bike, the system blocks it behind special handles on its own. To take the bike out, on the other hand, one just has to unlock it with a key, sometimes press a button too. The prices of this type of handles start with 35.34 EUR.

 

Another good choice is racks with a lifting system that gets the bike to the roof. The handle's construction has a mobile arm that can be lowered to the hip level or even all the way to the ground. Then we put our bike on it and lift it to the car's roof. The downside of this solution, however, is its price: starting at about 70.67 EUR. A downside to all roof-mounted racks is air resistance caused by the bikes on them as well as the roof's allowed load limit. But there are other problems, too.

 

- Bikes placed on the roof kind of switch the car's center of gravity - Radoslaw Jaskulski, a Skoda Auto School instructor explains. - One bike is not a problem, but when you have two or three bikes up there, it actually makes the car heavier. That's why we have to be careful when taking curves. We also shouldn't make any violent manouvers. But before we put a bike on the roof, we should see what's its maximum.

 

A more convenient solution is racks mounted on the trunk's lid. They come in versions suitable for sedans, hatchbacks and station wagons alike. There are also special constructions for 4x4 cars, which you mount on the spare tire on the back. The prices of this type of devices start with 42.4 EUR.

 

An even better solution is racks mounted on a tow hitch. An upside of this type of construction is how easy it is to mount both the rack itself and the bikes. Hitch handles can be bought for about 35.34 - 47.12 EUR. Racks with extra lighting (if they obscure the tail lights) and with bike mounting systems cost from about 117.79 to as much as 471.16 EUR. Specialists advise to, when buying a bike rack and handle, choose the ones made of aluminium. They might cost more than the steel ones, but they're also much lighter and more durable.

 

Regardless of the construction or price of a bike rack one has to follow the manufacturer's recommendations about speed. Many companies allow no more than 130 km/h. For our own good it's better to drive slower. It will limit not only the pressure put on the bikes and the rack. Maintaining the speed of 90-100 km/h increasingly lowers fuel consumption. At higher speeds extra air resistance caused by the load literally causes  a „whirlpool in the gas tank”.