If you are a cyclist who wants to travel with a bike, choosing a bike rack will depend on a variety of factors.
You will probably pick your option based on your finances, number of bikes, popular recommendations and let’s not forget- bike rack legislation in your state.
Every category of bike rack has its benefits but also has its disadvantages.
Trunk bike mounts are one of the most widely used categories of bike racks.
First- they are very affordable. They are budget-friendly for most people as compared to other bike rack types.
Trunk bike racks are also easy to install and remove even if you aren’t an expert.
They are also universal for the most part- meaning they are compatible with most vehicles no matter the trunk style.
It is also very easy to load bikes onto a truck mount bike rack.
You may be easily convinced to get a trunk bike rack based on the factors we’ve described above, but take note that they are not necessarily perfect. This post covers, the question, are trunk bike racks safe?
A number of factors in their design make them slightly flawed, and you need to understand them so that you can look into optimization.
Are trunk bike racks safe?
Yes, trunk bike racks are safe. With proper installation and additional security measures, trunk bike racks will work perfectly for securing your bikes.
However, there are factors that work against the use of trunk mounts. Some of these factors include:
Improper installation of the rack.
Installing bike racks without following the detailed instruction guide might leave your rack hanging loose.
This will make the bikes on the rack sway to and fro because they are not stable.
What’s more, it is the easiest way to lose your rack to thieves.
If you do not strap the bikes properly and adequately, the probability that the bikes will collide or scratch your car’s paint will be high.
Not easy to lock
If you are one to use one or multiple locks for your bikes on the rack, a truck mount rack is particularly challenging.
This is because its design doesn’t allow much room for looping say, your chain or cable lock.
Protruding bike parts.
Parts of the bike like the handlebars and pedals which stick out are the most likely to damage the vehicle.
Any movement on the bikes will make these parts hit the bike or hit each other, which causes denting and scratching.
Exposure to damaging elements
Driving with bikes strapped in the back exposes the bikes to rain, dust, and pebbles that are lifted off the ground when the car is moving.
These elements, especially grit, are notorious for causing scratches on bikes and damaging the bike’s moving parts.
Exposure to accidents
People who are quite forgetful need to be extra careful with trunk mounts.
Trunk bike racks add length to the vehicle which you may not be used to when driving without a rack.
When reversing, swerving, and parking the car, it is possible that you will hit the bikes.
We have now established how a trunk bike rack can be unsafe to use.
How to make trunk bike racks safe
How do you go about using them whilst preventing the possible dangers that come with them?
Here’s how to do it.
1. Proper installation.
When installing your truck mount make sure to follow the manual to the T. Ensure there are no unscrewed or loose bolts on the mechanism and make sure it is firm enough.
2. Be careful
If you like to drive fast, you might want to reconsider.
Driving too fast can loosen the straps and clamps keeping your bikes in place.
In addition to that, be very careful when driving through tight spaces, reversing and parking to avoid the possibility of hitting your bike.
Every time you stop along the road, don’t forget to check on the security of your bikes.
3. Use extra protection
It is in your best interest to invest in locking your bikes, preferably using a D-lock.
You can also use multiple straps to secure your bikes and rack further.
When it comes to keeping the bikes safe, there is no limit to how many straps should be used.
4. Use it appropriately
Avoid using the rack to carry things other than bikes, unless the manual specifies that it can do so.
Moreover, most trunk racks can only carry a capacity of two to three bikes at a go, so do not carry past the specified capacity. Too much weight on the rack can damage it.
5. Proper maintenance.
Bike racks also require upkeep.
Ensure you are consistently checking for wear and tear and changes in stability.
Cleaning is very important but make sure you do it by hand and using regular detergent.
You should also lubricate the moving parts of the rack frequently.
6. Proper storage.
Trunk mount racks are easy to install but also easy to remove when you are not using them.
When you are setting your rack aside for later use, store it in a cool dry place. Make sure you haven’t squeezed it among the other heavy things in the store.
There you have it.
Buying a rack is a huge step in making travel plans with bikes run smoothly, but it is not the only step.
If you want to use a trunk bike rack, take all the above points into consideration.
I hope you are no longer afraid of using a trunk bike rack.