Bicycle transportation is a thing for riders who are fond of tracking and group trip. A bike rack with a hitch helps you to put the bike in the car. But, many questions come to your mind when you think about the bike rack. Is it legal? Is it safe? Will it damage your car?
Well, I will fulfill all these queries in the FAQ section of this post. But the question that comes the most is where to mount the car rack? You have seen a rear mount or top-mount. But is it possible to mount it in front of the car? Even if it’s possible, can you put the bike on the front rack? Let’s answer these questions first.
Can you put a bike rack on the front of a car?
Yes, you can put the bike rack on the front of a car. Actually, it’s possible to carry one or more bike(s) on it. You will find front bike racks, which are designed to sit on the front of the car. So, get a front bike rack to make it possible.
Anyways, it is possible to put the bike rack on the front of a car. But, you have to put it correctly. If you fail to put it right, rubbing problems, damaged car, or even bike fall will occur. So, learn how to put a bike rack on the car’s front.
How to put a bike rack on the front of a car
You may wonder how people carry more than one bike in front of a car. Well, if you manage to put the rack right, it’s pretty easy. However, the process starts with choosing the rack and ends with setting the bike(s) on it. I have broken the process into steps. Check it out.
Step-1: Get the right bike rack
First of all, you have to get the right bike rack. Otherwise, you can’t put it on the front of a car. Even if you can put it on the front of a car, it can’t stay. Besides, there could be legal issues. So, you need to know which bike rack to get. However, check what to consider before buying a front car rack.
- Firstly, the rack should be compatible with the car’s front side. A bike rack with a hitch is suitable for mounting with the bumper. Otherwise, you have to get a hitch separately.
- Secondly, the rack should not block the view of the licensed number plate. As there are legal issues, it’s a must thing to ensure. Even after putting the bike on, the plate must be visible. So, ensure the rack provide enough gap between its legs.
- Thirdly, consider the capacity of the bike rack. First of all, decide how many bikes you want to carry. Get a rack according to this decision. Now, calculate the total weight of your bikes. Then, know how much weight the bike rack can carry. The capacity should be more than your bikes’ weight. However, the ideal capacity of a bike rack is 1.3 times your bike’s weight.
- Fourthly, consider basic features like the material and mounting system. Stainless steel or aluminum body is decent for a bike rack. Carbon is the best. But you will rarely find carbon in a bike rack. However, the mounting system should be tight enough to sit on the car. It’s the most important thing to consider on a bike rack. Otherwise, you will get a rack that will wobble a lot while driving the car.
Step-2: Mount the rack with car
After buying the rack, you have to set it in the car. If you don’t do it correctly, the rack won’t stay tight on the car. Wobbling rack or bike fall will appear then. So, learn how to mount the bike rack on the front of a car.
- Firstly, prepare the rack. Most of the bike rack doesn’t come pre-assembled. So, you have to assemble the parts and prepare a complete bike rack.
- Secondly, if the rack doesn’t have a hitch, get a Trailer Hitch and install it in front of the car. For that, drill the bumper and screw the hitch with a Screwdriver. If there is already a hitch on the rack, you can skip this step.
- Lastly, mount the rack. Make sure you set it in the middle of the car’s front bumper. If you have performed the 2nd step, you can directly screw the rack. Otherwise, drill the bumper and screw the bike rack.
Step-3: Put the bike(s) on the rack
In the end, put the bike(s) on the rack. You may think it can be done somehow. But in reality, if you fail to do it properly, there will be stability issues. So, remember the below factors while putting the bike(s) on the car rack.
- Firstly, you have to align the bike(s) correctly. First of all, ensure there is enough gap between the car and bike. It’s necessary to prevent hitting or car damage. Then, identify the center of mass of your bike(s) and put it in such a way that it stays on the rack with perfect balance. If you are carrying multiple bikes, maintain their zigzag formation. It means if the first bike’s steering stays on the left, the second bike’s steering should remain on the right.
- Secondly, ensure the stability of the bikes. For that, tie the bike tightly with the rack. Then you must stabilize the steering too. For doing this, get a pair of Wheel Stabilizer or Velcro Straps and tie the front wheel with the frame. Thus, you can stop the movement of the front wheel.
- Thirdly, even after tying the bikes tightly, they will move back and forth. Thus the bikes can hit each other or hit the car’s front. To avoid such damage, you can use a Bumper. You just have to put it on the bike frame. Thus, the car won’t get damaged even if the bike hits.
3 Best front bike rack
You already know what to look for on a front bike rack. Get a suitable one according to these considerations. However, I have shortlisted the 3 best bike racks that can be mounted in front of a car. If you feel lazy to do your own research, check them out and choose one quickly.
Thule is a reputed travel accessory brand offering quality accessories for more than 75 years. T2 Classic is a true reflection of their reputation. It’s a high-quality bike rack with some extraordinary features.
Let’s start with the built quality. Thule T2 classic is made of aluminum. This is robust and durable enough for a bike rack. Besides, this rack can carry around 120 pounds. It means you can carry two bikes doesn’t matter if they are electric, Mtb, or fat. So, it’s called a heavy-duty bike rack for a reason.
However, if I talk about compatibility, this rack comes with a hitch. So, you can easily mount it with the front bumper. Also, the mount has a snug tite lock which offers superb stability while transporting the bike. Moreover, it’s foldable so that you can save space while the rack is not in use. Lastly, the adjustable height is a big plus for the rack.
Another beast for front bike rack Overdrive is a promising rack from RIDEKAC. The feature I like most is the hitch lock that allows you to mount and unmount the rack easily. Besides, RIDEKAC offers a limited lifetime guarantee which is another impressive feature I liked most.
Coming to the basic features, it is pretty similar to the previous one. Overdrive can carry 2 bikes, 60 pounds each. However, it’s made of alloy steel, which is heavier than aluminum. But, it’s a durable option that lasts even more than aluminum. If you ask me about the mounting system, it’s efficient enough to stabilize the bike. Besides, the adjustable hooks are well padded. So, it provides good stability without damaging the bike frame.
Anyway, the rack comes 100% pre-assembled in the box. So, you don’t need to take any hassle before using it.
3. Kuat NV 2.0
Let’s end with something really premium. I am talking about NV 2.0 from KUAT. It comes with a full metallic body and rubber-coated grips. It’s an absolute example of durability and stability. You don’t need to worry about rust as it’s made of rust-proof material. Moreover, rubber grips eliminate friction between the bike and the rack. So, the bike doesn’t get damaged because of the tight mounting system.
However, the rack can carry two bikes (each around 60 pounds) at a time. The rack can hold any bike size as it provides an adjustable front tire cradle. Besides, the mount is also adjustable, which means convenience at the highest level.
Anyway, let’s talk about the compatibility issues. Kuat NV 2.0 has a long hitch that you can mount with the bumper without any worries. However, the rack can be assembled with empty hands. You don’t need any special tool to do the job.
Frequently Asked Questions about bike racks
Where do you put a bike rack on a car?
There is no definite rule of putting the rack on the car. You can mount it anywhere according to your comfort. But you have to make sure that it doesn’t hamper the natural functioning of the car. So, it’s better to not set it on the side of the car, especially on the steering side. Otherwise, you can’t open the door, or even it can be difficult to get down from the car. Above all, you have to ensure that the rack stays tight with the car.
Is bike rack illegal?
It’s absolutely legal to use a bike rack. You can carry one or more bikes with it, and it’s not illegal at all. But it is legal until the rack or bike block the view of your licensed number plate. Because, in most cities, it’s illegal to drive without a number plate. Even if the car has a number plate but is not clearly visible, it’s illegal to go with that car. So, you must get a rack that doesn’t obstruct the view of the number plate.
Do bike racks damage your car?
Yes, bike racks can damage your car. When transporting bikes on car racks, they used to wobble. So, if the mounting system is not stable enough, the bikes can hit the car and even hit each other. Thus, bike racks can damage your car. For avoiding this damage, make sure the mounting system is stable enough to hold the bikes. Besides, you can use bumpers so that the car won’t get damaged even if the bikes wobble.
Can you open the trunk with the bike rack on?
With the bike on? Don’t even think of it. The hinge of the backdoor is not designed to hold that much weight. So, when you release it, the door will fall with heavy force. Thus, the door can get damaged. And, if you stay under the door that time, I don’t need to say what will happen next. However, as per the expert’s opinion, you can open the trunk when the rack is empty. But, it is often discouraged by the manufacturer. So it’s best to uninstall it then open the trunk.
How much weight can a bike rack hold?
Well, it totally depends on the capacity of the bike rack. However, a decent bike rack can carry around 60 to 100 lbs of load. That means you can hold 2 to 4 bikes on bike racks. Anyway, it doesn’t matter how much weight the bike rack can hold. You must understand the center of mass of the bicycle and align them right. It’s a must to balance the load on it.
At last, you have learned that it’s possible to put a bike rack in front of a car. But that wasn’t all. I have also described how to put it in front of the car. Besides, I suggested the 3 best bike racks that can be put in front of the car. Few other queries are also answered in the FAQ section. I hope all this information will help you a lot. So?
Now you can put the rack wherever you want and carry the bikes according to your convenience. However, even after it, you need to be careful while driving. Otherwise, the bike can get damaged. So, obey the traffic rules and reach your destination without any trouble. I hope both you and your bicycle will arrive on the trail on time.