The best bike racks that are perfect for your car roof

Spend some more time with nature without running out of puff with a roof-mounted bike rack.

A man loads a bike onto his roof-mounted bike rack

by Ryan Gilmore |

More and more of us are enjoying the simple pleasures of a bike these days. Some use them for commuting in congested cities, while others love nothing more than strapping them to the top of their cars and driving somewhere more scenic for a pleasant bike ride.

Selecting the right bike rack can be a bit of a challenge so we've done all the research for you. We've found the best roof racks on the market so you can find the perfect one. And remember that most bike racks require a roof rack to work. Thankfully, we've made a handy guide to roof racks you can read to get clued up.

What you need to know about bike racks:

Will it support my bike?

Bike racks will generally support a range of bike sizes and shapes but be warned, for some bikes, you'll have to buy adapters. If you own a fat bike, for example, you'll need to buy a set of adapters for the exceptionally thick tyres. The same will be the case if you're incredibly tall and need a specialised bike frame. The best thing to do is to check with the manufacturer before buying.

What features should I look for?

The most obvious deciding factor in choosing a bike rack is whether you have a roof rack. If you do, you'll have an impressive selection of bike racks to choose from and a range of adapters to ensure that it works with your roof rack. If you own a car where a roof rack isn't a possibility or you don't want one, then you'll be looking for a suction-cup bike rack which limits your selection.

Bike racks that don't require you to remove the front wheel of your bike will be a blessed relief after a long bike ride. Also, remember that your front wheel still needs to be stored somewhere and can take up valuable storage space in your car.

What else should I consider?

Remember to check your car's overall height with the bike rack attached. Not only is this a good way of ensuring you've attached everything properly, but it'll avoid an embarrassing incident if you pop through a low drive-through on your way home.

Also, consider investing in some additional security if you're planning on leaving your car unattended with your bike on top. Many bike racks come with some security but additional options are available too.

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