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Best bike racks

By BikeRadar | Wednesday, August 8, 2012 7.00am

We all know that cycling is generally a green activity that can transport us miles under our own steam. But love them or hate them, cars are also a necessity for most of us. 

Whether it’s travelling to a Sunday morning race, getting to a sportive with your mates or taking the family on holiday, at times we all need to carry our bikes by car. But which method is best for you?

The first question is how many bikes you need to carry. Then what type of bikes, how far and how frequently. Which car – or cars –  do you have, and will you be taking a mixture of bikes? Are they heavy and will they be getting dirty? 

Carriers can be boot-mounted, roof- or towbar-mounted, or even internal, and have advanced enormously since the old finger-trapping racks of questionable functionality.

Bikes vary widely in cost, style, size and weight, all of which should be factors when looking for a means of transporting them. You probably won’t want to carry your £7,000 super bike on a rack that costs less than one of its ultra-light tyres… 

Also consider practicality – whether the rack will suit your needs now and in the future; ease of use – how easy it is to fit to the vehicle and load; security – whether it holds the bikes safely; and how much storage space it will need when not in use.

Thule ProRide 591 

£91.99 / $US245

5: 5

Thule proride 591 :

The Thule Pro ride oozes quality, and proved rapid to remove and refit. With three quick-release levers, two locks, a 20kg limit and five-year warranty it’s clear a lot of thought has gone into it, and the clamp is genius: just lean the frame into the open jaws and tighten the lockable, roof-height knob.

Click here to read our full review of the Thule ProRide 591.

Thule ClipOn 9104 

£109.99 / US$131

5: 5

Thule clipon 9104:

Rubber-coated metal straps clamp onto the top and bottom of your car's tailgate, and the ClipOn rack is so stable there’s no need for side straps. The rack carries up to 45kg and has a five-year guarantee.

Click here to read our full review of the Thule ClipOn 9104.

Witter ZX404 

£460 / US$N/A

5: 5

Witter zx404:

This four-bike carrier attaches to a plate behind the tow ball for a secure and stable fixing – and it carries up to 64kg. It’s easy to fit and remove, and tilts so you can get to the boot even with bikes loaded. 

Click here to read our full review of the Witter ZX404.

BEST FOR VALUE

EBC Revolution Shuttle 3-Bike Carrier

£59.99 / US$N/A

3: 3

EBC revolution shuttle 3-bike carrier :

A compact, simple rack, the EBC Revolution Shuttle folds with two quick release levers, is well made and – because it’s constructed out of oversized aluminium – is extremely lightweight. Up to 45kg can be carried, and the price is fantastic value.

Click here to read our full review of the EBC Revolution Shuttle. 

Exodus single roof rack

£74.99 / US$116

3: 3

Exodus single roof rack :

Out of the box setup is a little fiddly, with a fair amount of assembly. Adaptors are included for square, round or T-track roof bars, so it should be possible to fit this carrier to whatever system you already own. Maximum bike weight is 15kg, which will accommodate most trail full sussers but rules out heavyweight downhill bikes.

Click here to read our full review of the Exodus single roof rack.

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