Anyone who is passionate about cycling outdoors cannot help but bring his beloved bicycle with him. Today more than ever, it is essential to have a bicycle rack for cars. It is important for the rediscovered use of an accessory that has never gone out of fashion.
Also, it is always pleasant to take a walk with your bike even when you are away from the city. For that, you should know how to install a hitch bike rack.
So, in the next few paragraphs, I will depict a step by step guide to installing a hitch bike rack. But before that, let’s talk about what is a hitch bike rack.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Hitch Bike Rack?
- 2 How Does a Hitch Bike Rack Works?
- 3 How to Install Hitch Bike Rack
- 3.1 1. Choose your bike rack:
- 3.2 2. Pay attention to the following points during bike rack hitch installation:
- 3.3 3. Place the bike rack and lock:
- 3.4 4. Connect the electrical outlet:
- 3.5 5. Place your bike on the bike rack:
- 3.6 6. Before getting behind the wheel of your car:
- 3.7 The Power Supply: An Important Part of Bike Rack Installation
- 3.8 How Many Bikes Can I Transport with a Hitch Bike Rack?
- 4 Final Thoughts
What is a Hitch Bike Rack?
The hitched bike rack (also called the towing ball carrier) is the most robust and the most aerodynamic, among the 3 types of the existing bike carrier. Thanks to its rear position on the vehicle. It is one of the most popular bike carriers globally.
This type of bike rack has the advantage of being secure and reliable. It is the only type of bike rack that can carry electric bikes.
Options, present on the most recent models, make it possible to improve the user experience. With the presence of fixing arms, access ramps, the presence of the tilting function, etc. bikers prefer this one over others.
How Does a Hitch Bike Rack Works?
The hitch bike rack is an accessory that is anchored to the car and allows you to transport your bike in total safety. The choice depends a lot on the use you intend to make it.
The hitch bike carrier is divided into two different categories. This can be set up suspended or in platform style. Each of these types has different characteristics that can better marry needs rather than others.
Buying a bike rack allows several advantages to the user. The use of this system is undoubtedly the most useful and simple one for transporting bicycles. Thinking of hooking an external compartment to carry them could be safe, but it is neither cheap nor easy.
It is possible to choose a model that matches your needs. Each is equipped differently, so it is good to think about the final use:
- How many bicycles need to be transported?
- Are they bulky and heavy bicycles or small bikes intended for children?
This is very important and could point in one direction rather than another. The important thing is always to prefer safety and choose suitable materials for the transport of heavy objects.
How to Install Hitch Bike Rack
Installing a hitch bike rack on a vehicle is not complicated. But there are some tips to help you do it right and ride safely.
Find in detail of the process in the 6 steps below.
1. Choose your bike rack:
The easiest and fastest bike carrier to install is the hitch-mounted bike rack. Generally, these supports are intended for 2, 3, or even 4 bikes, depending on the model. Available in suspended or platform version, the hitch bike rack is highly acclaimed by families.
While the first solution hangs up to 5 bikes from the top of the frame, the second rests them on the wheels. Note that this last option is perfect for long journeys since it offers more stability.
2. Pay attention to the following points during bike rack hitch installation:
The holder is equipped with its lights, which are connected to the car’s lighting system. Your bicycle carrier must be equipped with a reproduction of a registration plate on the vehicle.
Check the permissible weight of the bicycle rack, especially if you are carrying one or more electric bicycles, which are more substantial. See the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Place the bike rack and lock:
Place the bicycle rack with the connection point on the tow bar and lock the system. Check that there is no play in the fasteners by lightly shaking the assembly. Retighten the various fasteners if necessary.
4. Connect the electrical outlet:
If the electrical pins of your car and the hitch bike rack do not match each, get an adapter. You will find the adapter on the Internet or in accessories stores. Think about it before you leave!
5. Place your bike on the bike rack:
Mount the bike on the bike rack. Lock your bike using the clip and tie-down straps.
There are as many support rails and attachments as there are bikes provided for your bike rack. So do not add more bikes than recommended by the manufacturer!
6. Before getting behind the wheel of your car:
Check that everything is secured. And remember to check regularly (at each break) all the bindings and the bikes’ position.
The Power Supply: An Important Part of Bike Rack Installation
One of the weak points of the hitch bike rack is the fact that it hides the license plate and lights. To comply with the law, it is less risky to opt for models that will solve this problem. There are indeed bike carriers that are equipped with a light plate.
All you have to do is associate your license plate with the device to be in order.
There are ready-to-use license plate holders on the market, and they fit all brands of bike carriers, bicycles, and vehicles. This plate has the same dimensions as the usual plates and is easily hooked by fixing straps, hooks, and rings.
As for this support’s power supply, the different kinds of lights will be electrically connected using a 7 to 13 pin socket.
A bicycle rack on a hitch is practical. It frees up space on the roof. This allows you to leave room to attach a roof box to your car or to install a cheap ski rack if you go into winter sports.
How Many Bikes Can I Transport with a Hitch Bike Rack?
A bicycle rack on a hitch will allow you to take your car from 2 to 6 bikes. Depending on the number of bicycles to be transported, the hitch bicycle rack will be more or less bulky, heavy, and above all expensive.
A bicycle rack on a hitch is an excellent choice for new cycling adventures with your friends or family. Installing the hitch bike carrier for you and your car is not easy. Hopefully, a step by step guide to install hitch bike rack mentioned above will ease your struggle.