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4 Bike Tow Bar Carrier

Updated on July 28, 2013

Choosing the Right Bike Carrier

Bike carriers can be a great addition to your car or SUV, especially if you get the right one. There are a variety of different types and styles of bike carriers to choose from. One of the most popular styles is a bike tow bar carrier.

If your family loves the outdoors, camping and hitting the trail, you need a good way to transport your bikes. If you live in an area that you have to take your bikes to a riding park, you will still need a convenient, easy way to load your bikes. If you have a family getting a 4 bike tow bar carrier really makes sense, so that everyone has a bike to ride.

Although there are also roof mounted bike carriers or Rear door cycle carriers, there are some advantages to a bike tow bar carrier. Choosing the wrong bike rack could not only scratch your vehicle but could also create a safety issue or make it easier for someone to steal your bikes.

So although it seems like a simple task when choosing the right bike carrier, there are some considerations that will help you choose the right one for you. Some points to consider once you have determined what style of bike carrier you want:

  • Proper vehicle fit
  • Budget
  • Number of bikes it will carry
  • Ease of installation
  • Type of bikes you will carry

We have a family of 4, so we have 4 bikes (well 5 if you count the one with no front wheel). For us to safely carry our bikes to a good trail, we had to choose a bike rack that would accommodate all of them safely. So that is how my research began...

Too Many Bikes to Count!

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Car Roof Bike Rack

Bike racks that are roof mounted are an option if you don't have a tow bar hitch but there are some drawbacks.

A car roof bike rack can be more difficult to install and may need professional installation.

You also need to consider loading and unloading your bikes. Bikes on the roof are going to be more difficult to reach and can be a little awkward.

They can also create more noise being on top of the vehicle as well as lowering your fuel mileage.

Although you most likely won't be going into parking garages if you are going to ride and have your bikes loaded, it is also something to consider.

They are however out of the way and do not affect a rear hatch or door like a tow bar bike rack.

Also if you are not an avid bike rider and only look at using your rack a few times a year, a car roof bike rack may be a good choice.

You will also find many models will carry up to five bikes as opposed to a 4 bike tow bar carrier.

Trunk Mounted Bike Racks

The most economical choice is probably the trunk mounted bike racks. They are fairly easy to install and are usually universal so you can use them on multiple vehicles. They are easy to reach for just about anyone and usually will fold down when not in use.

Now the downside to trunk mounted bike racks include:

  • Usually carries only one or two bikes
  • Not as secure as tow bar bike rack
  • Potential damage to cars paint
  • Trunk not accessible
  • Drivers rear view is often blocked
  • Higher theft risk

So it really goes back to the points to consider when purchasing a bike carrier and what your personal needs are. So do your research before buying and it will pay off in the end. For my family it just made sense to buy the 4 bike tow bar carrier but you have to decide which one is right for you and your family.

Once you have done the research which should include watching a few videos so you can see what others have to say about the different brands and models they have tried and how well they have held up.

Another good place to check out is the reviews on Amazon, you can find out the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to just about anything before you take the plunge.

Type of Bike Carriers

What is your favorite type of bike carriers?

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4 Bike Towbar

Would you choose the Bike Tow Bar Carrier?

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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      I need one for 2 dog scooters - I think it's a Thule - will have to look that one up and see if I can get one. Or if you happen to know of any on Amazon, let me know~ or ebay....I need the kind that goes on an SUV - Expedition specifically~ It hooks on the trailer jack thingamajig - you know - those technical terms! Great idea for a hub!!

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile image

      MyMastiffPuppies 6 years ago

      Thanks Phil!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      We don't have one and have no use for one, but were we to buy one and make use of one, the tow bar would be the way to go.