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Types of Bike Carriers

Updated on September 09, 2015

How Many Bicycles Do You Need to Carry on Your Car?

How Many Bicycles Do You Need to Carry on Your Car?

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The Best Car Carrier for your Bicycle

Bike carriers come in three flavors, rear mounted or trunk mounted bike carrier, roof mounted bike carrier, or a hitch bike carrier. The kind you buy will depend on the type of car you have and the options your have on your car. For hitch bike carriers, you need a hitch. For roof mounted bike carriers, you should have a roof rack. Everyone else should purchase a rear mounted or trunk mounted carrier.

Another factor when determining what carrier to buy is how many bicycles do you need to carry. The more bicycles you need to carry, the fewer options there are for a bike carrier. 1-bike and 2-bike carriers can be mounted almost anywhere. 3-bike and 4-bike carriers are typically a rear mounted. A 5-bike carrier is available with a hitch mount.

Rear Mounted Bike Carrier - or Trunk Mounted Bike Carrier

The rear mounted bike carrier attaches to the rear of your vehicle or the trunk. These typically can be found in one, two, or three bike models. Basically the carrier will have two connection points, one at the top of the trunk or back door and one at the bumper which secures the carrier to the car. The bikes are then attached to the carrier and away you go to your favorite bike path.

Rear Tire Bike Carrier

A variation on the trunk bike carrier is the rear tire bike carrier, instead of attaching to the back of the vehicle it attaches to vehicles whose spare tire is mounted on the rear of truck or van.

Hitch Mount Bike Carrier

Hitch mount bike carriers come in two flavors, a platform carrier or an arm carrier holding the bicycles. Hitch mounts, do exactly as they sound, attach to the hitch on the car or truck. Hitch mounts carry up to five bicycles at a time and are great for family outings.

Platform Hitch Bike Carrier

Platform hitches are becoming more popular and provide a more solid surface that the bike carrier rests on.

Roof Mounted Bike Carrier

The last type of bike carrier are those that are attached to the roof of your car or luggage racks. Fork mounted rooftop bike carriers require the front wheel to be taken off of the bike and stored next to the back wheel during transit. The bikes are safely on top of the car, the only thing you need to worry about is a low bridge.

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