We live on a beautiful rock formed by the energy of roaring oceans, the furious might of unstoppable winds and the wonderful character of its incredible inhabitants. This place we call home contains within itself landscapes as different and diverse as the rolling flats of the the Norfolk broads, the dramatic ascents of the Munros and the deep valleys of the Dark Peak. Such wonders invite our exploration but getting to them or at least getting us and our bikes to them is often tricky and most likely to involve use of the car. It is what we call a, ‘necessary evil’.
Over the years we’ve learnt that the differences in quality between good and bad car racks are not to be underestimated. While some can handle all that you you can throw at them(and trust us you’ll throw more than you can imagine!) others are built with parts which corrode, fittings which are cumbersome and an ugliness comparable only to the Austin Maestro on which they might hang.
So here's our guide to four of the best.
All four fall within certain perimeters, none require a tow bar, nearly all are designed for use on the majority of modern cars and none require more than sole individual to fit them.
The ‘In Your Car’ Option: Minoura Vergo Excel £109:99
While it’s true that once you dismount your front wheel there should be no problem getting your bike(s) into the boot of almost any estate car what is also true is that doing this without due care and attention means you’re playing Russian roulette with the possibility of broken spokes, damaged frames and a torn headliner. Costly and entirely avoidable. Use the Minoura Vergo Excel and your bikes are neatly held in position avoiding all potential damage while making onward assembly as easy as 1,2,3.
+ Your bikes remain as secure as your boot allows. No cumbersome bolts or fittings.
- No estate, not an option. Loss of boot space for other luggage you may require on the same trip.
Ideal for the couple with a large estate car who are very good at keeping their bikes clean (Such people do exist!).
The 'Deluxe On The Back' Option: Thule Race Way £309:99
If you find yourself routinely transporting bikes over long distances then minimising hassle while maintaining ease of security means that what might otherwise look like a significant investment soon pays for its self. Never is this more true than with Thule’s Race Way rear-mount carrier. As with all things Thule the engineering behind this piece of kit is second to none, meaning easy fitting to your car, easy mounting of your bikes and a great solid finish. Beauty and functionality combined. Not only are the build materials both light and strong (hollow core resin) but padding in all the right places means you need not fear scratching the large metal box you’re attaching it to. If that’s not enough to convince you then maybe the five year guarantee will help. It aint cheap but it is brilliant.
+Ease of use, scratch avoidance padding, bragging rights.
Ideal for the serious bike transporter.
The 'Space Saver' Option: Sea Sucker £299
If you’re anything like me the one thing you will resent about your bike rack is the ridiculous amount of storage space required for the even the most compact of bike racks. If you live in an apartment, boat or terraced house such issues are the stuff of many a domestic row. Bring on the Sea Sucker a unique suction based bike carrier which takes up minimal room while offering great solutions. Forget fitting cumbersome hardware the vacuum system employed by the Sea Sucker means these bad boys just suck and stick. No scratching, no tricky fitting, no hassle; all of which might explain why cycling weekly gave them 9/10.
+ Slide them away under your bed.
- Not a great solution for three family bikes.
Ideal for space savers ideal with light weight road bikes.
The 'Cool' Option: Saris Bones 3 Bike Boot Rack £156
Of course the alternative to awkward storage is to invest in a bike rack that looks cool on or off the bike. The Saris bones comes in a variety of colours including pink, yellow and orange which is apparently the colour of the season. All we know is that whatever the colour the Saris looks great is peanuts easy to fit and offers an excellent and affordable solution to transporting up to three bikes. Set up is quick easy and tools free. Worried what it will look like in a few years time? Don’t! The Saris is made with 100% recyclable materials none of which are susceptible to rust and it has a lifetime warranty. What Mountain Bike gave the Saris 4 out of 5 stars!
- Looks great works well, mega simple.
- We’re still trying to find one. . .
Ideal for those who like things beautiful and functional.
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. There are hundreds of car racks out there these are however amongst the very best we have ever seen/used. If these don’t work for you and you require specific variations please don’t hesitate to get in touch we’ll always do our best to get you sorted.