Vehicle-mounted bike racks are a great way to get access to beautiful and challenging new trails, set yourself up to tour vacation spots in the open air, or simply get your bike to where you need it. Once you've chosen the bike rack that's right for you, you'll need to make sure to install it properly—otherwise you could lose your beloved bike on the road. Haskins Hitchen Post in Cincinnati, OH, can walk you through the process and provide you with the perfect bike carrier for your car.

There are two main types of bike racks: hitch bike racks and roof bike racks. A hitch bike rack slides into an ordinary hitch receiver—no special installation or equipment needed. You'll want to make sure that it's snugly locked in place, just like any time you use hitches. There are many models of hitch bike racks, some of which can hold up to five bikes—perfect for group expeditions with friends and family.

bike racksRoof bike racks are divided into two sub-types: roof-mounted and trunk-mounted. The trunk-mounted racks are still grouped with the roof bike racks because both rely on an existing roof rack to support them. If you don't have a roof rack, installing a sturdy one is the first step to using a bike rack of this type.

Once your roof rack is securely in place, you can attach the bike rack on top for a roof-mounted setup, or behind the car for a trunk-mounted bike rack. The trunk-mounted rack is braced with foot pads that are positioned against the trunk and secure straps which connect it to the roof rack. No matter what your bike rack setup looks like, make sure to test it before you get on the road. Lean with two hands to make sure it isn't wobbly or loose.

It’s always a good idea to consult the experts if you’re unsure about any element of installing your rack. If you need more advice about which bike rack to pick or installation pointers, call Haskins Hitchen Post at 513-542-1733, or learn more about them on their website.