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I'm looking to transport my bike a fair distance (500km) and I would like to spend $150 or less on the transport. I currently have a strap mounted trunk rack but I worry about it loosening over the trip. I do have a roof rack (stock) and a hitch (also stock.) Which would be the best option for securely transporting my bike?

marked as duplicate by paparazzo, mattnz, Daniel R Hicks, freiheit Feb 12 '15 at 18:49

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  • Possibly related: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/1474/… – Benedikt Bauer Feb 11 '15 at 21:46
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    500 km is not that far. What about your strap seems weak? If you remove the wheels you would have a lot less air drag (and a little less weight). You could box it and put it in the roof rack. – paparazzo Feb 11 '15 at 22:20
  • The rack seems to get loose and jiggle a bit even after i knot the slack after like a 10km trip. – cujo Feb 11 '15 at 22:33
  • We don't do product rec on this site, but a good quality trunk rack or hitch rack should hold up fine for 500 km. Alternatively, unless you drive a small car or are quite large or have passengers, you can just put the bike in the car maybe. – Batman Feb 11 '15 at 23:38
  • Its a small car and the bike doesnt fit inside, and im not looking for product rec, im looking for specific styles of racks, or features of the racks, ill find the final product myself – cujo Feb 11 '15 at 23:44
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The most stable and secure racks are the ones which mount directly to the vehicle at hard points, such as a trailer hitch (for rear racks) or door frames (for roof racks).

Racks which use fabric straps attached to hooks can move around a bit more, and if they are not very well made, they can loosen over time. This problem is made worse by the fact that most cheap racks use fabric straps.

Of course the best is if you can somehow mount your bike inside your vehicle. If you drive a small car this won't work, and even some rack mounts may not be viable if your car has only two doors.

Personally I prefer roof racks, and have driven up to four bicycles at a time on multiple cars using them for hundreds of kilometers without stopping, at speeds up to 125 kph. The main problems tend to be (1) the removed front wheels spinning in their separate mounts (easily corrected by small straps which some racks now come with), (2) reduced fuel efficiency and increased wind noise, and (3) the possibility that you will wreck your bikes by driving into a garage or other low-clearance area. All of those problems are reduced on rear-mounted racks.

If your car has a trailer hitch, consider a rack that mounts in it. These can be very secure, low-noise, and easy to install and remove (both rack and bikes). The main downside is that accessing your trunk becomes less convenient (but still not as bad as with rear racks which attach using straps).

  • Or even wreck your roof driving a bike into a height barrier as happened to a friend! – Chris H Feb 12 '15 at 11:53

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