'Wheelie' Great Bike Racks For Cars

Held on the 19th April each year, Bicycle Day isn’t, perhaps, the wholesome celebration of exercise you might think. Instead, it recognises the anniversary of a chemist who, after ingesting LSD, asked his assistant to chaperone him on his two-wheeled commute to ensure he reached home safely. A trip within a trip, if you like.

But regardless of its dubious origins, the mental, physical and economical benefits of cycling (minus any form of illegal drug) are pretty obvious. And while our main aim in life is to provide top quality driving lessons, we’re also strong advocates of a good cycle.

Sometimes the two worlds do, in fact, collide: whether your bike is accompanying you on holiday or you’re heading to a track for a downhill session, chances are that, somewhere along the way, you’re going to need to transport your wheels… by car.

But should you stick it on some roof bars, carry it on your boot, or invest in a mount that attaches to your tow bar? Or is the best option actually just to stick it in your vehicle — and if so, what type of car would be most appropriate for you?

Boot bike mounts

Boot mounts are an inexpensive option that will suit most cars. They’re pretty easy to install and remove and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate your needs. Some models may damage your paintwork, so be sure to check reviews. On the whole, these bike carriers will last you for years, and transfer from car to car as you need.

Keep anything you need for the journey in an accessible place. You’re not going to be able to get into the boot very easily without taking the whole rack off.

Allen Sports Ultra Compact 1-Bike Carrier

Allen sports ultra compact bike carrier

Image source: Amazon

Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack (2 bike capacity)

Allen Sports deluxe trunk mounted bike rack for car

Image source: Amazon

Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe (1-3 bike capacity)

Tyger Auto 3 bike boot mount for car

Image source: Amazon

Saris Bones Boot Bike Rack (2-3 bike capacity)

Saris Bones boot bike rack for cars

Image source: Amazon

Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted 3-Bike Carrier

Allen Sports trunk mounted bike carrier 3 bike

Image source: Amazon

Peruzzo PER500M Car Rack (3 bike capacity)

Peruzzo PER500M car rack 3 bike rack

Image source: Amazon

Roof bar bike racks

Roof bars leave you free to access your boot — and are useful for a slew of things: transporting furniture, Christmas trees, or a roof box for anything you struggle to cram into your car. Add a bike rack to your bars and you can fit as many as four bikes atop your roof; ideal for family road trips.

First off, you'll need some roof bars to fit your car. Roof rack suppliers will usually have guidance on which model you'll require.

Thule WingBar Edge 959300 Roof Bars

Thule WingBar Edge roof bars

Image source: Amazon

Next, choose a compatible bike rack to sit on top of the bars. Now your bike can be secured to the roof.

Thule 598001 ProRide 598 Roof Bike Rack

Thule 598001 ProRide 598 Roof Bike Rack

Image source: Amazon

FreeRide Thule 532 Bike Cycle Carrier Roof Rack Bar Mounted x2 Twin Pack (to fit 2 bikes to your roof rack)

FreeRide Thule 532 bike roof rack bar

Image source: Amazon


Tow bar bike mounts

If you have a bigger car, the dream is probably a tow bar mount. They’re low to the ground, so there’s no awkward lifting of cumbersome bikes required — although this ease-of-use does come with a fairly hefty price tag.

Don't reverse into parking spaces (or anywhere else) without checking how much room you really have. You might not be able to see your bike in your rear-view mirror, and a little mistake could cause some big damage.

Thule 927002 VeloCompact 7Pin Bike Rack

Thule 927002 VeloCompact 7Pin Bike Rack

Image source: Amazon


Thule 924001 VeloCompact Bike Rack for Car

Thule 924001 VeloCompact Bike Rack for Car

Image source: Amazon


Allen Sports Premier Locking Tray Rack (1-3 bike capacity)

Allen Sports premier locking tray bike rack for car

Image source: Amazon

Stick it in the boot

If you’re more comfortable keeping your wheels under wraps, look for a vehicle that can accommodate a bike. Estate cars are known for their spacious boot space and (other than a van) are probably your best bet here.

If you have to remove a wheel to squeeze your cycle into a smaller boot, double-check you have all the bike parts in the car before you set off!

Keeping your bike safe

Security guard going down escalator

Image source: Ryan McGuire via Pixabay

Bikes are easy targets for criminals, who can strip them down and sell parts quickly. Displaying your prize frame on a car does alert opportunists to your possessions; it’s easy for them to tail you home or take advantage of any breaks in your journey.

There are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of having to make that dreaded insurance claim:

  • If your bike rack is easy to remove, always take it off as soon as you get home. This will reduce the chance that potential thieves will pick up on where an expensive bike resides.
  • Cover any bikes travelling in your car with an old blanket; people might guess something’s in there, but there’s no need to advertise just how much you spent on that custom carbon fibre frame.
  • However secure you think your bike is, avoid leaving it alone on your car when you stop at services. Tag team with others for comfort breaks, or if this proves impossible — for instance if you’re travelling alone or with a small child — then limit the time spent away from your car.

Out-and-about bike checklist

Transporting your bike? Here’s what you need to remember to take with you:

Blanket to cover bike in the car

Tarpaulin (or boot cover – here are some we recommend for dog owners) to limit the dirt from your muddy ride

Helmet (Hedkayse are doing great things in this department, specialising in multi-impact, foldable designs)

Bike lock (preferably a D-lock)

All your bike parts (if you’ve had to remove any to get them in the car)

Spare inner tube


Essential tool kit

And finally…

Your wits. The updated Highway Code has new rules for cyclists; make sure you know your rights and responsibilities on the road.

Check out our guide to make sure you keep other cyclists safe while you're behind the wheel.


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