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How Do I Choose the Best Bicycle Rack for an SUV?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 August 2014
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Unlike a bike rack for a car, a bicycle rack for an SUV usually is not mounted on the roof of the vehicle, since SUVs tend to be quite high off the ground. The bike rack is therefore less accessible if it is mounted on the roof, so a bicycle rack for an SUV will need to be mounted in another location. The options are usually racks that hang off the rear gate of the SUV, or racks that are hitch-mounted, provided the SUV has a trailer hitch to which the rack can mount.

A trailer hitch bicycle rack for an SUV is perhaps the most convenient method for storing and transporting bikes with an SUV. This type of rack slides into the trailer hitch receiver built into the SUV, and it is usually secured with a bolt or bar. This bicycle rack for an SUV allows for easy access to the bicycles, since the bikes will hang at the rear of the vehicle rather than on top of it. Such a rack may be capable of holding up to four or five bicycles, depending on the model you purchase; remember that racks that hold more bicycles will end up costing more, and it is important to take note of your receiver hitch size: the most common sizes are two inch (5 centimeter) receivers and 1 1/4 inch (3.18 centimeter) receivers. Be sure to choose a rack that fits the size of your receiver.

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A hitch mounted bicycle rack for an SUV is likely to feature a release that allows the rack to tilt downward to the ground. This allows you to access the rear gate of the vehicle without having to remove the entire rack unit. The rack will need to be re-secured once the gate is closed and the rack is returned to its upright position.

If you do not have a trailer hitch, consider a bicycle rack for an SUV that hangs off the rear gate. Such a rack is usually secured by plastic-coated hooks that slide into the crease between the gate and the rest of the vehicle, and foam pads are wrapped around the braces of the rack to prevent damage to windows and the finish of the car. Such racks can also hold up to four or five bikes, but the rack will need to be removed before the rear gate of the vehicle can be opened.

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