Why is it necessary for us to take the Bike Rack Test? First, Some History…
A few years back, I loaded up my vehicle with my family, our holiday belongings, our bikes that were secured to a bike rack, and plenty of hopes and expectations. And just as it didn’t work out exactly as intended in Dickens’ story, our expectations were shattered when the bike rack got separated from the vehicle and dropped down with all of our bikes on it. As we sped down the highway, our anticipations were somewhat dashed when we saw the devastation unfolding behind us and the pile of motorcycles bouncing down the asphalt at a speed of sixty miles per hour!
I had made the usual error of believing that a bike rack is simply a bike rack and that it would automatically do its function in the way that it is intended to perform. But, oh no, as I learned to my cost, bike racks are not so trustworthy, at least my simple rack wasn’t, and since then I’ve learned that this is an all too common scenario. Oh no, as I found to my expense, bike racks are not so reliable.
Because of that experience, I have been somewhat obsessed with bike racks in an attempt to ensure that I do not find myself in a similar predicament ever again. Then, after some time had passed, I came to the conclusion that I would share on this website any useful information that I might have acquired regarding the topic of bike racks in an effort to provide some objective assistance to individuals who are considering making a purchase of a bike rack and require some helpful direction.
It is quite feasible to get a bicycle rack that is capable of doing the task for which it was designed, which is, of course, to move your bicycles from point A to point B without causing you any headaches or other difficulties on each and every occasion.
In order to identify the finest bike racks across all categories, our mission on this website is to evaluate a wide variety of bike racks and provide in-depth information about them based on our research. We look at the technology and features of each bike rack, and we listen to a wide variety of viewpoints, including those from customers and users, and we read reviews.
Why would you want to take your bike with you into an underground parking garage?!
Strong gusts from the other direction, and suddenly it’s gone from the roof rack!
The Challenge – how do you know if it will be any good?
But the most difficult problem we’ve ever faced has been figuring out how to put someone like you, who is interested in purchasing a bike rack, in the most informed position possible, free of uncertainty and confusion, so that you can actually know that the bike rack you choose will be the most suitable option for you.
There is a wide variety of bike racks available, and prior to making a purchase, it is recommended and prudent to do some research on a few different bike racks. But it’s far simpler to say that than it is to really know for sure that you’re picking the greatest option.
But is there a metric that you can use that will let you compare bike racks in a manner that will give you the assurance that you are selecting the most appropriate one for your needs? Not hoping you are!
After thinking on this issue for a considerable amount of time, we decided to create the Bike Rack Test in order to establish a system that is more objective for evaluating bike racks and coming to a conclusion about a clear winner.
But before we get to it, consider this. Do you remember school, assuming you survived it? We were given test after test; may I ask what your overall score was and whether or not you passed?
We are aware of the rationale behind the assignment of grades; it is to compare where we are in our learning to where we should be, and it is also to assess where we are in relation to one another; they give a comparison chart!
When we want to pick the best bike rack from among a range of bike racks, it makes sense to use a grading system so that we can compare the various bike racks, doesn’t it?
Reading user ratings that are just rated on a scale of one to five stars is a way too simple approach. When you have three user reviews that provide 5 stars and then two that give 1 star, it might make things even more confusing for you. Reading the marketing material provided by a firm is not quite objective.
No, we came to the conclusion that there must be a more effective solution to this problem since, as I have personal experience to attest, selecting a bike rack that is inadequate for the work at hand may lead to an expensive tragedy.
What is The Bike Rack Test?
To be able to pick the best bike rack, we need to be clear about the things that we expect every time a bike rack is utilized. Only then will we be able to choose the best bike rack.
As soon as we are able to list the essential elements or components that go into producing a high-quality bike rack, we will be in a position to assign a letter grade to each of the necessary components.
A bike rack has to get a passing mark in all of the key components before it can even be considered for purchase. If you find that the rack is lacking in any one of these characteristics, you should cross it off your list of potential solutions since it is not suitable for the task at hand.
If there is not a rack on our list that meets all of the requirements, we will continue exploring until we locate one that does.
If we are only able to keep one bike rack, then this is the one that should be used.
However, even if we are only left with a few bike racks that pass each of the necessary components, this will not be an issue since our Bike Rack Test assigns a total score to each bike rack based on the sum of the grades received for each component. The findings enable us to evaluate many decent bike racks against one another in order to choose the most suitable one.
The good news is that by putting the Bike Rack Test into action, we have a trustworthy method for selecting the most suitable bike rack for the task at hand before we make a purchase.
How Does The Bike Rack Test Work?
We were able to determine the seven essential components that are necessary for a good bike rack by drawing from our own personal experiences as well as those of hundreds of other people who have used bike racks and shared their thoughts with us about what they believe a bike rack should be able to do effectively and how issues arise when it is unable to do so. If a rack is lacking in any of these categories, then it is not going to be free of issues, and as a consequence, I would not purchase it.
Now that we know what the components are and why they are so important, we can evaluate a bike rack based on how well it performs in each of the seven components individually.
7 Essential ‘Components’ That Go Into Making A Good Bike Rack
- Easy to set up in a short amount of time –
Installing the attachment mechanism that affixes the rack to the car in a manner that is fast, uncomplicated, and uncomplicated should be a top priority. Why is it necessary to do so? Because the procedure of attachment becomes more difficult and cumbersome, there is a bigger possibility that you will not successfully attach it each and every time, which is a recipe for an accident waiting to happen. Every time you install the rack securely, it will be much simpler and less of a problem to do so if the system can be made more straightforward.
[Grade component 1: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
- Fastens with a very secure hold –
The best manufacturers of bike racks include cutting-edge technology into their products so that the racks they provide always feature attachment mechanisms that are intuitively built and can always be counted on to stay firmly connected and fastened. When a bike rack is properly secured, there should be no movement at all, including no rattling, no wobbling, and no sliding in any direction (including up and down). It is crucial that the foundation be rock solid since any movement will get worse throughout travel, and items will start to work themselves loose, which is a dangerous situation.
[Grade component 2: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
- It is simple and fast to load and unload the bicycles.
Why bother making something tough to do if it can easily be done in a straightforward manner? If it’s difficult to pack your bike, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll make a mistake, and this is especially true towards the conclusion of a long day of riding. Because to the thoughtful design, you can safely load (and unload) each bicycle in a matter of seconds.
[Grade component 3: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
- A loading mechanism that can accommodate a range of bicycle frames as well as sizes of bicycles-
We are aware that bicycles may be found in a wide variety of forms and dimensions. There are mountain bikes, road bikes, kids’ bikes, adult bikes, adult men’s bikes, adult women’s bikes, adult kids’ bikes, various shaped tubes, tires, and suspensions, and the list goes on. Make sure that the loading elements of the bike rack are able to individually accommodate the form and size of each bike. Regardless of the size or form of the particular bicycle, it is imperative that each one be strapped down separately and firmly.
[Grade component 4: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
- A secure locking mechanism with two sets of keys –
A robust anti-theft locking system incorporated in the bike rack is essential to safeguard your bikes. Invest in a locking system with a double layer of protection by getting one that first properly secures the bike rack to the car and then safely secures the bikes to the bike rack. If a thief is determined enough, there is no such thing as a locking mechanism that offers one hundred percent security. However, the same can be said of your automobile. Just double check that the locking mechanism has both a solid design and construction.
[Grade component 5: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
- Designed to halt harm –
When you’re behind the wheel, bikes that collide with one another, brush up against one another, and get close to your car as they wobble are a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. Even on bumpy roads, a safe design maintains the distance between vehicles and motorcycles, as well as the space between bikes and each other. In order to prevent paint damage to a car, bike racks that come into contact with the bodywork of the vehicle (such as trunk-mounted racks) need to have rubberized contact areas of high quality and cannot slide. In order to prevent paint damage to the bike, racks that grip the frame of the bike need to have high-quality rubberized contact points that do not slide (s).
[Grade component 6: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
- technology that reduces the effects of road vibrations –
When you’re behind the wheel, it’s impossible to escape the vibrations caused by the road. Roads include bumps and hollows, which always results in potentially dangerous shaking and rattling. To get around this obstacle, a well-designed bike rack will incorporate various technologies such as anti-sway and anti-wobble, ratchet locks, high-quality padded soft cradles, and other ingenious technology to prevent bikes from swinging, swaying, rattling, and vibrating, which could potentially cause damage or work themselves loose.
[Grade component 7: 1 to 10 (Pass grade is 7) 1-very awful, 3-bad, 5-average 6-okay, 7-good, 9-very excellent 10-excellent]
Begin by selecting a few different bike racks to compare:
Now that we know what the 7 important components are, we need to know how to grade each component for each bike rack. We will describe how to do this further down in this section. But before we can do that, we need to make a decision on where on our car the bike rack will be put so that we can accomplish it. On the roof, in the rear either trunk mounted or hitch mounted all mounts have their advantages and disadvantages, go to step 1 below and take the time to determine which will fit you the most, and then choose a range of racks that fall into that category to compare (step 2 below).