You may think that there isn’t much to consider when choosing a bike rack, all you must do is purchase a unit and fit it to your vehicle. But carrying bikes on a roof or rear rack isn’t that straightforward, you must select a unit that is compatible with your vehicle. The last thing you want is to have your rack fall off the car while you drive to some remote countryside trail.


There are 2 main bicycle racks on offer, a rear mounted unit, or a rack that fits onto the roof of your vehicle. We will discuss both options in more detail throughout this article, let us start with the rear mounted cycle carrier.

Rear Mounted Carriers

This is a bicycle carrier that is fitted to the back of your vehicle, they can accommodate all kinds of vehicle, that is why they are generally considered a universal unit. Although it is best to check with your supplier before purchasing a rear mounted rack, you’ll generally find that these products fit onto the back of most UK vehicles which have a towball. These units usually fold down allowing the driver easy access to the boot. If your vehicle has had any modifications, it is better to check with a cycle carrier provider to ensure you’ll have no issues fitting the unit.

Roof Mounted Carriers

This type of bike carrier is fixed to the top of your vehicle, it comes in many different designs and they can be purchased from a wide variety of suppliers. It stands upright on your roof, allowing you to transport your bicycle with ease. Roof mounted carriers aren’t as popular as their counterpart because they aren’t as adaptable, you need to order a specific size based on the model of your vehicle.

Pros and Cons

A rear cycle carrier can be installed in minutes, whereas, roof mounted racks take a little more time. They must be properly fitted to ensure they don’t fall off the top of your vehicle when you take off, the same goes for a rear mounted carrier, but they fit onto any car with a towball.

One of the main drawbacks to purchasing a roof mounted rack is that you must lift your bike above head height. If you are an older adult or someone who suffers from a limited range of movement, this may pose a problem. In contrast, rear mounted carriers are at hip height, making it a lot easier to mount your bicycle. Furthermore, you may simply forget about your roof carrier when you approach low lying tunnels or car parks, this could cause serious damage to both your car and the stationary structure.

When choosing a bike rack carrier, it really comes down to personal preference, a rear mounted carrier is more affordable, easier to fit, and more accessible to the public. Whereas, a roof mounted unit can be difficult to use for certain people, especially if they’ve any injuries or physical disabilities. There are dozens of products on offer, so it should be easy to find the right one.