Determining how to buy a bike rack starts with learning about different types of bike racks and bike rack dimensions. Do you want to store your bike in your home or garage? Do you need a rack for your car, van, truck or sports utility vehicle? If you own a business, outdoor stands for multiple bikes are available. Many types of bike racks exist for keeping bicycles safe and for transporting them to wherever you want to ride.
>> Consider how many bikes you need to store
Bike rack sizes vary in dimension depending on storage capability. Among your options, as you research how to buy a bike rack, are bicycle racks for single bikes, racks for as many as ten bikes and everything in between. If storage needs vary, you might prefer a rack that adjusts. Adjustable racks offer you the greatest flexibility in terms of bike rack dimensions.
Single bike racks are available in portable versions, including folding racks and heavy, anchored racks. You can find bike rack designs for a wide variety of storage options. Racks for multiple bikes, which usually boast the biggest bike rack dimensions, can exist in the same spaces as single bike racks. From studio apartments to spacious garages, racks for multiple bikes fit on floors, walls, ceilings, on the roofs and backs of cars, in truck beds or on driveways and sidewalks. Commercial bike racks, seen often at schools and parks, are a practical option for long-term use by many cyclists.
>> Consider indoor racks
Whether you live in a home with a garage or a small apartment with limited storage, you can find the right indoor bike rack. Various bike rack dimensions allow placement on the floor of your storage space, on the wall or even on the ceiling. As you research how to buy a bike rack, measure your available space in order to decide what works best for you.
Indoor bike racks favor designs that store your bike safely and accessibly, yet unobtrusively. Bike rack designs are meant to blend with your environment. So, keeping in mind the style of your living space is useful in deciding which bike rack to buy. Bike racks, while often crafted from metal materials like aluminum and steel, are also made from heavy colored plastics. Personalize your bike rack purchase with supports and attachments of dimensions, colors and textures to match your room. Bike racks made from hard woods can blend with your indoor space for a warmer look, and you can paint a wooden bike rack to match your color scheme.
Freestanding racks, also called bike stands, tend to require more of your floor space. While looking at different types of bike racks, consider where the bike or bikes are positioned once attached to the rack. Some freestanding racks are built to store bikes in a row from top to bottom. Other bike rack designs feature storage on opposite sides for bikes, or with bikes anchored by the back and extending out in two directions. The number of bikes you store on a freestanding rack can affect its placement in your space. Bike stands distribute the weight of your bikes evenly for safety.
Folding bike stands provide the ability to store your bicycle upright anywhere you go. These come in a wide variety of styles, including strong plastic cubes, tent-shaped racks that accommodate bike wheels, metal poles with legs and clamps to hold bikes, poles with hooks for the bikes and worktables that allow a bike to be placed upside down for maintenance. Some folding stands feature wheels.
If you need to consider your ceiling for storage space when deciding how to buy a bike rack, lift racks present a practical option. Lift racks feature relatively small bike rack dimensions. These types of bike racks are designed for attachment to the ceiling with mounting hardware. A pulley system helps raise your bike to ceiling height before locking it in place. Other ceiling racks allow you to slide bicycles into place sideways on metal support arms. Some bike rack styles simply suspend your bike from its frame or its wheels.
Wall racks mount directly onto your wall. These types of bike racks offer you impressive variety in style options. The simplest wall racks allow you a hook for hanging one bicycle. Floor-to-ceiling racks typically offer the largest wall-mounted bike rack dimensions. Wall racks store bikes vertically, horizontally or with the front tire against the wall.
>> Consider vehicle racks
Shopping for different types of bike racks for your vehicle reveals a wide selection of mounting and attachment possibilities. Your car, van or SUV is usually able to accommodate a rack on the roof or at the rear of the vehicle. Roof racks hold your entire bike. Racks for the back of your vehicle, also known as bicycle carriers, are mounted over the back door or trunk with adjustment straps. If your vehicle has a rear hitch, a bike rack can mount onto the hitch. A spare tire rack attaches to your vehicle's spare rear-mounted tire. If you drive a pickup truck, your bike rack for single or multiple bicycles can attach inside the truck bed. Truck bed bike racks keep your bikes upright, which is safer for the bikes and for your truck.
>> Consider other storage options
Learning how to buy a bike rack includes considering storage for bike accessories and parts as well. Some types of bike racks accommodate your helmet with a hook, where you might also hang a bag containing necessities and gear for riding. Some manufacturers add to bike rack dimensions with a shelf big enough for a tool box and repair kit. If it's important to pack all your accessories with your bike, a rack with storage helps you keep everything together for ease of mind and accessibility.