Types of bicycle carriers
Bike rack to be fixed on the towbar
If your car is equipped with a hitch then this might be the place to put a bike rack. This kind of bike carriers fit any hitch (sometimes with a special connector) and can carry up to four bicycles. The bikes are easy fixable and can be fixed at the crank or the frame. If you want to use a bike carrier on a SUV, it might be possible that you need special accessories. This can also be the case for cars with a removable towbar. These accessories are available at most of the specialised stores.
There are also tilting models who have the advantage that the trunk of the car remains accessible.
Most of the bike carriers are equipped with lights and there is place to fix the license plate. On the bike carrier you'll find a plug that plugs into your car to ensure the lighting on the bicycle carrier. The connection to the car is usually appropriate for a 7-pin connector, but nowadays the 13-pin connector (Jaeger) has become the standard. Does your bike carrier has a 7-pin plug and your car has a 13-pin connector? Then you can use an adapter plug to connect both.
Note: Most bike carriers can carry up to 50 kg. You must however take into account the maximum ball pressure of the hitch that is mounted under your car. The total weight of the carrier + bicycles should not exceed this maximum ball pressure. This ball pressure is usually indicated on the plate next to the plug.
Bike Carriers for the back of the car
If you don't have a towbar, you can also fix your bikes on the fifth door or the trunk of the car. There have been developed several practical systems that can be easily attached at the back of the car. The bicycle carrier is fixed on the car with special quick fasteners and has a rubber coating to protect the car.
You should make sure that the rear lights and license plate remain visible, otherwise you must buy a separate light block. This tipe of bike carrier holds up to 4 bikes.
Bike rack for the roof of the car
The roof of your car is an ideal place for transporting your bike (s). The advantage of this method is that the hitch remains free for a caravan or trailer. A disadvantage of these carriers is that the bicycles catch a lot of wind. This results in higher fuel consumption and noise. It is also more complicated to install the bicycles. It is also necessary that the construction of the car enables the installation of roof racks. Further, the total height of the car has increased, so be careful when entering a parking garage. This type of bike carrier can accommodate one bicycle per carrier, but you can place multiple bicycle racks on the roof of your car.
Furthermore, you should also consider the maximum roof load of your car. These can be found in the instruction booklet of your car.
If you install a bike rack on the roof of your car, you should also take into account an additional fuel consumption between 20 and 30%.
Bike rack for / in the caravan or trailer
In order to ensure the transport of bicycles on a caravan or a trailer (tent trailer), there have been developed several special constructions. There are special bike carriers available that are mounted on the back of the trailer and can accommodate 2 or 3 bikes. If you want to carry the bikes on the drawbar of a caravan or trailer tent, that is possible. It is even possible to use a bicycle carrier that can be fixed on the towbar by means of a special attachment.
You can of course carry the bikes in the trailer. Through the "indoor bicycle carrier" you can take your bike safely with you.
Note: If you're planning to transport the bikes on the drawbar, you must check that your maximum ball pressure is not exceeded. This ball pressure is usually indicated on the plate next to the plug.