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The very first thing you need to check is the bike rack's weight limit set by the fabricant. All bike racks have a maximum weight total and a maximum weight per bike, usually available online on the fabricant's website. Make sure you are respecting both and are not exceeding the maximum weight limit to safely carry your bikes.
It's also very important to check the hithc size the bike rack can accomodate, because some racks can only be installed on one hitch size (either 1’’ ¼ or 2’’), and some can accomodate both sizes.
For bike racks securing the bike with the wheels, check the size of the fastening devices (cradles or straps) they can accomodate. If you have a fat bike, you'll want to make sure that the straps or cradels are big enough to handle your fat tires. Some companikes, like Buzzrack sell fat tire adaptor kit for fat bikes.
Whit a carbon frame, you'll want to avoid contact between bikes, to prevent damages and scratcing. Bike rack such as Thule T2 PRO XTR are ideal, securing bikes from the wheels and maintaining sufficient space between the bikes to prevent contact during transport.
More and more E-bikes comes with frame integrated battery. thus an oversize frame for which standard bike racks are not designed for. If on top you have a low step frame (no top bar), standard bike racks have nothing to hold on to. Chose a rack that secures from the wheel with adjustable upper fastening devices so you can properly secure your bikes.
Now and days you'll find folding portable racks, some with wheels (like a luggage!) to faciliate transport between home and car. Several support now have a loading ramp, fantastic for heavy bikes because you can simple roll the bikes up and down easily. Some times that ramp is included or sold separately, just make sure if you do buy it separately that it's compatible witht the rack you have or plan to buy.
Depending on what you plan to do, you'll want to check about how secure your bikes are on the rack. Some entry level rack are sold with no possibility of locking the bikes or the rack itself, which makes it super easy to steal. Definitely a point to check if you plan to leave the bikes and the rack set up on the hitch for a pitstop.
We may decide to upgrade our bike at some point or just switching riding mode (gravel bike -> mountain trail bike), but unless your bike rack is damaged, it rare that we'll change it if it does the job. So take your time to think it through and choose well, it's a good investment that will last you a long time, possibly longer than your bike.
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Got any questions? Don't hesistate to contact us: 1-877-673-3338