Can You Leave A Bike Rack On Your Car (Solved!)

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Can You Leave A Bike Rack On Your Car

Taking your bike rack off your car every time you aren’t taking your bike with you is a real pain. Can you leave a bike rack on your car?

Yes you can!

Most bike racks are designed to be able to stay on your car without having to be taken off.

In this guide we’ll go over the reasons why it would be a good idea to take a bike rack off your car.

What's In This Guide?

      When Would You Want To Take A Bike Rack Off Your Car

      There are a few times when taking off your bike rack is a good idea.

      Keep reading to find out!

      Long Road Trips Without Your Bike

      When you go on long road trips and you aren’t taking your bike. Bike racks add extra weight to your car. 

      The more weight you add the harder the engine is going to have to work. You won’t get as good gas mileage.

      Going Through A Carwash

      Getting your car washed is another time when you should take your bike rack off your car. The bike rack can get damaged from the car wash. 

      And the parts of the car that are covered by the bike rack won’t get cleaned.

      You Live In A Cold Area

      If you live in a place where it snows a lot in the winter you should remove your bike rack. I know I don’t plan on riding my bike in the snow. 

      The harsh elements aren’t good for the bike rack even if your bike rack is waterproof.  

      Can You Still Get Into Your Trunk

      There are plenty of bike racks that are designed to let you get into your trunk. But if you have a trunk bike rack then you are unfortunately out of luck. 

      The trunk bike rack won’t give you access to your trunk while it’s on your car.

      It’s a pain.(I know!)

      Everytime you want to get into your trunk you’ll have to take it off and put it back on when you’re done.

      The Bike Rack Doesn’t Fold Up

      Most bike racks will fold up so they are as close to your car without causing any damage. That way you can still park your car in your garage or in a parking spot comfortably. 

      If your bike rack doesn’t fold up it can be really annoying. 

      You won’t have any extra room in the back. If you’re not paying attention you could accidently hit your shins when you’re walking around your car (OUCH!)

      You’re Afraid Your Bike Rack Will Get Stolen

      Bike racks ain’t cheap! 

      If you can’t lock your bike rack to your car you shouldn’t leave it on your car. 

      I know it’s a real hassle but it’s better than getting your bike rack stolen. 

      The Type Of Bike rack

      The type of bike rack you have will determine how often you take it off or leave it on.

      Roof racks can be left on pretty much all the time once you’ve installed them. They don’t get in the way and are good to be left alone.

      Hitch racks also can stay on your car. Most of them fold up when they aren’t being used. Or they swing away so you can get into your trunk. Hitch bike racks are heavy so they can be a pain to have to keep reinstalling over and over.

      Trunk bike racks are the ones that you will be taking off the most. They cut off access to your trunk. If you use your trunk a lot then just know you will be removing your bike rack a lot. The good thing is that trunk bike racks are light weight. They are also really easy to install so it won’t be that bad.

      Know Your Bike Rack Laws

      Most states’ bike laws are very similar. 

      Your license plate must be visible when you’re using your bike rack. If it’s not or it’s questionable you should take the bike rack off your car when you’re not using it. 

      Especially if your bike rack is folded up on your car.

      The Bottom Line

      For the most part you shouldn’t need to take your bike rack off your car. They are heavy and designed to stay on you’re car.

      If you have a trunk bike rack you will find yourself taking your bike rack off you’re car a lot. Trunk bike racks are much lighter and smaller than the other types.

      Comment down below how often do you take your bike rack off your car?

      Photo of author
      Bryan Ray is the Co-Founder of The Biking Apex. He's a cyclist and a trainer who loves fitness and loves to teach people how to ride and maintain their bikes and bike accessories.

      The Biking Apex

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