Are you planning to include mountain biking in your itinerary during your road trip? You must be wondering whether to carry or rent a mountain bike once you arrive at the destination. Taking the bike is, however, the most preferred as it is cheaper.
However, carrying your mountain bike can be hectic. It must be packed correctly to prevent it from falling or risking damage due to constant movement. This article will help you decipher how best to bring your bike to ensure it is steady and undamaged.
Fit the Bike in the Car
This tip should be your go-to choice. Having a vehicle long enough to fit your bike will minimize the risk of damage from the elements. Some cyclists remove a car seat to ensure their mountain bikes fit in the car. If removing the car seat proves a futile task, try removing the front and back wheels and see if it fits.
Use a Quality Bike Rack
If your bike doesn’t fit inside the car, then it’s time to think of a bike rack to mount on your vehicle. You must know how many bikes are to be carried and the budget. In essence, most cyclists on the road will use either the hitch rack or the trunk rack to hold their bikes. Either frame will be helpful when speeding so your bike does not fall off or shift too much.
For instance, the trunk race is cheaper than the two racks. It has a minimum of six straps and a broad base that assure the owner of stability during the road trip. The straps are easy to mount, and the rack is generally light, easy to mount, easy to store, and very portable. However, this rack cannot accommodate more than two bikes and blocks access to the trunk. It is also not easy to mount your bikes on the vehicle with this rack; its effectiveness depends on how tight you secure the straps.
The hitch rack, on the other hand, can carry three or more bikes. They also offer better ground clearance, especially the hanging cradle ones, are easy-to-mount mountain bikes, and are lightweight. They are, however, not the easiest to store when not in use, and even during use, they do not guarantee that your bike will not sway side to side, which may lead to abrasion of the bike paint and loosening of the bolts and nuts of the bike.
Use an Extra Locking System for Your Bike
Even with the locking systems from bike racks, most bikes will require extra locking to ensure less movement, enhancing stability. Most hitch racks, however, have sufficient cables for your bike.
Choose locks that are easy for you to manipulate, such as pulleys, chains, and d-locks.
Never Leave Your Bike Unattended
You’ll have to make rest stops and refuel your car at various gas stations. You’ll likely need to use the restroom or enter the store at the rest stop. Either way, you must ensure that your bike is guarded by your companions or one of the gas station attendants, especially if traveling with a cross country mountain bike as they are not cheap.
If you go to an inn sleepover, you may need to rethink leaving your bike in the car. It is paramount to always ask for rooms on the ground level to make it easier to transfer your bike from the car to the room. This measure protects your bike from thieves and bad weather conditions.
You can always ask if you can bring in your bike for safekeeping from the innkeeper. If it is against the rules, try looking for alternatives to ensure the safety of your bike. When push comes to shove, carry your bike in and apologize in the morning; truthfully, the cost of your bike could be worth more than the amount paid for accommodation.
Cover your Bike to Protect it from Snow and Rain
Even after you have ensured your mountain bike is safely mounted on the car, bad weather can still be a hazard for your bike, damaging it irreparably.
For instance, snow will cause corrosion when it enters the bike’s inner tubes. To prevent this, always carry a nylon cover to protect your bike.
If you are not a fan of riding in bad weather, always check the forecast for consecutive days with excellent weather. You still need to carry the covering if things do not go differently than planned. If your bike fits in the car, you must ensure to regularly take it out during sweltering temperatures, which could cause the tires to pop.
Key Things to Remember
Some of the things you must do when traveling with your bike include:
● Remember to Check Your Bikes Condition Before the Trip
You want to ensure your bike is in top shape before starting your journey to make necessary adjustments and repairs. Ensure to go through your bike checklist.
● Remember to Carry Spare Parts
For both your bike and car, ensure you have a repair tool kit for your bike and a spanner to help with the gears.
● Remember to Service Your Car
You want to avoid car breakdown or flat tires just a few hours into your road trip, by servicing your car before the trip.
● Wash and Lubricate Your Bike When You Arrive at Your Destination.
It should prevent corrosion from accumulated dirt during the road trip. It should also be cleaned once you get back home.
Road trips and mountain bikes make up the best adventures one can engage in during the weekend. You must, however, be well-versed in how best to carry your mountain bike with your car. Should the cycle be in or out of the car? What should you use to mount your bike on the vehicle? These are crucial questions you must answer.