Bike Rack Hire

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Read about 'Bike Rack Hire' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

The ruggedly beautiful New Zealand scenery makes for some of the best cycling trails found anywhere in the world. While some of us here in NZ are lucky enough to have these biking tracks right on our doorstep, others must seek the means to transport not only multiple bikes but all of the associated gear.

Instead of trying to dismantle your bikes, with the intention of cramming them into the car boot, consider seeking out the car hire that includes purpose built bike mounts. Whether it’s a roof mounted bike rack, rear trunk mounted (no tow bar required) or bike rack mounted on the vehicle’s tow ball, bike mounts are a really efficient way to transport multiple bikes no matter the type or size.

Bike mounted covered trailers are also a good option, not only for transporting the bikes but also providing plenty of lockable room for luggage and extra gear. If weather conditions or security is a concern larger tandem covered trailers or cargo vans are also a good choice, with room to fit bikes, gear and extras internally.

Types Of New Zealand Bike Mounts

There are three main types of vehicle mounted bike racks used here in New Zealand, Roof mounted, Tow Ball mounted and Rear mounted. Trailer mounted options are also available at selected car hire companies, see below for more details.

Roof Mounted Bike Racks

Available in fork, frame or wheel mounted styles, roof mounted bike racks are the most popular option for transporting between 1 to 6 bikes. The majority of roof-mount bike racks will require the use of an existing roof rack system or additional base rack system in order to secure the bike mount to the vehicle. Carrying bikes on the roof allows for easier access to the boot or rear of the vehicle, but does add to the vehicle’s drag when travelling.

Roof Mounted Bicycles

Tow Ball/Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

Simple, effective transportation for up to 5 bikes, tow ball or hitch mounted bike racks are the easiest bike mounts to install and remove (easily clamping to the vehicles tow ball). There is also the added bonus of having the bikes at eye level which provides easy loading and unloading and improved accessibility. Because the bikes are behind the vehicle there is very little interruption to the airflow when driving so fuel consumption is relatively unaffected.

Rear/Trunk Mounted Bike Racks

An excellent option if the vehicle does not have an existing tow bar or hitch, rear mounted bike racks offer quick, easy transportation for one or more bikes. There are a range of cleverly designed rear mounted systems available with various methods of attaching to different vehicles, including straps, suction and clips. These systems are usually highly adjustable, enabling them to be fitted to a variety of vehicles. 

Rear Mounted Bicycle

Trailer Mounted Bike Racks

Got more than five bikes and need more space? A bike trailer may be the best option. Transporting multiple bikes and the associated gear can become just a bit much for the average family or larger group. Whether choosing a flatbed or covered trailer, bike trailers let you take all of the bikes out on the road, safely, easily and securely.

Bike Mount Accessories

Now you have the bike mount sorted it may be time to think about a few accessories that can make your trip a little less complicated, take a look below for some of the most common bike mount accessories.

  • Cargo Nets. Great when struggling to tie down any loose items on the roof rack or trailer. Cargo nets are a good alternative to ropes and bungee cords.
  • Universal Towbar Extensions. Need a bit more clearance between the vehicle and the bikes? A tow bar extension will do the job, easily and efficiently.
  • Bike Bonz. Clever, simple and efficient, Bike Bonz keep multiple bikes from rubbing against each other and causing damage while in transit.
  • Tail Light Kits. Are the bikes covering up your taillights? Grab a tail light kit from your local retailer. Using Velcro straps the tail light kit is easily attached and uses a standard 7 pin trailer plug to connect to the vehicle on-board systems.
  • Bungee Cords Or Toggle Ties. Essential for securing bikes while in transit, bungee cords offer safe, easy to fit, peace of mind you can trust.

Bike Rack Fitting Instructions

Obviously different types and brands of bike racks have different methods for attaching to different vehicles, it is important to follow the instructions provided to avoid any potentially damage causing situations. Here are a few things to remember when using bike mounts.

  • Always prevent any metal/solid parts of the bike or bike rack from coming into contact with the vehicle.
  • Bike racks and bikes should never come into contact with the vehicles glass, particularly on hatchback type vehicles.
  • When fitting bikes to a bike rack give the bikes a shake upon completion to test for any loose bits or movement that could potentially cause damage.
  • Drive conservatively, avoiding bumps where possible.
  • Stop and periodically check the bikes while in transit to ensure everything is secure.
  • Where a roof mounted bike rack is used care must be taken when driving in underground carparks and under any height restricted areas.
  • For safety reasons, remove the bike rack from car when not in use.
  • Never carry more than the bike mounts stated maximum capacity.
  • Always use the recommended straps or bungee cords to secure the bikes to the rack.
  • Do not use bike mounts on vehicles which they are not designed for, racks or bikes falling off in transit can cause serious accidents.
  • Always use bike racks in accordance with local motor vehicle and traffic laws and regulations.
  • For rear mounted and tow bar mounted bike racks never open the boot or trunk of the vehicle when a bike rack is in place.
  • Check to ensure bike positioned on the bike rack are at a safe distance from exhaust/muffler vehicle components.

Bicycle Beside Road

Things To Remember When Cycling In New Zealand

Hitting the cycle trails in New Zealand can be a lot of fun, but it is important to remember you are very susceptible to our ever changing weather conditions, use this handy checklist to make sure you are well prepared.

  1. Helmet. It is mandatory to wear a cycle helmet while on any public roads in New Zealand, and strongly advisable to wear one even if you are only traversing back country trails.
  2. Cycling Appropriate Clothing. Try to dress appropriately for cycling, consider padded cycle shorts for comfort if biking for long periods, breathable, adaptable layers of clothing are best, avoid loose clothing that is likely to get caught in the mechanics of the bike. Always carry appropriate wet or cold weather gear, gloves are also a good idea.
  3. Shoes. Worn-in sneakers or trainers are the best, reducing the risk of blisters or discomfort.
  4. A Small Backpack. These are ideal to carry items needed for the day, like food, water, jackets and any emergency supplies.
  5. Emergency First Aid Kit. Small first aid kits with the essentials are a vital piece of equipment for anyone heading into New Zealand’s great outdoors.
  6. Water. Not every New Zealand cycle trail will have drinkable water sources available along the way, always carry a good drinking bottle and enough water for the entire trip.
  7. Sunglasses, Hat And Sunscreen. Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun along the way.
  8. Camera. Don’t miss out on capturing some of New Zealand’s amazing scenery and natural attractions to show everyone back home.
  9. Mobile Phone. Be aware mobile phone coverage is not available in all areas of New Zealand, it is best to check coverage details before setting out.

Mountain Biker Cycling In Wet Forest

Looking for convenient bike rack hire with car rental? USAVE Car Rentals have a great selection of bike mounts easily fitted to their station wagons and 4WD rental cars. Or for families and larger groups, an excellent choice of covered bike trailers that can be paired with people movers and 10-12 seat minibuses. Take the hassle out of transporting your bikes and gear with car and bike rack hire from USAVE Car Rentals.

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