If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves cycling, one of the best ways to transport your bikes is by mounting a bike rack on your Subaru Outback. A bike rack provides a safe and secure way to carry your bikes, without taking up valuable cargo space in your car. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the process of choosing and mounting a bike rack on your Subaru Outback, step by step.
Types of Bike Racks
Before we dive into the specifics of mounting a bike rack on your Subaru Outback, let’s take a look at the different types of bike racks available. There are four main types of bike racks:
Roof-mounted bike racks: These racks are designed to mount to the roof bars of your car. They usually require a separate rack system, which includes the bars and the mounting points for the rack.
Trunk-mounted bike racks: These racks are designed to mount to the trunk or hatch of your car. They use straps or hooks to secure the rack to the car.
Hitch-mounted bike racks: These racks attach to a trailer hitch on the back of your car. They are generally considered the most stable and secure type of bike rack.
Spare tire-mounted bike racks: These racks are specifically designed for cars with a spare tire mounted on the back. They attach to the spare tire and extend out from the car.
Choosing the Right Bike Rack for a Subaru Outback
When choosing a bike rack for your Subaru Outback, there are a few things to consider:
Type of rack: As we mentioned earlier, there are four main types of bike racks. Consider your needs, as well as the size of your bikes and your car, when choosing the right type of rack.
Number of bikes: How many bikes do you need to transport? Make sure the rack you choose is rated for the number of bikes you want to carry.
Compatibility with your car: Make sure the bike rack is compatible with your Subaru Outback. Check the weight limit, as well as any specific compatibility requirements for your car.
Budget: Bike racks can range from inexpensive to very expensive. Set a budget that works for you, and look for the best rack you can afford within that budget.
Some popular bike rack brands that are compatible with Subaru Outbacks include Thule, Yakima, and Saris.
How to Prepare Your Car for Mounting a Bike Rack
Before you mount a bike rack on your Subaru Outback, there are a few things you should do to prepare your car:
Clean the roof or hitch area: Make sure the area where you’ll be mounting the bike rack is clean and free of debris. This will ensure a secure fit for the rack.
Check the weight limit: Make sure you know the weight limit for your car, as well as the weight limit for the rack you’ve chosen. Don’t exceed these limits.
Check the instructions: Make sure you read and understand the instructions for mounting the rack on your car. Follow them carefully to ensure a safe and secure fit.
How to Mount a Bike Rack on a Subaru Outback: Step by Step
Now that you’ve chosen the right bike rack and prepared your car, it’s time to mount the rack on your Subaru Outback.
Step 1: Install the Rack on the Car
Follow the instructions that came with your bike rack to install the rack on your car. This will vary depending on the type of rack you’ve chosen. For roof-mounted racks, you’ll need to install the roof bars and mounting points first. For hitch-mounted racks, you’ll need to install the rack into the hitch receiver on your car. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and tighten all bolts and screws securely.
Step 2: Load Your Bikes Onto the Rack
Once the rack is securely installed on your car, it’s time to load your bikes onto the rack. Follow these steps:
Position the bikes: Position your bikes on the rack, making sure they are evenly spaced and securely fastened.
Secure the bikes: Use straps or hooks to secure the bikes to the rack. Make sure the straps are tight and the bikes are stable.
Check the bikes: Before you hit the road, give the bikes a final check to make sure they are secure and won’t shift during transportation.
Step 3: Drive Carefully
When you’re transporting bikes on your Subaru Outback, it’s important to drive carefully. Avoid sudden movements, and take turns slowly. Be aware of the increased height of your car with the bikes on the rack, and watch for low-clearance obstacles like parking garages or drive-thru awnings.
Tips for Securing the Bike Rack and Bikes During Transportation
Here are a few tips to help you ensure a safe and secure transportation of your bikes on your Subaru Outback:
Tighten the straps: Make sure the straps or hooks securing the bikes to the rack are tight. This will prevent the bikes from shifting during transportation.
Lock your bikes: Consider using a bike lock to secure your bikes to the rack. This will help prevent theft while you’re away from your car.
Use a cover: Consider using a cover over your bikes. This will help protect them from the elements during transportation.
Check the rack: Before and during transportation, check the rack for any signs of loosening or wear. Tighten any bolts or screws that need it, and replace any worn parts.
Q: Can I use a roof-mounted bike rack on my Subaru Outback?
A: Yes, you can use a roof-mounted bike rack on your Subaru Outback. Make sure you install the roof bars and mounting points according to the instructions, and make sure the weight of the bikes and rack does not exceed the weight limit for your car.
Q: Can I use a trunk-mounted bike rack on my Subaru Outback?
A: Yes, you can use a trunk-mounted bike rack on your Subaru Outback. Make sure you choose a rack that is compatible with your car, and follow the instructions carefully for securing the rack to the car.
Q: Do I need to take my bike wheels off to use a bike rack?
A: In most cases, you do not need to take your bike wheels off to use a bike rack. However, some bike racks may require you to remove the front wheel or use an adapter to accommodate the bike.
Mounting a bike rack on your Subaru Outback is a great way to transport your bikes safely and securely. By choosing the right type of rack, preparing your car, and following the instructions carefully, you can enjoy stress-free bike transportation wherever your adventures take you. Remember to always drive carefully and check the rack and bikes frequently during transportation. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be ready to hit the road with your bikes in tow in no time!