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How Fast Can You Go With A Bike Rack?

Driving is a task that requires a lot of attention from the driver. On top of that, if a bike rack is mounted on the vehicle, the already tedious task becomes a bit more tedious. Bike racks come in handy while transporting bikes from one place to another, but it imposes some limitations on the vehicle’s overall performance. A vehicle with a bike rack cannot go as fast as a vehicle without it can. Therefore, knowing how fast you can go with a bike rack is necessary to avoid deadly accidents.

How Fast Can You Drive With A Bike Rack?

Generally, the rule of thumb suggests that you should not go faster than 55mph-65mph with a bike rack. However, this is not a rigid rule. How fast you can go with a bike rack depends on a lot of variables. Type of bike rack, where it is mounted, type of vehicle, how many bikes the rack can hold, if the vehicle is carrying bikes in the bike rack, etc. are the variables that need to be taken into account while ascertaining how fast you can go with a bike rack.

Types of Bike Rack

There are many types of bike racks available in the market. Each of these bike racks affects your vehicle’s performance in numerous ways. The most popular types are listed as follows:

  • Hitch Rack
  • Roof Rack
  • Spare Tire Rack
  • Trunk Rack
  • Soft Rack

How Fast Can You Drive With A Hitch Rack?

Hitch racks are mounted at the rear end of your vehicle. These racks are quite heavy-duty and can take a load of bikes quite well. With hitch bike racks mounted at the back of your vehicle, you can drive your vehicle at 65mph on perfect road and weather conditions. However, if it is raining outside or you are going down a bumpy road, you should keep your vehicle speed to a minimum. Usually, you should exceed the 55mph mark on your speed gauge if it’s raining or you’re going through a bumpy road. Hitch racks also come in two different categories. The platform hitch rack allows you to go at 65 mph, whereas you can only go at 55 miles per hour at best with a hanging hitch rack, even if the road and weather conditions are perfect.

How Fast Can You Drive With A Roof Rack?

This type of rack is installed at the top of the vehicle. It is one of the most reliable and convenient bike racks available for buying. This is one of the bike racks that does not restrict a vehicle from adhering to low-speed limits. With a roof rack mounted on top, it is safe for a vehicle to clock up to 80mph. A vehicle should only go up to 80mph with a roof bike rack in the suitable road, weather, and traffic conditions. It is important to note that roof bike racks are comparatively heavier, affecting the vehicle’s acceleration and braking. To drive safely with a roof rack, one must keep these two things in mind.

How Fast Can You Drive With A Spare-Tire Rack?

Spare-Tire Racks are ideal bike racks for SUV and Off-road vehicles. Like a hitch rack and trunk rack, a spare-tire rack is anchored at the back of the vehicle with the spare tire. Unlike the other bike racks, the spare-tire rack is not permanently mounted to the vehicle, making it much more convenient to install. However, the rack is not very convenient if you are planning to drive your vehicle fast. A vehicle with a spare-tire bike rack can go as fast as 50mph. Going beyond this speed is dangerous as it increases the likelihood of the rack getting damaged and leading to a catastrophic vehicle crash.

How Fast Can You Drive With A Trunk Rack?

As the name suggests, the trunk rack is mounted at the trunk of a vehicle with straps that hold it still. This type of bike rack is light in weight, and thus, people have a misconception that vehicles with trunk racks can go faster than vehicles with other bike racks. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Due to the lightweight structure, the trunk racks are not as strong as most other types of bike racks. Thus, vehicles are advised to go at a slower speed to prevent any kind of damage. Typically, drivers are advised not to exceed 55mph as going beyond the limit may cause damage to both the vehicle and bike rack, which may eventually lead to a catastrophic accident.

How Fast Can You Drive With A Soft Rack?

While most bike racks are made with hard and strong materials such as steel and aluminum, soft bike racks are made of rubber. Despite being made with a soft material, soft bike racks take 105 pounds of weight. Soft bike racks are also very favorable for going fast. A vehicle with a soft bike rack can clock close to 80mph without it being a danger to anybody else.

Are Bike Racks Safe to Use?

Bike racks are very safe to use if they are installed properly. Mounting a bike rack improperly can make the bike get detached in the middle of the road and cause an accident. Therefore, making sure that bike racks are properly attached is very crucial. When attached correctly, bike racks are very safe to use. In fact, bike racks are one of the safest and most convenient tools for transporting bikes from one place to another.

Are Bike Racks Safe On Highway?

Yes, bike racks are very safe on highways too. The key to using bike racks safely (whether on a highway or any road) is attaching the bike rack properly. Make sure it is firmly attached to your vehicle. Follow the prescribed manner of installing the bike rack. For added stability, consider tying the wheels of your bike with a rope or bungee cord. If you follow this, you will not have to worry about your bike shooting out of your vehicle in the middle of the highway.


Final Thoughts

Bike racks do impose some embargo on speeds, but the convenience of a bike rack outweighs the inconvenience. Although 55-65mph is widely considered the general rule, how fast you can go depends on the quality of your bike rack. Usually, the manufacturer of bike racks sets a speed limit. No one should exceed the speed limit set by the manufacturer. Weight is also a very important factor. If you are loading 2/3 bikes on the rack, make sure that you are driving at a slower speed as the added weight causes your vehicle to take more time to slow down. Finally, always consider the road, climate, and traffic conditions while determining how fast you should go.

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