Transporting your bike on a hitch

A bicycle hitch for your vehicle can open up new possibilities. In this article, I hope to explain the many benefits to purchasing, owning, and putting to good use a hitch to carry your bikes with your car. After reading this article, you may be encouraged to make an investment in a bike hitch of your own. You may otherwise remember the hitch for your cycle collecting dust in your basement and decide it is time to once again put it to good use. Otherwise, you may decide that the risks or costs associated with a bike hitch do not outweigh the benefits. In any event, I hope I can provide some helpful information on the topic of bicycle hitches so that you are more able to make an informed decision on the subject.

Benefits

I would like to begin with some of the many benefit of bicycle hitches. First I will explain the basic concept and what they are designed to accomplish. It is actually very quite simple. Bicycle hitches are metal frames that attach to the rear of your vehicle under the bumper and for the lack of a better term they plug into the small square opening near the center of your vehicle. If you can’t find this area on your vehicle, it very well may be the case that your vehicle is not equipped with one at all. Hitches are traditionally associated with trucks, vans, and SUVs. This is due to the utility concept of the vehicle and the hauling characteristics or towing capabilities with which these vehicles are built. First consider hitches are primarily used to tow heavy trailers, possibly laden with a boat, or a horse trailer, or even used to tow another vehicle. It would be hard to imagine a small four door sedan pulling such weight, and it may indeed be impossible due to the lack of torque and strength of the vehicle. To get back on track and not bore you with any more basics about what comprises a hitch, bicycle hitches are obviously use to transport bicycles which attached to the exterior of your vehicle. One main reason why a bike hitch may be needed would be if your vehicle is too small for your cycle to fit inside. When you think about bikes, considering the handlebars and pedals, bicycles have a pretty awkward shape. This could make it impossible for your doors to close with a bike inside even if visually you believe your vehicle should have enough room. Even an SUV would have trouble with multiple bikes, making a hitch necessary if you are planning a family biking trip. Also, on a family trip, valuable space inside your vehicle would most likely be reserved for you and your family’s other possessions such as clothing, food, and other luggage. Keeping dirty bicycle tires and other muddy parts out of your vehicle is another consideration for deciding how to haul your bike. In addition, preventing other wear and tear or damage to the interior of your vehicle should be noted.

Concerns

Despite all of the benefits mentioned above, I would like to briefly point out some area of concern just for the sake of argument and thoroughness. Vandalism is one thing that comes to mind when thinking about having your valuable cycle attached to the outside of your vehicle. If you are not simply going from home straight to the trail, you may stop at some other attractions or errand along your way. Leaving your bicycle unsupervised can easily lead to theft. Another consideration for using a hitch to transport your bicycle is the possibility of your bike falling off the hitch during transport. This problem is almost always due to human error. There are three things you can do that will almost guarantee you will not run into this mistake. First, make sure you follow all of the manufacturer’s guidelines. Improper connections or simply not using the hitch correctly is a major issue, This also includes making sure you do not overload the hitch with more weight or stress than it is designed to hold. Secondly, double-check your work. If you are in a hurry or become complacent, it is easy to make a costly mistake. Checking your work can solve this issue. Lastly, check the hitch and all connections for wear and tear. If a strap here or a latch there becomes too worn due to use or the outside elements, they can fail and lead to disaster. Use these three tips and you should not have a problem.

Conclusion

It is in my own humble opinion that the benefits outweigh the risks. However, everyone has different priorities. I hope in the least that you are now better informed and motivated to made a decision on the subject. Safe travels!

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