There is a secret to installing bike racks which general consumers don't typically know. The secret is that it's actually very easy. While there are two major roof rack companies and a handful of lesser-known manufacturers, the process of developing all of these rack systems is similar. There are hundreds of different models of vehicles, so bike rack makers have to develop systems for every type of car. They also must test their systems to make sure they fit the widest possible range of vehicles. The end result is that bike rack systems have established installation steps. Here's how to get started:
The first step is to determine which system is desired. Some systems are roof-mounted while others are trunk-mounted. Some racks hold many bikes; others, only one or two. Determine which type of rack you want and then find out the requirements determined by your car style. Since the roof rack companies must develop a rack for each car ,they offer a catalog that will specify which system to use for your car.
The next step is to ensure all parts of the bike rack are present. A basic system will include four boots, two cross bars and the bike rack components. Boots are the base towers that secure the cross bars to the vehicle. Bike rack components are typically either a tray running from front to back, or two clamps for securing the bicycle.
While it seems obvious, the third step is to read over the installation manual. It is amazing to find out that many consumers don't thoroughly read the instructions. It's also true, however, that many instructions can seem ambiguous or difficult to understand at first glance. It pays to review the instructions a number of times in a thorough manner.
Measure twice, install once. The fourth step is to measure the connection points of the bike rack carefully. The measurements involved are front to back and side to side. Side measurements of the bike rack tell you where to connect the boot, or tower, to the crossbar. When measured correctly, you will be able to secure the boots to the crossbar prior to placing the bar on the vehicle.
The fifth step is to place the bars on the roof. Start with the front crossbar and then the rear in accordance with the measurements taken in step four.
Finally, make adjustments as necessary and tighten the system.