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Cycle Carrier Guide

 There are  different types of cycle carriers so how to choose the best rack for transporting your bike.We have put together a guide which we hope helps 

 The questions you need to know are

  1. How many bikes you need to carry.  
  2. Which bike carrier will fit the car.
  3. How frequently are you going to use your rack.
  4. Will you be carrying childs bikes
  5. How much storage space it will take up when not in use.

 Tow-bar mounted bike racks either connect to a standard towball, or bolt to the towball-mounting plate, with the mounting plate you will either need a fixed flange towbar or a detachable flange towbar. To carry bikes on 4x4  vehicles with a spare wheel on the back door you may need one of our special 4x4 cycle carriers.

Note that you can never tow at the same time with a platform cycle rack in place, as the rack sticks out behind the tow ball. If you want to tow you will need to go for a maxxraxx cycle carrier with a plate that fits behind the towball

Benefits of towbar mounted cycle carriers;

  • Very strong. 
  • ​Bikes are held clear of the vehicle to prevent any damage to paintwork.
  • Tow bar mounted bike racks give the lowest increase in fuel consumption*
  • In most cases one rack is suitable for use on a second or replacement vehicle.
  • Bikes are extremely easy to load


Hang on style

Platform Style

Platform Style

hang on maxraxx

If you want to tow and carry bikes at the same time this is the solution. The base plate fits behind the towbar and stays even when the bike carrier is not attached

You need a fixed towbar for this style or a detachable flange type towbar.

Hang on' racks - you hang the bike/cycle from its crossbar. Bear in mind though that you'll need to add on at least £18 for a lighting board. An artificial cross bar is available for ladies bikes and Y frame bikes.  

 If you have a spare wheel on the back door you will need to buy a vehicle specific bike rack.   

Pros ;

Can tow and carry at the same time.

Cheaper option.


Parking sensors may see the base plate.

No access to boot.

Bikes can not be securely locked to your car.

Platform Style

Platform Style

Platform Style

platform thule

The most popular type of bike carrier. It attaches directly to your towball Special supports keep the bikes apart and prevent any rubbing damage. These supports can be easily folded down for storage. Come complete with a lighting and number plate unit.

Some wheel support racks tilt, even with the bikes/cycles in place, to allow the tailgate to be opened. 


Can't tow and carry bikes at the same time.

More expensive than hang on option.


Access to boot

Easy to load.

Certain types can carry electrics bikes

Come with lighting.

Carrying Capacity

You need to consider your towbar nose weight, bike racks are designed to carry a maximum load if you exceed this the towbar could buckle, we have known the car chassis to buckle. 

Exceeding the nose weight invalidates the warranty of the bike carrier and vehicle.