Bike carriers are a practical solution for all those who don’t want to do without their bike on holiday. Roof boxes are also suitable for transporting luggage.
But not only the fuel consumption but also the risk of accidents can increase with improper use.
After all, serious accidents caused by falling parts from bicycle racks or roof boxes are not uncommon when sudden braking or evasive maneuvers occur.
For this reason, motorists should be sure to follow a few tips during installation.
Bike rack: Pay attention to speed and load
The manufacturer of the bicycle carrier usually specifies the permissible speed. It is generally between 120 and 130 km/h. Up to this speed, motorists have their standard insurance coverage. You may lose it if you drive faster.
It is essential to observe the load capacity of the car. When transporting bicycles on the roof, some cars stop at 40 kilograms.
Attention: In coupling carriers, it is not the towing load of the vehicle that counts but the drawbar load of the trailer coupling. With heavy e-bikes and the dead weight of the carrier, you may quickly reach the limits of the vehicle. Aluminum trailer couplings are also not at all suitable for attaching bicycle carriers.
Care during assembly
Only the specified straps or tensioning devices may be used when mounting bicycle carriers. All screws, pins, and cotter pins must be tight. The ball head on the coupling support must be free of grease.
All additional attachments to the bike, such as e-bike batteries, shopping baskets, or air pumps and bags, must be removed for transport. If tailgate carriers or coupling carriers obscure the rear number plate, an identical plate must be attached to the carriers.
During transport, you should check the fit and fastening of the carriers and wheels again and again.
However, for bicycle carriers, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on care and maintenance too. Bike racks should be cleaned regularly and should be checked for safety before and during use.
Roof boxes: Danger of overloading
When driving with roof boxes, overloading is a frequent cause of accidents.
The total weight of the package, carriers, and permitted load must not exceed the maximum roof load specified in the operating instructions for the car.
Besides, the permissible total weight of the vehicle, which can be found in the vehicle registration document, must not be exceeded. The luggage should be evenly distributed in the roof box. We have an article on choosing the best roof cargo carrier, you can read it here.
Additional safety can be provided by tension belts or safety nets inside the box. There is no prescribed speed limit for driving with a roof box. However, automobile clubs recommend not to move faster than 130 km/h.