The Complete Guide to Buying a Roof-Mounted Bike Rack on eBay

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Roof-Mounted Bike Rack on eBay

Biking is valued not only for its utility but also for its recreational aspect. For those who love biking, nothing compares to exploring the great outdoors via a bike. The experience is exhilarating as well as refreshing. People drive far to bike around challenging terrains or beautiful landscapes. For this reason, a bike rack is a much-needed car accessory.

There are different types of bike racks, and each has a different intended position on the car. A roof-mounted bike rack provides a good number of conveniences. For instance, it does not block parts of the car that could serve other uses, such as the back part of the car where placing a bike rack prevents a car owner from towing something or placing another rack there for a different purpose. There are different types of roof-mounted bike racks, and it is important to know about them as well as the considering car roof height, security, ease of use, and aerodynamics when buying a roof-mounted bike rack in order to make sure that only the best-suited is purchased.

Types of Roof-Mounted Bike Rack

Roof-mounted bike racks differ in the way they lock and support a bike. The types of roof-mounted bike racks are the fork-mount bike rack, wheel-mount bike rack, and frame-mount bike rack.

Fork-Mount Bike Rack

In this type of roof-mounted bike rack, the front wheel of the bicycle is removed, and the bicycle itself is anchored at the fork for maximum stability and support. The first step to utilising a fork-mount bike rack is removing the front wheel of the bicycle and mounting it to the crossbar using a bike wheel rack. Users can also just keep the wheel inside the boot. To place the bike on the bike rack, the rear wheel needs to be positioned in the track. Wrap the strap around the wheel. There is a skewer in front of the rack where the fork of the bike is placed. The skewer clamps around the bike fork, securely connecting the bike frame to the rack.

Benefits of a Fork-Mount Bike Rack

There are several benefits of owning a fork-mount bike rack. One benefit is security. The device locks the frame of the back without putting unnecessary stress on the frame. This type of bike rack allows easy securing and removing of a bike. Bikes like the maverick bikes with 24 millimetre forks, bikes with lefty forks, specialised bikes with 25 mm forks, and bikes with the non-standard 15 or 20 mm diameter need a fork mount adapter to place securely on this bike rack.

Wheel-Mount Bike Rack

When using a wheel-mount bike rack, the front wheel of the bike does not need to be removed. The front wheel is the part that is secured to avoid making contact with the bike frame. The weight of the bike would be as stable during transit as it would be with a fork-mount bike rack. When mounting a bike on this type of bike rack, users must position the wheels on the rack. The front arm of the bike rack should clamp the front tyre securely, with the back arm of the bike rack supporting the back side of the front wheel. Also, users must make sure that the back wheel is strapped properly.

One of the benefits of using a wheel-mount bike rack is that users do not need to detach the front wheel of the bike. Carbon fibre bike frames would benefit the most from the no-frame contact feature of a wheel-mount bike rack. This bike rack can support almost all types of bicycles, including mountain bikes, downhill bikes, and bikes with disc brakes. Wheel-mount bike racks allow easy mount and removal of a bike.

Frame-Mount Bike Rack

Using a frame-mount bike rack is very much like using a wheel-mount bike rack. The front-mount variety differs from the wheel-mount variety in the focus of support. Unlike its wheel-mount counterpart, the frame-mount bike rack secures the bike at its frame instead of its front wheel.

When putting a bike on this bike rack, place both wheels in the track. Then move the arm of the rack to the centre of the bike frame to firmly hold it in place. Finally, wrap the straps around the wheels for optimal stability. There is no need to remove the front wheels using the front-mount bike racks. It is very easy to place, secure, and detach a bike with a frame-mounted bike rack. These bike racks are compatible with almost all types of bikes, including mountain bikes, downhill bikes, and bikes with disc brakes.

Brands of Roof-Mounted Bike Racks

There are several brands for roof-mounted bike racks. Popular ones include Thule, Halfords, and Yakima.


One of the most-esteemed products for roof-mounted bike racks, Thule offers a range of products with a simple design but strong support for the bike. Thule has been providing quality bike racks since 1942. The company’s featured roof-mounted bike rack, ProRide 591, is light and has an elegant design. The wheel tray and frame holder position the bike correctly in place. The model fits bike frames up to 100 mm. It is also equipped with wheel holders with rubber pads for protection to the rims of the mountain bikes.

It is easy to place a Thule roof-mounted bike rack, and adjusting it on either left or right side of the car roof is done by moving the frame holder only. In addition, the model is designed to fit onto car roof bars with width up to 60 mm.


Halfords range of products is extensive, from bike parts to car technology and from car maintenance to baby products. Its roof mount cycle carrier can carry two bikes and has an advanced and lockable frame holder. It also has adjustable wheel holders and the much-needed wheel-retaining straps. The bike rack is lockable to roof bars but has also a quick release feature for easy removal of bikes. It can be fitted on round and oval down tubes from 22 to 55 mm in diameter. The only requirement of this type of roof-mounted bike rack is a car that has roof bars.


Yakima is another popular brand for bike racks. The company has been providing secure bike racks to make more room inside the car, staying true to their philosophy of going outdoors with as many people is more fun.

One model of Yakima's roof-mounted bike racks is the SprocketRocket. It is marketed as the sleekest, most secure bike mount buyers can ever find. The model is flexible enough to accommodate a range of bike styles. It can support bike tyres up to 3 inches wide. The black-finished bike rack allows a no-tool installation and easy removal. Also, the roof-mounted bike rack model of Yakima, when installed, does not touch the painted surface of the car.

Considerations Before Buying a Roof-Mounted Bike Rack

Buyers must consider four essential things before purchasing a roof-mounted bike rack. The considerations are the car roof height, security, ease of use, and aerodynamics.

Car Roof Height

Buyers must ask the question, "Can I reach the roof of my car with ease?" before buying a roof-mounted bike rack. It is important to ask the question because mounting a bike rack includes accurately positioning the frame and wheels and securing it with rack arms and straps afterwards. If the answer to the question is "no", then buyers can buy additional support, such as a wheel step mounted on the tyres of the vehicle, in order to easily reach the top part of the car. Another option is to buy a nerf bar or a running board, which are permanent additions to the car but are easier to use than wheel steps.


Users can only do so much when thief-proofing their roof-mounted bike racks. However it is worth a try. Lock cylinders can be used to secure the bike rack and the bike itself. Keyed-alike systems that use lock cores can be provided with the bike rack. The lock system gives the convenience of one key to be used in the lock of bike of the bike rack and bike rack to car roof. There are also bike racks that come with locking cables for more protection to the bike.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, the rule of thumb is that any roof-mounted bike rack that has clamping arms, frame mount, and wheel mount has a more elaborate process when securing a bike. Therefore, it is important that users be able to reach the roof of the car, either naturally or by a wheel step, nerf bar, or running board. A number of roof-mounted bike racks design the racks for a one-hand adjustment, with users only needing to twist a knob using one hand to tighten or loosen the hold on the bike via a skewer.


When travelling with a bike mounted on a roof-mounted bike rack, wind noise and drag can present a problem. Users can lessen this problem by buying a fairing that provides more air resistance that the roof rack alone cannot provide. Roof-mounted bike racks, such as AeroBlade and Whispbar racks, however, do not need a fairing because they effectively battle wind noise.

Buying a Roof-Mounted Bike Rack on eBay

There are plenty of roof-mounted bike racks on eBay. eBay lists different types of bike racks, and buyers can filter their search results according to preference. For example, they can find new or used roof-mounted bike racks, or look for a brand like Thule or car make like Vauxhall. eBay's search features helps buyers narrow down the results to help find them exactly what they need. You also get suggestions, in a non-intrusive way, of products that are related to what you are searching for.

Moreover, eBay also ranks the sellers according to percentage of positive feedbacks, and those with the highest percentage get a top-rated seller badge. This way, you can pick out the top sellers, buy from them, and have the assurance of smooth transaction, and at times, get free shipping.

If you encounter any problem on the site, you can always go to seek customer support to post your query. In addition, if there is anything in the product description that does not make sense, you can send the seller a direct message asking questions or discussing concerns.


A roof-mounted bike is a must-have car accessory for those who like to drive to places to bike. This type of bike rack allows a car owner to bring bikes without crowding the interior of the car or obstructing the exit and entry points in the car. Roof-mounted bike racks come in three types: the fork-mount bike rack, the wheel-mount bike rack, and the frame-mount bike racks. The types of roof-mounted bike racks differ based on part of the bike they mainly secure. Roof-mounted bike racks also come from different manufacturers, and each model can be fitted in various car makes.

Before buying a roof-mounted bike rack, it is important to assess if buyers can easily reach the roof of the car; otherwise, a wheel step, nerf bar, or running board is needed. Lock cylinders and keyed-alike systems are used to protect not only the bike but the bike rack. A fairing can be bought to lessen the wind noise when travelling with a bike attached to a roof-mounted bike rack. For people who love to drive to terrains and landscapes to bike, a roof-mounted back is a convenient addition to the car. Buyers must keep in mind the accessibility of the car roof, the security measures, and ease of use offered by the bike rack when buying a roof-mounted bike rack.

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