What is The best way to transport a full suspension mountain bike?

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If this is your first-time full-suspension mountain biking, chances are you have looked at your bike with the suspension underneath and wondered “How does it fit on my bike rack?”

The added suspension can make the traditional hitch rack somewhat inconvenient. However, there are many other options to transport your mountain bike with suspension.

Tray-style hitch racks are the best way to transport a full suspension mountain bicycle. They can be attached to the bike’s wheelbase or roof, or placed in your truck bed on a bike shuttle pad.

It can be safely transported in your car’s trunk in an emergency, but this is not a good idea. For more information on why the first option is better than the second, read on.

Hitch Racks to Suspension Bike

Hitch racks are one of the best bike rack options on the market. Although they are simple to set up and mount your bike to, there are some limitations. You will need a vehicle that has a hitch, or you’ll have to purchase one. This will increase the cost by a few hundred bucks.

The best choice is the tray-style hitch racks. They are supported by the bike’s wheelbase and can be used with all types of bikes. They can also support the weight of the wheels, making them the most stable hitch racks.

You can also use top-tube mounting hitch racks, but to make it work with full suspension bikes you’ll need a top tube¬†adapter. If your full suspension has dropper posts, you should not use that style of bike rack. Dropper posts do not support the weight of the bike, so it is not recommended to hang your bike weight on the dropper and drive on the highway.

Roof Racks for Suspension Bike

A roof rack is another option to transport a full suspension bicycle with a sedan, crossover, or SUV. Although this may require additional equipment, such as rails or other support, it provides a stable and secure solution for your best mountain bikes.

Roof racks have a tray to hold the rear wheel and an axle mounting for the front wheel. This provides a stable mounting system. The axle mount allows you to lock your bicycle to the roof with a roof rack, significantly reducing theft risk.

Roof racks have one drawback: you will need to add equipment. They work best when you have a shorter vehicle. The overhead lifting and loading of the bicycle take some effort. A shorter vehicle will make it easier.

Truck Bed

Truck Shuttle Pad

There are a few options for semi-suspension bikes if you own a pickup truck. The truck shuttle pad wraps around your truck’s gate, providing cushioning for your down tube and strapping to hold the bike in place.

The bike will be securely secured by one of these pads. However, the front wheel can hang out beyond the tailgate when using one of the pads. It is easy to load and unload bikes by simply lifting them into the trunk and then strapping them onto the pad. No disassembly is required.

Track pads have a downside. You run the risk of ripping the downtube if they wear thinly or if the bike is not securely secured. There is no integrated locking mechanism like the roof racks on sedans.

Mounts for the Axle

Standalone axle mounts are another option that will work well for sprinter van owners and truck owners. There are many options on the market. Some can be used with thru-axles, such as those on full-suspension mountain bikes, while others can work with quick-release skewers.

Some axle mounts have integrated locking mechanisms that can be used to prevent theft. They can be mounted directly to the fork and are very stable. They do require you to remove the front wheel from your vehicle and store it safely inside.

Axle mounts have the disadvantage of needing to drill holes in order to attach them with permanent hardware. This involves drilling through your truck’s floor or bed, making the installation more permanent.

All that said, I have axle mounts in my van and they work great. They protect my bikes from the elements and are securely fixed inside the van. This option is highly recommended.

Trunk of a Car

You can also remove the front wheel of your full suspension bike and put the car seats down. Then, store the bike in your vehicle. This is not an option for small cars, and it is far from ideal.

You must first lay the bike face up with the drivetrain facing upwards. Otherwise, it could bend or cause damage. You can’t secure the bike in place if it isn’t properly laid.

You will be more at risk of damaging components.

This method has one drawback: you can only fit one bicycle in your car. It is impossible to transport two bikes, or additional gear, for longer trips to the trails.

This method of transporting your bicycle can be used in an emergency, but it is not recommended to be used regularly. The risk of damaging your bike is far greater than the inconvenience caused by the better methods.

Conclusion

You have many options for transporting your full suspension mountain bikes. You must consider the safety of your bike, the security from theft, and the stability of the mounting system.

There are many safe and secure options that will work with any type of vehicle. It is important to consider which options will work best with the vehicle you have and how you plan on transporting your bikes. Even if you have to spend a little more on a rack and setup, I recommend choosing the safest and most secure option. It is more expensive to replace a full suspension mountain bike that has been stolen or damaged than it is to invest in a reliable transport setup.

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