The Complete Guide To Car Bike Rack Accessories

Looking to improve the safety of your cycle carrier? Maybe you want to make loading and unloading your bikes easier. Or perhaps you want to ensure your bike rack meets all the legal requirements for use on the road?

If you said yes to any of those questions, then you'll be more than likely researching car bike rack accessories.

From simple lighting boards to extra-secure lockable handles, we've got a range of bike carrier accessories available to suit your needs.

To help you make the right purchase for your circumstances, we've listed bike rack accessories, detailed what the particular cycle carrier accessory improves and suggested specific situations where this cycle carrier accessory would be useful.

Our car bike rack accessories include:

  • Base Plates
  • Lockable Handles
  • Light Board
  • Expansion Kits

Bike Rack Base Plates

Base plates are a small component of the bike rack that acts as the hitch between your car and the main frame of the rear mounted bike rack for the back of your car.

Base plates are particularly useful in situations where you need to swap your carrier between vehicles temporarily.

For example:

Let's say you have two cars. One is an Audi A5 and the other is a Nissan Qashqai. Now, when you usually go on a cycling holiday, you take the Audi A5. However, on this occasion, your partner intends to use the Audi A5 for a work trip.

Typically, you'd have to go through the long process of completely removing the cycle carrier, before then reinstalling it on the Nissan. However, with a base plate, you can simply remove the main frame and attach it to any vehicle in seconds.

Cycle Carrier Lockable Handles

Lockable handles are a replacement set of handles that allow you to securely lock bikes to your cycle carrier main frame for extra security.

Lockable handles are particularly useful in situations where you need to leave your bikes unattended in public for an extended period of time.

For example:

Let's say you're taking the bikes up to the Lake District for a mountain biking holiday. On the way up, you intend to stop by a friend's house to catch up for a couple of hours. Now, you could just leave the bikes on the cycle carrier and hope for the best. However, with the lockable handles, you can now securely clamp the bikes to your cycle carrier, ensuring a thief can't take your bikes without having to take the whole cycle carrier with it.

Lockable handles are available for the arms on your ZX202, ZX302 or Pure Instinct cycle carrier and come in sets of 2, 3 and 4. These products are one of our most highly recommended cycle carrier accessories.

Bike Rack Locking Knobs

Locking knobs provide an additional layer of security for your bike rack, allowing you to securely fasten the rack itself to your vehicle. Unlike lockable handles that secure the bikes to the carrier, locking knobs ensure that the entire bike rack remains attached to your vehicle, preventing any attempts to remove the rack along with your bikes.

This is especially beneficial when you need to leave your vehicle unattended for an extended period, such as during long road trips or while parked in public areas.

Bike Rack Light Board

What is a bike rack light board?

A bike rack light board is an essential accessory when using a rear-mounted bike rack that obstructs your car's rear lights.

Why do I need a bike rack light board?

You'll need a bike rack light board because of the laws regarding bike racks on cars in the UK, it is a legal requirement for you to have your lights and registration plate visible when carrying anything on the rear of your vehicle.

If the lights or registration plates are not visible, you could be fined up to £1000 and face up to 3 points added to your licence.

To ensure this doesn't happen, we highly recommend purchasing a dedicated bike rack light board for your particular cycle carrier.

If you have a bike rack, your number plate must be on show, which means bike rack light boards are particularly useful in situations where you do not want a £1000 fine or 3 points on your licence.

For example:

Let's say you're taking the bikes up to the Lake District for a mountain biking holiday. You're doing 70mph on the motorway when you notice blue lights in your rearview mirror. You immediately realise that a police officer is flashing you down.

You pull over and before you know it you've got a £1000 fine for not ensuring your registration plate was visible. In this situation, a £70 lighting board would have saved you £930.

How to attach a light board to a bike rack

Attaching a light board to a cycle rack is simple. Position the light board at the rear of the bike rack where it will be visible. Secure it using straps, ensuring it is tightly fastened to the rack or bikes. Plug the light board into your vehicle's trailer socket, typically found near the towbar. Once connected and secured, you are ready to drive away safely and legally.

Expansion Kits

An expansion kit is a set of components or accessories that can be used to enhance or extend the functionality of an existing bike rack.

If you've had your bike rack for a while, some things may have changed since you first bought it. You may have another bike to carry or need an additional arm to hold it in place. Rather than buying a whole new bike rack, you can buy an expansion rail for some platform bike carriers, giving you the space to carry more bikes.

For example:

Let's say that you only had two bikes to carry when you first bought your Westfalia back-of-the-car bike rack, but you've since had a child who now has a bike of their own. Instead of buying a new bike rack, you can purchase an expansion rail to accommodate your extra bike.

Or, maybe you have a Witter Towbar mounted bike rack and need some additional parts. Bike rack arms can make your bikes more stable whilst you are carrying them and it is a cheaper way to replace parts instead of buying a new bike rack.

So, the next time you come to use your bike rack, if you realise something has gone missing or you need a bit more stability or security, there are plenty of cycle carrier accessories you can add. And of course, if you haven't yet bought your bike rack and are thinking of purchasing a towbar mounted carrier, you will also need a towbar, as well as knowing what bike rack fits your car. So, enter your registration number to find your towbar here.