Reviews How Bike Racks Affect a Car's Fuel Economy

19:51  14 may  2020
19:51  14 may  2020 Source:   consumerreports.org

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Roof and trailer-hitch racks are great at toting your gear for a weekend adventure, but those mounts can change the aerodynamics as well as the weight of your vehicle—costing you additional gas money.

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To find out just how much of an impact they have, our experts measured how different car racks—when empty and when loaded with two adult-sized bicycles—affected the fuel economy of a 2019 Nissan Altima sedan and a 2019 Toyota RAV4 small SUV going 65 mph.

For the sedan, our tests revealed that the fuel economy took a significant hit with a loaded bike rack (much more than the SUV’s)—and even the empty roof rack exacted a large fuel-economy penalty. Only the empty hitch rack had a negligible impact.

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  Bike shops see surge in sales during pandemic If you are looking to purchase a bike anytime soon, you are out of luck as bike shops across the country are sold out. Bike shops were able to remain open during COVID-19 and have seen huge profits during the pandemic. Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls changed their hours and went to appointment only, but they still kept busy. Joe Wawrzaszek, the co-owner says they are nearly out of bikes and it could be months before they get more into the store. He added that their sales in 2020 are not like any previous years and they are way above a typical year in profits.

The RAV4 SUV, on the other hand, was less affected by either rack type, but the hitch was still the clear winner.

A hitch rack is also easier to remove—which will help encourage you to take it off when you don’t need it, and save fuel no matter what vehicle you drive.

Reduction in MPG
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2020 KTM 450 XC-F .
2020 KTM 450 XC-F

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