Bicycle racks make it possible to move bikes across long distances without all the peddling.

© iStockphoto.com/Sean Locke

Are bicycles and automobiles natural enemies? You might think so if you've ever tried to cram your bike into the backseat of your car. Without breaking down the cycle into pieces, the task often ranks up there with moving a sectional sofa up a flight of stairs or kissing your own elbow. If you and your friends and family want to transport bikes from one point to another and be able to hop right on them when you get there, you need a bike rack.

Bike racks are an excellent towing accessory, allowing riders to easily and safely transport bikes by truck, SUV and car without having to fully dismantle the bicycle or invest in a trailer. After all, you might just want to enjoy an impromptu bike ride in the park, not inflict an afternoon of work on yourself.

­Bicycle racks come in a variety of styles, aimed at fitting various automobile designs. So, regardless of what kind of car you drive or what kind of biking you're into, you're bound to find the design that's right for you.

In this article, we'll take a close look at the different kinds of bike racks and what it takes to install them.