Does Rei Install Bike Racks? (Do This Before…)

does Rei install bike racks

John, do you know if REI installs bike racks? This is one of the questions my readers ask a lot. Well, I´ve got you covered.

Installing your own bike rack can be a pain! When purchasing one from a sporting equipment company, you may find yourself wondering, does Rei install bike racks?

According to their customer service representatives, Rei Co-Op company does not have a company-wide policy regarding the installation of bike racks. Instead, each individual Rei store’s management is responsible for deciding whether or not they will offer to install bike racks for customers on a case-by-case basis.

In this article, we’ll cover Rei’s policy concerning the installation of bike racks for customers, as well as how to install your own and frequently asked questions!

Does Rei Install Bike Racks?

Having to work to install your own bike rack on the back of a car or even in a garage is a difficult process.

It can especially seem intimidating if you aren’t used to using tools and are worried about damaging your car or installing the rack incorrectly. You certainly wouldn’t want the rack to detach while your car is in motion!

When considering these risks, it can be tempting to turn to the company you bought the bike rack from in the hopes that they can install the bike rack for you.

After all, sometimes the best course of action is to simply leave the installation to the experts!

Unfortunately, the Rei company does not guarantee that they will install the racks they sell for their customers. Instead, the owners of the company allow the management of each Rei location to decide for themselves whether or not they will offer that service to paying customers.

Even though you cannot be sure of the Rei company’s help with installation, it never hurts to ask. Simply call your local Rei Co-Op location and ask to speak with a customer service representative, inquiring whether or not they would be willing to install your bike rack for you.

It is just possible that your local Rei would be happy to take the installation off your hands!

How to Install a Bike Rack

In the event that the Rei location near you does not offer installation services, or you simply do not have a Rei store conveniently located close to you, you’ll need to install the rack yourself.

Luckily, we’ve provided a list of easy-to-follow steps in order to make sure you have peace of mind after installing your own bike rack!

  1. Purchase the Best Rack for Your Bike and Car – The Rei company considers their Hitch Bike Racks to be the simplest to install. However, other racks offered by Rei, such as the Roof Rack or Truck Bed Rack, are considered more stable and reliable. Make sure you select the best rack for your particular needs before installing it!
  2. Check the Instructions – If you did purchase from Rei, you will be happy to learn that the company includes instructions on how to mount the rack to your vehicle in each product’s packaging. Sometimes, this is the most straightforward way to learn how to install a particular model.
  3. Use the SpeedKnob – Especially if installing a Hitch Bike Rack to your car, utilize the SpeedKnob function to tighten the rack to the rear of your car. Remember, some models only fit to certain sizes of vehicle hitch receivers, so be sure to check with a sales associate if you aren’t sure which model will fit your car.
  4. Lift Bike Onto Rack – Most bike rack models by Rei fit at least two bikes per rack. Make sure your bike is mounted onto the rack with the top tube resting over the hooks of the rack, as close to the trunk as possible.
  5. Use the ZipStrips – Most Rei company bike rack models come with their own ZipStrip products, which are not only easy to secure to the bikes, but also easily removed. Secure these to the seat stay, wheels, or even head tube of your bike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still curious about the Rei bike racks and their installation. Not to worry; we have several frequently asked questions and their answers are listed below!

How much does it cost to put a hitch on a car for a bike rack?

Usually, the cost of installing a hitch for a bike rack on a car varies depending on which model you decide to purchase. For example, a Class 3 trailer hitch can cost as little as $510 to install to as much as $950 to install. 

This is because the material is expensive on it’s own, but the mechanic’s expertise and labor in installing the hardware are costly, too.

Will Rei put my bike together?

Much like their less-than-consistent policy on installing bike racks to vehicles, the Rei Co-Op Company does not guarantee an offer to assemble a customer’s bike for them.

On the other hand, each store’s individual management offers to put your bike together on a case-by-case basis, at their own discretion.

So, while some Rei stores may refuse to put your bike together, others offer to build it for you on the spot, the same day as the initial purchase! It is simply a matter of inquiring at your local Rei store.

Which is better, the trunk or the hitch bike rack?

Choosing between a trunk bike rack or a hitch bike rack is all a matter of your budget versus your needs.

Trunk bike racks are better for those who need to spend less money, as they tend to cost less. Hitch bike racks, on the other hand, attach to the roof of a car and are safer both for the bike and your vehicle all around.

The only downside is their higher cost.

In Conclusion

To sum it all up, the Rei Co-Op company, though capable of offering multiple great bike rack models, does not guarantee a service of installing those racks for their customers. 

Though some Rei locations may offer this service on an individual basis, you may have to install your bike rack to your vehicle on your own.

Luckily, all Rei products do come with easily-understood instructions!


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John Muranko

John is Founder and Senior Bike Editor at ProBikeCorner. John is a bike and travel addict who has cycled through 17+ countries and doesn't really have any plans of stopping. He´s passionate about helping others by creating technical resources, in-depth reviews and more…

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