wheels on, the only contact points are on your tires, easy to install, and easy to use. its a great rack. some people are moaning about not being able to reach it easily because they are fitting it on a giant SUV. but if you need a step stool to get into your hummer or suburban, just put it in the back, or use a hitch mount rack. bottom line is, this rack does exactly what it is supposed to. there is no messing around when i get to the trail head. my bike is off/on the rack in about ten seconds. i fitted my sidearm to a basket, the wheel tray was a little to short, so mine has a nice g-lean to it.