Easy 1-2-3 Guide for Securing Bikes To A Car Rack


Updated on October 31, 2021

Owning a bike and a car can be one of the best things in life because you have a good chance of switching to any of them, depending on the circumstance you find yourself in.

For instance, a car is great for a long-distance journey, while on the other hand, a bike gets you to a place within a short distance in no time.

However, what if you found yourself needing to use both simultaneously? Your car can be parked somewhere decent but where do you secure your bike when you are on the move or stationed somewhere? – hence, the reason for this article.

Step By Step Guide On How to Secure Bikes to Car Racks

Having described the various ways on how to lock bikes, it is important to list a step-by-step guide on how to secure bikes properly.

Here is how to secure your bike to a car using racks.

Step 1: Connect the rack (or platform) to the car by locking the lever, and make sure it is tight enough from the latch and the ball wheel.

Step 2: Expand the rack and attach a rail to enhance the easy movement of the bike on the platform.

Step 3: Depending on the number of bikes that the car rack can handle, use the strap to hold the bikes in place.

Step 4: Keep all the bikes together with an extended metal attached to the platform.

Step 5: Ensure that the platform maintains a safe distance from the car to prevent it from getting scratched.

What are the Different Types of Car Racks to Use?

Since you need a car bike rack for safety and security, you might as well check out the different types available.

Generally, there are three types of car bike racks, and they include:

Hitch Bike Racks

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Hitch Bike Rack is one of the most popular types of racks available because it is easy to install.  This trailer hitch-mounted rack also makes it easy for bike owners to remove and replace bikes to the rack, unlike other car racks.

The only limitation to this bike rack is that it extends vehicle length which means you might need to be very careful when maneuvering the rear of your vehicle.

Trunk Bike Racks

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Like it is called, the Trunk Bike Rack is attached to the tailgate of a vehicle.

It doesn’t need a hitch system since the tailgate is all that is needed; hence, it is one of the least expensive options on the market.

This car rack also serves as a security system since it comes with straps that can be used to lock your bike excellently.

It can hold up between 2 to 3 bikes depending on the brand or model.

Rooftop Bike Racks

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The most secure and the safest way to secure your bike is using the Rooftop type.

First, this rack doesn’t limit access at the rear side of your car.

Secondly, rooftop bike racks can allow you to keep the rear or front wheel, or remove both when securing your bike.

The only disadvantage of this bike rack is that you would have to do a little bit of lifting.

What are the Methods of Locking Your Bike to a Car Rack?

With the various types of bike racks reviewed, let’s take a look at the methods of locking your bike to a car rack.

The Passive Strap or Trunk Lock

The Passive Strap is undoubtedly the easiest and most convenient way of locking a bike to a car rack. Although this method has little regard for safety, it makes sure that your bike is properly held to the car for the meantime.

This Passive Strap or Trunk Lock method often requires using a strap or long cable locks with the rounded puck at the end (forming u locks).

This strap or cable lock is then used to form a loop, which will be used to hold the bike at its frame.

Afterward, the loop is tightened properly to restrict the bike’s movement.

The Tow Loop or Tow Hitch Lock

The complicated one, however, is the Tow Loop or Tow Hitch Lock. It is quite a bit of a struggle because the materials used in the production of the lock system are intense.

Nevertheless, this method ensures maximum safety and security.

You can secure your bike in two ways using this method.

The first: you should loop the cable under your car’s bumper or any part of the vehicle that is immovable, and then use a cord to loop your bike at the frame. Finally, you can now attach both loops with a tow loop.

The second: you should tie a strong cord to the hitch of your car or secure it away from thieves using a padlock.

What are the Best Car Bike Racks to Go For?

According to amazon.com inc, below is a list of the top Bike Racks on the market for you to choose from.

KAC Overdrive Sports Hitch-Mounted Car Rack

The KAC Overdrive Car Rack is one of the best ways to keep bikes safe and sturdy.

This rack has an anti-wobble system and a quick-release tilt design that makes it easy to secure a folded bike to a car.

This bike rack also comes with powder-coated steel tubing and padded clamps, making it possible for it to support 2 bikes with a total of 60 pounds.

Furthermore, this rack has other features such as a locking knob, a hitch pin, and a rear reflector (known for enhancing visibility), and adjustable wide trays to keep items.

Indeed, it is one of the highly recommended choices for bikers.

Allen Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

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The Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is another exceptional choice for your bikes.

This bike rack, like other top racks, has a patented design, making it suitable for cars like sedans, minivans, SUVs, and hatchbacks.

There is specific vehicle compatibility information for this rack on its manufacturer’s website.

Allen Deluxe Car Rack also has side straps that are responsible for increased lateral stability.

More so, this rack is easy to install and can carry up to a total weight of 70 pounds.

Some of the features that come with this bike rack include a padded lower frame, individual tie-downs, and wide carry arms.

Retrospec Bike Rack Cross-Bar Top Tube Rack

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Another hitch and trunk-friendly car rack for bikes are the Retrospec Cross-Bar Adjustable Bike Rack.

It is one of the best bike racks that come with a top tube adapter or easy carry and suspension.

It also supports other non-conventional bike frames, showing how incredible it is to use.

This hitch-mounted bike rack also has easy installation and can hold weights up to 45 pounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Bicycles Can the Ideal Bike Rack Hold?

Every bike rack has a specific number of bikes and the amount of weight it can hold.

All you just have to do is check the product or with the manufacturer to see how many.

What Securing Method Do I Use?

When securing bikes from thieves using bicycle racks, you need to use the most appropriate method. There are two methods reviewed above.

However, while one (the tow loop) guarantees better security than the other (the passive trap), they are still both useful to lock bikes.

You can also consider choosing either lock method depending on convenience.

Can Car Racks Scratch Your Car?

If you plan to explore the trails of a place and need to protect your bike against theft while you are at it, the best car racks are your most ideal option.

However, while you are installing these racks, ensure to keep a safe distance between them and your car because they can scratch your car within close range.

Conclusion

Choosing to lock your bike for security reasons is a sane thing to do. You don’t want to go through the stress of reporting to the police of a missing bike simply because you failed to either use straps or cable locks.

That being said, you can prioritize your bike’s safety and security by investing in any of the carracks reviewed above.

Just consider the factors for selection first before you spend your money on either of them.

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