Road Trip Bible: How to Lock Your Bike on a Car Bike Rack

December 2, 2021
lock your bike on a car bike rack

There are many trails your bike wheels haven't touched yet. Of course, once you discover them, you'd want to give them a drive. But what if it's a long way from home? How would you take your bike all the way there? With a car bike rack, that problem will be solved!

If you plan on going on a car trip with your bike, it’s important to lock it in place. Additionally, there are several benefits of using one when traveling. In this blog, we'll discuss how to lock your bike on a car bike rack for thrilling off-road adventures.

What Is a Car Bike Rack?

If you've noticed cars with a bicycle held in place on the roof or the trunk, that's what a car bike rack looks like. And it has many designs and specifications you can choose from to meet your bike mounting needs.

A car bike rack is an attachment used to carry a bike from one place to another. So you'll get to travel as far and as long as you need with guaranteed bike safety. It's made out of sturdy and high-quality materials to withstand humps and vibrations, giving a strong hold to your bike. They also come in many types and designs, which makes it easier for everyone with different vehicles.

Types of Car Racks for Your Bicycle

Of course, you need a bike mount that's both convenient and compatible with your car. Needless to say, it must be a bike rack that can hold one or two bikes in place even after hours of travel. But how would you know which one is the right bike rack for your car? We've listed the types of car bike racks to help you assess which one to purchase.

Hitch Rack

If you are a frequent cyclist and go out in groups, a hitch mount rack is the best option. If you need to bring more than one bicycle, a hitch rack is convenient for your road trips. Hitch racks also come in two types: the hanging cradle style or the platform style. To help you choose which one's the better option, you'll have to consider your vehicle type and size.

The hanging cradle style hitch rack is designed where your bikes are hung from the rack. The perks of this one are that it is lightweight and offers ground clearance for your bikes. This hitch rack style is also less expensive compared to its platform counterpart. However, because it doesn't have a good hold on your bikes, abrasions of your bike paint might be a possibility.

The platform-style hitch rack, on the other hand, features a rack that lets your bikes sit in place. The advantages of this hitch rack style are that it keeps your bikes in place, preventing any damage to your bikes. It’s also a sturdier option for a hitch rack. However, platform-style costs a bit more and can be a bit heavy for you and your vehicle.

Roof Rack

If you want your bikes out of the way of your trunk space, then a roof mount rack is the one you should choose. Many cars have built-in mounting points and rails, making them good for hauling almost everything—from packages to bikes. A roof rack is also the best choice for frequent road trips because of how versatile it is.

Bike Rack 2

How to Secure a Bike on a Car Bike Rack?

If you are worried about taking bikes with you on a road trip, the best tool for your expedition is a bike rack. There are different car bike racks you can choose from, along with a wide selection of designs and sizes. But, of course, whichever you choose, it’s similarly important to lock your bikes in place the right way. So, here is the best way to secure bikes on a bike rack so you won't have to stress yourself during long car rides!

For Hitch Racks

  1. Carefully take your hitch rack from the packaging and start by putting it into place.
  2. Take the upper straps and attach them to the upper part of your trunk. This is how you locate where to put the rack.
  3. Tighten up the upper straps a bit.
  4. After that, take the straps on each side and attach them to both sides of your trunk. Make sure to tighten both sides to help secure your bikes when you use them.
  5. Then, attach the bottom straps as well (if your car bike rack has this feature.)
  6. Once you've finished doing that, go back to the upper straps you attached first and do a final tightening to keep your bike rack secure.

For Roof Racks

Roof racks come in different types of brackets, receivers, and kits, depending on your car's specifications. But even if you have a bare roof like those in the 2020 Chevy Equinox, you'll have a good list of roof racks in the market!

  1. Start by slowly attaching the brackets in place on top of your car roof.
  2. To help you align both ends, you can use a ruler to measure the distance between the car door to where you attached the first end.
  3. You can then attach the remaining brackets and gears along with the roof rack package.
  4. Make sure you go over the screws and knots so they are tightly locked.
  5. Once you mount your bike, you can secure it with a quality bike rack lock.

Best Picks for Car Bike Rack

As mentioned above, many manufacturers are designing innovative bike rack solutions for a variety of vehicle designs. So, to make the search list shorter and easier for you to pick the right bike rack for your vehicle, here are our top 5 picks!

  1. Malone VersaRail Bare Roof Cross Rail
  2. Thule Evo Clamp
  3. Yakima BaseLine, Adjustable Towers for Bare Roofs
  4. Kuat Sherpa 2-Bike Hitch Rack
  5. Yakima DrTray Bike Rack

Plenty more bike racks are still available depending on your car and number of bikes, but these are only five of the most popular and recommended ones!

Bike Rack 3

The Takeaway

Sometimes, going through trial-and-error is one of the best ways to find the perfect bike rack for your vehicle. But you can keep in mind the type and size of the bicycles you're bringing with you to find the best fit!

Conclusively, you must take time when choosing which type of bike rack is right for your needs, so all the hard work you put into finding one isn't wasted by poor selection. You can share these tips with other cyclists looking for car bike rack solutions so they can explore new trails and have more fun outdoor adventures!

Cycle Buddy

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