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How to Lock Bikes to Car Rack

how to lock bikes to car rack

The best thing about biking is you can have the option to go and experienced different places and trails and add another adventure to your bucket list. But having a car on your own will be an advantage because bringing the bike anywhere regardless of distance won’t be a problem.

However, putting your bike in the car will be a challenge in terms of safety and security. That is why a biker needs to learn how to lock bikes to car rack to prevent thefts from taking advantage of any opportunity to steal the bike away from the car. And this is what this article is all about as we discussed the different types of car racks for bikes and how to properly lock bikes into them safely.

The Best Ways to Lock Bikes to Car Rack?

If you already have the rack on your car, the next best thing to do is to learn how to lock it securely on the car rack. Experienced bikers usually recommend two methods to do it. Please find below:

The Trunk Lock / Passive Strap Method

Probably one of the most affordable ways of locking or securing your bike in the car. It is using a strap in the form of a long cable with a rounded puck at the end of it. The way to doing this is to form a loop that will be put to secure and fastened the frame of the bike. The loop will then be tightened until there will be no movement on the bike.

If you want more security for your bike specifically on roof racks, I suggest to used the strap method to protect the bike. Using this method will give you peace especially if it is left unattended by the owner.

The Tow Loop/ Tow Hitch Method

This method is a little bit more challenging and expensive in terms of the process and the materials being used because you need to have an external tow hitch mechanism to secure the bike. Although, you can have the option to loop the cable under the bumper or the cover of your vehicle or other parts that are not removable under your car. Then using a strong cord to loop around your bike while using a tow loop to lock it.

For the two hitch method, you gonna use a strong cord that will be tied on the hitch to your vehicle while securing it with a padlock. Should you decide to use a certain part underneath the vehicle, make sure to tie it to a strong and immovable part to avoid any accident.

What are The Different Car Racks for Bikes that You Can Use?

different car racks for bikes

The secret to locking the bikes securely in your car is to use the right for your vehicle. Here are the different types of car racks that you can use:

Hitch Bike Racks

This type of rack can be mounted on the trailer hitch of the vehicle. It is also easy to install and has one of the most popular racks that you can use. Hitch bike racks are also easier for the biker to put and remove the bike compared to the other bike racks.

However, hitch bike racks can extend the possible length of your vehicle, so it is a must to take extra caution when backing or maneuvering your car. Another downside is it might limit your access to the rear entrance although there are models that can be tilted down or pull away from the car.

Rooftop Bike Racks

If you do not like the trailer hitch, rooftop bike racks can be the best alternative for you. Putting your bike on the roof will give more security and of course, it will not block access to the rear entrance of your vehicle. Also, some roof racks can keep both wheels while others need you to remove them while still securing the bikes.

The downside with this type of rack is you will do some lifting when it comes to putting and removing the bike on the roof. Also, it will require you to have a garage that has enough height from the ceiling to be able to park easily.

Trunk Bike Racks

This type of rack can be mounted on the trunk and offers a security system that uses straps to protect your bike. It does not require a hitch system or a trunk and is probably one of the most affordable bike racks. The trunk racks can carry up to 3 bikes depending on the models.


Learning how to lock bikes to car racks is another skill that must be learned by any biker regardless of experience. When doing it, you need to have the right car rack and the right method that will secure the bike at all costs regardless of the distance that you will be traveling for your bike ride. The most important thing is to protect your bike and keep it safe all the time.

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