is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Put Bikes on a Bike Rack

how to put bikes on a bike rack

Transporting a bicycle can be a challenge, but using a bike rack attached to your car can reduce the difficulty of doing so. But how to put bikes on a bike rack?

If you want to put a bike properly in a bike rack, you will need a rack that fits easily into the car. The bike rack should also have the strength to carry your bike from one place to the other.

For this article, we will be dealing with guidelines on putting a bike on a bike rack. We will also discuss protecting the bike once installed in the bike rack.

Putting Bikes on a Bike Rack the Right Way

The best way to use your car in transporting your bike is through a bike rack. But this tool can be hard to use if you are not familiar with it. However, we have listed a step-by-step guide in putting the bike on a bike rack properly. Please check below:

Opening the Bike Rack

The initial step is to open the bike rack to form an arc shape. The real shape of the arc will vary depending on the type of rack you have installed in the car, but most bike racks will form an arc shape when it is opened. Take note of that.

If you are having a hard time looking for the exact side of the rack, you can use the clamps as your basis. The clamps should be in a position that is facing upward for you to confirm that it is on the exact side.

Attaching the Rack’s Clips

The next step is to attach the clips found on the bike rack to the appropriate place. Each of the clips comes with a description that tells you where to put each on the car’s trunk. The position of each clip should be on the side, bottom, and top portion of the trunk.

Please be reminded that each clip comes with a purpose, and attaching it correctly is essential. Make sure to attach it in the right place without forcing it. All you have to do is find the right place that you can quickly hook it in.

Tightened the Straps

putting bikes on a bike rack the right way

The next step is to tighten all the straps of the bike rack. This step is essential because the strap plays an important role in securing the rack in place once attached to the vehicle. To do this step, you will need to pull the extra straps coming out of the clips.

To help keep the straps secure, you must pull it hard enough to make the rack secure on the vehicle. You may check on the firmness of the straps and make sure that it is secure enough to hold the bike rack in place once attached to the car.

You can even test the rack’s strength by moving it in random directions to ensure that the bike rack is fastened securely. You can also check its strap and see for yourself each one is securing the rack tightly.

Locking the Bike Arms

I consider the bike arms as the most essential part of the bike rack as it is responsible for holding your bike. You will need to pull the arms to lock them in place. But some bike rack brands differ in their locking mechanism, with some brands uses screws to tighten.

Please take note that there should be two arms that you should lock in place. The arms of the bike rack should be angled above, facing away from the vehicle. This action gives additional security by allowing the gravity to secure the bike should the strap be unable to do its job.

Putting the Bike on the Bike Rack

After preparing the bike rack, you can now put the bike to the bike rack, particularly the bike rack arms. The top portion of the bike frame should be on the arms of the bike rack. Make sure to put the bike in such a way the weight is evenly distributed.

I suggest putting a clean cloth between the contact point of the rack and the bike to eliminate the chance of scratching the bike. After that, you can now process locking the arms of the bike rack to secure the bicycle.

As I have said earlier, different bike racks come with different ways to lock the bike arms. But in general, it is all about clamping down the bike arms to secure the bike in place. Some brands even have additional straps to help secure the bike.

How to Protect Bikes on Bike Rack

Putting your bike in a bike rack is not enough because you also need to protect your precious investment once it is already in a bike rack. You can either scratch some surface of the bike frame or damage some parts of the bike if it is not protected correctly.

Please find different ways that you can do protect your bike once it is already installed in a bike rack:

You can use pool noodles similar to the length of the rack’s upstand to cover the rack’s upstand. You can use gaffer tape to secure it from the upstand. Doing this method is an excellent way to prevent the bike from scratches as you cover the contact points and the other parts of the rack.

Aside from pool noodles, you can also use a foam seal pipe insulation to cover every part of the bike that might get damaged during the transport. These bike parts include the top tube, fork, chainstay, among others.

You can also use velcro ties or even zip ties to enhance the security of your bike when it comes to fastening it to the bike rack.

Putting a cover on your bike while traveling is also essential if you want to protect it from dust and other forms of debris. There are many different bike covers that you can use, which can be reinforced by a cargo net to secure the bike properly.


Learning how to put bikes on a bike rack is an essential skill that every bike owner needs to learn for security reasons. It is essential that the bike is properly secure in your car during travel by adequately installing it on the bike rack. You can also protect your bike after the installation to prevent scratches and other forms of damage.

4.8/5 - (5 votes)

Leave a Comment