How to put on a Bike Rack the correct way

Bike Rack on Car

The market for bike racks caters to the diamond frame, which features a straight top tube across the top of the bicycle frame. 

Step-through bikes, once called Ladies bikes, often are missing or have an adjusted top tube on the frame to allow easier mounting and dismounting. Kids bikes also feature frames differing from the norm. If you’re trying to mount either of these, you could run into issues.

Bike racks come in three main types, which each have their own restrictions. They can hold between 2 and 5 bicycles and can be installed on the Trailer Hitch, the Roof, or attached to the Trunk.

Different bikes

Invented in the 19th century, bicycles have gone through many design changes. Most bikes today use diamond frames, which have a straight top tube. Step-Through Bicycles and Kids bikes have lowered, slanted, or absent top tubes.

Step-Through Bicycle

These bicycles were once known as Womens or Ladies bikes because of their lower top tube, allowing a rider to wear a dress or skirt during use. They have several advantages over the diamond frame.

Step-through frames are more suited for elderly and restricted agility riders. Their lower or absent top tubes allow for easier mounting and dismounting. They’re often used for utility bicycles, where the rider would have to make many stops. 

These bikes are also often heavier and more difficult to mount on a bike rack because of their design.

Kids Bikes

Kids bike frames are miniaturized diamond frames or step-through frames. Most bike racks use the top tube of the bicycle frame as a mounting point. 

This can lead to problems with mounting kids bikes because of the smaller area available.

Types of bike rack

Depending on the bike rack you have, you could face different issues. We’ll walk through the three main types, and how to mount a bike onto each bike rack correctly. 

It’s very important to note – always strap down your bikes when mounting them on your bike rack. Immobilize the tires and the handlebars so they can’t turn and strap them securely to the supports of your bike rack.

Trunk Bike Rack

This is the cheapest option. Trunk mounted bike racks are suited for use by many vehicles, mounting on the trunk, rear bumper, or hatchback. While these are inexpensive, they are more likely to cause damage to the vehicle or bikes than the other options.

On a trunk mounted bike rack, two supports carry the weight of the bike. These supports can be padded or not, depending on how much you pay.

To properly mount a step-through bike, the best option is to purchase a top tube adapter – an accessory that creates a top tube for mounting. 

If you can’t do that, mount it as best you can between the two supports – paying special attention to keep the center of gravity of the bike down. Strap it down firmly, making sure that it won’t wiggle around if you hit a pothole. Make sure you’re padding any areas that come in contact with the supports. If you are in the market, then take a look at the best trunk bike rack reviews.

For children’s bikes, there is less of a need for a top tube adapter. Mount the child’s bike onto the supports as best you can and lash it down well. 

Roof Bike Rack

Roof bike racks come in a couple of varieties – some attach to existing roof racks, such as those found on SUVs, while others mount to the upper door frame using clips and mounting feet. They can be either upright, holding the bike by the frame or pedal crank, or use a fork-mount that requires the front wheel to be removed.

These carriers shouldn’t have an issue with most step-through and kids bikes – attaching to the lower parts of the frame instead of the top tube. Their major downsides are how complicated they can be to install, as well as decreased gas mileage because of wind resistance.

Similar to the Trunk Bike Rack, always ensure that your bikes are lashed down securely, with their tires and handlebars immobile.

Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

These are the most expensive option but have the easiest installation if the hitch hardware is already present on your vehicle. These can come with either a tray that holds the bikes from their tires, or supports that hold the frame similar to a trunk-mounted rack.

The tray mount version should safely accommodate most bicycle frames without issue.

If using the support mount version, the steps are similar to a trunk bike rack. 

Place the bike onto the supports, doing your best to keep the center of gravity down between the two supports. For step-through and children’s bikes, you may need to macgyver it a little if you don’t have a top tube adapter. The most important thing, though, is to strap your bike down. An improperly mounted bike will go flying at the first pothole.

Immobilize the tires and handlebars by strapping them to the frame of the bike. Lash the whole bike down and make sure it won’t wiggle if you go over a bump or hit a pothole.

Staying safe and doing it right

No matter which bike rack you’re using, there are a few universal truths when mounting your bike for travel. No matter how well you strap it down, it will probably wiggle at some point. Always pad between your bike and anything that might scratch it. If you’re carrying multiple bikes, pad between them.

Follow these general guidelines, and you can’t go wrong:

  • Keep the bike weight balanced, and the center of gravity down
  • Always use padding to prevent scratching your bike frames
  • Mount heavier and easier to mount bikes closer to the vehicle if using trunk or hitch racks
  • Always immobilize the wheels and handlebars with straps
  • Make sure that your bike is securely strapped down to the supports
  • Make sure that no part of bike hangs below the bumper or obstructs exhaust
  • Keep license plate and rear vehicle lights unobscured

Conclusion

Between different bike frames and multiple bike racks, it can be difficult to know if you’re mounting yours correctly. Hopefully, this guide has helped to answer some of your questions. 

Just remember – safety first. Always assume that you will hit a pothole and strap your bikes down securely. Don’t let your bike become another highway casualty.

BIKE RACKS ON SALE

  • We will unpack, inspect for damages, assemble and set up your product
  • An adult must be present upon delivery
  • This service does not include haul away or disposal of other items
  • This service does not include connecting your product to wireless network (WiFi)
  • Car Top Carrier: Our convenient roof cargo carrier allows you to keep your gear up top, so you can transport belongings and passengers without compromising on safety, comfort, or convenience
  • Intuitive Features: Specially designed to keep your gear dry, our waterproof car roof cargo carrier features welded seams, an urethane-coated zipper, and a hook-and-loop-close zipper flap
  • Quality Construction: Constructed of UV-protected PVC semi-coated mesh, our durable vehicle cargo carriers are designed to keep your belongings dry and won't fly off your roof
  • Simple Setup: Simply attach the straps of the roof bag to your vehicle’s roof rack or use the included car clips to attach the straps to your vehicle’s door frame weather molding
  • Seamless Storage: Our rooftop cargo bag folds down for storage in the included stuff sack; Car roof bag, 4 attachment straps, 4 car clips, and stuff sack with a sewn-in set up guide included
  • Car Top Carrier: Our convenient roof cargo carrier allows you to keep your gear up top, so you can transport belongings and passengers without compromising on safety, comfort, or convenience
  • Intuitive Features: Specially designed to keep your gear dry, our waterproof car roof cargo carrier features welded seams, an urethane-coated zipper, and a hook-and-loop-close zipper flap
  • Quality Construction: Constructed of UV-protected PVC semi-coated mesh, our durable vehicle cargo carriers are designed to keep your belongings dry and won't fly off your roof
  • Simple Setup: Simply attach the straps of the roof bag to your vehicle’s roof rack or use the included car clips to attach the straps to your vehicle’s door frame weather molding
  • Seamless Storage: Our rooftop cargo bag folds down for storage in the included stuff sack; Car roof bag, 4 attachment straps, 4 car clips, and stuff sack with sewn-in setup guide included
  • Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels – The Kamado Joe Classic II gives the perfect cooking size of 18 inches along with its Premium cart that comes with the purchase of your grill, including locking casters and wheels.
  • 2-Tier Divide & Conquer - Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time
  • Kontrol Tower Top Vent - Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated cast aluminum, the patent pending dual-adjustment top vent is rain resistant and allows you to smoke from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.
  • Air Lift Hinge – The air lift hinge significantly reduces dome weight. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there is.
  • AMP (Advanced Multi-Panel) FireBox – The patent pending six-piece design eliminates breakage and increases grill efficiency.
  • The mountable soundbar for TV, movies, music, and more
  • Enjoy crisp dialogue and impressive bass from wall to wall with Playbar. Control it with the Sonos app, your remote, and more
  • Whether you mount it on the wall or place it below your TV on a stand or console, Playbar automatically tunes itself for the best possible sound
  • Playbar was specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to emphasize the sound of the human voice so you can always follow the story
  • Easily connect Sonos speakers in different rooms over WiFi to create a home sound system that brings every room and everyone together
  • Assembling 1 customer-supplied bike
  • Guidance on basic tuning and maintenance
  • Safety ride to ensure function and performance
  • Longer assembly times may result in additional service fees
  • Best gel material: You cannot enjoy your bicycle leisure time when you are suffering pain
  • Enjoy longer riding: Explore new grounds and enjoy longer rides on your bike
  • Easy Installation: Easy to mount, low cost solution will make your saddle feel much better
  • Common Dimension: This gel seat saddle dimension is 11* 7inch
  • The bike seat also fit for Spins Class and Indoor Cycling. Please confirm this bike seat cushion can fit your original bike seat before ordering.
  • Boing, boing, squeak! The My First Flybar foam pogo stick is hours of healthy, bouncy fun. Crafted from durable foam, this is an ideal first pogo stick for kids; each jump makes a fun squeaky sound
  • Use anywhere: We’ve designed our kids jumper for indoor and outdoor use, and unlike inferior jumping toys, this pogo jumper for kids is made to last! A great boys or girls toy for ages 3 and up
  • Train balance: Pogo sticks make great active toys for kids because they help train hand eye coordination, balance, and gross motor skills; Give your kid a headstart in life with a toddler pogo stick
  • Healthy: Get your kid off the sofa with a jumping toy that encourages fitness; Our bungee jumper is a foam pogo stick that promotes healthy activity whilst being incredible bouncy boing fun
  • Manufacturer promise: At Flybar, we pride ourselves on seamless customer service; If you don’t love our foam pogo jumper, simply return it within 30 days for a total refund
  • Traditional, standard size playing cards
  • Plastic-coated for a sleek finish
  • Comes in Red or blue; colors may vary
  • Material Name:Paper
  • Textured jacquard elastic fits securely and prevents slipping
  • Silicone strip grips your hair and keeps band in place
  • Pack of 6, to mix and match
  • Width: 0. 5", 1. 25 cm
  • Famous SWOOSH for brand recognition
  • Sport type: Rugby
  • Valve caps can protect the valve, prevent the water, dust or sand into the tire; preventing the valve from leaking, ensure the safe driving.
  • Easy to install, 12pcs valve stem caps, it's can easily tightened use your hand. Beautiful appearance, fits vehicles of various colors.
  • The valve cap is made of good quality and durable aluminum alloy, enhanced seal to help prevent air leakage.
  • Universal size fits more cars, bus trucks, SUVs, motorcycle, bike or bicycle.
  • Any issues or questions please feel free to contact us, we are always here to satisfy all of you.
  • Patented design fits sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUV's consult manufacturer web site for specific vehicle fit information
  • Side straps for increased lateral stability. Single configuration design eliminates setup hassles and headaches during installation
  • Individual tie downs secure and protect bicycles
  • Padded lower frame keeps bicycles away from vehicle
  • Comes fully assembled set up and installs in seconds 12 inch long carry arms easily accommodate a wide range of bicycle styles and 115 inch wide carry arms for greater bike compatibility
  • Ships in certified frustration free packaging 70 pounds max capacity
  • Folds fully flat for easy storage.
  • Allen's warranty does not cover items purchased through third-party sellers
  • Important, please consult manufacturer web page for specific vehicle fit
  • ►HEAVY DUTY - Tubular steel construction makes this two bike rack one of the sturdiest bike racks on the market
  • ►EASE OF USE - Quickly store 2 bikes with ease. No clamps, no brackets, no lifing. Just roll the bike into the rack and walk away
  • ►VERSATILE - Bikes Can Be Stored In The Same Or Alternate Directions
  • ►SIMPLICITY - So simple even children can use it without assistance. It doesn't get any easier than this.
  • ►DURABLE FINISH - The gloss black powdercoated finish will protect your rack from the elements for years.
  • Car Top Carrier: Our convenient roof cargo carrier allows you to keep your gear up top, so you can transport belongings and passengers without compromising on safety, comfort, or convenience
  • Intuitive Features: Specially designed to keep your gear dry, our waterproof car roof cargo carrier features welded seams, an urethane-coated zipper, and a hook-and-loop-close zipper flap
  • Quality Construction: Constructed of UV-protected PVC semi-coated mesh, our durable vehicle cargo carriers are designed to keep your belongings dry and won't fly off your roof
  • Simple Setup: Simply attach the straps of the roof bag to your vehicle’s roof rack or use the included car clips to attach the straps to your vehicle’s door frame weather molding
  • Seamless Storage: Our rooftop cargo bag folds down for storage in the included stuff sack; Car roof bag, 4 attachment straps, 4 car clips, and stuff sack with a sewn-in set up guide included
  • Car Top Carrier: Our convenient roof cargo carrier allows you to keep your gear up top, so you can transport belongings and passengers without compromising on safety, comfort, or convenience
  • Intuitive Features: Specially designed to keep your gear dry, our waterproof car roof cargo carrier features welded seams, an urethane-coated zipper, and a hook-and-loop-close zipper flap
  • Quality Construction: Constructed of UV-protected PVC semi-coated mesh, our durable vehicle cargo carriers are designed to keep your belongings dry and won't fly off your roof
  • Simple Setup: Simply attach the straps of the roof bag to your vehicle’s roof rack or use the included car clips to attach the straps to your vehicle’s door frame weather molding
  • Seamless Storage: Our rooftop cargo bag folds down for storage in the included stuff sack; Car roof bag, 4 attachment straps, 4 car clips, and stuff sack with sewn-in setup guide included
  • Size: Diameter: 1/2"| Length: 10 Feet | Color: Black. Our wire loom is split and easy to load wires. Once loaded, our cable sleeve will close on itself and perfect wire wrap
  • Operating temp (degree F.):-103 to 257|Melt temp: 446. Our cable management sleeve is used for Hifi speaker hdmi automotive wires
  • Our cord protector keeps cat from chewing cables. Our cable protector is insulated
  • Our wire sleeve: UL Recognized
  • Our cable organizer keeps the cords organized with no more messy cables in your home and office
  • LARGE SPACE: Bike bag has enough inside room for long rides, holds a lot of stuff like iphone X, battery, energy gel, small tire pump, repair kits, keys, wallet etc. Perfect compatible with cellphones below 6.5 inches, iPhone XR XS MAX X 8 7 6s 6 plus 5s / Samsung Galaxy s8 s7 note 7, shake-proof bike front frame bag
  • HIGH SENSITIVE TOUCH SCREEN: The bike phone bag has a high sensitive TPU film window which can helps you use cellphone easily while riding, great way to see your activity while using maps on a ride. (Note: Touch ID NOT worked through the screen cover)
  • HUMANIZATION DESIGN: The bike phone mount bag has many humanization designs. A, The hidden earphone hole allows you answer the phone or enjoy music freely while cycling. B, reflective tapes on both sides of bike bags to keep your night ride safety. C, dual soft rubber zipper pulls make it convenient to open & close
  • DURABLE & WATER RESISTANT: The bike top tube bag is made of ultralight and stylish carbon fiber material with sealed double zippers closure, which ensures the water doesn't flow into the bag.The sun visor and flashing board is great use for rainy or sunny day
  • EASY TO INSTALL & QUICK RELEASE: 3 straps are firm enough to hold up on the bike, 1 velcro commuter strap on the front + 1 longer commuter strap on the upper bottom( the long strap can fixed the bag on the head tube firmly) + 1 commuter strap on the lower bottom. The bicycle bag would not move around even if you ride on a bumpy or rocky road
  • Super bright and wide illumination range: Advanced LED chips give out bright and white ray for clear visibility. Special designed lamp cup leads to a wider illumination range, allowing you to see the left and right clearly.
  • Better heat dissipation: Quick cooling aluminum alloy heat sinks and high-quality heat conduction silicone gel can effectively extend the lifespan of the light bar to over 30, 000 hours.
  • High protective performance: IP67 Waterproof Rate, waterproof up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes and effectively dustproof. The stainless mounting brackets are rustproof and anticorrosive.
  • Many indoor and outdoor uses: Garden lighting, backyard lighting, back-up light, off road lighting, construction lighting and so on.
  • Package includes: 2PCS 18W flood led pods
  • Plug and Play: Reverse camera and monitor are connected directly via a 4-pin cable with a power cord connector.Power it to reverse lights for use when vehicle is in reverse gear Or can be powered by directly connecting to a 12v source fuse box or cigarette lighter/power point/ignition switch for continuous use.
  • Upgraded High performance IP 69 Waterproof.No need to worry about water inside the camera.Color HD license plate camera with 149 degree viewing angle and 6 White LED Lights provide crystal clear color both at night and day.
  • DIY Setting:You can adjust the parking line's width,moving Left/Right/Up/Down to make it fits for the real condition.You can also turn it off if you do not want it.The image can be flipped between mirror (rear view) and facing (front view).You can use the camera as rear backup camera or front camera optional.
  • Vehicle backup cameras with HD 4.3 Inch LCD display monitor equipped with magnetic bracket,You can rotate it 360 degrees,can be mount the monitor on dash or windshield.
  • Good Service:Installation instructions are included.Back-up camera system has a 2 year warranty and life-time tech support,please contact us if you have any product questions.
  • AMERICAN OWNED, FAMILY OPERATED - Join the Rhino Family & Support a USA based Father/Son Business!
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY MATERIALS - Anodized Ratchet, Ergonomic Padded Handle & Coated Full Bend S Hooks
  • CONFIDENCE & PEACE OF MIND - Knowing your Motorcycle, ATV, UTV or Cargo is Secure when Transporting!
  • STRONGEST RATCHETS ONLINE - Our Exclusive Poly/Silk Webbing is the Strongest 1" Ratchet on Amazon
  • GUARANTEED 5-STAR EXPERIENCE - If you aren't 100% Satisfied for any Reason, well Refund your Money

NH Lodging Picks | Weddings
Products | NH Town Guides


New England Living Magazine | New England Attractions

Free World Mall

Country Weddings | New England Recipes
VT Inns | Red Sox Gifts | Travel Destinations

Visit NH Living Magazine

Click for the latest Manchester weather forecast.
NH WX Maps

Contact Us

We SHARE
the Best of
NEW HAMPSHIRE

NH Living Magazine Advertising

Shop Virtual Mall - Free World Mall
Shop Free World Mall



Shop Walgreens Online

Shop Online 24/7 Free World Mall

Red Sox Gifts at
Red Sox Network

New England vacations

Shop Boston Red Sox Wear Gear and Gifts





Secure Server WebHosting Hosting Packages