Best Car Bike Rack

How to put a bike on a bike rack

How to put a bike on a bike rack - Best Car Bike Rack Beginners Guide

7 easy to follow step by step guide

How to put a bike on a bike rackWelcome to our ‘ how to put a bike on a bike rack ‘ guide.

Doe’s your Car Bike Rack look too complicated to fit?  YES, well never fear Best Car Bike Rack are here to help you step by step.

With our easy to read and follow step by step guide you will be up and running in no time!!

Do you need a bike carrier ? Then check out our other articles on:

How to put a bike on a bike rack

Simple to follow 7 step guide


To begin installation open up the rack in an arc shape. The exact open shape of your rack will vary from model to model but most rear mounted bike racks form a big arc when fully opened. On hatchbacks, SUV’s & 4×4’s, one end mounts against the rear window and the other mounts against the bottom of the trunk. For coupes and sedans, the rack mounts to the top and back of the trunk.How to put a bike on a bike rack

If you are having difficulty figuring out which side should be facing upwards, look at the arms that hold the bike in place. If you position these so they are facing upwards, the rest of the rack should be the correct way round.


Attach the clips to the top, bottom, and sides of the trunk. The clips hook into the spaces where the trunk actually separates from the car. Make sure you don’t force the clips in, just find a spot where they easily hook in.

Each clip is there for a reason so ensure to look around the rack to check you haven not missed any out.


Tighten all straps so the rack is secure. These operate by you just pulling on the excess strap that comes out from the clip. It requires to be very firmly in place as you will be driving with this rack on so pull the straps nice and tight.


Test the strength of the bike rack by shaking it side to side. take the bike rack with both hands and try and move it from side to side. If the rack is firmly in place, it will move side to side with the car as though they are one.

This means that when you take corners, accelerate, and slow down, the rack will not move around at the back of your car.

Should the rack move around when you do this, go back over each strap to make sure they are all securely fastened.


Pull up the bike arms and lock them into place. These are the actual arms that hold the bike in place while you are driving. Each make and model will vary in the way their lock but when you pull them up, they should click into place or there should be a screw to tighten them in

There will be two arms that you lock into place.

The arms should be slightly angled upwards as they come away from the car. This is to allow gravity to hold the bike up if the straps fail until you can secure or replace them.


Place the bike on the rack arms. Be really careful whilst you are doing this so you don’t damage either your car or your bike.

Place the top part of the frame on the arms of the rack.

Do your best to evenly distribute the weight of the bike as much as possible.

Place a clean rag between the bike and the bike rack to avoid scratching / damaging the cars paintwork.


Clamp the arms down on the bike frame to secure it. Again this exact method will vary and is dependent on the model of frame and rack you have.

There may be a strap you need tighten down on the frame to secure it, or there may be a clamp that you press down and then lock in place.

Whatever it is make sure it is securely fastened on both arms so the bike can not move at all while you are driving.

Shake the bike when you are done securing. If it has a lot of play or makes a knocking / rattling sound, then it’s not installed correctly.

We're an affiliate

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

How to put a bike on a bike rack for bikes without a top bar

Bicycle Cross-Bar Adapter

You might need a bicycle cross bar adapter an adapter piece that fits across the top of bicycle’s that don’t have a top bar, for instance a ladies or child’s bike.

You might also like these articles:

The Bicycle Cross bar Adapter or otherwise known as a bicycle cross-bar adapter or a women’s bike rack bar adapter quickly snaps in to place on most bicycles to add a top-tube so that the bicycle can be carried on a traditional bike rack / carrier.

  • Creates a top tube for non conventional frames
  • Internal spring keeps your bikes secure. No assembly required
  • Plastic coated hooks protect bicycle’s finish
  • Lifetime on workmanship and materials

Bicycle Cross-Bar Adapter

Check out this short video on How to put a bike on a bike rack without a top tube onto a rear-mounted bike rack. This applies to step-through, full suspension, and women’s style frames.

Want to secure your bicycle to a bike rack?

Then why not invest in a hardened steel U-lock. These locks are incredibly strong and very difficult to crack open without heavy duty tools. The way these work is that the key removes a bolt that connects the two ends of the ‘U’ and then you are free to slip the lock out or in.

  • You can find these locks below we have selected some of the best value. 
  • Always buy the best lock you can afford as the cost of buying a lock may be high but the cost of replacing your bike is considerably higher.
  • Avoid cable locks or cheap combination locks as these are easy to cut through.

How to securely lock a bike to a bike rack - step by step guide

Knowing how to correctly secure your bike to a car bike rack will save you a lot of money, time and hassle in the long run. Every cyclist has a different bike locking method and some are more successful than others.

If you are not sure about how to lock your bike or have experienced bike theft before, it is important to learn how to correctly lock your bike.

Many ask what is the best way to lock a bike? However there is no ‘best’ way, but there are a few very good ways, which will help keep your bike safe and secure from theft. Below you will find our selection of the best 3 options.

Option 1

1. Check that what you are locking your bike to is strong and sturdy.

2. Remove anything that is removable from your bike

3. Use a U–lock to lock the back tire and frame around the pole you are locking it to, then lace a cable lock through the front tire onto the U-lock and then lock the U–lock.

Option 2

1. Check that what you are locking your bike to is strong and sturdy.

2. Remove your front wheel and place it next to your rear wheel.

3. Place a U-lock shackle around the immovable object and through both seat stays and the two wheels.

Option 3

1. Check that what you are locking your bike to is strong and immovable.

2. Place a U- lock through the immovable object, both seats stays and rear wheel.

3. Take a 2nd U-lock, placing it around the immovable object, around the down tube and front wheel.

Summary - How to put a bike on a bike rack

So we hope you found this How to put a bike on a bike rack guide useful and are now better prepared for the matter in hand. If you found this article useful, please consider sharing it is greatly appreciated. 

Finally please do not forget to pay a visit to our Gallery page containing lots of different Bike Racks for Cars, Vans, MPV’s, 4×4’s and Motor-homes too.

How to put a bike on a bike rack – Guide
Bike Rack Beginners Guides