How to put a kids bike on a bike rack - best car bike rack beginners guide
You may or may not be aware that fitting a kids bike or a woman’s bike on to a traditional bike rack or bike carrier, is not as simple as you first think! But don’t worry you are in safe hands with Best Car Bike Rack. We have got you covered with our easy to follow step by step guides.
We cover these in more detail here <Top tube adapter>
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How to put a kids bike on a bike rack
You may be aware that fitting a kids bike or a ladies bike on to a traditional bike rack or bike carrier, is not as simple as you first think. But don’t worry you are in safe hands with Best Car Bike Rack. We have got you covered with our easy to follow step by step guides.
- rear mounted bike racks
- roof mounted racks
- tow-bar bike racks
In this How to put a kids bike on a bike rack guide we will only be covering section 1, the rear mounted bike rack. Sections 2 & 3 mount and secure directly on to the bikes wheels so do not require ant special treatment. So without further a do lets jump straight in to it.
Do I need any additional specialist equipment ? short answer, NO additional equipment is required although down to personal preference some find it easier to fit a kids bike with a top tube (more on this below). However this is not a necessity as we will go through later in the article.
Top tube adapter - Bicycle Cross-Bar Adapter
You may require a top tube adapter. A top tube adapter is a separate piece that accommodates those bicycle’s that don’t have a top bar, for instance a kids or a ladies bike. Also known as a Top Bar Adapter.
The Top Bar Adapter or otherwise known as a bicycle cross-bar adapter or a kids 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
This type of accessory is designed to work with any brand of bike rack where the bike is secured by the top tube.
For kids bikes, bikes with step-through frames, or any other difficult to mount frames, this creates a temporary top bar that attaches to the bike rack.
Check out this short video on How to load bicycles without a top tube onto a rear-mounted bike rack. This applies to kids, step-through, full suspension, and ladie’s style frames.
How to put a standard bike on a bike rack
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 (that is flat and runs from the front wheel all the way back to the seat) 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 secured correctly.
How to put a kids bike on a bike rack without a top tube
General rules when looking at How to put a kids bike on a bike rack without a top tube.
Follow these and you should not go far wrong:
- Keep the bike weight balanced and the centre of gravity down
- Keep your larger, easier to mount bikes closer to the vehicle
- Always strap through both wheels and around the rack. Also be certain it’s tied down firmly to the rack’s arms
- There’s nothing to say that a bike has to be level on a rack. As long as neither wheel hangs below your car’s rear bumper, or impedes the exhaust, you’re cool.
Locking your bike up on a bike rack
Consider investing in a hardened steel U-lock. These locks are incredibly strong and very difficult to break 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.
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.
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.
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 kids bike on a bike rack
So we hope you found this How to put a Kids 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.
Related Article: How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack