How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack

How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack

How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack

You may be aware that fitting a ladies bike or a child’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.

You might also like:

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 ladies bike on a bike rack

You may be aware that fitting a ladies bike or a child’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.

Generally bike racks are split into three categories :-
  1. rear mounted bike racks
  2. roof mounted racks
  3. tow-bar bike racks 

In this How to put a ladies 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 ladies 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 ladies or child’s bike. Also known as a womens bike rack bar adapter

The Top Bar Adapter or otherwise known as a bicycle cross-bar adapter or a womens 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 ladies 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.

How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack

Womens bike rack bar adapter

How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack - womens bike rack bar adapter

How to put a 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 ladies bike on a bike rack without a top tube

General rules when looking at How to put a ladies 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.

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

Play Video

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.

You can check out more information about the Billconch Fingerprint Bike U Lock here:-

So we hope you found this How to put a ladies 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, SUV’s, 4×4’s and Camper-vans too.

How to put a ladies bike on a bike rack
Bike Rack Beginners Guides