How to Put a Bike Rack on a Car

If your next road trip demands bringing your bike with you, then you need a better way to transport your bike.

Stuffing the two-wheeler in the trunk may seem like a great option. But it isn’t often the most effective solution, especially if you intend to pack more items for a long trip.

So, what’s the way forward?

Well, you need a bike rack.

The consensus is that (the best bike rack) is the right tool to use to carry your bike on a hatchback, SUV, or whatever car model you drive. And provided you attach it the right way, it should be easy to carry your bike to your destination, no matter how long the road trip will last.

So in this post, we’ll look at how to put a bike rack on your car without trying so hard.

Let’s get to it.

How to Put a Bike Rack on a Car

Step #1: Decide Where You to Mount the Rack 

The most important thing to do before you buy a rack and put it on your car is to determine where to fix thee equipment. Do you prefer mounting your bike on the roof? Or had you rather have it handing on the doorway to your car’s trunk? 

To be clear: 

Where you choose to mount your bike directly influences the type of bike rack to get. Not to mention it also has an effect on your car’s fuel consumption. 

Often, mounting your bike on the roof means they won’t hinder access to the trunk’s door. Moreover, your bike gets a more secure fit so you don’t have to worry if they’ll fall when you go for a long road trip. But you also need to be ready to spend a couple of extra bucks on fuel. 

Putting the bike behind your car is often an ideal option if you want to save on fuel. And while they’re a less secure means of bike transportation, they are inexpensive and fuel-efficient. 

Step #2: Choose the Right Bike Rack 

Now that you’ve determined where you’d like to mount a bike rack on your car, it’s time to select the right rack to use. 

If you’ve decided to mount your bike behind your car, a hitch rack should be your go to option. This one attaches to the toe hitch of a car. They come with built-in locks for security and repair stands, and they tend to be more lightweight and fuel-efficient. Because they have a load hinge section, hitch racks let you access the trunk of your car without necessarily unloading your bike. 

While they’re robust and secure, hitch racks are somewhat expensive. An alternative would be the trunk mount, particularly if you’re on a budget. Generally, a trunk rack attaches to the lip of your car’s trunk using straps. Just remember that while you can adjust them to fit the rear of any car, they aren’t the most secure models since they lack a locking mechanism. 

Go with an upright or a fork roof mount if you’ve decided to mount your bike on the roof of your Hatchback, SUV, or whichever car model you drive. The equipment can lock both wheels and some will lock only the rear wheels. This type of rack is suitable for you if you need more flexibility to load your bike, although you won’t be able to drive your car in areas with low clearance. Also, roof mount racks tend to add aero drag from wind, so you’ll use a little more fuel than you would if you went for a hitch or trunk rack. 

As a general rule, we recommend investing in a well-built, rust resistant, and strong bike rack as recommended by BikesHaven cycling blog and magazine. Also, account for the number of bikes you’d like to bring to your destination before you make the final purchase decision. 

Step #3: Unpack the Rack, Read the Instructions 

Bike racks do the same job, but that doesn’t mean they’re made equal. If you take a closer look at different racks, you’ll notice that their open shape varies based on design and model. As such, it makes a lot of sense to unpack the equipment and read the manual first. 

Step #4: Putting the Bike Rack on Your Car 

Mounting a Trunk Rack  

Position the tusks upright and make sure the rack lies flat on the hatchback glass a little closer to the bumper. Hook the top straps where your trunk stops and make sure the lip folds properly over the edge. It helps to pull the top straps to a tight position to secure the rack and eliminate the possibility of wobbling.  

From there, move to the side strap and pull them into position. You can tighten the straps by adjusting their slide or pulling the buckle. If you must adjust the position of the hitch rack, do so only by sliding it across the trunk. 

Next, lift your bike with hands and place the top tube on the hook. The bike should sit close to the trunk and securely wrapped with the safety straps. 

Mounting a Roof Rack 

Mounting a roof rack is easy and straightforward. First, you need to make sure your car has standard crossbars. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to buy and install them separately. 

Now, understand that a roof rack has at least four installation points. Two should be on the front and two at the back, with the installation point measured from the central pillar. 

Start by adding rubber pads on the feet of your car’s crossbars. Next, place the rack and tighten up the clamps. It shouldn’t clamp too tight or too loose, just tight enough that it doesn’t wobble. 


Now that you know how to put a bike rack on a car, it should be easy for you to pack your bike whenever you want to go out on a road trip. Lastly, make sure the weight of the bike placed on the rack doesn’t exceed what the manufacturer recommends. 

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