How to Lock Bike on Car Bike Rack | Ultimate Guide

Travelling can be both exciting and stressful with all the packing you have to do. If you are going to go on a road trip and plan to ride on your bike freely, then you have to pack it a well which can be even more annoying.

We all know you can’t just cram your bike in your backseat, so you have to use a car bike rack which can sound complicated. But don’t worry, we are here to help you learn how to lock bike on car bike rack, so you can live your adventures without fretting!

How to Lock Bike on Car Bike Rack

Types of Car Bike Racks

There are a few kinds of car bike racks you can choose from, but you might find one to be better than the others, depending on the type of car you own.

Roof-mounted care bike racks are one of the most commonly used ones available. As you can tell by its name, this rack goes on the roof of your car, and your bike will also be mounted on the roof. Although this may sound unsafe, and you may think that your bike may slide off, the roof-mounted bike rack is actually one of the safest options on the market.

There are two variations in roof-mounted bike racks; the first type is the one that will lock on to the roof bars of your car. The other type is the car-bike racks which have a strong suction system and can attach to other places besides the roof.

A cheaper alternative will be boot or trunk racks, but they do come with a few drawbacks. They are typically not as secure as the roof-mounted racks, and you will be better off using some additional security to this type of rack. Straps are used to secure the bike and rack with the trunk, so you have to check whether the straps are secured.

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack

The Importance of Locking Your Bike

Locking your bike properly in the car bike rack is an absolute necessity because in no ways do you want your bike to be stolen. If you are using a trunk rack, then you should know stealing bikes from them is easier.

Even if you use a roof-mounted car bike rack, there are chances that your bike will get stolen, but the chances are higher with racks that are on the back of your car.

How to Lock Bike on Car Bike Rack

You can lock your bike to your car bike rack using a few methods, but amongst them, two are most often used by people. The two locking methods are the passive strap method and the tow loop/ tow hitch. So, let’s learn how to secure bike on bike rack using these methods.

Using the Passive Strap Method

To use the passive strap method to secure your bike, you need to have either a trunk lock strap or a passive lock strap. These are just different names for the same product, so do not get confused.

Although this method is not the safest option, it is quite simple, and well some sort of security is better than nothing. Thin materials are used to make these straps, and they appear to be a lot like long cables. You have to properly loop the straps around your bike that go all the way through the car bike rack, bike, and trunk.

This method is typically used for trunk or boot racks, but you still may use it as a form of extra security in roof-mounted car bike racks as well. In this case, one end of the cable is taken through the door.

Using the Tow Loop or Tow Hitch Method

The tow loop or tow hitch method is actually way more complex than the passive strap method and can also come with a bigger price tag. For this method to be the most effective, you will need to buy additional gear – a tow hitch mechanism.

If you are not up for separately purchasing additional gear, you may also use a non-removable kind of loop that may be under your car bumper. However, please make sure you are not tying your cord with some weak component of your car, this can result in permanent damage to your car, and of course, it will compromise the security of your bike.

Some cars may come with this tow hitch mechanism, but for most cases, you will have to buy one separately. Make sure to also get your hands on a strong and durable long strap or cord and a sturdy padlock. If your padlock is tinny, then stealing your bike will become much easier for the thieves.

Tie or loop your cord around the tow hitch tightly, so it does not get loose and your bike does not fall off. Then, take the cord and loop it through your bike a few times. Finally, use the padlock to secure the cord and the tow hitch, so they safely hold your bike in place.

How to Protect Your Bikes while Traveling

Final Words

After reading through all the details of this article, we hope you have much more clarity regarding how to lock bike on car bike rack. Whichever method you end up using for locking your bike, an important step is to check whether everything is properly secured before you start driving. Avoid parking your car in shady neighborhoods, and try not to leave it on its own, then you should be all safe.

Also, if you are looking for a good single speed conversion kit, you should give our article on best single speed hub a read. It will be worth your time.