How to Put a Bike on a Roof Rack? – Everything You Need to Know

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Are you planning a long journey and wish to take your bicycles with you on tour? On such a trip, you can enjoy the clear weather and finally get to use your bike. 

However, the bike might not fit inside. Thus, you should know how to put a bike on a roof rack.

To mount a bike on your car’s roof, you’ll need a car bike rack and ratchet straps. For this task, you can comb between the many bike racks available today.

Hence, you don’t have to try and place the bike in your back seat. Plus, you might damage your vehicle if you proceed to lift the bike and attach it without a bike rack.

Therefore, you should search for a proper bike rack regardless of the extra fuel consumption due to added weight. Then, follow this guide to adjust your bike in the right way. 

So, here are five easy steps to easily position and incline your bike with your car bike rack.

5 Easy Steps to Put a Bike on a Roof Rack

1.  Prepare and Inspect the Bike and Your Vehicle 

Before you can get on with your trip, you should search the relevant items for putting a bike up for transport. At the same time, you can check some online videos to get an idea of quality bike racks. In other words, carrying bikes, like any other fragile item, requires thorough preparation.

Therefore, spend some time in the bike racks market. Also, consider whether the content you’re currently viewing is compatible with your vehicle. 

Similarly, based on general location, deduce if you can buy the bike rack in question. At this point, double-check the condition of your bike, including each wheel.

Moreover, you must ensure that your car’s roof can carry the weight you are planning to load onto it. This will also help in picking the correct frame of the bike rack for safe transport. In that manner, you’ll protect both items at once.

2.  Choose a Bike Rack for Your Car

This step is for those who are mounting a bike for the first time and have never used a car roof rack and a bike rack. Often people mistake it for tying the bikes to their car roofs, which might work, but we do not recommend it as it is dangerous for bike racks.

Thus, getting a roof rack is a good idea for transporting bicycles. Some roof racks come with a slider, while others are plain and simple with no triggers. Hence, consider these variations before you get yourself a bike rack.

The three most commonly available ones are fork-mounted, wheel-mounted, and frame-mounted roof racks. Fork mounted roof racks require front tire removal but are more stable and easier to load than the other types.

If you need carbon frames’ safety, we do not suggest choosing the frame-mounted roof racks as they do not guarantee this.

Once you decide on your roof rack, you can start with the mounting steps next. However, note that to transport an e-bike, avoid using the car’s roof rack as it will not support the extra weight.

bike3.  Anchor and Adjust the Bike Rack to Your Vehicle

After finding a roof rack for your car, move on to adjusting the frame. For this part, note that the roof rack comes with a key for the sliders. So, it would be best to keep unlocking the sliders to attach and position your bike.

Moreover, you can drag the big trigger on the slider bar and squeeze it as it will open the attached valve. This way, you can slide it back and forth with ease.

In practice, people tend to drive their cars into the garage while forgetting about what’s mounted on the bike rack. Thus, we suggest attaching the garage door opener with the handle, which will divert attention to the roof racks and fork mount.

Once you slide it to the top of the arc, rotate it sideways to expand the roof rack. Next, you need to look out for a rear strap attached to the frame and plug it to open it. Now carry your bike, carefully mount it on top of the car, and place it on the roof rack.

4.  Secure the Bike on the Rack

Securing a bike on top of the roof rack is another critical step that needs careful handling. At this point, check the model of your bike. For example, some bikes require front wheel removal, while you can fix others quickly on the roof of your vehicle. 

In other words, you don’t need to alter any tire to do so. When you lift your bike to mount it on the roof rack, adjust the trigger to the front wheel and slide the dragger downwards to lock it in place.

For the back wheel, use the rear strap and pull it to secure it in place. Now that you have kept your bike in place make sure it is tightly held by giving it a few pushes. 

Lastly, once you’re sure all is in order, lock the rack back to secure the frame.

bike5. Checking and Closing the Connections

Depending on your settings, you might have to perform the same process in reverse. So, most cars are compatible with a rack you can place on the roof. Again, ensure to remember to do so before entering your garage.

To tidy everything up in the end, double-check the roof and try to lift your bike. Everything should stay in place and firmly anchored. In other words, ensure your bike is safe and protected before starting the engine.

Then, we suggest carefully driving around your house while keeping an eye on your bike. For this task, you can try hanging a piece of ribbon or a long patch on the bike. Once you secure everything and close the connections, you are ready to start your ride.

Final Thoughts

To properly care for your bike when traveling via a car, ensure to secure it tightly. Therefore, we developed this guide to help you mount your bike on the car’s roof rack before you can resume your voyage.

Hence, follow these five steps to quickly set up the bike racks on the roof. Also, if you are new to using roof racks, we have mentioned some tips for purchasing the right one. 

Therefore, you can apply these tips to carry bikes safely on a ride to a remote location. Finally, we’ve put together this point based on past activity.