How to Transport a Bike Without a Rack

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We can all enjoy a good bike ride. Taking your bicycle along with you on a weekend trip is an exciting idea. You can enjoy your bike without borrowing it from a hotel or tourist spot. 

However, transporting your bike in the car could be a huge challenge. This challenge gets even more difficult if your car doesn’t have a bicycle rack.

Bike racks can come in handy when you want to transport bikes. Thus, bike racks make the process a breeze. The easiest way to carry a bike in your car on a trip is by using a rack.

However, there are instances where a bike rack isn’t available. For example, your car might not have a rack. Additionally, you might not want to mess up the look of your car by attaching a rack to it. 

In either case, we’ve got you covered. There are several other ways to transport a bike in a car easily.

Some of the easiest and most practical ways to transport a bike are to keep it in your car’s boot, mount it to the roof of your car, or put it on the rear seats of your car. If you are looking for a way to transport your bike without a rack, keep reading until the end:


Method 1: Put It Inside Your Car

Putting the bicycle inside your car is the easiest way to transport it, even if you have a bike rack. However, you might have to compromise on some space. Moreover, you can’t follow this method if you have too small a car.

When using this method, it is essential to ensure the health of your bicycle and vehicle. If you don’t take extra precautions, you might harm your car or bike. Even if you’re carrying a bike in your car, you’ll need to be cautious and clever about how you put the bike in the car.

To be able to transport a bike of this size, you’ll need enough space in the trunk of your car. Moreover, there are steps you need to take in preparation. If you have a big enough car to accommodate a bicycle, follows these steps:

Step 1: Clean Your Bike

You don’t want your bike to dirty your car. Thus, before transporting it, you should clean your bike. Wipes and brushes remove dirt and grime from the bike’s exterior. 

When driving on a highway, ensure there is no lingering excrement that could fall off. Clean the tires, chassis, and the body of your bicycle thoroughly. Ensure there is no dirt or mud left over.

Step 2: Take the Front Wheel Off

You can detach the front wheel of your bike if your bicycle is too large for your car. We recommend using wheel bags to store them in your trunk. Moreover, bring all the appropriate tools with you on your trip, which will help you put the wheel back on your bike when you’ve arrived at your destination.

Step 3: Fold Down the Rear Seat

Next, fold down your rear seats to create more space for your bicycle in the back. In addition, it is also necessary to disassemble the bike’s components as much as possible to make it fit in the car more easily.

If you fold the rear sear down, the bicycle won’t take up as much space.

Step 4: Keep Your Chain on the Tiniest Ring


You should maintain the bicycle chain on the lowest ring. Doing so will avoid getting hard to remove oil on your cat’s interior. You can position a good-quality towel under the foot to prevent the filth from falling off and entering the vehicle’s cabin.

Step 5: Put the Bike Down in Rear Seats

After following all the above steps, you can place the bike inside the car after disconnecting some parts and making it a bit smaller. You must place the bike inside the car on its side. Doing so will allow the weight to balance evenly, preventing accidents inside the cabin.

Always ensure that the gears don’t completely support your bike’s weight. If you skip this essential step, there is a possibility that you will cause damage to your bike, particularly the gear. 

To improve the stability of the entire bike when traveling, move the foot pedal below the 12 o’clock position. Now, you are good to go on your trip and make the most of your bike.

Method 2: Put the Bike on Top of Your Vehicle

If your car doesn’t have a roof rack, and it also doesn’t have enough space to fit a bike inside, transporting it on the car’s roof can prove to be a good idea. Moreover, this method lets you transport multiple bikes on your car’s roof. Even if your car isn’t equipped with car roof racks, you can put the bike on the roof of your vehicle. Here is how:

Step 1: Detach the Front Wheel

Before putting your bike on top of your vehicle, removing the front wheel is a good idea. Doing so will make it much easier to carry your bike, especially without a bike rack. Detach the front wheel and place your bike on your car with the bars pointed upwards.

Step 2: Get a Robust Rope or Strap

A high-quality and robust strap is essential when tying your bike on the roof. A weak rope could break while the car is going through tough terrain. You’ll need to check for horizontal bars or hooks on the roof of your car.

To prevent covering your car’s back windscreen while attaching a bike to a car without a bike rack, position the bicycle in the middle of the roof. After that, use ropes to tie the bike down. When following this method, it is crucial to know how to correctly tie your bicycle down based on the ropes or straps you are using.


To make a tension strap, insert the nylon into the groove on the spool’s center side. Following this instruction is crucial to tying your bicycle down reliably. Then, secure the ropes or straps around the bicycle with the right amount of tension.

In addition to the windows, you can also put these ropes or straps through the car doors. With this approach, you can enhance the stability and protection of your bicycle, especially when your automobile is in motion. 

Using the ropes, ensure that you secure all of the critical parts of your bicycle. Doing so will keep the bicycle from wobbling, especially on bumpy roads.

Method 3: Put Your Bike in the Trunk

Another easy way to take your bike on a trip is by putting it inside your car’s trunk. More often than not, your cat won’t have enough trunk space to accommodate a bicycle. Thus, you’ll have to disassemble your bike first. 

This method is another one of the best techniques to use when transporting your bike without a rack. The cushioning and fabric in the trunk will protect your bike and its parts during transportation.

Most importantly, keep all the necessary tools with you during your journey to help you assemble the bicycle again. Otherwise, you’ll be left with mere bike parts during your trip. A bike is no fun if it isn’t functional.

Things to Know Before Transporting a Bike Without a Bike Rack

  • Avoid Resting the Bike Against Car Body

You might want to lean the bicycle against the vehicle’s body. However, doing so could scratch the paintwork of either your bike or vehicle. In addition, the bicycle is unsteady in this position and could slide while you’re not looking.

  • Keep Your Car and Bike Safe

To move your bicycle, usually keep one or two old slipcovers or blankets in your car. The oils and lubricants around the gears and chain of the bike could stick to the seats and make it hard to clean. Tie a piece of cloth around the chain to stop any lubricant from dripping off.

To protect your car’s interior, use old sheets, towels, or blankets. Transporting a bike inside your car can be a potentially messy process. 

For example, if you use your bike during the rainy season, your bicycle could be muddy. In some cases, cleaning it before transportation isn’t necessarily an option. Thus, having an old blanket on hand is a lifesaver.

  • On Hot Days, Be Cautious

If you leave your automobile in a car park on a warm day, the heat within the car can quickly climb. The tire pressure will rise due to excessive heat. 

Hot air expands, which could cause your tires to blow up. This is particularly true on road bikes, which have a lot of pressure.

Avoid leaving your bicycle inside your car for extended periods on a warm day. There are two ways to avoid tire damage. Firstly, you can lower the tire pressure on your bicycle’s wheels, and secondly, bring your bike inside where possible.


The most practical way to transport your bike is to use a bike rack. However, excellent options still exist that don’t require you to purchase a bike rack. When using any of these methods, you must always keep your bicycle clean and secure.

To transport your bike without a rack, tie it to your roof, place it in the backseat, or carry it in your trunk. We’ve detailed each process for you above, so you can easily transport your bike. Moreover, these three techniques for transporting a bicycle without a rack are tried and true solutions for bringing your bike with you on long-distance trips.