How to Put a Bike Rack on a Car

Moving your bike from one point to another can be a hassle but that does not have to be your reality. This is because you can use a bike rack on your car to facilitate movement. The rack can be fitted on the back or top of your car.

The best part is that you do not have to hire a professional to do it for you. Putting a rack bike on a car can be the easiest thing but if you have no idea how to go about it, here are the steps you need to follow.

Now, there are three key types of racks so let us look at each one of them concerning how they are mounted.

How to Put a Bike Rack on a Car

How to put a bike on a car roof rack in 3 easy stapes

Most cars come with a combination of mounting points, towers, and factory-installed side rails at the roof. Now all you will need is a bike mount attachment if your vehicle comes with a roof rack. In case your car does not come with one, you get several options for bike rack installation.

You can opt to set up the whole rack system or use your door jam mounts to design a removable rack. Here are the steps you need to follow when putting a door jam rack on your vehicle.

Step 1: Measure the car door

The first thing you need to do is to measure your car’s door, as this will allow for proper placement. Depending on the user instructions, the rack clips may have to be a particular distance from the area where the back and front doors meet. This is usually referred to as the B pillar.

Step 2: Install the clips

Next, you want to put the clips in your door jams. The rails may have to be screwed in once the clips are installed or the rails may be secured to the clip. After that, you want to tighten the clips accordingly ensuring that they are tightly fixed.

To ensure that it is done right, check to see if it can be easily opened and closed without tampering with the door clip.

Step 3: Adding a mount (Optional)

At this point, you are done with the process but you may need to attach the rails and add a mount to the rails.

Pro Tips: Ensure that you go through your rack’s manufacturer instructions during the assembling and installation process especially if it is your first time doing it. This is because every style and brand of bike requires a different assembly and installation process.

The last thing you want to do is make the wrong moves and end up destroying your rack.

How to install hitch bike rack in 3 simple steps

This may be the right kind of rack if your car comes with a trailer hitch or if you do not mind installing one. You may want this kind of rack because it is easier to lift a bike onto it compared to a roof rack. You also won’t have to worry about your bike’s height especially when going through a tunnel.

To install a hitch rack, here are the steps you need to follow.

Step a: Measure the hitch

As always, the first thing you need to do is to measure your hitch. You also want to note that most hitch racks feature an adapter that can accommodate a 2-inch hitch receiver. However, if your hitch is 1 ¼, you will find that detaching the adapter is usually enough to make the rack and hitch compatible.

Step b: Detach the cap

Next, you want to detach the cap on your hitch and this will allow you to lift the hitch rack. Once this is done, you want to slide the rack into the receiver.

Step c: Align and secured the rack to the hitch

At this point, the hole located on the side of the receiver should be in line with the hole in the rack, but if not, try to align them. Once that is done, use lock washers and bolts to ensure that the rack is secured to the hitch.

That is it you are done!

How to install trunk bike rack on car in 3 easy steps

If you have a closed and open trunk or simply put, something that is not a hatchback, getting a trunk rack is a great option because it is simple to use and detachable. That means that you can install the rack whenever you need to transport your bike and remove it as soon as you get to your destination.

Now, before you go ahead, you want to scan the manufacturer’s website to find out if a particular brand will fit your car. This is because trunk racks are typically modifiable and can fit different trunk styles and sizes.

That said, there are some specific elements of this kind of rack that may complicate the process of putting it on certain vehicles.

Here are the steps you need to follow for putting a trunk bike rack on a car.

Step i: Open the trunk

First, you need to place the rack on the ground or on a flat surface. This is so that you can detach the straps to have them oriented beforehand. After that, you want to open the trunk partially and place the hooks and top straps in place. The hooks should slide between your trunk’s top your rear window’s bottom.

Step ii: Place the rack in right position

Next, you want to position the rack the way you want it to lay on top of your car’s trunk and put the bottom hooks at your trunk’s bottom while at it.

Step iii: Close the trunk

In this step, you need to close the trunk while tightening the straps. This is supposed to secure them so they should not be moving or sliding. After that, you will be ready to mount your bike.

Pro Tips: Trunk-mounted racks tend to leave scratches or marks on a vehicle’s trunk even if they are correctly installed so if you are keen on keeping your car’s paint job intact, you may want to consider using a roof or hitch rack that will not sit directly on your vehicle’s body.


There are different bike racks in the market that require different assembly and installation processes. We have covered the main ones and we hope that it puts you a step ahead as far as transporting your bike safely and effectively.

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