Can A Bike Rack Rest On Glass?

If you recently got yourself a trunk bike rack, you might notice that the bike rack will rest on the window of your car. It might concern you, and your concern is valid. After all, no one wants a cracked or broken windshield.

Although it might sound like the answer is obvious, it is understandable why you would wonder whether a bike rack can rest on the glass. Nonetheless, you have come to the right place looking for the answer to this question!

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Can A Bike Rack Rest On Glass?

Yes, the bike rack can rest on glass, but only if the rack manufacturer specifies it. You can check whether a bike rack can be put on glass by checking the user manual or official website.

Or else, you can ask the seller guy about this for accurate information. However, just because a rack can be put on glass doesn’t mean it should. When driving, the rack will vibrate, and direct touch with glass may cause damage to the glass.

So, if you must mount the rack on the rear window, properly prepare it with foam padding to avoid any damage.

Scratches on the Window

Scratches on the window are the main problem most people with trunk bike racks experience. It is because as the car moves, the bike rack rattles as well. It often creates too much friction, thus damaging the window.

However, since the bike rack only has its upper portion attached to the window, likely, it will not completely shatter it. The reason is that most of the pressure on the car will be towards the bottom.

In most cases, the rack can damage the window. However, the chances of it breaking are pretty low.

All the bike rack parts that will touch the glass should be foam padded or have suction cups. Furthermore, manufacturers provide specific instructions on whether the bike rack is made to rest on the glass. Make sure to look into the user manual for that.

It’s highly recommended that you stick a strip of wide duct tape on top of the clean glass at the point where the bike’s suction cups will make contact. It stops the dirt from slipping underneath the suction/rubber cups and scratching the window.

Glass Explosion Hazard

Although it is pretty unlikely that the car window will break due to the bike rack, the chances are never zero. If your bike rack is attached too loosely, it probably will shatter your glass during a car ride.

Similarly, if the rack is attached too tightly, it might also put the glass at risk of breaking. The pressure on the window could cause it to explode, thus hurting someone around the car.

You must follow the safety instructions and ensure that the bike rack is attached correctly to avoid such issues.

Related reading: Can You Put A Carbon Bike On A Bike Rack?

Can Trunk Bike Racks Rest On Glass?

Yes, trunk bike racks can stay on glass, provided the bike rack’s instruction manual gives you the green signal. Many trunk racks are made with upper foam padded arms that should go against the rear windshield.

Bike racks made for being attached to the car trunk have metal clips that touch the window. The glass might break under pressure if these clips are connected too tightly.

On the other hand, if the clips are not attached properly, and the handles come to lose, bumpy rides could cause the handles to hit the glass too hard and break it. The hooks of the rack shouldn’t rest against the glass. It would be best if you mounted it to the edge of the hatch or trunk.

You can attach a strap rack to the car’s rear door. Don’t let the rack’s lower supports sit on the glass since that supports the load and is heavy enough to break the window. Ensure the lower supports are placed on a hatch’s bodywork.

Things To Keep In Mind When Attaching A Bike Rack To A Car

There are multiple ways your bike rack can damage your car. Yes, besides damaging your glass, there are more things it can damage.

  • The pressure that these bike racks put on the trunk of your car can cause it to crack the paint. If you care a lot about the appearance of your vehicle, it will be best if you refrain from attaching a bike rack to it.
  • If the bike is not mounted correctly, it can hit the car and damage it. People often have to deal with scuff marks and cracked glasses due to them not loading their bikes properly.
  • Last but not least, as previously mentioned, the pressure from the bike rack may cause it to break the glass. If you want to avoid this, you must ensure that the hooks are correctly attached to your car.

How to Prevent Car Rear Window Damage

Besides ensuring that the bike rack is attached securely, you can take various precautions. These are as follows:

Ensure you use good smooth roads

Driving over bumpy roads can cause your bike rack to vibrate uncontrollably. In some instances, it may damage your vehicle. In fact, it might damage your bike as well. So, it would be best to avoid bumpy roads or venture off-road to keep your car and bike safe.

Related reading: Do Bike Racks Damage Your Car?

Use Duct Tape/Cloth

Although not a proper precaution, if you are in a hurry and need a quick solution, you can place duct tape around and under the hooks of the bike rack. It will avoid direct contact of the hooks with your car’s window and prevent any damage to them.

You can even put a cloth or socks around the hooks and handles so that they do not scratch the window during exceptionally bumpy rides.

Install Rubber Guards

If you want a real solution to your problem, it is best to purchase rubber guards. Lining the bike rack strategically with rubber guards will lower your chances of cracking your car window.

For example, let’s say you’re using a trunk rack with hooks to attach to the car. The hooks might end up damaging or chipping the paint of your car’s body. In such instances, you can use rubber guards to avoid direct contact between the car and the hook, thus protecting the vehicle’s finish.

Get a Rack that Fits

If a rack is too small, it can often fit wrongly on the car. It can result in the bike not settling inside correctly and can result in the bike hitting the window. Getting a rack that fits the bike well will be best to avoid risking the car’s safety.

Do Not Carry Too Much Weight

You should not overload your vehicle. It increases the risk of damaging your bikes and car, not to mention a personal safety hazard. Carrying multiple heavy bikes raises the chance of window damage.

For best results, carry one or two light bikes on the trunk rack. In case you must transport more, use other rack types.

Clean Glass and Rack Feet Before Use

Consider cleaning out any debris from the rack or glass before use. If sand gets caught between the foot and the window, prolonged friction between the two surfaces can damage your window. Brush off any dirt with a brush or clean cloth.

Put Clear Duct Tape on The Glass

We already mentioned how clear duct tape helps in this case. Make sure to get a wide one like the ISC Racers Type HT2128 Helicopter Tape. It seems expensive, but you get terrific value for your money.

Users love how rock and sand bounce off this tape, which has excellent adhesion. Also, it will protect the glass from the dirt that gets under the rack feet.

Avoid Metal to Glass Contact

For obvious reasons, metal parts should never be in direct contact with the glass. The feet and hooks of the bike rack will likely be unpadded, so they shouldn’t touch the glass.

Some cars do not have a metal frame surrounding the rear windows. In this case, steer clear of hooking the upper straps around the glass’ edges as this will shatter the window.

Choose Another Type of Rack For Everyday Use

If you want a bike rack for everyday use, get a hitch rack instead of getting your bike trunk mounted. When you use trunk racks, it can damage the car. The trunk, rear bumper, and rear door panels may bend when too much weight is applied. Over time, the weight will make them warp, and the glass could break.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Bike Rack Break Window?

Yes, a bike rack can break a window. Although it does not happen very often, users have reported pressure has caused the glass to break as the bike rack was attached too tightly. And, if the rack is too loose, you will risk it getting detached and breaking your car window during car rides.

Furthermore, if the metal bits of the rack stay in contact with the glass for too long, the window can break.

Related reading: How To Keep Bikes From Swaying On Bike Rack?


People always ask if a bike rack can rest on the glass. Now that you’re done reading the article, you know the answer to whether bike rack can rest on glass is that it can, but it’s not clever to do so. It is because resting the rack on glass ends up scratching the glass or, even worse, shattering it.

Still, for those who must rest the rack on glass, you can leverage specific hacks like duct tape, rubber guards, or rack feet to prevent direct contact between the glass and the rack.


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