A common question among women cyclists is about carrying women’s bikes on the car bike rack. Since the structure of women’s bikes is slightly different, it often becomes complicated and confusing when they want to transport their bikes on a rack.
In this article, we’ll try to clear the confusion and find out how to transport women’s bikes with you. Let’s go.
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- Why Is It Challenging to Put Women’s Bike on a Bike Rack?
- How to Carry Women’s Bike on Rack?
- Top Tube Cross Bar Adaptor
- Mounting Women’s Bike on Bike Rack Without an Adapter – is it Possible?
Why Is It Challenging to Put Women’s Bike on a Bike Rack?
If you look closely at your bike, you’ll notice that the top tube slides down through the handlebars to the rear wheel at a steep angle. On “normal” bikes, this part attaches to the vehicle’s bike rack and is therefore horizontal.
We assume this is a “normal” bike because numerous bike models have this slanting upper tube. Thus the exact problem you’re facing now. Low step-thru bikes and high-suspension mountain bikes are two examples. That’s why we need something to take over the role of the horizontal top tube, and crossbar adapters are helpful for that.
Read more: Do You Leave Your Bike Rack on Your Car?
How to Carry Women’s Bike on Rack?
Roof bike racks, rear bike racks, and trailer hitch racks are the three main types of bike racks. But not every bike rack is suitable for women’s bikes, so we’ll talk about the three racks mentioned below.
Roof Mounted Bike Racks
Roof racks are the most flexible option if you want to carry your bike on a bike rack. They carry the cycle by attaching the wheels through the rear wheel strap and arm assembly, not the bike frame. So you don’t have to buy an adapter or anything else to carry the bike.
Since the structure of women’s bikes is a little different than regular bikes, this feature of roof-mounted bike racks is an excellent option for women’s bikes.
Read more: How To Reduce Roof Rack Noise and Vibration?
Platform Hitch Racks
A platform hitch style rack is the best and most convenient way to transport a women’s bike. Like roof racks, they transport bicycles using wheels with next to nobody’s touch. They also use rear wheel straps, arm brackets, and a level to hold the bikes. They’re also great for DIY, so anyone who doesn’t use a conventional bike can benefit from them.
Without adapters, they can also be used for step-through frames. Also, unlike suspended carriers, they don’t allow bikes to swing behind the car. Therefore, platform carriers are the best choice for transporting women’s bikes.
Read more: Best Hitch Bike Rack Reviews & Buying Guide
Hanging Hitch Mount / Trunk Mounted / Spare Tire Bike Racks
Hanging bike racks are another alternative that you can use to carry your bike. These bike racks hold bikes using a bar pole with arms that supports cycles by the framing on hanging racks. They’re smaller and less expensive than other bike racks.
However, they aren’t a good option for women’s bikes because they use the bike frame and aren’t suitable for various bike designs and sizes. Also, as the name implies, the bike is transported hanging, risking damage to both vehicles.
If you opt for a hanging hitch mount bike rack, you can solve this problem by adding a crossbar to the top tube. We’ve explained below how you can use this crossbar adapter.
Top Tube Cross Bar Adaptor
With a top tube crossbar adapter, you can easily mount your step-through bike on any hanging bike rack. If you try to transport your step-through bike on a bike rack because the top bar is different from regular bikes, you can hardly balance it. In that case, you’ll need a crossbar.
It’s two sides, one hook on the front and the other on the back. The top tube crossbars can be adjusted to the length of your bike. You just need to adjust the length properly and attach the bar to your bike, then just mount it to your bike rack. Check to make sure it’s connected properly, and that’s it.
ALLEN Tension Bar Bicycle Cross-Bar Adaptor
Its internal spring secures your bike and provides a top tube for non-traditional bikes. It doesn’t need any additional fit. Its plastic-coated connectors are gentle on your bike’s finish. It’s a solid inner metal spring that creates tremendous resistance, so the bar won’t shift when it’s hooked to the bike. This makes it extremely stable. It also prevents scratches without the need for a heat gun.
- Easy to use
- Internal metal spring provides strong resistance
- Cost-effective solution
- A metal lock pin might scratch the bike’s body.
Mounting Women’s Bike on Bike Rack Without an Adapter – is it Possible?
Yes, it’s possible to carry a woman’s bike on a bike rack without the adapter. But it’s not a safe option to transport a non-conventional bike without an adapter.
That’s because it won’t be properly balanced since the top bar isn’t there, unlike regular bikes. Even if you get a little creative and find an alternative to transport your bike without an adapter, it could pose a risk to your car, the rack, or the bike itself. So it’s better to be safe than sorry and buy an adapter before you put your bike on a rack.
But there are also options if you don’t want to buy an adapter. There are bike racks that are made specifically for non-conventional bikes. You can get one of those and just keep using it. Make sure the load of your bike is well distributed, and the center of gravity is low. Also, always tie both wheels together over the rack. Make sure it’s securely fastened to the rack hooks as well.
If you do not want to use the bicycle cross bar adapter, another safe option is to carry your women’s bike in a car.
Read more: How To Carry Bike In Car?
Understanding how to put a women’s bike on a bike rack is essential for any female cyclist. The unique structure of women’s bikes, characterized by a slanting upper tube, presents a challenge when it comes to transportation. However, with the right accessories and knowledge, this hurdle can be easily overcome.
Roof-mounted bike racks and platform hitch racks are the most suitable options, as they secure the bike by the wheels, not the frame. For those using hanging bike racks, a top tube crossbar adapter can be a game-changer. This handy tool, such as the ALLEN Tension Bar Bicycle Cross-Bar Adaptor, provides a horizontal bar for the rack to hold, making the transportation of women’s bikes safe and secure.
While it’s possible to transport a women’s bike without an adapter, it’s not recommended due to balance and safety issues. Therefore, investing in a bike rack designed for non-conventional bikes or a crossbar adapter is a wise decision for any woman cyclist.
Remember, the goal is to ensure the safe transportation of your bike without compromising its integrity or your safety. So, whether you’re planning a cycling trip or simply need to transport your bike, knowing how to properly put a women’s bike on a bike rack is a skill worth mastering.