For riders who wish to haul their bike, one or multiple, on the back of their cars know how convenient it is to have a designated bike rack that holds the bikes in place. A suitable bike rack prevents harm to the wagon, as well as the bike frame itself. In addition, if you’ve been hampering your bike inside the space of your vehicle, a bike rack would be a great space saver as well.
While riders love the versatility and convenience of the different types of bike racks, they are often worried about the security of their bikes tugged on a bike rack. Fortunately, there are a few simple and hassle-free ways in which you can make sure you’re your bike is locked securely on your car bike rack.
Read ahead to know how to lock a bike on your car bike rack, and why doing so is undeniably vital.
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Why Locking Your Bike is Important?
For a lot of riders, investing in a bike rack and using it for quite some time makes them realize that their bike, hauled up on the car might not be as safe. There is no solid lock to prevent theft, neither something that would at least buy some time. This is especially important when you plan to load your bikes into the car and leave them unattended for some time.
Apart from that, a bike rack carrying your riding gear is stressful. Without a proper lock, our mind is always running back to the bike and its safety. A lot secures your bike in a way that leaves you free of worry, helping you concentrate on the road much better.
Types of Bike Racks
If you have chosen the wrong bike rack, it is most likely to minor accidents, which chances of theft and damage to your vehicles. With the right bike rack, you can securely carry your bikes long distances, without having to look back during the ride.
The locking system of the bike to the bike rack will depend on what kind of bike rack you have installed on your vehicle. The different types of bike racks include:
Truck Mounted Bike Racks
The most affordable option of the three, truck mounted bike racks are affixed to the vehicle rear section or hatchback with the aid of straps. Due to their design, these are more prone to damage, although padded rack frames can help to prevent scratching.
Truck mounted bike racks are a universal fit, meaning they are more compatible with a wide range of cars. Apart from the fact that they can be easily installed and stored, truck mounted racks are popular for how easily they can be locked in with any bike.
Roof Mounted Bike Rack
For vehicles like the SUV, these bike racks are affixed to the rack of the car. Roof mounted racks are excellent when it comes to greater storage space and rear access. Like truck mounted racks, your bikes can be securely locked to these without trouble.
Moreover, roof racks can carry several gears like skateboards and surfboards and can accommodate multiple bikes on the same rack. However, since they are located at the distance of a roof, lifting your bikes can be quite difficult.
Hitch Mounted Bike Racks
For regular bikers who need to mount and dismount their bikes off the vehicle often, the hitch mounted racks provide a fitting, easy to install the platform. What’s good about these racks is that you don’t need to remove any car parts or wheels. But these racks need to be installed by drilling holes on the cars, while they are quite a struggle to install.
Best Methods to Lock Bike on Car Bike Rack
Now, let’s talk about some effective methods that you can follow to lock lock bikes on car bike rack.
Passive Strap Locking Method
The passive strap looping system is ideal for use in your truck mounted bike rack but can also be used to lock your bike on the roof mounted bike rack. Although this strapping method is simple to perform, it might not be the strongest or safest lock.
In this method, you’ll have to use a lock strap, that can be labeled as either passive or truck in the market. A long cable is used, which is usually made of materials that are flexible and thin. For locking in the bike to the rack, the cable sports a rounded rubber disc at the end, which can be an entry for the strap to be threaded in.
Here, you’ll have to place the bike frame on the rack and use the strap to create multiple loops. You’ll then have to tighten the strap and check for movements of the bike frame. As of last, closing the puck of the cable loop will seal the deal.
Thule Passive Lock Strap uses metal cables in nylon coverings, to make sure that the straps are unbreakable and laid back on the frames. When you intend to use this strap for a roof rack, one of the ends should be looped around the nearest car door.
Tow Loop Hitch Locking Method
The tow hitch way of locking up a bike on a car bike rack involves more effort and to some, it can be quite difficult. For your hitch mounted bike rack, securing the bike with any of the fixed parts of the car, like the bumper can be a simpler version of the security system.
Otherwise, you can also affix the bike with a looping cord on an external hitching system. Make sure to use a padlock for final protection. An adjustable, vinyl-coated cable lock like the Master Lock Python cable lock comes with keys and Velcro straps for additional steadiness.
U Lock Security Method
Another method of locking your bike on a car bike rack is to simply use a well-constructed U locking system. For the best security, you can use security chains with the U lock. The advantage of using a U lock is that you would have a more integrated system, that too without additional tools or cables, making it a great locking system for all the 3 types of bike racks.
For a hitch mounted bike rack, the protection naturally doubles up, as the hitch pin already acts like a second lock. To add, you can include another U lock to any immovable part in contact with the bike frame.
A U Lock bike lock like the Kryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock, provides the best antitheft locking mechanism with a steel shackled mechanism that does not open easily even with the rough hand tools.
If you wish to leave your bike loaded on your car unattended, knowing how to lock the bike on the car bike rack is imperative. We have explained several simple ways in which you can do so. Make sure you bolt in your bike with the rack and use the locking system that is most fitting for the bike rack.