Are Bike Racks Easy to Install? Learn How to Install a Bike Rack

Are bike racks easy to install? This is probably among the many questions bothering you as a cyclist. But hey, if you are going to get that rack you better be sure you can be able to install it without much hustle.

Bike racks are a convenient way of ferrying your bicycle to a place where you want to embark on your cycling hobby. It eliminates the need to hire a bicycle once you get to your destination and gives you the freedom to do everything yourself.

There are different racks out here and different methods of installation. Once you understand each one of them, you can choose the one you feel is easiest to install.

However, if you are still worried, the following article will guide you on installing a bike rack and whether or not the process is easy. You will also realize the benefits of each process for your next adventure.

Are Bike Racks Easy to Install? 

Bike racks are easy to install if you follow the manufactures instructions. Bike racks are made in such a way that they can be easily mounted and unmounted without much effort. 

There are different bike racks out there, and a large number of them are pretty easy to install. All you need to do is go with the one that suits your vehicle.

The bike racks easily attach to the vehicle, whether you are attaching them on the roof or hanging them on the trunk. What matters is the bike rack fit with minimal clattering.

Also see: Should You Leave Your Bike Rack on Your Car?

There are no complicated instructions that will make it a hard job for you. Also, you won’t need a pro for the work as the work is pretty straightforward.

Are Bike Racks Hard to Install?

Bike racks are not hard to install since most of them do not require tools during the installation process.

Keep in mind that the type of your vehicle, model, and design of the racks can complicate things, especially when attaching the bicycle.

Also, some vehicles come with pre-installed roof racks, either complete or incomplete. If it is incomplete, you must attach one yourself, which is a little bit complicated compared to the complete roof rack.

Every rack design comes with its own set of instructions. All you need to do is read and follow each step, and you will be doing it like a pro.

How to install a Bike Rack?

Installing a bike rack on your vehicle is an easy way for you to transport your bicycle wherever you go. Even though the process can seem intimidating, it is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

The following steps should guide you through:

  • Start by going for the right bike rack for your vehicle. You can choose the truck-mounted rack as they are ideal in saving space.
  • Make sure you choose a compact rack if you want something that can be easily taken on and off your car. The downside is that they can only carry one bike at a time.
  • You can research different manufacturer’s websites to see the right design for your vehicle. Most of the websites have a search tool that allows you to easily navigate through without a hassle.
  • Once you have acquired the rack, proceed to read the instructions carefully, as each model comes with its own set of instructions.

How to Install a Hitch Rack

Before you begin, you need to know that hitch racks are among the most versatile racks out there. They make it easy for you to carry any type of bike- mountain, children’s, carbon fiber bikes etc.

Now that you’ve got it covered, let’s jump into the steps of installing a hitch rack.

Also see: Is a Bike Rack Worth It?

Determine the hitch receiver in your vehicle; most SUVs have them. But, if yours doesn’t, you can easily install one.

Keep in mind that hitches come in different classes, starting from class I, which fits in any vehicle, to class IV, which is only for heavy-duty vehicles.

watch the video below on how to instal a bicycle hitch rack

Hitch racks are mostly for class I and class III receivers. Class I has a 1.25-inch opening, while class III has 2 inches opening. If you choose to carry two or more bicycles, you will need a 2-inch receiver.

Once you have the receiver, place the tube of the rack on the opening of the receiver. If it of the same size, it will fit perfectly, but you may have to add an adapter in case you are worried about wobbling.

Positon and adjust both the tire trays and the supporting arms, then get them ready to accommodate your bike.

Once everything is ready, test it out. You can do this by rocking the rack back and forth. If the rack is secure, it will move together with the vehicle. If it is loosely attached, you may need to go back and readjust the supporting arms and the straps.

If everything is good, you can go ahead and load your bicycle, then embark on your journey.

How to Install a Roof Rack

Most vehicles come with roof racks making them versatile machines.

If your vehicle already has roof rails, you will need to attach a pair of crossbars to make it a complete roof rack. You must choose the right crossbars made specifically for your vehicle’s make and model.

If it’s a bare roof rack, you will need to install the roof rails and the crossbars to make it a complete roof rack.

Watch the video below on how to instal a bicycle roof rack

Start by installing fit clips onto the towers, also known as the feet, where you can attach the crossbars. Attach the crossbar on the towers of the rails.

Attach the rack on the roof, then tighten it correctly. Keep in mind that the installation process will depend on the type of roof.

Some roofs come with fixed mounting points with removable covers to make you attach the racks.

Ensure you first use a measuring tape to determine how wide and long you want the rack.

If you want a more permanent solution, you could go for the roof rack track system. A good example is the Thule 430R System which comes with a rapid aluminum bar.

Start by drilling on the roof of your vehicle, then insert the plus nuts on the holes. Use a nut tool to expand its base below the surface. By tightening them, you create some sort of anchor on the roof.

Add a rubber washer to prevent leaks and any damages to your roof. Then apply a large amount of silicone sealant as an added protection against leakages.

You can now secure the tracks.

How to Install a Truck Rack

For you to Install a truck rack, you must first go through three main component assemblies: upright units, crossbars, and clamp units.

You can also watch the video below on how to install a truck bike rack

During the upright assembly, which is the first step, you should follow the following steps:

  • Insert the upright into the modular saddle. Use head cap screws to bolt the saddle into place, then tighten them using an Allen wrench.
  • When tightening the screws, ensure you have correctly placed the screws using an Allen key. The Allen key ensures it does not strip.
  • Bolt the saddle and upright on the modular base using the flat head screws.

The second step, which is the crossbar assembly, involves the following steps:

  • Insert squared nuts onto the bottom of the T-slot crossbars.
  • Lock the crossbar bolts and tie-down to the t-track by inserting the t-bolt on the base of the tie-down and sliding it through the top of the crossbar.
  • Insert the end cap of the crossbar onto the end of the crossbar and ensure the flat mounting surface is facing down.
  • Use an Allen key to tighten down the M8 SHCS on the clearance hole.
  • Repeat the process on the other crossbar.

The third step involves the front and back crossbar installation.

Start by placing the crossbar you have assembled on top of the uprights. Ensure the right side of the crossbar is facing up.

Place the squared nut onto the slotted hole on the saddle and make sure they are directly above the hole. Place the BHCS inside the nuts and ensure they have rested correctly on the casting. Then use the Allen wrench to tighten the screws in place.

Just like any other rack, you need to learn how to choose the right bike rack for your vehicle. Once this is done, every other step will be simple.

Final word

The question, ‘Are bike racks easy to install?” is common among most cyclists. If you have found yourself asking the same, know you are not alone.

As you know bike racks, give you the freedom to travel with your bicycle wherever you go. They also don’t compromise on safety or your comfort.

The racks can be easy or hard to install, depending on how you view them. You will find different methods of installing them, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Even though installing the racks can be intimidating, you will be good to go once you follow each requirement and step.

Safe adventures.