Are roof racks bad for bikes? Tips To Keep Your Bike Safe on a Roof Rack

It is no secret that bikes have become an essential means of transport from one destination to another.

This is because you do not have to fuel in order to reach your desired destination.

As long as it is in pristine condition, you can readily move from one location to another. Besides this, bikes allow you to exercise and thereby remain healthy.

This has made them become a top choice for many people out there.

That said, you might want to move your bike from one point to another. In this case, you should transport your bike on a car using a bike rack so that you can arrive at your desired destination quickly.

As we speak, we have different types of bike racks. One of the most popular ones is the roof rack, which is usually mounted on top of a car.

Roof racks have proved to be more effective when it comes to bike transportation in the recent past.

As such it is not uncommon for cyclists to ask: Are roof racks bad for bikes?

In this article, we find out if roof racks are indeed safe for transporting bikes and share some tips to keep your bike safe while transporting it on a roof rack.

Are Roof Racks Bad for Bikes?

Roof racks are not bad for bikes as they help hold bikes safely when on transit. Your bike might get dirty when being transported on a roof rack, but a simple hose down will clean your bike well.

Bike roof racks help keep bikes out of the way when driving. Therefore, your bike will arrive safely regardless of the distance traveled.

All you need to do is to secure your bike well on the roof rack, and you will be good to go.

What might happen is that the bike might get dusty if you are driving on a dusty road. However, this is not a big deal as you can clean the bike once you arrive at your destination.

Generally, roof racks are safe for bikes as they do not adversely affect your bike. Besides this, your bike is safe on a roof rack as it will not be damaged in case your car is rammed from behind by another car.

This makes them better compared to other types of bike racks out there.

Also see: are bike racks worth it? 

Do bikes get damaged on Roof Racks?

No. As long as your bike is well secured on the roof rack, it will not be damaged whatsoever.

The only danger comes when you have loaded several bikes into the trays, and you have not secured them well. They might end up scratching the surfaces of each other or even falling off.

However, if you have secured them well, they will remain intact along the way. Dust is the only thing that the bikes might get along the way.

Are Rooftop Bike Racks Safe?

Yes. The good news is that rooftop bike racks have proved to be a secure transportation option that works optimally well for transporting bikes. All you need to do is to install the bike rack as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.

It is important to follow the instructions from the manufacturer so as not to scratch your car’s paint. You can even hire an expert to install it for you to avoid causing more damage to your car’s roof.

Besides this, ensure that you mount your bike well and secure it well. If the bike is firmly secured, it will arrive safely at your destination, and your car’s paint will not be damaged.

To be on the safe side, you can apply one of the protection films in the market so that your paint is not damaged at all.

Finally, ensure that everything is set up and installed the way it should before driving your car.

Generally, if everything is well set up, you can be sure that both your bike and the car will remain safe for the rest of your journey.

Important Tips to Consider to Keep Your Bike Safe on a Roof Rack

As you purpose to use the roof rack to transport your bike, you should ensure that you keep your bike safe. After all, your bike might not arrive safely if you do not consider a number of tips.

Here are some tips that will guarantee that your bike will remain safe on the roof rack.

  1. Do not Overload the Rack

This might seem obvious, but some people usually overload the roof rack unaware. This can be detrimental as the rack might be damaged and can pose a great danger when driving.

For instance, if the rack indicates that it can accommodate a maximum of 35-lb, you should not overload the rack lest it gets damaged.

For optimal results, you should only attach a bike that is less than the weight indicated on the rack.

  1. Ensure that You Secure the Bikes Well

If your bike is not well secured on the rack, it is likely to get loose and can sway along the way. Ensure you secure it well before driving.

You can seek a helping hand to mount the bike more effectively. If you are short, you can look for a tall person to help you out.

You can even confirm several times that your bike up there is safe throughout your journey. This strategy has worked well for many people in the past.

  1. Be Careful When Driving Underneath a Bridge or Overpass

Since you have mounted bikes on top of your car, you should be careful as you drive underneath a bridge or an overpass. This is because some bridges are not as high as you might think.

Depending on the height of your car, you can check if it is safe to use certain roads or areas with restricted height as your bike and car might get damaged in case the bike rams onto a stationary object.

Sometimes, you can take a longer route that does not have these obstacles and arrive safely.

  1. Obey all the Instructions that Come with the Roof Rack

Your roof rack of choice will come with a set of instructions indicating how you ought to use it when transporting your bike.

For optimal results, you should follow these instructions to the letter to avoid future problems. Here, you will learn how to secure your bike on the rack and thereby guarantee its safety along the way.

  1. Inspect Your Roof Rack Regularly

Since your roof rack is exposed to all sorts of weather conditions, you should ensure that you inspect it before use.

If it is not in a good condition, you can have it repaired before mounting your bike. This way, your bike will arrive safely.

  1. Make Several Stopovers

If you are traveling a long distance, you should make several stopovers and check if everything is okay. If the bike is loose, you will be able to secure it in a better way and carry on with your journey.


With a number of mounting systems in place, the roof rack for bikes has proved to be one of the best ways of transporting bikes in the recent past.

Which is why you may ask are roof racks bad for bikes? Especially after going through different types of roof racks.

It is versatile and more convenient to use. Since it comes with several locking systems, you can be sure that your bike will be safe all the way.

Therefore, a roof rack is not bad for your bike. Consider investing in a roof rack for your bike today, and you will get the value for your money.

These roof racks are truly incredible.