As you may be finding, fitting a ladies bike to a traditional car rack isn’t always as simple as you’d like. Don’t worry, you’re in safe hands. If I had a pound for every tantrum I’ve thrown trying to rack up my bikes for car journeys, I’d probably be able to afford my dream set of wheels. Of course, with a bit of practice and the right kit, mounting bikes on a car bike rack is a positive breeze, but try telling me that on a rainy Tuesday morning when my brain’s not quite in gear.
Generally, it’s kids or step-through bikes which seem to prove the most troublesome.
Ways to attach your bike to your car
A bike rack can be attached to 1 of 3 areas on the standard vehicle.
- The boot (or hatch)
- The roof
- Trailer hitch
Different carriers can cater for 1 to 5 bikes, and it’s important to double check which type of rack will definitely fit your car – believe me, there’s nothing more frustrating.
Top of the range in bike racks is the Saris Bones – one of the most trustworthy leaders in the field.
Trying to mount a bike with a step-through frame to your car – especially hanging on a boot rack, can be difficult as it is the top tube which usually provides much of the added stability required.
A cunning solution to this minor headache is to kit yourself out with a Boomer Bar, an accessory that attaches to your ladies bike and creates a top bar from which to hang.
This reasonably-priced Hollywood Boomer Bar should do the trick.
Depending on the rack you’ve plumped for, you might want to grab a couple of other accessories – a lock and cable guard for example, primarily to guard against theft.
A couple of bungee cords are always handy for added peace of mind.
General rules when looking at how to put a female bike on a rack
Follow these and you won’t go far wrong:
- Keep bike weight balanced and the centre of gravity down
- Keep your larger, easier to mount bikes closer to the vehicle
- ALWAYS strap through both wheels and around the rack. Also be certain it’s tied down firmly to the rack’s arms (potholes can be an ordeal).
- Creative is OK – there’s nothing to say that a bike has to be level on a rack. As long as neither wheel hangs below your car’s rear bumper, or impedes the exhaust, you’re cool.
- Consider upgrading – as we’re all too aware, technology evolves fast. If you’re using a bike rack from days of yore, don’t be surprised if your brand new bike doesn’t like it.
Browse Evans Cycles’ full range of car racks at our online superstore.