How-To Guide

How to Install a Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack

Preparing for a ride? Transport your bikes with ease by investing in a hitch-mounted bike rack. Designed to connect to your hitch tube, hitch-mounted bike racks are simple to use and don’t require you to remove any wheels. Many models are designed to provide you with trunk or rear access even when installed, and most can be folded up when not in use to minimize your vehicle’s footprint.

Fit the bike rack hitch tube into your car’s receiver
1

Fit the bike rack hitch tube into your car’s receiver

Make sure your bike rack is the correct size for your bike rack hitch tube. Use a sleeve adaptor if necessary. Insert a hitch bolt or anti-tilt device if you are concerned about wobble.


Anchor the bike rack to your vehicle’s crossbars
2

Adjust the supporting arms and tire trays

Position the support arms or trays, taking care to lock everything in place with the provided security pins. Adjust the tire trays and get the tie downs ready to accommodate the bikes.


Load bikes onto the carrier
3

Load bikes onto the carrier

Carefully place the first bike onto the supporting arms or tire trays and secure it to the carrier. Most bike racks include one or more methods to keep bikes secure, such as Velcro tie downs, rubber tie downs, and adjustable clamps. Use wheel ties as an additional safety measure. When the first bike is secured, repeat your steps with any additional bikes.


Stop and double check all attachment points during long trips
4

Stop and double check all attachment points during long trips

After driving a few miles, stop and check all connections to make sure that each bike is correctly anchored to the rack, and that the rack is still secured. When you’re driving there should be minimal wobble and vibration. It’s also recommended to review all attachment points again before highway driving, as higher speeds could loosen a weakened strap or improperly fastened hitch connection.


Remove bikes when finished
5

Remove bikes when finished

When you arrive at your destination, carefully remove one bike at a time and set them aside safely. Many hitch-mounted bike racks can be folded up when not in use, and folded down to access the trunk or rear hatch of your vehicle.