You would think the easiest, most convenient way of moving a bike would be to simply hop on and ride it, right? Well, unfortunately, this straightforward method is not possible in many cases, especially when the distance between the two locations is long. Maybe you are driving across the country for a vacation and want to have your bike with you, or perhaps you just bought a new bike and need to take it home with you. Whatever the reason you cannot ride your bike but need to transport it through some other wheels, you surely want to ensure you do it safely without damaging any of your vehicles.
The obvious answer would be to use a bike rack, but is it possible to do so without one? And if yes, how to transport a bike without a rack? Which method of transporting a bike is the safest? Continue reading, and find out.
How to Transport a Bike Without a Rack?
If you would rather not spend money on a bike rack or are in such a situation that you cannot buy one, you can benefit considerably from the methods we will mention below on how to transport a bike without a rack. From carrying the bike inside your car to on top of it, read on and find what works best for you.
Put it in the backseat of your car
A simple way of transferring your bike without using any extra equipment such as a rack is by putting it in the backseat of your car. The easiest way to use this method of transportation is if your car or whichever vehicle you use has enough space on the back. You simply slide the bike inside the car’s backseat and ensure it does not move around too much as not to disrupt your driving or cause any scratches to the bike’s surface.
Tie it up in the car roof
A problem that might arise with the first method is people sitting on the backseats. In such cases, you might want to consider tying the bike up on the car roof. Of course, such a method would be easier with a bike rack, but it is also possible without one. To protect the paint of your car as well as of the bike, put a blanket on top of the roof, then mount the bike upside down. Use a sturdy rope to tie everything in place so that you avoid the possibility of the bike falling off while on the road, endangering the other road participants, and damaging both your vehicles.
Using a travel bike case
If the bike does not fit inside the car, or you feel unsafe mounting it on top of it, then you might want to consider dismantling it first then putting it inside. Once you separate the pieces from one another and lay them on your backseat, you risk tearing the seat’s stuffing or leaving heavy grease stains almost everywhere. But, no worries, this is where travel bike cases come into play. To fit everything into the case, generally, you have to:
- Remove the pedals
- Deflate the wheels and put them into the case’s lid
- Remove the seat pillar
- Release the shock pressure if needed
- Remove the handlebar stem
- Secure the frame and everything else into the case
If you have the time to go through the process of disassembling the bike, consider buying a bike case, which easily fits on car trunks and backseats, to keep everything secure.
Put it in your truck
In case you have a pickup truck, then lucky you, you will not need any of the beforementioned methods. Instead, all you do is lay it on the trunk, and for extra security, you can even use rope to tie the bike to it, so nothing moves while you are driving. Another advantage of this method is that you can transport more than one bike at a time, plus any other gear you need for them.
Why a Bike Rack Is a Must?
Although, as you can see, it is possible to carry a bike without a rack, such transportation methods can be dangerous and inconvenient at times. A much safer and not to mention more simplistic way of moving your bike is by using a rack.
A bike rack is a must if you do not want to spend time preparing the bike by dismantling it for other forms of transportation. Maybe you are simply lending the bike to a friend, so you want to transport it to their house quickly, or want to go for a nice ride along the park and would rather not waste time before and after the car ride.
Another reason why using a bike rack is a better idea is because you will not risk damaging the vehicle you are using to transport the bike by putting a metal medium of transport inside or on top of it. Or even because dismantling and then putting the bike pieces back together might damage them in the long run.
Bike racks are much more suitable and easier to manage than any other method. They will be worth the price when you consider the time you save by preparing the bike, the stress you reduce not thinking about whether your bike will fall off in the next minute, and the potential fees you would have to pay if your bike did fall off.
How to Choose a Bike Rack?
Each bike type has a unique shape to suit the riding you can do with it, so some bikes might not fit some bike racks. Before purchasing a bike rack, always make sure it can accommodate the width of your tires, the top tubes, and the overall frame. Also, consider the various types of racks you can buy, such as trunk mount, roof mount, spare tire mount, and hitch mount, and choose whichever matches your desired method of transportation.
Bike racks are great! They are simple to use and bring some peace of mind regarding safety when transporting a bike. However, if you do not have one, there are other methods you can put to use, from putting the bike on the backseat of your car to placing it on the back of your truck. Being resourceful is a great skill, and with these methods, you can work around not having or using a bike rack. Nonetheless, if you have to transport your bike frequently or for long distances, a bike rack is a wise investment. After all, the best lane you can be in is the safe lane.