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How do you secure your bike on your car bike rack?

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How do you secure your bike on your car bike rack?

Old 08-07-19, 06:50 PM
  #1  
PastorJim
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How do you secure your bike on your car bike rack?

I look at my Bike rack as well as others and they don't seem secured from theft. Am I wrong? I would like to take my bike to work or store for a later in the day ride, but I don't want to find that my bike was stolen. Your feedback on this is appreciated.

Last edited by PastorJim; 08-07-19 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Correct sentence structure
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Old 08-07-19, 07:02 PM
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Some racks have built in locks to prevent removing the bike or rack.
But anything can be stolen, it's just a matter of easy or difficult to steal.

I lock my bike inside my car.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I lock my bike inside my car.
^^^^^^
This
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Old 08-07-19, 07:04 PM
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Store your bike inside your car if that is a worry for you. I always buy cars that have space for my bike inside the car. I would not ever consider keeping my bike on a rack on the outside of my car for more than a very short time
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Old 08-07-19, 07:10 PM
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I use a U lock and cable. I’m rarely out of eyesight of the bike when it is on the car, mostly if I stop for a meal after a ride.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:21 PM
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The idea of "lock it inside your car" is both ridiculous and frankly, off-topic. It does not even approach answering the OP's question, and offers absolutely nothing useful whatsoever. For all we know, the OP has a car too small to fit a bike inside, or even-- gasp-- a truck.

So to give an actual answer:

I have the "worst" kind of bike rack, which holds the bikes by the top tube. I'd likely prefer a tray-type, but the pillar style rack fits perfectly in the wife's trunk when not in use. It lives in the car year-round.
I use a Kryptonite long-shackle U-Lock and a 15' braided cable. I first put the cable through the two little hoops on the receiver, whose names I do not know. But I assume every receiver has them.
I then weave the cable through both wheels and the frame, then loop back around to the rack's pillar.
I put the ends of the cable onto the Krypto shackle, then put the shackle over the downtube and the pillar, and lock everything together, so that the bottom portion of the lock is facing the bumper.
The 15' cable is easily long enough to wrap two bikes. When I have two bikes on the rack*, I use the U-lock to lock the two frames together, just above the bottom brackets.

Yeah, someone could cut the cable, and then unbolt the entire receiver and rack from the car. But the whole point is to make the bike seem less accessible, and therefore not worth the hassle.
A bike sitting inside a car is protected by a piece of glass. That bike can be stolen with a chunk of brick.

*the rack was sold as a 3-bike, but fitting 3 bikes on it was ridiculous. I cut the tubes down and customized it to fit just two bikes, which is all we're ever transporting anyway.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:35 PM
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I have a class 3 receiver and use a tray type rack carrier. The carrier has a built in cable for securing the bikes, which I use, only trusting it for as long as it takes for a restroom break when traveling. I use a hitch pin lock and a bolt on stabilizer on the rack. The lock could be pretty easy to defeat but one would need a wrench or socket/ratchet to remove the stabilizer, making the rack a bit more secure. More than a few minutes away the bikes go with, or my wife or I would stay behind.
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Old 08-07-19, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The idea of "lock it inside your car" is both ridiculous and frankly, off-topic. It does not even approach answering the OP's question, and offers absolutely nothing useful whatsoever. For all we know, the OP has a car too small to fit a bike inside, or even-- gasp-- a truck.

So to give an actual answer:
OK.....

Drill a hole in the rack and put a eye bolt through the hole, put one nut on tight, apply some JB Weld to the threads and then put a second nut on.

Get a cable and padlock large enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Run the cable through both wheels, the frame and use the padlock to to secure it to the eye bolt.

Any thief will need a battery operated cut off wheel to steal the bike.
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Old 08-07-19, 08:14 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by PastorJim View Post
I would like to take my bike to work or store for a later in the day ride, but I don't want to find that my bike was stolen. Your feedback on this is appreciated.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The idea of "lock it inside your car" is both ridiculous and frankly, off-topic. It does not even approach answering the OP's question, and offers absolutely nothing useful whatsoever.
I don't see how that answer is off topic. OP is asking for suggestions. Pop off your front wheel and there aren't very many cars that won't accept a bicycle. Cheaper and more secure.
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Old 08-07-19, 08:38 PM
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I'd be hesitant to leave a bike on a car rack all day long, no matter where the car might be parked. I agree with the "inside" posse for security, but there are times when bike-on-rack is the way to go and security is required. I use a Saris Bones rack on some vehicles and a fork-mount Hollywood receiver rack on others. Big padlock with a 10' cable gives me the security I'll settle for at times like these. Silver lump below rear bumper is the padlock hooking the cable (threaded through frame and wheels) to a tow loop.
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Old 08-07-19, 08:55 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Some racks have built in locks to prevent removing the bike or rack.
But anything can be stolen, it's just a matter of easy or difficult to steal.

I lock my bike inside my car.
Those built-in locks, such as the Thule, Saris, Kuat and similar racks are useless.

Your suggestion is the best, lock the bike inside the vehicle.

My Thule hitch rack was recently stolen right of the car, sans bike.

I now use a 1UP USA rack and I use enough chains and locks to put to shame any well equipped dungeon.
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Old 08-07-19, 09:06 PM
  #12  
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I have one of those 1-up racks and bought the lock kit to go with it. So I basically padlock the rack to the car and then the little arms that secure the wheels have locks as well (which are tiny). If I ever feel the need to leave the bike in the rack, I have a cable lock I can add to the pile.

Bottom line- if the bike is on the back of my car I DO NOT LEAVE IT OUT OF MY SIGHT!

If the bike is in the back of my tinted-window SUV, I'll go inside a restaurant to eat or something but I'm never far. The main advantage of locking the bike inside the car is a) much harder to see and b) if they open a door the alarm will go off, which will hopefully alert me.

I had my work backpack stolen from the back of a rental car recently in Seattle, which both sucked and taught me a few things.
a) People are *******s
b) I had an unbelievable amount of expensive stuff in my backpack - after my company replaced my laptop, I had an additional $2,000 claim for my insurance company. So, pretty close to a new bike.

I filed a homeowners claim and they wanted proof I owned the stuff I said I owned (ipad, kindle, bose headphones, prescription glasses, car keys... man, it adds up) The only thing they really stiff armed me about was the ipad, like I have a picture of that. So they said, ok, send us a copy of the owners' manual. Double WTF. A screen shot of "find my iPhone" showing it was missing sufficed, go figure. Anyway, take pictures of your stuff, secure it as well as you can and if you can't afford to lose it, don't let it out of your cold dead hands ever. No lock will ever stop a determined thief.
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Old 08-07-19, 09:08 PM
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I got a minivan.


Also, I usually keep a painters drop cloth in the van that I can use to cover the bike in really bad areas where I get a sense that someone might come by with a brick.
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Old 08-07-19, 09:14 PM
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Our tandem does not fit inside our Mazda5. Twice this year we left it overnight in a motel parking lot on the Tandem Topper roof rack. Under a light. Secured with a small nuisance padlock on the ATOC Security Skewer and two different cables/padlocks wrapped around and through the bike frame, rear wheel, Tandem Topper and Yakima crossbars. A recumbent tandem on a roof rack with no seats or front wheel is not a thief magnet.
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Old 08-08-19, 03:35 AM
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Obviously, first I would have to get a car. I used to take a wheel off and put it in the trunk.
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Old 08-08-19, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
OK.....Drill a hole in the rack and put a eye bolt through the hole, put one nut on tight, apply some JB Weld to the threads and then put a second nut on.

Get a cable and padlock large enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Run the cable through both wheels, the frame and use the padlock to to secure it to the eye bolt.
That's what I did on one of mine, but instead of the JB weld you just leave a few threads after the nut and upset them with a hammer.
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Old 08-08-19, 05:32 AM
  #17  
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i recently bought one of these,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HIPLOK-Z-LOK-COMBO-COMBINATION-SECURITY-ARMORED-ZIP-TIE-BIKE-LOCK-BRAND-NEW/173783213545?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=472456412125&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

they also make one that has a small key for 1/2 the price of the combo lock.


i like the look of it because it is easily stored by wrapping it around my under seat bag without scratching it if i use it. it's not a kryptonite U lock for overnight security. it a small out of the way lock to it prevent a crime of opportunity like the OP is describing. like where you leave a bike unattended for a min or 2 while you take a pee, or stop at the store to buy a water because you ran out on a solo ride.

the same company makes a small cable lock about the size of a pack of smokes that has a built in light on it and a clip to lightly secure it. slip it in your rear jersey pocket, turn on the light for extra visibility so it has a addition use besides light security for your bike.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:39 AM
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I've left a bike unlocked on a rack overnight at a motel. In that case, I parked backing the bike-on-rack into the holly bush at the edge of the motel lot, figuring a thief would get painfully scratched trying to take anything. Nobody bothered it.

My normal routine is to use a U-lock to lock the front wheel to the frame, and then an armored cable locking the rear wheel to the pillar of the rack.

I shake my head in disbelief at reports of bike racks being stolen. I hope that if I ever run into a situation like that, the extra weight of a bike (or two) locked to the frame of the rack will make the potential thief look elsewhere.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:42 AM
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My Yakima roof rack has built in locks for the rail mounts and the front fork clamp. These will likely deter the opportunistic thief, but the more committed thief could defeat these easily enough. If Iím leaving the bike out of sight for more than a few mins, I have a 6í cable and padlock that I wrap around the frame and roof rails. Overnight or for longer than maybe an hour, I stow the bike in the car or bring it inside. IMO few car racks offer real security against the determined thief with time on his hands - even if they canít get the bike off the rack, they can often detach the rack from the car
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Old 08-08-19, 07:47 AM
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I use hitch racks 99% of the time, when I use my trunk rack it's a bit different and much less secure.
For the hitch rack, i'll loop a Kryptonite cable through it's self around the top or seat tube, then lock the other end with a larger than average padlock to the hitch on the car. The trunk mount I basically the same, unless there isn't a hitch. Then it get locked to the tow eye on the car. If there isn't one of those, it doesn't get locked or left alone.
But , any method of locking a bike on a car is simply to prevent the casual "hey, there's a bike unlocked" thief. A pad lock or cable can be easily cut with a big bolt cutter. I do it all the time at the shop, it's incredible how easy it is. Some cheaper thinner cables can be nibbled through with a regular cable cutter, doesn't take long at all. A Ulock will require a grinder, which takes less than a minute.
It matters more where you leave you car\bike and for how long than the type\method of lock you use.
I've never been worried about leaving my bikes for a lunch\pitstop on the NY Thruway. East New York would be a different matter all together.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I don't see how that answer is off topic. OP is asking for suggestions. Pop off your front wheel and there aren't very many cars that won't accept a bicycle. Cheaper and more secure.
The OP is asking for suggestions on how others secure their bikes to their car bike rack. So telling the OP to store the bike in the car is off topic in that it doesnt answer the question. It may be the best advice, but it doesnt answer the question.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:05 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by PastorJim View Post
I look at my Bike rack as well as others and they don't seem secured from theft. Am I wrong? I would like to take my bike to work or store for a later in the day ride, but I don't want to find that my bike was stolen. Your feedback on this is appreciated.
I have a tray rack and dont use any locking mechanism. My region is relatively good for bike thefts compared to elsewhere, my work parking lot is quiet and relatively secure, and I am also at peace with the reality that there is a slight chance someone could steal a bike from me because they suck at life and think its OK to take stuff from others.
Ive been in other towns/regions and have locked my bike in those instances. Simple coated cable wrapped thru wheels, around the frame, and thru the rack. If some dbag happens to be carrying around bolt cutters, i guess its their day to win.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:17 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I got a minivan.


Also, I usually keep a painters drop cloth in the van that I can use to cover the bike in really bad areas where I get a sense that someone might come by with a brick.
I do the same with my Forester. Got an old blanket in the back that I cover up the bike with. Still, I would certainly not leave the bike inside for an extended period of time.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:18 AM
  #24  
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I use a padlock and cable threaded through the bikes, a lug on the rack, and the hitch receiver. It's as secure as a cable lock, i.e., a determined thief could have our bikes. We take our bikes on family trips, but they're old and battered. A chain would be a bit more secure.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:23 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Those built-in locks, such as the Thule, Saris, Kuat and similar racks are useless.
+1. I had two Thule rack systems stolen off my car roof in the span of less than 6 months. They were both locked on. Checked on Craig's List after the second time. Found a post by someone else in the city who had it happen. It was a thing at the time. Likely sold the metal parts for scrap.

I now have a Forester. Problem solved.
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