How To Install Roof Bike Rack? (With Pictures)

Bike racks make it simple and safe to transport your bike. In addition, modern racks are so effective that you can carry your bicycle without even disassembling it. 

You may be thinking, “Yes, everything sounds great,” but what about the installation procedure and cost? Well, the installation might sound like a lot to tackle, but it’s not that tough. The rack is also not an expensive addition.

However, you might need to consider a few things, like your bicycle’s design, because it may require a specialized bike rack. There are a few other things to keep in mind when installing a bike rack.

In this article, we’ll go over the step-by-step process of installing a roof bike rack, along with some helpful tips. Keep reading to find out more.

How to Install a Roof Bike Rack?

The installation process is simple and can be completed by yourself. However, because different rack styles have different installation processes, always choose the simplest one to avoid any additional hassle. 

Here, I’ll walk you through the simple step-by-step process of installing the roof bike rack. We assume that you have preinstalled mounting points or crossbars to secure bike racks.

Caution:

  • Using a soft cleaning cloth, clean the roof of your vehicle.
  • Before beginning the installation process, remove any antennas and other roof accessories.
  • The designated carrying capacity (up to 6 Bikes) can be found in the user manual. Don’t go over the limit.
  • The wheel straps or knobs should not be overtightened.

Step 1: Assemble the base plate on the wheel Tray

Before beginning the installation procedure, try to assemble everything that you need, such as spacer volts, metal base plates, and other parts. 

The first step in making the rack is to use the spacer bolts to secure the metal base plates to the wheel tray. 

Step 2: Screw on the metal stand 

After the metal base plate has been placed on the wheel tray, Take the metal stand and screw it to both ends of the base plate. Ensure that you can lift the metal stand vertically.

Step 3: Tighten the wheel straps with the bar 

Pull the wheel strap through the tire stopper first, then tighten the pasta bar’s front and rear ends. And then, place the bar end cap on both sides to keep the strap from coming out.

So far, the rack has been successfully assembled. Now tit’se to attach the rack wiits the car’s preinstalled crossbar before loading the bike onto the rack.

Step 4: Place the rack on the crossbar of the vehicle

Now we will place the rack on the crossbar. It involves a few steps: 

Before placing the bike rack on the vehicle’s crossbar, insert and slide the long carriage bolts through the bike rack. 

Place the metal base plate beneath the long carriage bolts and crossbars. Then use a spacer to screw on the mounting bolts beneath the base plates and tighten it.

Step 5: Insert the U -Bolts

Insert the U-bolts on the left and right sides of the bar and secure them with the tri-wing nuts. Finally, make sure the bike rack is stable and secure.

Step 6: Place the bike on the rack

Since our bike rack is ready, it’s time to place the bike on the rack, and make sure the bike is parallel to the traveling direction of your vehicle. Pull the straps through the spokes of the wheel and tighten. 

Step 7: Trap the bike 

After you’ve secured the bike to the rack, Raise the rack arm to catch the bike’s lower tube. 

Insert the hex bolts into the arm and slide a tension screw between the arms. One hex bolt is for the upper part, while the other is for the lower part.  

Place the black knobs on the bolts and tighten them in place by turning them clockwise. Finally, lock the upper block knob with the key. 

Step 8: Double-check all the connection

After you have done everything nice and smooth, double-check all the connections. The rack should hold the bike tightly.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Installing Roof Bike Rack 

Of course, lifting a bike on the vehicle’s roof is quite a hassle, and many riders don’t love it. However, you should know that nothing is without its drawbacks. 

Roof racks are an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts because of their versatility. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of roof bike racks.

Advantages:

  • A roof bike rack, unlike hitch-mount racks, does not create an obstruction when you look back while driving because it is mounted on the roof.
  • Roof racks are highly versatile. It is available in various styles to fit different types of bikes and seasons.
  • You can leave your SUV unattended without worrying about security because it has various locking systems.
  • The bike does not move as quickly because the rack can be attached to multiple points on the vehicle.
  • If you decide to switch to another rack, you can remove it. Furthermore, because the roof rack can be disassembled into many parts, it does not require large storage areas.

Disadvantages:

  • If you have a roof rack, you’ll have to lift the bike to a certain height, which isn’t ideal. 
  • Because the rack is mounted on the roof, installation may be challenging.
  • While driving, you may notice that the bikes move and collide.
  • Wind resistance may have a small impact on gas mileage.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Roof Bike Rack? 

I recommend doing it yourself.  You can do it with the right tutorial and a handful of tools.  You can follow the instructions we provided earlier. Professional assistance should be your last resort. 

Anyway, for professional help, you might have to pay up to $100-$150 if the task is comparatively less complex and less time-consuming. 

However, if the rack is more technologically advanced and installed on a new car, you might have to spend up to $400-$500 because, in such a case, you need an experienced technician.

Do Roof Bike Racks Damage Your Car? 

A roof bike rack is less likely to cause damage to your vehicle than a trunk mount or hitch bike rack. However, you must be careful when securing the bike to the rack.

As the car drives over uneven terrain, the bikes will have movement. So, If you fail to secure the bike to the rack, it may fall and cause damage to your vehicle.

Are Roof Bike Racks Worth It? 

Roof bike racks are unquestionably useful towing accessories. It is popular among bike enthusiasts of all ages. If your vehicle has a roof rack, you won’t have to worry about finding a parking spot. 

In addition, it protects your bike if you leave the car unattended for an extended period. They are available in various sizes, shapes, and prices. Here are a couple of examples of the best roof bike racks.

Conclusion

The installation of the roof bike racks is not a difficult task.  However, when installing, you must be cautious. If the rack is loose, you might risk scratching your cargo and other mishaps. 

We make every effort to provide a detailed step-by-step procedure, but you can also broaden your search and learn before attempting it yourself. Always double-check all of your connections before you start driving.

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