How to Lock a Bike Carrier to a Car

How to Lock a Bike Carrier to a Car
Bike carriers are used to safely and securely transport one or several bikes by car, truck or sport utility vehicle. Carriers may be designed to either mount on the roof of a vehicle or in the receiver hitch mounted to a vehicle. Securing the bike is important to prevent both the rack and bike from possibly being stolen. There are two different methods used for locking a roof rack versus a hitch mounted bike rack.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Locking a Roof Mounted Bike Carrier

Things You’ll Need:
  • Roof rack
  • Core locks
  • Hitch rack
  • Hitch pin and pad lock
Step 1
Locate the round lock holes risers. The risers are the upright supports located on either side of the cross bars. Remove any plastic plugs or coverings used to prevent water and dirt from entering the lock hole.
Step 2
Insert the included change key into a lock core. The change key does not have teeth cut and is used only for installation and changing out the lock core. Position the core so that any grooves or cutouts are in alignment.
Step 3
Push the core straight into the lock hole until it locks in place. Pull the change key straight out and the core will now be installed. Repeat the process for the other risers on the bike carrier.

Locking a Hitch Mounted Bike Carrier

Step 1
Position the bike rack tube in the receiver. Line up the holes in the side of the receiver with those of the bike carrier tube.
Step 2
Slide a hitch pin through the receiver, the carrier tube and out the other side.
Step 3
Insert a padlock into the hole located in the end of the hitch pin. Secure the padlock by firmly inserting the hasp into the body of the lock until it latches. Pull on the lock to make sure it is securely locked.

Tips & Warnings

Recheck that all cores are securely and completely inserted into the lock holes.
Make sure the lock used with a hitch pin is durable and able to withstand wear and tear.
Failing to properly install and lock cores or padlocks could possibly result in theft, damage or injury.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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