Bike carriers attach to the roof or truck of your car to let you carry your bikes without taking up additional space. According to Consumer Reports, strap-on trunk carriers are not as secure as roof carriers, but are easier to place a bicycle on because of their position on the car. A roof carrier is more versatile and secure, but harder to place a bike on because it sits on top of the vehicle. Whichever carrier you choose, ensure your bike is securely attached.
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Position your bike with the handlebars facing the passenger side of your vehicle. Lift your bike onto the two arms of the bike carrier and place it into the cradles closest to your car. Rotate the pedals on your bicycle so they do not hit your car’s body.
Wrap the cradle straps attached to the arms of the bike carrier around the bicycle frame. Slide the straps into the locking mechanism on the carrier and tighten the straps onto the bicycle frame. Do not overtighten the straps as this could damage the straps over time.
Attach the sway strap around the seat tube to keep the bicycle from swaying back and forth. Lock the strap the same way you did with the cradle straps.
Wrap the load strap around the carrier legs and the frame of the bicycle. Slide the strap though the buckle and tighten the strap to keep the bike stable.
Roof Carrier, Fork Lift
Pull down the quick-release lever holding the front wheel on your bicycle. Remove your front wheel and place it in your car.
Lift your bicycle onto the roof carrier. Place the front bicycle forks into the fork head locking skewer on the carrier. Rotate the lock to secure the forks onto the skewer.
Wrap the rear strap around the rear wheel. Pull the strap tight and lock it in place with the bucket on the carrier. Do not overtighten as this could damage the straps in the future.
Roof Carrier, Front Loader
Lift the front hoop on the front loader bike carrier. Leave the smaller hoop against the carrier.
Lift your bike onto the roof. Roll the front wheel into the hoop. The small hoop automatically pops up to set against the back side of your front wheel.
Tighten the locking mechanism beneath the hoops to hold your bike’s front wheel. Turn the lock clockwise until the wheel is secured.
Wrap the rear strap around the rear wheel. Pull the strap tight and lock it in place with the bucket on the carrier. Do not overtighten as this could damage the straps.