How To Install A Trunk Bike Rack Safely

Transporting your bike seems easy enough. Just stop by your local Performance Bicycle shop, purchase a rack, mount it on your car, load up your bike, and off you go. However, it’s not quite that simple. Properly mounting a trunk rack requires extra care to make sure its secure and wont scratch your car.

Also remember that every trunk rack is a little different, so before you buy one make sure it will properly fit your vehicle. Check online fit guides or call Performance Bicycle Spin Doctor product support line at 1-800-553-TECH.


Once you have the right rack, use this step-by-step guide to get it properly installed. 

  1. Every rack is a little different so start by reading the directions and familiarizing yourself with its operation. Also remember that these are just general guidelines, and should not supercede instructions that come with your particular model of trunk rack.

  2. After you read the instructions and unpack your rack, adjust the feet so they will sit properly against your vehicle’s trunk. The upper feet should rest securely on the trunk, while the lower feet should rest just below your license plate. If possible adjust the rack so that it holds bikes as far away from your car as possible. That way your bikes wont swing and hit your car, damaging the paint. Also make sure to check the bottom of all rack feet and straps, assuring they are free of debris which could otherwise scratch your car’s paint.

  3. Take the top straps and hook them in place and pull snug. This will keep rack the in place so you don’t have to hold it during the rest of the installation process. Now attach the bottom straps to the bottom of the trunk. Then do the same with the side straps. Each time you install a strap pull it snug but not tight, leaving room for further adjustment. 

  4. Once all the straps are attached and you have a little bit of tension, start tightening each one. It’s helpful to make a few rounds, tightening each one a little at a time. This way the rack will cinch down evenly.

  5. Secure the loose strap ends using either a provided securing device, or if your rack doesn’t come with a securing device, use tape to secure loose ends so they don’t flap around when you are driving.

  6. Once your rack is installed, load a bike and then retighten all the straps to assure they are still tight. It’s also a good idea to periodically recheck your straps, especially if you’re driving for a long time or on a rough road.

If you have any questions about installing a trunk rack, call the Performance Bicycle Spin Doctor product support line at 1-800-553-TECH. Happy riding.


Bike Tools and Transport