How to carry your bike on your car frugal style!

Ok first up, this is for folks who already have roof racks.

Now, there are basically 4 ways to carry your bike on your car, you can put it on a –

  1. Tow bar mounted rear bike carrier;
  2. Boot mounted clip on/strap on rear bike carrier;
  3. Roof mounted bike carrier; or
  4. If you have a hatch or wagon, take the front wheel off and shove it in the rear

The problem I had with the above was –

  1. I didn’t have a tow bar and did not want to pay $1000 for one just to carry my bike;
  2. Was not prepared to pay $100 for a rear strap-on/clip-on rear bike carrier in order to test whether or not they were sturdy and strong enough for my liking.
  3. I actually bought a roof mounted bike carrier thinking they would be easy to put on, but I found it extremely difficult to first of all install the bloody thing and second of all it was a strain to put the bike on it because I was constantly trying to balance the bike while clumsily trying to attach the arm to it for stability.
  4. There’s actually no problem with this method, it’s my go to method all the time. It’s very easy these days if you have front wheels that come off easily to shove it in the back of your hatch if you have space. I use to own a 3 door Daihatsu Charade hatchback, it was tiny, but I could still fit a bike in the back no problems (rear seats folded down of course). The problem arises when you need to fit two bikes, or you are not able to fold the rear seat down because you have friends to pick up in the back.

What to do?…

Well to tell you the truth, the solution only came to me while I was servicing my bike. When I service my bike, I lay it upside down where the seat and handle bars thus become the 3 points of ground contact to keep the bike steady, and as I stared at it, it slowly but surely became apparent to me that I could tie it onto my roof racks in the same position without the need for any special mounts.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen it tied on like this before and I was sure that as soon as I tried to I would encounter the reason why it couldn’t be done like this, so I gave it a shot.

I lifted my bike in the upside down position and proceeded to plonk it on top of my roof racks. I laid the seat on one of the rails and the handle bars on the other rail. There was a bit of adjusting to get both rails at the right distance apart, but once I got that right the bike was now able sit there by itself – that’s actually the easy part. Without a dedicated mount with clamps/straps/ratchets you need to rely on something else to tie it down. That something else was obviously going to be rope, because that’s all I had. Unfortunately, tying things down with rope is actually not that easy. I was able to tie down the rear section of the bike down with a simple truckies knot, but the front of the bike where the handle bars sat required a bit more forethought. After a bit of research I came to the conclusion that lashing the handlebars to the rails was going to be the most secure.

I found this neat technique for lashing things together called zigzag turns on this site –

This type of lashing with zig zag turns essentially has a ratcheting effect. The more zig zags turns the tighter the lashing.

Once you have it all tied down, it looks something like this below –

God I love rope… one of the most useful things invented by us humans…

As I rode around town with the bike strapped on, every single cyclist I drove past gave me the same look, as in “hmmm interesting way of tying on a bike” look…


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