I recently got this rack for free. Someone down the street had left it outside with a “free” sign. How do I actually use it? Do I need to buy straps to hold the bikes down? Am I missing a part? It seems like the bikes would immediately bounce out of the indents without any retention.


  • A couple of small ratchet straps or bungee cords will secure the bikes, most are rated for a certain weight limit so if it has a make or model you may try google for the weight limits. Before you use make sure it's compatible with your type of tow bar and it locks onto the hitch securely.
    – Dan K
    May 24, 2020 at 20:10
  • Some assumption-checking - do you have a car? Do you have a towball on that car? Does the bottom (ie out of shot) match your towball? Or is this question purely about retaining bikes on the rack ?
    – Criggie
    May 24, 2020 at 20:47
  • Generally you'd use bungee cords or some such run either around the vertical shaft or down to the hitch to secure the bikes. Usually there are chain loops on the sides of the hitch that can be used to secure the bottom ends of the bungees. May 24, 2020 at 23:48
  • I’ve got a minivan with a square hitch. It fits nicely, all secured with the cross pin. Thanks for the help everyone!
    – MaplePanda
    May 25, 2020 at 1:43

3 Answers 3


Yes you must get something like a strap to hold the bikes in place. Something that you can tighten down to retain the bike and will not loosen. Nylon webbing straps with a tensioner are usually supplied with the rack when new.

A bike lock could do double duty in retaining and securing the bike, but something that can be tensioned is preferable. Consider a strap and a lock for true zen-like peace of mind.

Bikes on these kinds of racks are surprisingly stable, but must be secured; when transporting anything on our vehicles we must ensure very little can go wrong.

  • I have an adjustable cable lock (masterlock python) which is good as an additional strap but it doesn't pull to a tight enough radius to be the primary means of strapping bikes down, especially 2 at once
    – Chris H
    May 25, 2020 at 5:42

I was hoping to find installation instructions for your rack with factory tie downs.

You have a Hollywood Racks HR600/610 from around 2000. 2002 was the last year for a Traveler rack with arms like yours
Back then Hollywood Racks didn't have installation manuals on the web
enter image description here

3 and 4 Bike Models Available
Traveler is one of our most affordable hitch mount rack systems. Assembles in just minutes, includes No Wobble lockable hitch pin and tilts down for easy cargo access. Available for 1-1/4 & 2" receiver hitch.

The rack didn't come with any tie downs. The other answers have great suggestions for fashioning your own tie down system

  • 1
    Seeing the picture, as well as strapping down the bike to tubes to the arms, I'd want to strap the wheels or lower frames to stop the bikes banging into each other
    – Chris H
    May 25, 2020 at 5:45
  • @ChrisH concur - I'd wrap the entire up-pipe in an old inner tube permanently, and I'd use bungee cords or velcro straps to secure the bike's wheels to each other and the bike frames to the stand. I'd also alternate the frames facing left and right. Looks like its designed to hold 2 bikes, but could hold more between the indents. Disposable zip-ties in a pinch.
    – Criggie
    May 25, 2020 at 20:37
  • 1
    @Criggie reusable zip ties are a worthwhile addition to any cycling toolkit
    – Chris H
    May 25, 2020 at 21:02

Best thing is use a couple of bungy cords to hole the frame to the horizontal bars. A strop to stop the bikes slopping around, wraped around the upright post to stop the bikes sliding backwards should also be used as bungies are not the most reliable.

I use these.

When tieing a bike down make sure it does not movve in a way that will cause damage, especially to things like deraileurs and (if a MTB) fork stancions. 'Shuttle rash' is almost inevitable when carring bikes on these racks.

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