I have a couple bike(shaped object)s I'd like to transport to the local state park for fun in the sun in a few weeks. I'm looking at a number of hitch mounted bike racks for my vehicle. It's pretty obvious how to use the rack (general example pictured below), however I can see the bike swaying along the front-to-back of the vehicle axis, potentially rubbing the wheels or handlebar against my vehicle. I've considered a handful of solutions, but was wondering what (if any) other options there are.

1.) Tie the bike to the vertical rack tube wherever it fits, this way the bike is held firm, but it is not straight up and down. This puts the wheel very close to the bumper, so there is less tolerance for any sway before tire-to-paint contact occurs.

2.) Weld an additional support perpendicular to the vertical tube halfway up which I can tie to the bikes to using the downtubes. This way the bikes remain more or less vertical. The downside is that I have to weld something, and I'm lazy.

Are there other solutions to this problem? I understand the bikes are quite heavy and tied on the top tube so the center of gravity helps reduce sway, but I also understand I'm very fond of my vehicles paint job and would hate to have a bike tire rubbing on it for 200 miles without me noticing.

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    Is there a reason you chose this type of rack instead of one with rails that support the wheels? An example of what I mean is shown in the first image on this website. May 20, 2021 at 16:52
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    With this style rack it's fairly normal to run a bungie cord from the wheels to the area of the hitch. May 20, 2021 at 16:54
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    @SaaruLindestøkke Lack of familiarity with options, I'll look into the style you mentioned!
    – Sidney
    May 20, 2021 at 17:04
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    Also check out the questions tagged [car-rack], there might be relevant information there. May 20, 2021 at 17:13
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    Does this answer your question? Hitch mounted bike rack swaying May 21, 2021 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


Several possibilities,

  1. Pool noodles - cut one vertically and mash it over the upright post of the hitch. Retain in place with zip ties.

  2. Bungee cords with hooks on the ends can be used to pull the bike frame toward the upright. Also can wrap around top tube and horizontal of frame

  3. Old inner tubes can be used in either role - they take a knot quite well.

  4. Personally I like industrial velcro cable ties. They come in a bunch of sizes and lengths, and I've never seen a suitably-sized one spontaneously come undone under transport.

There's nothing stopping you doing more than one thing to secure your bikes.

Noted that in the picture it is a two-position rack for two bikes, but the one installed is hanging in the outer position. If you were to move it further forward to the other slot, it would have less free space to swing, and would hang closer to the vertical pole facilitating tiedown.

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