Bike Rack Security – Everything You Need to Know

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Bike racks are a convenient way to take your bike with you on the go, but they can also be an easy target for thieves. While there are many things you can do to protect your bike from theft, securing your bike rack is one of the most important steps.

And that is what this very article is all about. We have covered most of the questions regarding bike rack security. So if you are a bike owner and have a bike rack installed in your car or any other vehicle, this guide might be worth reading.

Do Bike Racks Get Stolen From Cars?

Bike Rack Security

The answer to that question is yes; unfortunately, they do. But it doesn’t happen frequently.

And the reason is, different bike racks are compatible with different vehicles; bike racks are not universal. That is the reason not every thief targets bike racks. However, there are ways to help deter theft and keep your bike rack safe which will be discussed in detail in the later section.

How Often Do Bike Racks Get Stolen?

The answer to that is hard to determine because not all bike thefts are reported. According to the FBI’s NCIC (National Crime Information Center), an estimated 786,496 bicycles were stolen in 2014 alone.

Based on those numbers, we can assume that thousands of bike racks must have been stolen.

Which Rack Systems Are Most Likely to Be Stolen?

While it is difficult to determine which bike racks are most likely to be stolen.

According to some sources, all rack systems from Hollywood Racks and Thule were listed as some of the most commonly stolen brands on college campuses.

Apart from that, any rack that doesn’t have a sound locking system or has a cheap locking system tends to be stolen easily. Plus, how well you are securing the rack that also matters.

How Do I Protect My Bike Rack From Theft?

How Do I Protect My Bike Rack From Theft

Here are a few things you can do to protect your bike rack from theft.

Installed Rack Properly: Make sure it is installed properly, don’t make any compromises on the quality of the installation as it’s the essential part.

Pay Attention to Where you park: Try to park in areas with a lot of people and activity. If possible, park near a security camera so that someone can monitor your bike or if the rack gets stolen, there will be video footage which might help a lot.

Use a Cable or Chain Lock: This will help secure your bike rack to your car while you’re not using it. Make sure to use high-quality locks; otherwise, you will be making it easier for the thief.

Protect your Roof-mounted Bike Rack: Be sure to use a locking mechanism when you have a roof-mounted bike rack so that it doesn’t fall off while you’re driving and get stolen.

Install a Locking Device: While this method is more of an additional purchase, it is well worth the money, in my opinion. Installing one will help keep your rack secure even if thieves do manage to take your conventional locks away.

Purchase Tracking Device: If possible, purchase a tracking device for your bike racks and/or bikes themselves if they get stolen. These devices are beneficial because you will be able to track where the rack is.

What To Do If Your Bike Rack Gets Stolen?

Do the following if your bike rack gets stolen:

Don’t Panic: I know it sucks to lose your bike rack and/or bikes, but panicking will only make things worse. This is the first thing you should do, don’t panic. Stay calm so that your brain will function better and help you to think of a plan. Because if you don’t have a plan, you’re going to make things worse.

Call The Police: This is an obvious one, and you should do it as soon as possible. And file a police report as well. Without a police report, it might be hard to file a claim with your insurance company if you have one.

CCTV Footage: If the area where your car is parked has cameras, see if you can recover any footage of the theft from them. This may give you evidence that you need to help catch the thief who took your bike rack and possibly your bikes as well. And if they do record anything video or photo, try sending it to the police, so they have a greater chance at catching someone this way.

Also read:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to leave my bike rack on my car?

If you live in an area where things get stolen often, or if your bike rack is not locked securely, then it is not recommended to leave it on your car.

Can you lock a bike rack on a car?

Yes, you can lock a bike rack on a car. You should use a high-quality lock that is durable and not easily breakable.

Is it bad to leave bike rack in the rain?

It is good to avoid leaving your bike rack in the rain. This will increase the chance to miss your bike rack because there are no people around the car while raining and the thief takes the chance.


That is it. Time to wrap up this article. Unfortunately, bike racks getting stolen is a common occurrence, but there are ways to protect yourself from it. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can help keep your bike rack and bikes safe from thieves.

And if, unfortunately, your bike rack does get stolen, try not to panic and follow the steps mentioned above to help get it back.

Jeff Phillips Racktutor
About the author

Jeff Phillips is the able founder of In his professional life, he has been offering Paintless Dent Repair and Hail Repair services in North Texas since 1990. He is the owner of DentMasters. He is still passionate about outdoor adventures with his family, bikes and cars. So he has first-hand experience on bike racks. He is regularly testing suitable racks for his upcoming trip. His aim is to create a user-friendly free website where bikers can easily read bike rack informations without any hassle.

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