How to stop front wheel moving on a bike rack

Bought a bike rack to take your bikes with you anytime you feel like driving somewhere? Then you might have noticed the wheels of the bike spinning while driving, or the handlebars moving. This is a common issue if you put your bike on a trunk rack: it is quite noisy, annoying when driving, and could damage the paint of your car or another bike attached to the same rack.

In this article, we will see solutions to prevent the wheel from moving on the bike rack and see how to stop the handlebars from moving.

How to stop the wheels from moving on a bike rack?

The easiest way to stop the wheels from moving on a bike rack is to use the excess strap from the rack itself to attach the front wheel to the frame. Another option is to buy a velcro strap to attach the wheel to the frame.

Using the excess strap from the rack

Trunk racks come with a long strap which is used to secure the bike(s) onto the rack. This strap is generally quite long, enough to attach all the necessary bikes and secure the front wheels to the bike frame. But this can be quite tricky to do.

The first time you try, you might struggle to get the strap to tighten correctly, and you might prevent the rotation of the wheels but not the handlebars from moving a bit.

Using the excess strap to stop the wheel from moving

To use the excess strap it is best to:

  1. Secure all bikes together going through the frames
  2. Tightening the strap using the locking system
  3. Now you should have the bikes tightened to the bike rack and an excess strap annoying you
  4. Take the excess strap and pass the strap inside the front wheel and go out via the frame
  5. Repeat on each bike
  6. Make a double knot on the last frame

If you don’t have enough length of strap left, you can try tightening all wheels at the same time to all frames.

Using a velcro strap

This is the lazy option. No need to think and very straightforward. Just buy a velcro strap per bike you need to attach on the rack and then strap the front wheel to each bike frame.

Which velcro strap to buy?

The best type of velcro to use is a system that includes a clasp. No need to be a very long strap: a 12″ or 15″ in length is perfect. I recommend you buy a strap not too narrow. It will have more grip and be stronger for use. So I think the best solution is to buy a 2″x15” strap like this one.

How to secure it?

In the picture below, you can see how I secure the strap: I just attach the wheel to the frame.
I use this system regularly to stop the wheel and handlebars from moving on my indoor bike rack because it’s a vertical bike rack and the front wheel is not attached to anything and falls on the side. On a trunk bike rack, I would use the same velcro system to prevent the wheel from wobbling and spinning while driving.

Using a velcro strap to prevent wheel from moving

How to prevent the handlebars from turning on a bike rack?

Same as preventing the wheels from spinning, you can prevent the handlebars from turning on a bike rack by attaching the front wheel to the frame. If well tighten, it will prevent the handlebars from moving in any direction and lock at the same time the wheels from moving.

Not all bike racks have this issue with wheels & handlebars moving, so if you haven’t bought a bike rack yet or are planning to change your bike, have a look at this article I wrote on the different types of bike racks for cars:

And if you ever need to transport a bike without a bike rack, feel free to check this article I wrote on the topic. It’s fully detailed with photos to help you fit the bike easily, even in small cars.

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