Many people complain that their bike rack wobbles. But are they supposed to? This article will explore what you should do if your bike rack is wobbly, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
So, are bike racks supposed to wobble? In short, it’s ok for a bike rack to wobble a bit. If you installed it correctly I wouldn’t worry about it. Wobbling is just a part of it because when you drive there is the wind which will have an effect on the bike rack. No surface where you drive over is perfectly flat so that will account for the wobbling as well.
How much wobble/play is normal for a hitch rack?
When installed as intended, a small amount of wiggle is fine and can be attributed to the road surface, however, anything more than this indicates either an installation problem (typically with alignment) or a defect in your rack (which you’ll want to be replaced).
You need to give it some time for things to settle down. if it’s still wobbly then you can try to take off your rack and tighten the screws again, but make sure they are not over tightened, or else it will be difficult to remove them in the future.
If you can’t get it to stop wobbling, then I would suggest taking a look at the instructions again and making sure everything is in place. if not, try to contact your rack’s manufacturer for more help or replacement parts. otherwise, you might have bought a defective item that needs to be replaced.
How do I stop my bike rack from wobbling?
So you have checked if the bike rack is in good condition, no pieces have broken off or missing but still, you get a bit amount of wobbling when driving and you are looking for a few ways to lower the amount of wobbling.
In my experience when the sway is more than you want it can get a bit frustrating, I tried rocking the bike rack, hoping it magically fit somehow, tighten the screws, and it still felt off.
Luckily I have had some tips from friends which helped me a lot. Perhaps it will help you too.
Hitch mounted bike rack
The thing that helped me was an old (thin) sock. A Pantyhose might work as well (I used a sock, though) I placed the sock over the end of the bike rack and pushed it in.
If you can’t put the pin just make a hole in the sock and it should work. Removing it might be a bit hard if you don’t have a hole.
You can also try to make the area where your pin is thinner by pushing something thin in, this should help with removing it easier when needed.
The second option is a hitch clamp( I used this one) which you can tighten as well. this is a bit better than the previous option but might not work for all hitch receivers, so do check that out before buying something new to your car or rack.
In my experience, those options have helped me a lot, and many other people who asked about ways on how to reduce wobbling were happy with theirs.
When wanting to use a hitch clamp make sure it fits your hitch!
Trunk/Roof-mounted bike rack
If you want to prevent wobbling for a roof-mounted bike rack, the first thing you want to make sure of is that the straps are tight enough. on one hand, it should be loose so your car doesn’t break or bend underweight, but if there is too much wiggle room then it will cause wobbling as well.
The second option is a bungee cord which you can wrap around your bike rack itself, this will reduce wobbling if it’s not too loose or tight for your car/rack.
A bungee cord is a stretchable cord with hooks on each end that you can use to secure objects, it has been around for years now and people love using them for their purposes!
instead of having your bike rack wiggle all over the place try bungee cords to prevent it from moving. bungee cords are extremely useful, you can use them for many different things.
A third way to prevent wobbling is by using stabilizer straps, these are especially useful with roof-mounted bike racks. they will reduce wobbling even more and they are quite cheap as well. stabilizer straps can be found in any hardware store, they are really cheap and you will get a lot of them for the price.
When it comes to bike racks, a little bit of wiggle is perfectly normal. Whether you drive over the same spot every day or just occasionally cross paths with your car, there will always be some sort of impact on your bike rack.
However, when installed as intended and maintained properly, a small amount of movement is not only expected but also safe. If you find that your bike rack wobbles more than usual, try out these helpful tips for stabilizing.
So you can get back on the road without any worries about losing balance while riding in an unstable position! Let us know if we can help make sure your next ride goes smoothly. If you have a tip or a question don’t hesitate to get in contact with us