If you have recently purchased a beach cruiser you are probably wondering the best way to put it on a bike rack. Of course, the answer is that… it depends. It depends on the style of bike rack you have. It depends on whether the bike rack is in your garage or on your vehicle. It depends on which beach cruiser style your bike is. Of course, these variables make it difficult to give an accurate answer but we will try.
In this article we will give some general information on how to put your beach cruiser onto your bike rack but it is up to you to read the instructions that are specific to your make and model of rack and bike.
So, let’s start with the basics…
WHAT IS A BEACH CRUISER?
A beach cruiser is a bike that is often made from large tires, a straight up seating position, a single speed drivetrain, and a steel frame. Cruisers are mostly used and driven by cyclists and tourists since they are very steady and simple to ride. Their large tires and single speed make them simple but they are far from the fastest bike around so they are most often used for running errands or just seeing the town.
Beach cruisers can also be easily modified with extras including bumpers, lights and seat bags to make your bike more useful and look a little more special.
Beach cruisers were especially popular during the 1950s but in recent years have had a large resurgence in popularity. They aren’t designed to race or take on large hills or uneven terrain but they are great at making you look stylish while you glide down the path or road.
Best Bike Racks for Beach Cruisers
1. Swagman CHINOOK Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Getting away for a weekend or day trip can make you crazy with what to do with your bike. That’s why the Swagman Chinook Hitch Mount Bike Rack is perfect for transporting your bike in style and safety. The adjustable ratchet hooks safely hold your bike in place and are padded to protect your frame, so when you get fancier bikes, don’t worry they won’t be touched by just anyone either. To ensure that your bike remains stable on the road, Swagman CHINOOK Hitch Mount Bike Rack comes fitted with locking ratchet hooks and locking threaded hitch pin.
The CHINOOK has a fun and quirky design that is functional too. Perfect for weekend cyclists who don’t want to worry about locking up their bikes when they hit the road. This rack tilts down so you can get in and out of your vehicle even with your bike loaded. The wheel ratchet straps firmly hold bikes so no need for straps or bungees. Plus, its ramped wheel trays are adjustable for wheelbases between 20-50″ long (even though you can attach any size bike).
2. Allen Sports Premier Locking Tray Rack
Whether you’ve been a cycling lifer or just recently started taking to two wheels, we’ve got everything you need for an organized and safe transport system that won’t break the bank! The sturdy tray will allow you to store up to 4 bikes on your vehicle’s receiver hitch without sacrificing anything in the safety department.
Allen Sports Premier Locking Tray Rack comes fitted with integrated locks that will keep your bike secured even in the most dangerous neighborhoods. However, if you wish to beef up the security a notch further, you can always add an additional locking cable. Allen Sports Premier Locking Tray Rack is versatile enough to accommodate any bike of wheelbase between 35 in. and 48 in. Both the rear wheels and the front wheels can easily be kept in place by utilizing its ratcheting wheel straps.
How To Put A Cruiser Bike On A Rack?
Now to the whole point of the article, putting your bike on the rack. Remember that each rack and bike is different and has different lengths and widths of the frame and tires. Use some common sense and read the manual that your rack came with if you are unsure about something.
Follow these simple steps to get this procedure done.
Open the rack:
The first step you have to take is to open the rack. Various brands of racks have various methods for opening the racks but most of them will be straightforward. If the part that looks like it should come apart isn’t then stop and find your manual. The top tubes of the rack ought to be in an upright position. A few racks will have different points where you can tighten down the bike to the rack. Make sure that your frame fits against these points so you can secure it properly. After strapping the bike to the rack be sure that it fits properly and there isn’t a portion of the bike that is too loose.
Connect it cautiously to your vehicle:
At the beginning, it may seem as though your rack has way too many straps, however, every one of them serves a unique purpose so be sure and use them all.
Many people have damaged their car because they weren’t careful to attach the rack tightly to the car and as they went down the road the vibrations caused the bike to move tearing up the paint and metal on their car.
Start with the first strap and work one strap at a time to get the rack into position. It is normally a good idea to have a couple of people during this step to make it go faster and to hold the bike into place. For a majority of bike racks, the top two tubes and straps will be used to secure the tires in place. This will keep them from spinning freely while you go down the road. You will also need to be sure to secure the horizontal straps to make sure that the bike doesn’t move sideways when you go around corners.
Some bike racks will be connected to the car all the time. In those cases, you will normally hang the bike onto the rack and then secure it rather than putting the bike in the rack and then attaching the rack. Each model is different so knowing which model you have and how the manufacturer recommends it is important.
Secure the fragile parts of the bike
The main parts of your bike will be made of steel or aluminum but there will be other parts that are more fragile. That is especially true if you have customized your bike and added fenders, lights, baskets, etc.
Those accessories are going to be far more easily damaged than the frame of your bike so be sure that each part isn’t being crushed when you strap the bike down and also make sure that the bike isn’t able to shift to put those parts into danger of being damaged.
If the way your rack is set up makes it impossible to secure your bike without going over those accessories then removing them or using some padding to help protect them is a good idea. Always make sure that the main bars holding the bike are under the frame or through the wheel and aren’t relying on the accessories to hold the bike up.
Utilize the additional straps:
Often people are scared that their bike might fall off the rack when they are going down the road and not only damage their bicycle but also cause a wreck or injure someone around them. There are a bunch of videos on YouTube of this happening which doesn’t exactly help ease the fear.
In any case, one way to alleviate this fear is to use some additional straps around the bike frame and attach it to the car itself. Depending on your vehicle there will often be places where you can attach a strap near the bumper or where the bike rack is attached. If you are worried taking the time to add a few additional straps should help you feel more comfortable.