Can I Use a Trunk Bike Rack on a Hatchback?

Before you start searching for the best trunk bike rack for your hatchback, there’s a question that you have to ask: “Can I use a trunk bike rack on a hatchback?”, and is it even worth it? And if so, what type of bike rack should you get and how can you install it? This article is your answer to all these questions.

What Kind of Bike Rack Works on a Hatchback?

You can use all three types of bike racks for your car: trunk-mounted, hitch-mounted, and roof-mounted bike racks. We recommend trunk-mounted and hitch-mounted racks for heavier loads and long-distance traveling. However, roof-mounted racks are famous for being a safer option. 

Can I Use a Trunk Bike Rack on a Hatchback?

Yes, you can use a trunk bike rack on a hatchback. But, hatchbacks need special trunk-mounted bike racks because of their unique build. 

The terminology might be a bit confusing, because hatchbacks have…. a hatch, while trunks are basically just found on sedans and sports cars.  But, trunk-mounted bike racks essentially just mean racks strapped to the back of your car, and not on the hitch receiver. 

A lot of companies make trunk-mounted bike tracks for hatchbacks, and they are easily available on the market. Just make sure the rack is compatible with the size of your car and the load you mean to carry. 

How Do You Put a Bike Rack on a Hatchback?

To install a bike rack on a hatchback, first, open the rack in an arc and place it on the car. The rack itself should sit on the hatch of the car, with straps securing it on both sides. 

For SUVs, one strap of the rack should attach to the rear window, and the other should be attached to the back of the car. However, for smaller hatchbacks, one strap goes over the trunk and one under it. 

Your bike rack will come with a set of clips that will need to be installed with the rack. These clips will hold the frame away from the trunk and prevent damage. Install these clips at equal distances on the rack’s top, bottom, and sides, ensuring the rack doesn’t touch the car. 

Next, pull on all of the rack’s straps to tighten them. Your straps should be taut, and the rack should not move at all. Finally, secure the bike arms in place. These are what’ll hold the weight of your bikes as you drive. 

Some models of bike racks have tracks for the arms, and you need to slide them upwards to lock them in. With others, you have to screw the arms in place. Either way, always test your weight against the arms to make sure they’re sturdy.  Once the arms are locked in, the rack is ready for use. 

Can You Open a Hatchback With a Trunk Bike Rack?

Technically, you can open a hatchback with a rack attached to it. But opening a trunk with a mounted rack could cause it to collapse. The trunk’s hinges are not made to bear the rack’s weight and could break off. 

This will not only damage your car but can cause injury to the driver too. If you have to open your trunk, always be sure to take the bikes off. Even then, be very careful because the rack itself isn’t light either.

Also read: How Do You Put a Trunk Rack on a Hatchback?

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Arsal Sher — Mud Bike Writer

With an interest in dirt bikes developing from an early age, Arsal now pursues his passion for bikes by restoring old ones. He specializes in vintage collectibles and works hands-on with motorbikes when he has time to spare from his content writing career.


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