How To Stop A Bike Rack From Swaying (solved!)

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How To Stop A Bike Rack From Swaying

Swaying bike racks are super annoying.

You are CONSTANTLY forced to check the rear mirror, and the same question keeps running in your head:

How to stop a bike rack from swaying?

Also, don’t forget about the rattling noises that never stop…

But there is a solution.

After a lot of experimentation, this guide has been created to NEVER again have your bike rack sway or make weird noises.

What's In This Guide?

      How To Fix A Bike Rack If It’s Swaying

      The quickest way to stop your bike rack from swaying is to use a hitch-clamp or an anti-rattle hitch device.

      If you install this small device, your bike rack will stick to your car like honey.

      But what the heck is a hitch clamp?

      This is a small tool that is made up of a steel plate, U-Bolt and washers.

      A hitch clamp is such a simple but clever device. It stabilizes your bike by firmly clamping the tow bar and the hitch receiver together.

      You can finally enjoy a relaxing car drive without any panic.

      Read More: What’s The Perfect Bike Rack For Honda CRV

      Most of these anti-rattle hitch devices work on ALL hitch classes. They can also easily be used on your 2-inch or 1.25-inch tow hitch receivers.

      If you’re using an adapter for your tow hitch (for example, 1.25-inch to 2-inch), buy two different clamps for each connection point. This prevents any overload from occurring on your adaptor.    

      And the golden rule of thumb: Always try the tool on your own car before buying it.

      Unfortunately, some people think that because a hitch clamp secures your bike rack, you can add more weight to it.

      This is false.

      A hitch clamp does not increase or decrease the amount of weight a bike rack can have. The only purpose of the clamp is for you to have a worry-free driving experience.

      Why Do Hitch Bike Racks Sway

      To understand why bike racks sway, it’s important to look into the mechanisms of a bike rack.

      The main components in mounting your bike rack on your car are the hitch receiver (on the bike rack) and the tow bar (on your car).

      When you buy a bike rack, the hitch receiver slides into the tow bar perfectly (like your hands into a pair of woolen gloves).

      To seamlessly slide the bike rack in and out, there is a small gap between the hitch receiver and the tow bar.

      After a period of driving, due to metal-on-metal contact, this gap starts widening.

      The widening gap allows for the hitch receiver to move around in the tow bar.

      And this results in the thing you HATE: swaying.

      Read More: Can Bike Racks Go Through Carwashes

      The metal-on-metal contact between the receiver and tow also causes a LOT of noise.

      Almost all hitch bike racks have some form of slop in them. “Slop” is simply the biker term for a bike rack moving side to side or up and down.

      This means that ALL your bike racks will eventually start swaying if you do not buy a hitch clamp.

      Locking Hitch Pins That Help Stop Bike Rack Sway

      Are you convinced about these anti-rattle hitch devices?

      Then there are some quality hitch clamps available on Amazon that are LOVED by customers and affordable.

      LIBERRWAY Hitch Tightener

      LIBERRWAY Hitch Tightener
      Check On Amazon
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      A fan favorite, the LIBBERRWAY hitch clamp has over 4000 reviews on Amazon with tons of happy customers.

      Most reviews praise the premium quality of these hitch clamps. But, more importantly, people ADORE the rapid customer support and delivery that is offered with the product.

      A few key features on the hitch clamp are:

      –   Elimination of Swaying and Rattling – LIBBERRWAY guarantees quiet and enjoyable driving with their clamp.

      –   Multiple Sizes – This tightener can be easily installed on cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, RV, and trailers. You have the option to choose from the 1.25-inch model or the 2-inch model.

      –   Rust Free – The product is made of 304 stainless steel and coated with a thick powder proven to never rust.

      CZC Auto-Tightener Anti-Rattle Stabilizer

      CZC AUTO Hitch Tightener
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      People love the comfort and quietness the CZC hitch clamp brings. It has over 5000 reviews of people saying it really worked to fix swaying..

      Below are some of its popular features:

      –   Works with all brands – It can tighten any bike rack from any brand. Some examples are Yakima, Thule and Highland.

      –   Compatible with all hitch classes – The clamp is compatible with all hitch classes (1, 2, 3, and 4).

      –   Weatherproof – It is coated with a thick black powder that can go through the worst weather without rusting.

      TopTow Aluminum Stabilizer  

      TopTow Aluminum Stabilizer  
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      If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

      A great clamp with hundreds of amazing reviews and people who have stopped swaying bike racks. The TopTow hitch clamp has the following features:

      –   No more irritation – It can eliminate ALL forms of rattling and swaying.

      –   Works with everything – The clamp works with almost every vehicle and bike rack in the market.

      –   Corrosion Resistant – It is supper corrosion resistant with a special coating of zinc-nickel plate. The clamp passed 1000 hours of constant salt spray with no rust formed.

      Can My Bike Rack Fall Off My Car From Too Much Swaying


      I know that this is NOT an answer you want to hear.

      If you do not have a hitch clamp on your bike rack, your bike can fall off because of too much swaying.

      There are some horror stories of people having to pay THOUSANDS of dollars in repair costs because their bike fell from their car.

      In fact, there are even stories on the internet of strangers stealing other people’s bikes once it has fallen off a car.

      However, there is good news.    

      Regardless of whether you have a hitch clamp or not, the odds of your bike falling off are pretty low.

      Can My Bikes Hit Each Other From My Bike Rack Swaying

      Read More: Can Bike Racks Get Wet

      Unless you have an old-school bike rack, the answer is NO.

      Most modern bike racks are equipped with anti-sway features that prevent the bike from hitting each other.

      The Bottom Line

      Get a hitch clamp.

      This GUARANTEES a comfortable driving experience without having to constantly check your rear mirrors and tolerating annoying rattling noise.

      A classy anti-rattle hitch device will also prevent you from having to pay a LOT of money in repair costs if your bike falls off.

      Another benefit of these devices is that they are cheap and can last for a very long time due to their anti-rust protection.

      Photo of author
      Bryan Ray is the Co-Founder of The Biking Apex. He's a cyclist and a trainer who loves fitness and loves to teach people how to ride and maintain their bikes and bike accessories.

      The Biking Apex

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