Put your bikes in your ute

This is a popular choice as it's easy and cheap. You might just throw a blanket over the tray and call it good. But a few brands make products to make it a little smoother.

We have used the Yakima CrashPad a number of times. It fits well and has a strong construction. A blanket or picnic rug can slide around, and take your bike with it. The CrashPad stays put but it doesn't hold the bikes down. You need to be careful of bumpy roads, and even dirty bikes. It's easy to scrape off all the paint from your fork legs and down tube if you put bikes in without wiping those areas down. The grit acts like sandpaper.

The latest Santa Cruz Nomad has an in-built guard for shuttles.

You could also look at a try based secure mount. We tested the Yakima BikerBar, which you can add mounts to for the right front axle. It is super solid, but works best in a long tray, unless you're happy to have the tailgate down. We'd love to play with something like the BeddyJo, another option from Yakima.


- These options are usually really cheap. Maybe even free if you use an old blanket

- There's a reason why this is a common choice for shuttling

- Packed well, you can fit 4 or 5 bikes in the back of a ute

- If it's got a fork and downtube - it fits.


- Security on long trips isn't so good unless you have a big lock

- Is the bike attached or can it bounce out?

- The risk of damage is significant

There are plenty more options, but hopefully this gives you some ideas on how you want to transport your bike. If you're taking it places a lot, a rack that's easy to use will be a good investment. If it's a once off trip - maybe a simpler rack that takes a little more time to setp is a good choice. If you're not sure - ask your local bike shops or rack specialist.