When exploring the bike rack market, there is a wide array of variations available for various vehicles. The goal of these racks is to transport the bike safely without needing to stuff it inside the car. Bike racks are available as semi-permanent extensions of the vehicle (hitch or roof rack designs) or portable designs (tailgate or truck pad).
In this article, the top six bike racks reviews are included as well as a wealth of information to help you pick the best variation for your particular needs. This article also provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bike racks.
The Best Racks for all types of car
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack – Best Bike Rack for Sedan
- Patented design fits sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUV's consult manufacturer web site for specific vehicle fit information
- Side straps for increased lateral stability. Single configuration design eliminates setup hassles and headaches during installation
This model is suitable for:
- bmw 3 series
- honda civic
- tesla model 3
- toyota corolla
- ford focus
- hyundai veloster
- hyundai elantra
This allen sports deluxe 2 may be an excellent choice for those looking for the benefits of a full-fledged bike carrier with the convenience of a folding design. This best bike rack for sedans has a patented ultra-compact design which means it has the ability to fold down to the size of a shoebox. This design makes it easier to store the bike rack when it is not in use.
With the patented ultra-compact design, this Allen Sports rack is also equipped with a patented tie-down system. This system may provide extra security and protection for your bikes because the ties are fixed in position. This fixed position was designed to provide additional security. However, the ability of this unit’s tie-downs to rotate allows it to be used for a wide array of bike frame styles and sizes.
The nylon carry bag included with this bike rack for car should make it easier to transport and store the unit when it is not in use.
- Vehicle Serviced: This rack is the best choice as a bike rack for sedan vehicles but can also service SUVs and hatchbacks.
- Weight: This best bike rack weighs only 2.7 kilograms and measures 14 X 7 X 4 inches.
- Material: The best bike rack for sedan is made from foldable steel.
Saris Bones EX Trunk Bike Rack Carrier – Best Bike Rack for Hatchback
- BONES EX: Lightweight at 11 lbs; strongest frame on the market, arc–based design separates bikes on different levels
- COMPATIBILITY: Fits 90% of the top vehicles sold, including those with spoilers; has the largest vehicle compatibility of any trunk rack on the market, Unique dog leg fits over most spoilers, including those on popular sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs
This model is suitable for:
- subaru impreza
- chevy spark
- vw polo
- mini cooper
- fiat 500
- vw golf
This upgraded version of the Saris has expanded the vehicle compatibility by over 20% compared to previous versions. This version also has the ability to fit many makes and models of vehicles with spoilers. Another upgrade associated with this model of Saris is it offers premium hold downs as well as an excellent strap management system that allows you to choose from a wide array of colors. When you need the best bike rack for the car, the Bones EX offers VIP treatment, including injection-molded arms and legs.
These arms and legs can help the rack stay solid for years because they are designed to be rust-free. The strap type of this unit is a spring-loaded rachet, while the attachment strap buckle is a spring buckle. The best part about the integrated strap management system is it eliminates strap flapping.
Another excellent benefit of the strap management system is it is made from 100% recyclable materials. With the articulated rubber feet of this best bike rack for hatchback, your vehicle’s paint should be well protected from scratches.
- Weight Capacity: This rack for hatchback has a weight capacity of 105 pounds or 35 pounds per bike.
- Rack Capacity: This Saris Bones EX can carry up to three full-size bicycles.
- Foldable: While this rack does not fold into the size of a shoebox, the arms of this device do fold down.
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks – Best Bike Rack for SUV
- 4 bike rack fits vehicles with a 2 inch trailer hitch only. Vehicle will require professionally installed Class III or IV 2 inches hitch to use this product
- 22 inch long carry arms individually secure bicycles with Allen's patented tie down system
This model is suitable for:
- subaru forester
- jeep grand cherokee
- toyota highlander
- subaru crosstrek
- honda crv
- bmw x3
- volvo xc60
- jeep wrangler
- audi q5
- toyota rav4
- vw tiguan
- ford explorer
- nissan rogue
- mazda cx 5
While this bike rack is an excellent choice for SUVs, it may also be a good choice as a bike rack for pickup truck. A two-inch trailer hitch must be used for this particular unit, so a professionally installed Class III or IV hitch must be present. Even though the unit requires a 2-inch receiver hitch, it can still be set up and installed within five minutes.
The tie-down cradle system allows each bike to be individually secured. With this rack’s carry arm, you can carry kid as well as adult-sized bikes at the same thing. The tie-downs used with this Allen Sports best bike rack for car are fixed onto the carry arm. However, they also rotate, allowing for the accommodation of various bike frame styles and sizes.
This Allen Sports rack also allows you access to the back of your SUV without removing the bikes. The rack tilts back when in use and folds entirely out of the way when not in use. This feature may be helpful when traveling. With a capacity of four bikes, this bike rack may be the best choice for bike enthusiasts who want options when riding.
- Rack Capacity: This best bike rack for SUV has a four-bike capacity.
- Patented: The patented tie-down system utilizes the 22-inch-long carry arms.
- Security: This unit comes with a no wobble bolt to secure this rack to the inside of the receiver hitch.
– Best Bike Rack for Van/Minivan
- 100% assembled. Fits most Sedans/Hatchbacks/Minivans and SUV's. This CAN'T FIT vehicles equipped with rear spoilers.
- Designed to fit 3 bikes (Max 99lb capacity) with sturdy and handy construction. Padded lower frame keeps bicycles away from vehicle. (Safety strap included.)
This model is suitable for:
- sprinter van
This carrier is a three-bike trunk-mount unit referred to as the best bike rack for van/ minivan. It gets this name from its sturdy and handy construction. It also has a padded lower frame which helps protect your vehicle from scratches. This unit is also equipped with rubber bumpers which are long-lasting. They provide an extra layer of protection for your vehicle surface that comes in contact with the bike rack.
The soft cradles of this unit were designed to secure the bike as well as protect the frame. With foldable carry arms, this unit is easy to store when not in use. With the included safety strap, the rack has more stability which decreases bike rattling. The rack comes 100% fully assembled, making it easy to install in minutes.
- Capacity: This best bike rack for minivan/ van has a 99-pound weight capacity.
- Security: This bike rack comes with a safety strap.
- Protection: As the best bike rack for minivan, this unit comes with various items to help protect your vehicle from damage.
Swagman RV Approved 4-Bike Bumper Rack – Best Bike Rack for RV
- Transports 1, 2, 3, or 4 bicycles on an RV or camper trailer bumper (max 30 lb. per bike)
- Designed for 4" to 4.5" square RV bumpers, installs with a 6.5" and 8" long bolts around the RV bumper
If you are looking for a pop up camper bike rack, this Swagman might be an excellent choice. It was specifically conceived to be used with RVs and camper trailers. The design allows the device to withstand the various unique factors associated with RV usage. The steel U-Bolts provided with this unit ensure your bikes are transported safely. In the center of this bike rack, the designers placed an upright bar to provide extra support to the bicycles when towing.
With a powder-coated black paint finish, this bike carrier should resist corrosion. This simple unit is full of features. For example, it can support a wide array of bike frames and styles with its simple design. It is also easy to install using 6.5” and 8” long bolts around a 4” to 4.5” inch square bumper.
- Capacity: This best bike rack for RV can handle up to four bicycles.
- Versatile: The Swagman can fit 4” to 4.5” square RV bumpers as well as camper trailer bumpers.
- Durable: This bike carrier is made from durable, heavy-duty steel.
CyclingDeal Tailgate Bike Pads – Best Bike Rack for Pickup
- APPLICATION: Tailgate pad ensures quick and easy setup on the tailgate. Simple to hang bikes over the tailgate of the pickup within a few minutes securely and efficiently.
- POSSIBLE TO USE BACKUP CAMERA: The large rear open window (cover) for tailgate handle and backup camera. The backup camera could be used if it is near or just below the tailgate handle and not to be covered by a bike fork or wheel. The tailgate handle access flap allows the tailgate to be opened while the tailgate pad is on.
As with the best bike rack for car options, this device was designed to be efficient and secure. This tailgate pad has a ¾ inch foam pad with a PTV trap waterproof on the outside. With the Ultra-Soft underside, the truck’s tailgate paint is protected. Cushion cradles are also included with this bike rack to help protect your aluminum or carbon bike frames.
This unit also comes equipped with a large rear open window which allows access to the tailgate handle and backup camera. This access flap also allows you to open the tailgate when the pad is on but without bikes loaded. With a size of 52 inches wide, this device can accommodate five bikes with ease.
- Convenient: This best bike rack for pickup allows you to hang bikes over the tailgate securely quickly.
- Durable: This CyclingDeal bike rack is made from sturdy aluminum and is waterproof.
- Capacity: Even though this unit is only 52 inches, it can handle up to five bikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it illegal to drive with a bike rack?
While it is legal to use a bike rack in most states, a person can be hit with penalties if the bike is incorrectly mounted on the carrier or the bike rack does not fit the car properly. A unit that does not fit correctly can cause issues that block the license plate view. Almost all states have some form of law associated with the safe transportation of bicycles. However, each law may differ. As a rule of thumb, you should make your license plate and taillights are visible.
Do bike racks damage your car?
When thinking about bike carrier damage to your vehicle, the trunk-mounted units have the most tremendous potential of damage. This style of carrier typically sits directly against your car. It straps to the edges of the trunk, resting on the paint. This unit is always in direct contact with the paint, which can cause scratches and damage. Some bike carriers have safety padding to help protect the vehicle.
Can any bike rack fit any car?
The answer to this question is yes and no. Most bike racks will adjust to fit any vehicle. However, certain types of bike racks work better with particular vehicles. For example, a trunk-mounted unit works best with cars. For the best results, you should use the recommended style for your specific vehicle. This information can be found in the bike rack’s manual.
How fast can you go with a bike rack?
Each bike rack’s manufacturer has a set safety speed. This speed is the top speed you should go with the particular device attached to your car. Some users state that they experience vibration when using a roof-mounted device. It is suggested that the vibration results from unsafe speeds and can be an indicator you need to tighten the straps or slow down.
Can trunk bike racks be stolen?
All types of bike racks can be stolen. Trunk mounts use straps to secure the unit to the car. These straps can be cut. However, you can add an extra layer of protection by using a small cable. By looping a small wire cable through the bike rack, you can use a chain eyelet or hitch pin lock to secure the unit. This extra step will not guarantee your bike rack will be safe, but it does slow down thieves.
Can you open your trunk with a bike rack on it?
Some trunk bike carriers have the ability to tilt and have an inclination angle of around 50 degrees. These units allow you to access the trunk of the vehicle easily. However, without this tilt, you cannot access the trunk of a car while a bike rack is mounted. If you need frequent access, you may want to consider a different style of bike rack.
If you envy those who bring their bikes on outdoor excursions, you may have considered taking your bike along on your next outdoor adventure. However, traveling with a bike can be frustrating when you have little to no extra space in your vehicle. The best bike rack can solve these issues.
Nonetheless, it can mean the difference between smooth transportation or a transportation nightmare if you choose the wrong style. You may be thinking about how to ensure the purchased bike rack is the correct model or type. Do not worry. All of the characteristics you should pay attention to when buying a car bike rack are discussed here.
One of the most essential characteristics of a bike rack is the type. The different bike racks include hitch carriers, roof mounts, trunk mounts, and truck mounts.
The first type of bike rack is the hitch carrier available as tray or mast style mounts. These types of racks are designed to attach to the hitch of a vehicle. If you need a bike rack that you can quickly and easily load, the hitch carrier might be the best option.
These types of hitches come with a wide array of premium features such as lightweight build, repair stands, and built-in locking systems. These racks are typically described as the most versatile racks on the market. However, hitch carriers also tend to be the most expensive type of bike racks.
Roof mounts attach to the top of a vehicle and can be a fork or upright type of mount. With this type of bike carrier, your trunk is entirely free. Some types of roof mounts lock both wheels, while others require you to remove the front wheel before loading.
When you remove the front wheel before loading, it is easier to load. Regardless of the type of roof mount you choose, either will have locks to secure your bikes when connected to the bike rack. Roof racks are considered highly convenient because you do not have to remove them when not in use.
These types of mounts attach to the rear end of a vehicle using straps. These straps hook to the lid of the trunk of the car. While these types of carriers are not the most secure on the list, they are the most affordable.
Another benefit of trunk mount carriers is they can easily adjust to a wide array of vehicles. They do require a little patience and time to adjust properly. It is vital to properly install trunk mount bike racks because they can damage your trunk if improperly attached.
If you are looking for a bike rack for pickup truck, the truck mount carrier is one of the few choices available. Most of these mounts are lightweight and pocket-friendly, and easy to use directly out of the box.
Hooks and straps are used to fasten the unit to the hatches, making it unsuitable for all-terrain driving. This type of setup also increases the likelihood of the bikes swaying as you drive. However, truck mounts are an excellent choice for those who are on a budget and need a bike rack for occasional use.
Another vital characteristic you should consider is the capacity of the bike rack. If you have a family of four, it would be beneficial to purchase a rack that can effectively carry at least four bikes. Every bike rack has a set number of cradles that only can handle one bike at a time.
Besides the unit capacity, the maximum weight must be considered. The manufacturer of the unit typically provides this capacity. If the rack only carries one bike, you can find a recommended weight for the entire device. However, if the stand has more than one bike, you will generally find a weight per bike limit.
One of the most common mistakes people make when purchasing a bike rack is to choose a stand that does not work with their vehicle. A car’s model significantly impacts the available options, so it is one of the top determining factors when choosing the best bike rack.
One of the best ways to ensure your bike rack will fit is to use your car manufacturer’s fit guides. These guides can be found in the car’s manual and online. It is also helpful to check the outfitting of your vehicle before purchasing a rack.
The budget is one of the key characteristics a person should consider when purchasing a bike rack. Your budget will guide your decisions on most of the other characteristics listed here. It is suggested to determine the top price you are willing to pay or can afford and then determine the rest.
If you worry about your cycle being stolen, you may want your bike rack to have some anti-theft features. Most bike racks with any type of anti-theft features have locking systems that help deter thieves.
However, the dependability of the security of a bike rack depends significantly on how the bike was installed in the first place. With this fact in mind, it is vital to follow the entire manual to ensure the installation is done correctly. AS a side note, trunk racks do not have built-in locking mechanisms.
With the above information, you are now well equipped to find the perfect bike rack match. Purchasing the best bike rack for car can seem overwhelming at first. However, if you have all of the necessary information, you can easily handle it. Good luck with your bike rack exploration.
Kevin Stard – professional sportsman in category MTB. Participant of the Downhill World Cup #1
- 1 The Best Racks for all types of car
- 1.1 Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack – Best Bike Rack for Sedan
- 1.2 Saris Bones EX Trunk Bike Rack Carrier – Best Bike Rack for Hatchback
- 1.3 Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks – Best Bike Rack for SUV
- 1.4 Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount
- 1.5 – Best Bike Rack for Van/Minivan
- 1.6 Swagman RV Approved 4-Bike Bumper Rack – Best Bike Rack for RV
- 1.7 CyclingDeal Tailgate Bike Pads – Best Bike Rack for Pickup
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Characteristics
- 4 Conclusion