Biking is both an enjoyable and healthy habit for people of all ages. Biking through the same routes and streets every day can be a little tedious. By equipping the vehicle with a new car bike rack, we can open the door to the whole new world of new adventures and opportunities.
These bike racks transform the vehicle instantly and gets people enjoy cycling on a family adventure holiday or a weekend camping trip. There are endless varieties of bike racks available and we have listed the best five types of bike racks here along with the buying guide to choose the best racks for your bikes.
Best Bike Racks
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Bike Racks – 
- Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
- Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks
- Kuat Racks Transfer – 2 Bike Rack
- Yakima TwoTimer Hitch Rack
- Thule Raceway PRO Trunk Mount Bike Rack
Best Bike Racks Reviews
This is a premium platform hitch bike rack that is compatible to carry 2-4 bikes. It has the capacity to carry up to four bikes and can fit 20-29” wheels. It can also carry fat bikes with a base of 5” tires and a hub spacing for up to 197 mm.
The rack is ideal for mountain, carbon frames, fat bikes, and downhill bikes. Its maximum load capacity of about 120 pounds. It is better not to install the rack of a trailer or on towed vehicle.
Its tool-free attachment makes it easy to install or remove the rack, including the built-in the lock cylinder. Its hitch switch lever tilts rack up and down with easy to reach functionality. It compactly folds up when not in use or when it is kept for storage.
It also tilts down for rear of vehicle access. Its frame-free ratcheting arm secures the bike quickly without frame contact and it can fit 20-29” wheels and up to 5” tires. There is a 24” cable lock that secures the bike to the rack and retracts into the ratcheting arm when it is not in use.
This is a four bike rack that fits the vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch. Its 22-inch-long carry arms help to secure the bicycles individually with the help of Allen’s patent tie-down system. Its folding arms quickly drops out of the way when the rack is not in use.
The rack set up and installs in less than 5 minutes. It features a sturdy steel construction along with a black powder coat finish. The rack has a lifetime warranty from its manufacturers.
Its folding carry arms on the rack folds down easily when they are not in use. This allows in great flexibility. Its individual tie-down system protects and secures the bicycles appropriately.
The tie-downs fix in position on the carry arm, and can also rotate to engage a wide range of bicycle frame styles and sizes. The main mast on the rack tilts back easily for easy lift-gate access. Its no-wobble hitch installation includes a hardware to install the rack into the receiver hitch instantly.
This hitch rack helps in transporting all types of bikes securely and easily and does not break the bank. Attaching the rack to the hitch was simple and can carry up to 37 pounds for a two-bike version.
After attaching to the vehicle, stepping on the spring loading foot pedal lowers the rack parallel to the ground. Once the bikes are loaded, the foot pedal can engage to lower the rack further to access the vehicle’s trunk or hatch.
For shorter people and those who have heavier bikes, pivoting the rack to the lower position to could help with loading and unloading. The transfer makes use of a cradle to hold the tires in position and a ratchet arms help in securing the front wheel.
This helps in holding the bike in position without disturbing the frame. A plastic strap secures the rear wheel into the cradle by threading the strap through a ratchet lock. The bikes are kept secure with a Velcro strap around the wheel and the cradle.
The two-timer hitch rack for bikes helps in hauling the bikes easily. It fits almost any type of bike, taking into consideration that no two bikes are made similar. It can easily transport two bikes irrespective of their frame design, wheel size or suspension system.
They are ideal for kids bikes, fat bikes, and fenders. Zip straps are a must to carry fat bikes and are available separately. Its low tray height helps with easy and quick loading and unloading of the bikes.
Its fold-down design helps with easy bike loading for rear or vehicle access. It protects the gear and secures the bikes by a frame with padded arms. It also folds up when it is not in use.
The maximum bike weight that this rack can handle is 45 pounds and its maximum total load capacity is 90 pounds. It easily fits 1 ¼” and 2” hitch receiver just out of its box.
This rack features a sure tight ratcheting cable to render maximum fastening security for the vehicle. It’s patent fit dial guarantees a perfect fit and also prevents bike to bike contact.
Its locking cable system secures the bike to the carriers and the carrier in turn locks to the vehicle. The locks are available with the product. But the rack does not fit all cars and it is important to review Thule’s fitment guide.
Its sure tight ratcheting locking cables securely fasten the rack to the vehicle. Its molding rubber pads render the firm hold to the vehicle and protects against scratches.
The premium cradles with road dampening technology secures the bike and absorb road shock. It’s patent fit dial guarantee renders a perfect fit for the vehicle.
Buyer’s Guide for Bike Racks
Types of bike racks:
The major types of bike racks are as follows,
- Roof racks
- Hitch racks
- Trunk racks
- Tailgate pads
There are three different types of roof racks available, a complete rack system that mounts to the bare roof. These trays attach to the factory-installed crossbars, tracks, side rails with the help of suction cups and vacuum seal to almost any surface. There are two ways to install the bikes, with or without attaching the front wheel. Adapters are available for thru-axles, but it is wise to check the compatibility of the racks with the bike before buying.
Hitch bike racks are pretty much convenient when we compare them with the other bike racks. After installation, there is nothing more to be done. Lifting bikes on the trays is easy than lifting them over the head, like how they are done on a roof rack.
The hitch racks slide on to the receiver tube of the vehicle and are available for 1.25 or 2-inch receivers. Newer hitch racks hinge to fold up and out of the way when they are not in use and use a cm to firm the rack inside the receiver tube for a jiggle free connection. Some racks also feature an integrating rack to secure the bikes to the racks and to use the arms to extend up and over the front wheel.
The trunk racks attach to the trunk using hooks and straps and they make use of the upper and lower feet to stabilize it against the car. It is the cheapest and the lightest option and is much portable. Once the user hangs on how the hooks and straps work with the car, removing and installing the rack becomes easier
These pads protect the truck’s paint and it can carry multiple bikes. A tailgate pad attaches and covers either side of the tailgate and lets the user safely haul multiple bikes. Drape the pad over the tailgate and attach it with the help of webbing straps that loops around the tailgate, and make use of the looping straps to secure each bike with its own down tube.
Considerations to Buy The Best Bike Racks
Those who are new to biking will also require the use of bike racks. There is an ideal bike rack for every cyclist and we have already listed the best bike racks for our readers here. Some important points to consider before choosing the best bike racks are as follows.
- Rack attachments
- Access to the trunk
- Rack security
- Padded attachment points
- Security cables
- Attachment points with the bike
The way the bike rack attaches to the bike makes the decision pretty easy. For those who don’t have a hitch receiver, it is not possible to use a hitch mounting rack. As long as it is a standard 1 ¼ inch or 2-inch hitch, it is possible to fit any of these products to it. Truck mounting racks can depend on the vehicle model.
Access to The Trunk:
One of the major advantages of a hitch mounting rack over a trunk mounting one is the ability to access the trunk. All of the hitch racks have the ability to tilt away from the vehicle, allowing the user to get into the trunk for anything that they might need. Trunk mounting racks demands enough preparation to remove and replace the bike rack.
The hitch mounting racks that are reviewed here feature a locking system for the rack itself. This comes to use, when the biker stops off the road and when they want to assure that they won’t come back to the car and find that it has disappeared.
Trunk mounting racks do not attach with just straps and they can be cut easily. Some racks make use of metal rods instead of straps, to secure the rack far better than other trunk mounting racks.
Some users fear trunk mounting racks as they come in direct contact with the body of the car, rather than just attaching with the hitch receiver. But this outnumbers their advantages.
Padded Attachment Points:
Getting the paint off the car and getting them scratched off by the rack is the most undeserving thing. The rack points that rest against the car should have ample padding and should be of high-quality foam. If there are straps to hold the racks securely, it is important to ensure that they have a rubber or plastic coating, so that they don’t rub the paint off.
Some of the bike racks feature cables that can lock securely so that thieves will have a tough time trying to remove the bike from the rack. This will be of much help even of the rack does not come with bike locks and cables to keep the bike secure.
Attachment Points with The Bike:
There are two major types of racks, namely hitch and trunk. For the trunk mounting models, there is a bar with padding that rests against the truck and this remains a major point of contact.
The bar needs to be solid, so as to resist swaying and bumps on the road. The straps that fit into the seams should make use of a secure adjustment method so that they don’t loosen up as the user drives down the road. The more the straps, the better is the security.
A number of racks have four attachment points, and some have six so as to serve as a more secure one. As far as the hitch mount models are concerned, the only real contact point is where the rack fits into the hitch. Our recommendation is the 2-inch hitch mount model, owing to the extra strength of the larger hitch vs the 1 ¼ inch hitch.
FAQs for Bike Racks
Will the platform bike racks fit the car?
No, platform bike racks will not fit the car. Hitch mount racks can connect with any standard hitch. For trunk-mount racks, it is better to take a look at the most fitting guide offered by manufacturers.
Are platform bike racks suitable for fat tire bikes?
For those who have a fat bike, it is important to pay close attention to every single detail of each bike rack. In general, hanging racks, whether they are trunk-mounted or hitch mounted are the best options. Some racks such as the Kuat Transfer Universal 2, can accommodate extra wide tires as well as slim tires with its clever design wheel cradles.
Is it possible to open the trunk with the bike rack?
For those who have a fat bike, it is important to pay close attention to the details of each bike rack. In general, hanging racks, irrespective of they are hitch mount or trunk mount are always the best option. Some racks can also accommodate both slim tires and wide tires as well.
Is it possible to use a trunk bike rack on an SUV?
As long as there is a place to attach the straps, the bikers should be able to use a trunk mounting bike rack on an SUV.
It is possible to carry a hybrid or electric bike?
The only restrictions on mounting a standard hybrid or electric bike are the weight. It is good to check through the models in the list, as long as the bike is the underweight limit, the user should be fine.
Are you looking for a new bike rack for your car, SUV or truck? We have spent enough time searching for the best option available in the market and have listed the five best bike racks for you. It is important to find the best bike rack that meets one’s needs and is also compatible with one’s vehicle, budget and of course bicycle. For those hauling with their bike often, it is critical to find a most user-friendly option. We hope our guide helps you in finding the best bike racks.