Thule has long been one of the most trusted names among bike racks for cars and bike carriers. Although the brand tends to offer pricier options, the investment is typically worth it if you want a secure rack that holds up well over time. Some of the most popular types of bike racks include roof, trunk, and hitch-mounted units. Roof racks offer plenty of stability and access to the trunk, although they can require a bit of reaching and hoisting. Trunk racks are often more budget-friendly and portable, but they can restrict trunk access. Hitch racks are known for their simple installation and easy on/off, but bikes may sway a bit more with this type of bike rack. The Thule racks below represent some of the most popular choices for various types and styles of bikes and vehicles.
1. Thule 2 Bike Platform Hitch Rack
While this Thule bike rack is designed to fit two bikes, you can choose a four-bike expansion option. The rack will work with bikes that have 20 to 29-inch wheel diameters along with 3-inch wide tires. There are also locks to secure your bikes during transportation. Features include ratcheting arms with an integrated cable lock to help secure the bike along with a hitch switch level that conveniently tilts the rack away from your vehicle for instant trunk or tailgate access. A reinforced tray ensures the maximum amount of strength along with rust protection.
Price: $408.66 (9 percent off MSRP)
- Four-bike expansion option
- Includes bike locks for added security
- Rust-free protection
- Won’t work on bikes with fenders
- May interfere with rear backup cameras and sensors
2. Thule 9031XT Vertex Swing Away 4 Hitch Mount Bike Carrier
Tired of bike racks that get in the way, especially when you want to get something out of the back of your car? This rack features a convenient swing-away design that allows you to move the rack away from the back of your car for rear access, even when the rack is fully loaded with bikes. There’s also a highly durable hide-away integrated lock cable that lets you lock the bikes to the rack and store the cable inside when it’s not in use. This rack features a helpful arc design, making it simpler to load and carry your bikes. Cradles cushion the bikes and keep them securely in place.
Price: $318.95 (20 percent off MSRP)
- Swing-away design
- Integrated lock cable
- Cradles cushion and protect bikes
- Setup instructions aren’t very clear
- Bikes with slanted cross bars require a separate adapter
- Handle bars may move around
3. Thule 990XT Doubletrack Platform Bike Hitch Rack
You can transport two bikes with this rack. Both 1 1/4-inch and 2-inch hitch receivers are available. Contact between bikes is minimized by wheel trays that slide along independently on platforms. There’s also a ratcheting wheel strap to quickly secure bike wheels. A handy switch lever conveniently folds up and stores inside the platform when it’s not in use. Don’t worry if you need to haul a wider range of bikes, as this rack can fit various shapes and sizes, including bikes with fenders and those with up to 3-inch wide tires. There are two lock cylinders to help lock and secure the bikes to the rack.
- Two different receiver sizes
- Minimizes contact between bikes
- Works with bikes of various shapes and sizes
- Bolts tend to rust
- Sedan-mounted hitch receiver can occasionally scratch on ground
- Top mount can be a bit wobbly
4. Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier
This Thule bike rack should ease any concerns you might have about scratched surfaces — bike or car. It’s outfitted with soft rubber cradles to help protect your bike’s frame while keeping it securely and snugly in place. There are also anti-sway cages to keep bikes from bumping into one another or from scratching your car. The arms also fold down when the bike rack isn’t in use, making it easier to transport and carry the rack. There are also specially designed leg pads to protect your trunk and hatch from getting scratched as you’re loading, unloading, or transporting bikes.
- Soft rubber cradles protect bike’s frame
- Anti-sway cages
- Leg pads protect car’s paint
- Tight fit for three adult bikes
- Can be tough to tighten straps
- Rubber components may crack or break over time
5. Thule 594XT Sidearm Rooftop Upright Bike Carrier
You don’t have to worry about restricted access to your car’s trunk or back doors with this roof-mounted bike carrier. It offers several features, including a secure hook that holds the bike in place via its front wheel, a ratcheting wheel strap that secures the back wheel of the bike, and a corrosion-resistant sturdy aluminum tray that battles the elements while ensuring the highest amounts of strength and security. The rack holds most bikes with a 20 to 29-inch wheel diameter as well as those with tires up to 2.6 inches wide.
- Secure hook holds front wheel in place
- Ideal for bikes with a 20 to 29-inch wheel diameter
- Corrosion-resistant aluminum material
- Locks can come loose while driving
- Bikes may move a bit going over bumps
- Tricky to mount/install
Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.