Transporting a bike can be stressful, especially when you need to haul several bikes at once. Having the right bike rack for your vehicle and bikes makes the task much easier. Whether you’re looking for the best value for your sedan or a bike rack that’s compatible with your SUV, this list has you covered. If you’re not sure where to start or could use some help narrowing down the choices, here are some pointers to keep in mind.
Before diving into the different types of racks, start by considering your needs. Aside from budget, decide which type of vehicle you will primarily be using, and how many bikes you will typically need to transport. Is your bike larger than average? Do you plan on using the rack occasionally or several days per week? Answering these basic questions will help steer you in the right direction.
If you only need a bike rack for occasional use and don’t plan on traveling long distances with your bikes, you might be fine with a cheaper rack. However, if you intend to use the rack consistently or want one that can withstand longer distances, it might be worth the higher upfront cost. Many of the pricier bike racks have extra padding or coating to protect your vehicle as well as the bike frames. If your bike is larger than average, you may need to pay a bit more for a bike rack that can accommodate bigger bikes.
Trunk-mounted carriers are a popular choice for many sedans. These racks are quite versatile and typically don’t require much effort to mount the bikes. Keep in mind that many trunk carriers need to be removed to access the trunk, and may require a bit of patience to assemble.
Roof racks are also popular among owners of sedans and hatchbacks. You can also use this type of rack on an SUV, but it will increase the overall vehicle height even more. Roof racks free up access to your trunk, but they can greatly reduce the vehicle’s gas mileage.
Hitch carriers are more common among SUV and truck owners. Pay attention to the hitch opening, as the smaller 1.25-inch openings are most compatible with smaller cars and SUVs, while the larger 2-inch adapters largely cater to bigger SUVs and trucks. If you’d rather not have to remove the entire carrier to access your vehicle’s trunk, look for a bike rack with a tilt-away design.
1. Best Overall: Saris Superclamp EX 2-Bike Rack
The Saris Superclamp EX holds two bikes and has a weight capacity of up to 60 pounds per bike. However, it stands out most for its convenient loading design. Just mount your bikes with the two wheel-clamping hooks and you’re good to go. Not only do the clamps keep the bikes stable, they also entirely prevent frame contact. Instead of removing the entire bike rack to reach your vehicle’s trunk, just tilt the rack down for easy access. Integrated locks add an extra element of security, as do the built-in reflectors.
- Wheel-clamping hooks make for convenient bike loading
- Tilt feature allows trunk access without removing rack
- Includes integrated locks and reflectors
- Need to purchase separate trays for tires larger than four inches
- Some say the integrated lock is a bit flimsy
- A bit bulky, even when folded up
2. Best Value: Tyger Auto Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount
This versatile trunk-mounted bike rack is compatible with most sedans, SUVs, minivans and hatchbacks. You can also find it in one to three-bike variations. Assembly won’t be a problem, as it comes fully assembled. DIY instructions are included for fast and easy installation on your vehicle. The lower frame comes with padding to prevent contact between the bikes and your vehicle. Soft cradles keep each bike secure and protected in transit. The carry arms fold down when needed.
- Fits most car types
- Comes in sizes from one to three bikes
- Padding prevents bikes from hitting the vehicle
- Not suggested for vehicles with spoilers
- Can’t hold three mountain bikes
- Some question the durability of the mounting clips
3. Best Compact Bike Rack: Tyger Auto Deluxe 1-Bike Trunk Mount
The Tyger Auto Deluxe 1-Bike Trunk Mount is compatible with sedans, minivans, hatchback and SUVs without spoilers. If you’re looking for a compact bike rack for solo adventures, consider this carrier. Assembly isn’t required, as the bike rack arrives fully assembled. Highlights include a padded lower frame to prevent scratches from bike to vehicle contact, and soft cradles that hold the bike in place while protecting the frame. An extra coating guards against rust. The carrying arms fold up for easy portability when the rack isn’t in use.
- Best for solo adventures
- Padded lower frame protects against contact
- Carrying arms fold up for portability
- Doesn’t fit vehicles with spoilers
- Some wish setup instructions were better
- A few mention the rack can cover up license plates
4. Best Roof Rack: Cyclingdeal 1-Bike Car Roof Carrier
The Cyclingdeal 1-Bike Car Roof Carrier is compatible with most bike sizes. It also doesn’t require you to remove the front wheel for transport. A frame hold keeps the bike steady as you drive, while the included tie down straps add an extra element of security. There’s also a lock feature to help secure the bike.
- No need to remove the front wheel
- Compatible with most bike sizes
- Has a lock for extra security
- Questionable durability of some plastic components
- Some assembly required
- A few note the lock seems flimsy
5. Best for Trucks and SUVs: BV 2-Bike Hitch Mount Carrier
This bike rack works with 1.25-inch and 2-inch receivers and has a maximum load capacity of 35 pounds per bike. An anti-wobble design keeps bikes from swaying and moving around as you drive. There are also padded arms to minimize potential scratches to your bike’s frame. Bikes are held securely in place with a three-point connection system with arms on the bottom and top. When it’s not in use, you can easily fold up this hitch rack for portability. A safety reflector makes the rack more visible to others on the road.
- Ideal for trucks and SUVs
- Anti-wobble design
- Padding helps prevent scratches
- A bit heavy
- Some assembly required
- Doesn’t have a locking hitch screw
6. Best for Hatchbacks: Allen Sports Ultra Compact 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
While this bike rack stands out as Amazon’s Choice for hatchbacks, it also fits most sedans, minivans and SUVs. It’s also a practical choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly compact rack. The rack is made in the US and features a durable steel construction. The legs are padded to prevent scratching or damaging the vehicle’s surface. This rack comes with three adjustable security straps to keep bikes secure in transit. When it’s not in use, the bike rack folds up small enough to fit into a backpack or a bag of a similar size.
Price: $49.88 (38 percent off MSRP)
- Ideal for hatchbacks
- Fits most vehicle types
- Padded legs help prevent paint scratches
- Metal clip hooks can scratch cars
- Some wish it had better security for front wheels
- Not ideal for some larger/wider frames
7. Best for Spoilers: Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack
The unique arc shape of the Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack provides enough clearance for most car spoilers. This rack has a carrying capacity of two bikes, with a weight limit of 35 pounds per bike. It also only weighs nine pounds, making it easy to carry and transport when not in use. Anti-sway straps hold bikes firmly in place. The hooks are coated in vinyl to help protect your vehicle’s finish. There are also rubber feet to prevent paint scratches.
- Ideal for cars with spoilers
- Anti-sway straps keep bikes in place
- Assembly instructions could be better
- Thin coating over metal hooks
- Doesn’t come with a bike rack
8. Best for Larger Bikes: Thule T2 Classic Bike Rack
A common problem with many bike racks is that they’re designed to carry smaller bikes. Some may fit larger bikes, but require you to purchase adapters and trays separately. This Thule rack specifically fits bikes with 20- to 29-inch wheels, and tires up to five inches, without adapters. The rack is compatible with two-inch receivers and is ideal for mountain, downhill and fat tire bikes. It can also accommodate bikes with carbon frames. There is a load capacity of 120 pounds, with a maximum bike weight of 60 pounds. The rack tilts back so that you can access your vehicle’s trunk. Space between bikes is a generous 12.5 inches and can be adjusted depending on your needs.
Price: $387.43 – $509.14
- Ideal for larger bikes
- Fits wider tires without needing an adapter
- Tilt design makes trunk easily accessible
- Not compatible with 1.25-inch receivers
- Doesn’t come with a bike lock
- Some say assembly can be tricky
9. Best for Families: Allen Sports Deluxe 5-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
The long 28-inch arms on this bike rack provide enough space to carry up to five bikes at once. Narrow carry arms help keep the carrier as compact as possible while providing plenty of security to hold bikes in place. This rack also has a tilt access design so that you can access the vehicle’s trunk without having to remove the rack. Individual tie-down cradles keep bikes from rocking as you drive. This rack is compatible with two-inch hitches and has a maximum weight capacity of 175 pounds.
Price: $79.88 (28 percent off MSRP)
- Carries up to five bikes
- Tilt design for easy trunk access
- Individual tie-down cradles for extra security
- Only compatible with two-inch hitches
- Requires some assembly on arrival
- Doesn’t come with a lock
10. Best Hitch Rack: Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack
A combination of low return rates and high customer satisfaction makes this Swagman hitch rack Amazon’s Choice for bike hitch mount racks. This rack holds two bikes and is compatible with 1.25-inch and 2-inch receivers. There is a maximum weight capacity of 35 pounds for each bike. You can adjust the upright ratchet arms to fit bike frames of various sizes up to 59cm. Fat tire wheel trays can be used to accommodate fat tire bikes, but you’ll need to purchase the trays separately. If you need to access the back of your vehicle, just fold down the center arm.
- Ideal for hitch mounts
- Fits various frame sizes
- Center arm folds down for easy trunk access
- Assembly instructions could be better
- Can be tough to secure with a bike lock
- Some wish there was more padding to protect frames
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