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The 7 Best Bike Racks for Cars, Minivans, and SUVs [2024]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

817 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Take your bike everywhere with you on a strong and sturdy bike rack. Designed to be attached to the rear of your vehicle, these racks can handle anything from 2 to 4 bikes at a time, making them perfect for family days out on the trails.

Things To Consider With Bike Racks

Before you commit to a particular type of bike rack, consider the following:

Capacity

Bike rack With Bike
Some bike racks can carry up to 4 bikes. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The number of bikes you need to carry will be a deciding factor in choosing the right bike rack to suit your needs. Some only carry 1 or 2 bikes, while others have an increased load capacity or offer add-ons that will allow you to carry up to 4 bikes at a time.

Also, each model will only be able to offer a certain amount of cradles, so consider the number of bikes you need to transport before you buy.

The maximum weight load that any particular rack can handle is also important as you won’t want it to break in transit if it becomes overloaded. Investigate the maximum weight recommended by the manufacturer to ensure that it remains strong and stable on the road.

Vehicle

The make and model of the vehicle that you drive will affect the number of options available to you. If you end up buying a rack that isn’t suitable for your car or SUV, it won’t fit, and you will have wasted your money.

Most rack manufacturers provide vehicle fit guides that you can use to identify a rack that will fit your vehicle, so take the time to investigate before you buy.

Hot Tip: If your vehicle comes with an existing trailer hitch or crossbar, you will also need to know the size to ensure that the rack you buy is suitable.

Installation

Bike Rack Attachment
Choose a bike rack that is quick and easy to attach to your vehicle. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

You will want your bike rack to be quick and easy to attach to your vehicle while also being able to remain firmly affixed to your vehicle on the road. Once you have found a rack designed to fit your vehicle, investigate the installation process before buying.

Many bike racks offer a tool-free fitting that can be easily carried out at home without the need for any special skills or equipment.

Design

Bike Rack Empty
Lots of bike racks are designed to attach to the back of your car. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Hitch bike racks mount directly onto the trailer hitch located at the back of your vehicle. This design is particularly popular as they are easy to install and reliable on the road.

Once you have decided that you want to carry your bikes on the back of your vehicle and not on the roof, you can choose from a platform-style hitch rack that holds your bike on a giant tray to prevent your bikes from swinging around or hanging (mast-style) racks that support the bikes by the frame, allowing you to haul multiple bikes at a time.

Most hitch racks also come with a tilt function that gives you easy access to the rear of your vehicle, even with your bikes loaded up and ready to go.

Bottom Line: Trunk bike racks are smaller and easy to store when not in use and can be switched from one vehicle to another.

Security

Bike Rack Security
Look for a bike rack that offers a locking system. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Your bike rack will need to be able to safely secure your bikes well enough to avoid wobbles, knocks, and falls out on the open road.

Many come with ratchet straps and tie-down systems that prevent your bikes from moving around in transit, keeping them safely affixed and far enough away from each other to stop them from knocking into each other.

If you are storing your bikes on the back of your vehicle when you have reached your destination, look for a rack that offers a locking system to deter thieves from helping themselves to your bikes when you are not out riding.

The 7 Best Bike Racks

Modern-day bike racks are versatile, practical, and affordable, and a must-have accessory for anyone who likes to ride away from home.

1. Premium Bike Rack

Check on Walmart

Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Featuring its own unique patented design, this 2-bike trunk mount has been designed to fit sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs, making it an awesome choice for all types of outdoor adventures.

Made from lightweight materials, this rack can be set up in seconds, and the 2-strap design delivers exceptional stability to keep your bikes safe.

With narrow-set, 12-inch-long arms, this rack can fit a broad range of bicycle styles and sizes, and the innovative tie-down system is easy to use and exceptionally secure.

Arriving fully assembled, this bike rack offers an easy-to-use solution for carrying your bicycles from location to location. The super-secure design is perfect for use on bumpy roads and fast highways without the worry of your rides coming loose along the roadway.

The single configuration design helps to ensure hassle-free mounting, and the padded lower frame has been designed to keep your bike well away from the body of your vehicle. Secure, safe, and set up in an instant, this is an awesome bike rack for you and your favorite fellow rider.

What We Like

  • This 2-bike trunk rack offers incredible safety and stability.

What We Don’t Like

  • This model is a little pricey.

2. 4-Bike Carry Rack

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

This deluxe 4-bike hitch rack offers a safe and reliable way to transport your bikes. With an individual tie-down system, this rack is suitable for a wide range of bicycle sizes and designs, and the carry arm can be rotated in order to make it easy to install and secure your bike.

With a 140-pound weight capacity, this mount offers wobble-free installation, and with just a little minor assembly required, this rack can be mounted to many different vehicle models in an instant. The main mast on this rack can be tilted back for easy lift-gate access, and the folding carry arms can be neatly tucked away when not in use.

Lightweight, well-made, and easy to use, this is an excellent choice for the cyclist who likes to hit the road as a family.

What We Like

  • The 4-bike capacity and easy loading are impressive.

What We Don’t Like

  • It needs a little bit of adjustment to fit some vehicles.

3. Secure Bike Rack for the Road

Check on REI

Saris Bones Car Bike Rack

This bike rack’s simple yet effective design makes it perfect for quick installation on days out, vacations, and bike riding adventures with your fellow biker.

Made from 100% recyclable materials, this awesome bike rack comes with an integrated strap management system that eliminates flapping straps on the road or wobbly bikes while traveling.

Designed to easily fit over 90% of the top vehicles in the U.S. today, including those with spoilers, this rack can hold 2 bikes of any size weighing as much as 35 pounds each.

With premium bike hold-downs, you can be sure that your bikes will be safe and secure even at higher speeds, and the injection-molded arms and legs have been designed to last for many years to come.

The easy-to-use ratchet straps ensure a superfast fit when you are on the go, and the innovative arc-based design ensures that your bikes remain separate and do not knock against each other in transit.

What We Like

  • This rack is a great choice for most types of vehicles.

What We Don’t Like

  • It might not be the best choice for smaller bikes.

4. Heavy-duty Bike Rack

MAXXHAUL 50025 Hitch Mounted 2-Bike Rack

This versatile bike rack will keep your bicycles secure, and the innovative design can be used on Class I, II, III, and IV hitches. Made from high-quality materials, this awesome bike rack can securely transport up to 2 bikes at a time using the super-sturdy bike cradles and buckle straps.

Offering an impressive 50 pounds of load capacity per bike, this rack comes with a durable hitch adapter to fit standard 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch receivers for improved longevity and strength. In addition, the built-in locking knob helps keep the rack upright and stable, and the overall design will help reduce unwanted wobbles in transit.

This rack also comes with a swing back feature that lets you access the rear of the vehicle without removing the rack and a padded column that will help prevent the bikes from scratching your vehicle in transit.

What We Like

  • The fuss-free design is super durable, easy to install, and works really well.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can be a little wobbly at higher speeds.

5. Larger Capacity Platform-style Car Rack

2″ Hitch Mounted Rack 2-Bike Platform-Style Carrier

Featuring a patented anti-wobble design, this bike rack offers a secure and easily accessible way to transport up to 2 bikes at a time. With the strength and durability to support bikes weighing as much as 60 pounds apiece, it is an excellent choice for even larger models, including e-bikes, Fat Tires, and mountain bikes.

With a quick-release tilt design, this bike rack still allows for easy access to the rear cargo area, and with the ability to fold up nice and neatly, it can be kept out of the way when not in use while still remaining attached to your vehicle.

In addition, the padded clamps and locking knob and hitch pin ensure increased security and stability that won’t cause damage to your car or your bikes, and the reflector on the rear helps to ensure that you can be seen in all weather conditions.

The heavy-duty 5-inch wide trays can be adjusted to fit most sizes of bicycle, although low Y-frame bikes may require a frame adaptor for more secure transportation along the way.

What We Like

  • The rack really doesn’t wobble, even when fully loaded.

What We Don’t Like

  • You may need an adaptor to fit Y-frame bikes.

6. Versatile Hitch-mount Rack

Hollywood Racks Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Hitch Mount Rack

This rack is easy to set up right out of the box, and with an additional 2-bike add-on kit included, it features a patented “no-wobble, no tools” design that makes it super easy to get going with.

With the ability to tilt downwards to let you access your rear cargo door, this awesome bike rack can be folded up flat against the car when it’s not in use.

Designed to keep your bike safe until you reach your destination, it features locking hooks that hold your bike by the frame to protect the finish and bodywork in transit. With an additional Fat Tire kit also available, this is a versatile and easy-to-use bike rack that is suitable for use with most types of vehicles.

Perfect for carrying 2 bikes at a time, it also comes with an add-on system that can quickly and easily allow the rack to hold up to 4 bikes, making this an excellent choice for rides out with the family.

What We Like

  • This bike rack is very well-built and really easy to use.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s quite heavy, even without the bikes attached.

7. Tray-style Bike Rack for 2

Leader Accessories 2-Bike Platform-Style Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Made from strong and durable materials, this bike rack has been built to last and features advanced technology that is resistant to rust, fading, scratching, and signs of wear. Designed to be quickly and easily mounted onto a 2-inch hitch receiver, this bike rack can be tucked up and out of the way when not in use.

The spacious and stable tray-style design offers a stress-free and reliable way to transport up to 2 bikes at a time, and each bike can be secured directly to the frame, offering increased security during transit.

In addition, the enhanced support this bike rack offers can be sized up or down to fit the dimensions of many models of bicycles, and the straps can be used to ratchet the bikes for a tight and secure fit.

With extra-wide tire holders that can cope with Fat Tire bikes, as well as an extra adaptor bar for bikes without a top bar, this bike rack is suitable for use with a ton of different makes and models for your convenience.

With an adjustable frame that can be rearranged quickly, even on the go, and a quick hitch-pin design that lets you open the rear of your vehicle with the bike rack still attached, this is an awesome bike rack for everyday cycling.

What We Like

  • Really versatile and fits bikes of all sizes

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s a bit tricky to fit

Final Thoughts

A bike rack makes light work of heavy loading and is the perfect accessory for anyone who likes to cycle. With a ton of different designs to choose from, a hitch rack is easy to install and offers secure and supersafe transportation for your favorite ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do bike racks damage your car?

Bike racks can damage your car but only if the bikes themselves aren’t secured properly. The main cause of damage is usually if the front wheel moves around, which can damage your paintwork.

Are bike racks compatible with all cars?

The majority of bike racks can fit most cars, minivans, and SUVs, but it’s still best to check the overall design and manufacturer guidelines to ensure that they will fit.

How do you transport a bike in a car?

The easiest way to transport a bike in a car is to fold down the back seats and remove the front wheel. This method will usually work in most cars. However, the most convenient option is to use a hitch back rack that attaches to the back of your vehicle, which is more secure and doesn’t require you to remove a wheel or awkwardly trying to squeeze it into your trunk.

How do I choose a rear bike rack?

When choosing a rear bike rack, things you need to consider are whether it will fit the make and model of your car, how many bikes you need to transport, how easy it is to install, and the security features (such as ratchet straps and tie-down systems).

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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