Gear

Best, Sturdy Bike Racks For Your Car

July 27, 2019 by

If you are an avid cyclist, you probably know how annoying it can be to transport your bike to your favorite cycling spots. We can’t all have huge trucks and SUVs. Especially with camping gear and passengers packed into the car, it can be impossible to fit your bike in – and forget about bikes for the whole family.

That’s why every cyclist and outdoor adventurer should invest in a high quality bike rack for their car. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you have, or how many bikes you need to carry. Racks come in all different shapes, styles and capacities, and you can find them in a full range of prices – it’s easy to find a great model even on a tight budget.

This post is going to show you ten of the very best bike racks on the market right now, to help you find the best rack for your vehicle, lifestyle and budget. Be sure to check out our handy buying guide at the bottom of this page for a little more detail on what to look for.

 

The Best Bike Racks of 2019

  1. Yakima ForkChop Car Top Bike Rack

Yakima is a popular high-end brand for bike racks and accessories. This ForkChop rack is designed to mount on top of your car, locking one or more bikes straight upright. The rooftop mount can be handy if you want to save space for a hitch cargo carrier or other accessory on the back of your car – and it is suitable for nearly any vehicle.

Best of all, this roof rack is super easy to mount without using any tools. That means you can easily take it off your car if you need to – but with such a minimalist, low-profile design, there is really no need to every remove it.

Pros:

  • Easy tool-free mounting
  • Suitable for most vehicles
  • Can carry multiple bikes
  • Comes with optional fat tire lock for fat bikes

Cons:

  • May not fit all bike styles
  • No anti-theft locking mechanism
  1. Kuat Racks NV 2.0 Bike Rack

This 2-bike rack from Kuat Racks is a little pricier than some of the other options on our list, but you definitely get the quality you pay for. The rack mounts on a standard rear trailer hitch and can carry two bikes of up to 60 pounds each at one time. The metal of the rack is super lightweight and corrosion resistant – guaranteed to last for years.

A foot assist pivot system allows you to smoothly lower the rack to remove the bikes. The locking cables are extra long, and the wheel cradles are adjustable to account for different types, including fat bikes. All in all, this is an incredibly versatile, convenient and durable rack.

Pros:

  • Built to last
  • Easy to mount and remove bikes
  • Accommodates most bike types
  • Locks bikes securely in place

Cons:

  • Cannot be used with a hitch cargo carrier
  • Pricier than other racks
  1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

Allen Sports is another super popular bike rack brand. This model mounts easily to any 2 inch trailer hitch, and can carry up to 4 bikes at a time – it’s a great rack for family outings and camping trips. Even though it is a larger rack, the arms can be folded down when not in use and the whole rack can be tilted out of the way, so you can still access the cab of your car.

Because of it’s hitch design, this rack can accommodate any type of bike – but you should bear in mind that bikes will be mounted close together, so you may have trouble with larger bikes.

Pros:

  • Easy to mount
  • Carries up to 4 bikes
  • Convenient fold-away design
  • Pivot feature to lower bikes

Cons:

  • May be hard to fit 4 large bikes at once
  • Lower durability
  1. BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack

This hitch mount rack from BV Bike is a convenient and super reliable way to carry up to 4 bikes at once. It is a tray style rack, which means that all the bikes are mounted upright on a flat bar and secured at both tires and the handlebars, locking them in tightly on even the bumpiest roads.

The rack mounts to a 2 inch trailer hitch, and is great for any truck or SUV. It can tilt down to help you load and unload bikes, and folds up when it is not in use to stay out of your way. Remember that tray-style hitch mounts do take up more space behind the car, so it may take some time to get used to driving with the mounted bikes.

Pros:

  • Holds up to 4 bikes at once
  • Super secure locking design
  • Folds up for convenience
  • Easy to mount

Cons:

  • Can be bulky to drive with
  • Mounts may wear down bike tubes during use
  1. Swagman Chinook Hitch Bike Rack

This Swagman rack is another 2 bike model that mounts on a hitch trailer mount. It has a tray-style mount that can carry up to 2 bikes of 45 pounds each, secured at the wheels and handlebars. The material is lightweight and corrosion resistant, designed for durability. The rack can pivot down and fold up when not in use for your convenience.

One of the best features of this bike rack is the easy locking mechanism, allowing you to keep your bikes on the rack wherever you go without worrying about theft.

Pros:

  • Built for durability and long term use
  • Folds up when not in use
  • Anti-theft locking mechanism
  • Easy hitch mount

Cons:

  • Lower weight bearing capacity
  • Higher price for the size
  1. Saris Sentinel 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

This 3-bike rack from Saris Sentinel is the first rack on our list designed specifically for smaller vehicles. You don’t need a big SUV or truck to use this bike rack – it is meant to mount on a hatchback or smaller sedan. It attaches over the trunk of the car and is secured with durable straps, holding up to three bikes at a time.

The rack can hold bikes of any style – though they are mounted close together, so you might have issues with larger bikes.

Pros:

  • Designed for smaller vehicles
  • Carries up to 3 bikes at a time
  • Fits over most spoilers
  • Super affordable option

Cons:

  • Not as stable for off road driving
  • Lower durability
  1. Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

This second Allen Sports model on our list is a low profile, affordable bike rack that mounts over the trunk of any car or SUV. It holds one bike at a time, and attaches easily over the trunk with sturdy straps. Unlike a hitch mounted bike rack, this ultra compound rack is hardly noticeable on the trunk of your car – secure and super easy to drive with.

The design of this rack does not prevent you from opening the trunk of your car, even with the bike mounted.

Pros:

  • Low profile, compact design
  • Easy to mount
  • Padded spine protects bike
  • Makes parking and urban driving easier

Cons:

  • Only carries one bike at a time
  • Lower durability
  1. RockyMounts WestSlope 2-Bike Hitch Rack

This 2 bike, tray style bike rack mounts to a standard 2 inch trailer hitch, and can carry 2 bikes up to 40 pounds each at a time. The mounting is tiered, with one bike higher than the other, so that you can mount them close together without risking damage. The rack is designed to accommodate nearly any style of bike.

When there are no bikes mounted to the rack, you can easily fold it up for easier driving and parking on busy streets.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Securely holds bikes
  • Folds up for convenience
  • Tiered, no contact mounting

Cons:

  • Pricier option for the size
  • Low weight bearing capacity
  1. Saris Solo 1-Bike Trunk Mounted Rack

This Saris trunk mounted rack is the simplest, most low profile option on our list. It mounts over the trunk of any car or SUV with rubber feet and tough, durables straps. The rack can only carry one bike of up to 35 pounds – it’s great for a solo biking trip or driving in urban areas.

The molded plastic of this rack is totally weatherproof and rust free. Best of all, it is super easy to mount and remove from your car.

Pros:

  • Low profile, compact design
  • Weatherproof material
  • Great for parking and urban areas
  • Mounts on any car

Cons:

  • Only holds one lightweight bike
  • Not as secure as other options
  1. LITE-WAY 2-Bike Rack Hitch

    Mounted

The last bike rack on our list is a simple yet practical 2 bike rack from Lite-Way. This rack mounts to a standard 2 inch trailer hitch and can hold 2 bikes up to 80 pounds each. The rack holds bikes by the center bar, not by the tire, so it can easily fit 2 bikes of any style.

The arms of the rack can be folded down, and the whole thing tilts out of the way to allow you to access the trunk of your car. The material of this rack is super durable, weather proof and rust resistant.

Pros:

  • Easy hitch mount
  • Durable design
  • Holds any style bikes
  • Folds out of the way to allow trunk access

Cons:

  • Low weight bearing capacity
  • No anti-theft design

How to Choose the Best Bike Rack for Your Car

Now that you have seen some of the best products on the market right now, let’s talk about how to choose the very best one for you. The best bike rack for you will depend on your individual lifestyle and priorities, but there are a few important features to keep an eye out for.

Mount Style

As you can see from our list of top bike racks on the market, there are several different mounting styles available. One of the most common is a hitch mount, in which the rack secures to the trailer hitch of your car. This is a great, reliable option – but not every vehicle has a trailer hitch.

Rooftop mounts are a good option for smaller vehicles, or larger vehicles that need to leave their trailer hitch open for a hitch carrier or other towing accessory. However, they will give your vehicle a much higher profile. Trunk mounts are also great for smaller cars, though some people have criticized them as being less stable, especially on bumpy roads.

Carrying Capacity

Do you like to take biking trips with the whole family? There are plenty of racks out there that can carry up to 4 bikes with ease – a hitch or rooftop mount with 4 slots is great for a busy family outing.

However, if you generally only carry 1 or 2 bikes, don’t waste the space on a 4 bike rack. 2 bike or even solo racks will be much more affordable, and convenient to keep on your vehicle.

You also need to consider the weight bearing capacity of your bike rack – if you have a heavier mountain bike or a fat bike, be aware that some lighter racks may not be able to carry it. Always check the weight capacity per bike before you invest in a new rack.

Durability

As with any vehicle accessory, the durability and weatherproofing of your bike rack is super important. You will want to be sure that your rack is made out of a tough, corrosion resistant metal or plastic that will be able to stand up to any weather conditions, wherever you drive.

Final Thoughts

Love cycling, but hate lugging your bike from place to place? A mounted bike rack makes it easier. The best bike rack for you will accommodate all the bikes you need to carry in any style. Remember to check the weight bearing capacity, and always keep an eye out for weatherproof, durable materials.

Once you have found the perfect bike rack for your vehicle and needs, you are ready to get out there and hit the trails!