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There’s nothing as hard and tedious as stuffing a bike in a car’s trunk. It’s simple in theory. But it’s itself a process that involves taking the bike apart, folding down the seats, and pushing it into the cabin until you can close the trunk’s lid.
It’s tiring, or doesn’t it?
And that’s not all.
Your bike can leave mud in the trunk, stain the windows, or even dispense grease from the chain to the back seats. So instead of trying to place your bike where it probably won’t fit, consider getting a bike rack for easy mounting.
In this guide, we walk you through the best bike racks that you can use. But before we get to the review section, let’s look at the three most common types of car bike racks in the market.
- 1 Types of Bike Racks in the Market
- 2 Top Rated Bike Racks Comparison & Rating Chart
- 3 Best Bicycle Racks Reviews - Recommended & Cheap Bike Racks for SUV, Minivan, sedan, hatchback & More.
- 4 Best Hitch Racks Reviews
- 5 Best Roof Bike Racks
- 6 Best Trunk Rack for Your Bikes
Types of Bike Racks in the Market
1. Roof Bike Racks
If you want mount your bike on your car’s roof, go for a roof rack. They’re mostly made of steel with black powder coating and you’ll need to attach them on recommended crossbars – mostly the ones that are up to 2 inches thick. More often than not, roof racks can only accommodate on bike at a time. In general, they’re often cheap and therefore appeal to cycling enthusiasts on a budget.
2. Hitch Bike Racks
Well-built and easy to set up, hitch racks are an option to go for if you simply don’t want to spend a lot of time working on crossbars. In fact, the installation process is as easy as plugging it into your hitch receiver and you’re ready to mount your bike after that.
Hitch racks were a bit distracting and risky back in the days. But manufacturers nowadays implement anti sway technology to keep you and other road users safe.
3. Trunk Bike Racks
If you’re looking for a fairly versatile rack that can fit almost any car, consider buying a trunk rack. They’re inexpensive, fit well without the need for additional components, and can carry up to three bikes. If you have friends or family members interested in car-bike road trip, this kind of rack is definitely the best to consider.
Top Rated Bike Racks Comparison & Rating Chart
Number of Bikes
40 lb. per tray
120 lbs (60lb max per bike)
120 lbs (33lb max per bike)
2 to 3
4 bike/ 140 lb
35 lbs per bike
Best Bicycle Racks Reviews - Recommended & Cheap Bike Racks for SUV, Minivan, sedan, hatchback & More.
Best Hitch Racks Reviews
1. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack
While Kuat isn’t exactly the cheapest hitch rack that we’ve seen so far, it features one of a kind build. Beyond looking good and feeling durable owing to the powder coating, it’s a lightweight model with some really nice features. For example, it’s the only bike rack with a well-implemented lever tilt, which makes it very easy to use.
From a design point of view, we’re convinced that Kuat got it right from the beginning. They’ve completely overhauled this version by giving it an all-aluminum construction, not only reducing the overall weight but also making it one of the most lightweight hitch racks out there.
Instead of the usual fixed front wheel tray, Kuat Sherpa 2.0 has one that folds when not in use, which means you’ll have to fold it open before fixing your bike on it. Thanks to the low loading height, fixing and unloading your bike on this rack will only take you a few minutes.
Tough as it may be, with a nice coating that protects it from elements, you don’t want to leave this rack on your car in an automatic car wash. That’s because the big roller brushes can easily damage it – or even damage your car.
2. Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Racks
If you’re in the market for a budget friendly bike rack, go with Allen Sports 2. Featuring a steel build with a black powder coating, Sports 2 is durable enough to last for the longest time to come.
And when it comes to performance, expect this to perform well for the price.
From a design standpoint, we think Allen Sports 2 is simple and doesn’t fit the premium spot.
First, it’s limited in flexibility, because it can hold your bike only by the top frame. Then it doesn’t have any special safety or vehicle access features. In short, it looks and feels plain.
However, not being flexible doesn’t mean it’s not functional. Sports 2 can hold two bikes really well, provided the total weight doesn’t exceed 70 pounds.
You can fix it on your bike and use it for camping adventure or short-term road trips.
3. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
When it comes to spending a lot of money on a hitch bike rack, you want to make sure you get nothing but the best value in return.
And that’s exactly what Thule gives you with their T2 Pro XT. This rack is an upgrade of the T2 Classic.
And it’s one of the best-performing models that the company has ever built.
Talk of premiums, this bike has them. From ratcheting arms and tilt lever to cable locking system and high quality materials, T2 Pro XT has everything you’d want in a high-end hitch rack.
We recommend this one because it’s so versatile that it can hold a minimum of 1 bikes and a maximum of 2.
Plus, it’s flexible enough to hold any kind of bike, including electric bikes and mountain bikes.
4. Tyger Auto TG-RK3B101S 3-Bike Hitch Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack
Hitch hacks are expensive. Or at least that’s what many of them are. But Tyger Auto, a pick that can hold up to three bikes at a go, is a different model. For a budget buyer, this makes a good choice. Even for cheap, this unit features a sturdy and secure build. And it’s also lightweight and very easy to setup and use.
Tyger has paid close attention to details on the design, making it as functional as possible. The rack is made of high quality steel, on top of which there’s a coating that provides a shield against corrosion and rust. Built to be as flexible as possible, this can fit on 1.25 or 2-inch receivers really well. Only we wish it would also fit on vehicles longer than 18 feet, like campers and RVs.
You don’t have to remove this rack from your car to open the trunk. Simply push the rack tilt function to lower the unit, and then you’ll be good to access the trunk.
The padding added to the cradle means a lot; they protect the metallic parts of the bike and also absorb shock as you drive on bumps.
Best Roof Bike Racks
5. Yakima Fork Lift Rooftop Bike Rack
You no longer have to squeeze your bike in your car trunk to make sure it fits. Simply invest in Yakima Fork Lift bike rack and take your bike with you wherever you want to go. This is a rooftop rack, a good pick to consider if you don’t want to see anything else in the rear view but the cars behind you.
Featuring a secure clamping system, this rack provides a solid and firm grip to keep your bike in position no matter how fast or long you drive your car. Because it weighs only 9.02 pounds, you can easily lift it and slowly place it on your car’s roof. Besides using steel to design this unit, Yakima also ensures the build is ergonomic, which means the rack can easily carry different bikes with ease.
The quick release fork on this rack makes clamping your bike on the crossbar quick and easy. And since the rack does not touch the frame of the bike, you never have to worry about peels or scratches.
The rack’s lockable skewer, which you can manage with the adjustment knob, lets you tighten the bike when it’s time to move and easily loosen it when it’s time to cycle. Then there’s a ratcheting strap, which holds the wheels firmly in position throughout your driving session.
6. CyclingDeal 1 Bike Rooftop Rack
Are you on a tight budget and looking for a rooftop rack that can fit on your car? Or maybe you’re just interested in a cheap option that performs well just like the high-end models?
Then you should consider CyclingDeal frame-mount rooftop bike rack. While this one is a solid build for sure, it’s important to know upfront that it won’t hold up well for tall cars. But if you’re driving something like a sedan, this will definitely give you the value for your money.
It’s made of steel and has a powder coating that easily resists corrosion and rust to enhance durability. Plus, it’s easy to set up and use. Simply install 3.4 inches wide crossbars on your car, fix this rack, and then place your bike on it.
Instead of mounting your bike by the wheel or fork, CyclingDeal features a frame holder to secure your bike in place.
While the frame holder easily cuts downs the overall setup time, it creates a height clearance issue as it obviously adds a few inches to your car’s profile. In other words, you don’t want to use this rooftop rack if your motor vehicle has a high profile. Look elsewhere.
7. Thule 599XTR Big Mouth Upright Rooftop Bicycle Carrier
Thule 599XTR is one of the inexpensive roof racks on this list. It’s also one of the well-made options that can carry your bike in an upright position for long hours.
Not only does it firmly hold your bike in position by the frame, it also allows you to tie the wheels of your bike tight for a more secure fit.
This is a model to consider if you prefer quick setup. Installation is as simple as fixing crossbars on your car’s roof, adding the rack, clamping the frame with the adjustable jaw, and tying the tires to the wheel tray.
And as far as fitting goes, Thule 599XTR is best for bike frames of up to 3 inches in diameter. Also, you want to make sure the tires are at most 2.6 inches wide, anything beyond this simply won’t fit.
About 58 x 11 x 3.5 inches in size, with a self-adjusting jaw for clamping the down tube of a bike’s frame, this bike rack only works well Thule rack system and round bars.
Since it’s tedious to figure out which square bars would work well with this, it’s only best if you stick to round bars or Thule rack systems.
8. YAKIMA Front Loader Roof Racks
YAKIMA Front Loader is one of the best roof bike racks in the market. And while it’s not as inexpensive as CyclingDeal 1 Bike, it’s definitely a well-built option for the price.
Coming already fully assembled, this rack is ideal for you if you’re the kind of cyclist who’s looking for an easy setup.
We recommend this roof rack because it’s versatile, allowing you to use it with just about any kind of bike of your choice.
Whether you own a road bike or you mostly use a mountain bike, this one will hold up for you quite well, as long as the wheel size is in the range of 20 and 29 inches in diameter.
YAKIMA Front Loader is one of the few roof racks that work well with multiple crossbar.
You can actually use it with round, aerodynamic, as well as square crossbars. And like with many roof racks out there, you can mount only one bike on this one.
Best Trunk Rack for Your Bikes
9. Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier
Thule Passage may not have many security features.
But it’s still one of the top trunk bike racks that you can use.
This rack’s unique features include sway protection strap, damage prevention padding, and 2 to 3 bikes capacity. At 9.7 pounds, it’s one of the few lightweight option that’s quite easy to setup.
Thule Passage’s anti-sway cradles ensure your bikes don’t rub against each other.
The additional padding easily protects your car’s paint, so you don’t have to worry about chipping and scratched spots.
And when the rack is not in use, you can simply fold it down in less than a minute.
10. Yakima Full Back 2 Bike Carrier
Yakima Full Back isn’t just an affordable trunk bike rack. It’s a durable alternative to the conventional strap racks.
Yakima has always been about easy installation and secure fit.
And that’s the exact same promise they give with the Full Back 2 Bike Carrier.
Yakima pays close attention to the design of this rack, giving it a strong bomber frame with an abrasion resistant protective padding.
Its removable zip strip cradles securely hold your bikes in position.
And the SKS system acts as a bike lock, which makes it hard for thieves to steal your bike.
With an instruction manual included in the purchase, and requiring no extra tool for installation, it should take you under 5 minutes to set up this rack, ready for loading and unloading your bikes.
11. Deluxe Trunk Mount Rack
If you own a minivan, a sedan, an SUV, or a hatchback, and you’re looking for a bike rack that can fit well on its trunk, then you should consider Deluxe Trunk Mount Rack.
Although it’s a compact bike rack for the price, it fits frames of different ranges.
This rack has a carrying capacity of 70 pounds.
And it can carry only 2 bikes. You will love this one because it comes already assembled.
All you have left is to unfold it, lock the pin, install and tighten the straps, and that’s it. You’re ready to load your bikes.
12. Hollywood Trunk Bike Rack
Hollywood Trunk is one of the most versatile bike trunk racks in the market.
And while it’s an expensive pick in its class, it’s an option you can use with different cars, including Sedan, SUV, Minivan, and Hatchback thanks to the easy-to-adjust high-rise frame.
It features EPDM rubber straps and anti-sway cradles, which hold up your bikes firmly in place.
This way, your bikes will never get into contact with each other, so you don’t have to worry about scratches.
Note that this rack can hold up to 3 bikes, each with a weight of 35 pounds.
Choosing the best rack for your bike doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it comes to the type of rack that you want, which often depends on your budget as well as the number of bikes you’d like to load and bring with you to your destination. And we strongly believe that this guide helped you make a sound decision on what to purchase.