Best Bike Rack for Cars and SUVs Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
If you are looking for the best bike racks for cars and SUVs, and you don’t know what to pick, don’t worry, you are far from being the only one – it’s actually a pretty common thing. This is why we’ve taken a look at some of the top models on the market at the moment and created this list, which should help you in making a decision. Our top recommendation, in this case, is the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch, which has multiple pros, like the fact that it is a spacious one, letting you carry up to four bikes, the hitch insert is easy to operate, and you can use bikes with various frames and designs on it without any problems. In case this one is not available, you can also have a look at the Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack model, which may also pleasantly surprise you.
This bike rack is very spacious, as it lets you carry up to four bikes at the same time. You will find the hitch insert to be easy to operate. You also can use different frame sizes for your bikes with it.
You will have to use some extra bungee cords for securing the spinning wheels and handlebars better.
As it has the ability to let you carry up to four bikes with you, the hitch insert is easy to operate, and you can use it with various frame sizes, you benefit from plenty of reasons to check this out.
You can fold this rack, so you will save space. It’s made out of steel so that it will resist for a longer time. The dual compound makes sure that your bikes will always be safe when on the rack.
This is not the sturdiest rack on the market, so you need to take some extra measures to be happy with it.
Since you can fold it to save space, it has a steel frame for better resistance, and a dual compound makes sure your bikes will be safe, you should definitely pay closer attention to it.
Also To Consider
The swing down feature lets you access the rear of the vehicle better. Being made out of steel will help its overall resistance level. The model is one that you can adjust easily, as you wish to.
You can’t use it on RV’s, on fifth wheels, or on campers, which can limit the uses for some people.
Thanks to the swing down feature, the fact that it is made out of steel, and its easy adjustability, this model is one of the top ones that you can find on the market at this moment.
8 Best Bike Racks for Cars and SUVs (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Because many people don’t really have an idea of what makes for a great bike rack since they’re not experts in this field, we’ve decided to lend a helping hand and present to you some of the top choices on the market at the moment – who knows, maybe you will like them.
- 1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch
- 2. Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
- 3. MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack
- 4. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack 102DN-R
- 5. Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Racks for 1 1/4 in. and 2 in. Hitch
- 6. Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack with 2-Inch Receiver
- 7. Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
- 8. Saris Bones 2 Bike Trunk Rack Black
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch
This device lets you carry with you up to four bikes wherever you are traveling. You will notice that the hitch insert is easy to operate and offers the needed security to your bicycles. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the hitch insert fits 2-inch receiver hitches. You only have to attach the bikes and use the tie-down cradle system for security. That’s all.
The product can be used with a variety of frame sizes and designs, which means that you can use it with your regular adult road bike or with a kid-sized mountain bike with no problems. Furthermore, you needn’t remove the bikes every time you want access to your truck, as you can simply tilt it back, so you will get easy lift-gate access.
We should also mention the fact that the product has a no-wobble bolt so that the rack won’t start moving inside the hitch.
This is a spacious device that lets you carry up to four bicycles at the same time, so you can travel with your family or friends from now on without any worries about space.
One of the top things regarding this product is the fact that it has a hitch insert that you will operate with ease, and that will offer you the security you need for the bikes.
As the hitch insert fits the 2-inch receiver hitches, all you have to do is attach the bicycles and use the tie-down cradle system for the needed security.
You can use this bike rack with various frame sizes and designs, from the small ones to the big ones, from road bikes to mountain bikes.
It is recommended that you rely on some extra bungee cords so that you will secure the spinning wheels and handlebars better, so they will not start turning from side to side.Buy from Amazon.com for ($119)
2. Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
This device has basically all of the benefits you can think of when you imagine a classic bike carrier, but it also has some features that are typical of the Allen company’s brand, such as the fact that it is easier to use, and it is also very convenient, as a result of the patented folding design.
The product was built on a rugged steel frame so that you can transport your bike with ease and store it just as easily when it is not in use. The dual-compound tie-down cradles have the role of protecting and securing your bike so that no matter where you are going, the bikes will always be safe and ready for you to use them later.
One further thing that we should mention is the fact that the product comes with a carry bag, included in the price, so its transportation will be much easier.
Not only does the product have the classic features of a bike carrier, but it also comes with some newer ones, typical of Allen’s, like its convenience to use.
One of the things that stand out, in this case, is the patented folding design that you will most likely appreciate since it lets you save space.
The product is created from a rugged steel frame, which offers it a series of advantages, such as durability, sustainability, and affordability.
The presence of the dual compound tie-down cradles plays an important role in protecting and securing the bike when you are out there on the road.
This may not be the sturdiest rack on the market, and the tie downs of the bike are not clips, so you will need to thread and unthread loops for the security you want, and only after that, can you take the bike off.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.97)
3. MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack
If you need to transport four bicycles for you and your family or friends, this product is capable of doing just that, so that is a pretty good start already. The swing down feature is a really cool one as it lets you have better access to the rear of the vehicle, so you are definitely going to save time and not waste any.
The product fits 2-inch receivers, so you just need to attach the bikes and use the tie-down cradle system to have the needed security for your bikes. Also, the rack is made out of a rigid construction, made entirely out of steel, which offers it a series of advantages, like strength, durability, and it also makes it lightweight.
You can adjust everything as you please just using the hook and loop straps that are part of the device. It is not recommended that you use this on RVs or on fifth wheels.
This is a spacious product that lets you carry up to four bicycles at the same time, so you can enjoy your free time with your family and friends.
You will notice the swing down feature, which is a standout, as it allows you to enjoy better access to the rear of your vehicle, so you will be saving time.
It fits 2-inch receivers, which means that you only have to attach the bikes and then use the tie-down cradle system for the needed security of your bike.
The product is created out of rigid steel, which comes with a series of very important advantages, such as strength, durability, and making it lightweight.
The downside of this product is the fact that you can not use it on RVs, on fifth wheels, or on campers, so it may limit the number of places you can actually use it, even if just by a bit.Buy from Amazon.com for ($130.41)
4. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack 102DN-R
This bike rack is really interesting because it lets you use it on sedans, minivans, SUVs, and hatchbacks. The fact that it has a patented design means that you can set it up fast, and it will have the capacity of safely transporting the bikes wherever you are going. The two side straps deliver very good lateral stability on whichever vehicle you are driving.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the patented tie-down system individually secures and also manages to protect the bikes that are on the rack. You can set up the whole thing in just a couple of seconds, as it’s not just user-friendly, but it also comes fully assembled, so you are not going to be wasting time trying to figure it out.
The product is made out of rugged, high-quality components that make sure you are going to be using this product for the years to come.
You can use this product on a series of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, minivans, and hatchbacks, therefore giving you more freedom.
The product is a patented design, so you will have the option of setting it up fast without wasting any time whatsoever.
The two side straps are responsible for the superior lateral stability that you will notice, regardless of the vehicle that you are driving.
The patented tie-down system is also a highlight, as it has the ability to secure and protect each of the bikes, individually, so you won’t have any accidents.
You need to be careful when you attach the tiny metal bars to connect the larger horizontal and vertical bars, as even the instructions mention this, as to avoid having your finger pinched. Minor incidents were reported, but the risk seems to loom over, so it is clearly better to be safe than sorry.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.93)
5. Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Racks for 1 1/4 in. and 2 in. Hitch
Looking for a bike rack for you and your significant other? This model can be the one you were looking for, as it can do exactly just that, while you go camping or on a road trip. The hitch insert of the device fits the 1-¼ and 2-inch receiver hitches, and it is also really easy to operate and, at the same time, really safe for your bicycles.
You just have to attach it to the hitch and use the tie-down cradle system so that you will be able to secure and protect the bicycles, both of them, individually. The carry arm of this product can accommodate a large range of frame sizes and designs, so from kid’s bikes to adult ones, from mountain bikes to road bikes, you are all settled.
On top of everything, you won’t have to remove the bikes in order to gain access to the back of the SUV or truck, since the rack can tilt back for easy lift-gate access, and it can fold when you are not using it.
This product is one that is most likely to interest people who are in a couple, a parent who wants to go for a ride with one of their children, etc.
The hitch insert of the device has the ability to fit the 1-¼ and 2-inch receiver hitches, while also being incredibly easy to operate, and keeping your bikes safe.
In order to keep the bicycles safe and protected, you only need to attach it to the hitch and use the tie-down cradle system that comes with the device.
The carry arm of the item has the benefit of accomodating a larger range of designs and frame sizes than other models, so you can use it for many types of bicycles.
One of the cons of this product is the fact that the instructions are not always very clear, so you may have to look for outside sources to help you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($125.18)
6. Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack with 2-Inch Receiver
This product is ready regardless of the cycling destination that you have. It is a product that you can assemble very easily, and that has separate tie-down straps and cradles so that your bikes will always be safe when you transport them. Keep in mind that the step-thru frames will need a bike frame adapter so that the fit will indeed be secure enough.
In order for the product to have the strength that it needs, it was made out of steel, which also allows it to hold up to 35 lbs/bike. This also plays a role in the easy installation of Class III or IV 2-inch receiver hitches. Also worth mentioning is the fact that it comes with an adapter so that the wobble of the rack on the back of the car will be minimized.
The carry arm was created so that it can handle various sizes and designs that a bike might have.
Assembling such a product can be difficult in some cases, which is why the manufacturer has made it really easy so that anybody can do it.
In order for the bike to always be safe during transportation, the product has separate tie-down straps and cradles, which makes all the difference.
One of the top pros for this product is the fact that it was made from steel, a material that is well-known by everybody for being highly resistant to pressure and overtime.
The product will also come accompanied by an adapter so that the wobble of the rack on the back of the car will be minimized as much as possible.
One of the things that are not really great about this product is the fact that the rubber straps that have the role of holding the bike in place can crack over a short time.Click to see the price on Amazon!
7. Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
This product was created so that you can use it for a variety of vehicles, including SUVs, minivans, sedans, and hatchbacks, so you have bigger freedom of choice. The patented design of this device was created so that you can set it up in seconds, and you will be able to transport your bikes safely around the country.
Also important to mention is the fact that the two straps deliver superior lateral stability for the rack on your vehicle. We also can not forget to mention the patented tie-down system that has the capacity of individually securing and protecting the bikes as you are driving your vehicle, so you can be sure no accidents will take place.
One of the reasons why you can set-up this rack so easily is due to the fact that it arrives fully assembled to your door, so that is one less thing to worry about.
You can use this model of bike rack for various types of vehicles, including SUVs, sedans, minivans, and hatchbacks, so you will have a wider pool to choose from.
The patented design of the device was made to give you the ability to set it up in mere seconds, thus helping you save time.
The two straps are able to truly deliver superior lateral stability levels for the rack while it is placed on the vehicle.
The patented tie-down system can secure and protect the bikes individually as you are driving your vehicle, so you can be sure no accidents will take place.
It is possible that you will have some problems with the pads and clips scratching the paint on your car, so you should cover them and secure them with some rubber bands for the needed protection so you will be ready to go on your next adventure.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.97)
8. Saris Bones 2 Bike Trunk Rack Black
This model was created so that it should be able to carry two bikes at the same time, with the condition that each bike shouldn’t weigh more than 35 lbs each, so most types of bikes should fit just fine on this device. The injection-molded arms and legs of it are indeed strong, with the manufacturer claiming they are the strongest on the market.
One of the things that are meant to attract the attention of eco-friendly people is the fact that the bike trunk rack was built using 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials, which is always a good thing, even if you don’t take into consideration such things when looking for such a device – after all, a non-rusting material means it’s a win-win situation.
The ratcheting hold downs are also easy to adjust, bringing up another important feature to this already pretty cool device, so you have basically all the reasons to check it out.
The device was made so that it will have the ability to carry up to two bicycles at the same time, with each bike having a weight of a maximum of 35 lbs.
The injection-molded arms and legs of this product are strong enough to be able to sustain the bikes in the wanted position, without risking having any accidents happen.
The product is made out of 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials, so if you are working on contributing to saving the planet, you probably would be interested in this.
The ratcheting hold downs of this bike rack are very easy for anybody to adjust, so you shouldn’t have any problems from that point of view either.
The wide, upper hooks that you can find on the top of the tailgate can sometimes leave some slight dents in the car. While it’s not very obvious, they can be seen eventually, so you should keep it in mind.Buy from Amazon.com for ($159.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
You’ve spent enough time (and money) in order to have the best gear for your outside adventures, so you want to be sure that all of the equipment will be where it needs to be, without having to worry about it. This means that you have to take a look at various models of bike racks for trucks and see which one fits your needs the best.
What will you carry?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself, and you need to settle if you are going to carry just bikes or also some skis or some stand-up paddleboards maybe? Take into consideration all of the activities that you usually do throughout the year and invest in the best bike rack that fits your needs the best.
A way to save money is to directly invest into a model that is more versatile, that has a special system so that if you start using new gear over time, you won’t have to buy a new bike rack for car or SUV, as you would already have one that, with some small changes, could adapt to the new instructions.
The year and model of your vehicle are also very important. It’s obligatory that you get bicycle racks for SUV or car that will fit it. Fortunately, this is not hard to do, as bike rack manufacturers for cars have guides that are going to point you to the models in which you need to invest in certain situations.
Bike and car rack types
Bicycle racks come in all shapes and sizes and can be placed on different parts of the vehicle you are driving. Take this into consideration when you are checking out the best bicycle racks for cars as being just slightly uninformed could cost you a lot of money and, also, time.
The hitch racks are the most common ones as they slide into the receiver of a trailer hitch. You can install a hitch receiver even on a vehicle that didn’t have one originally, but it will cost you some extra money. Still, many consider this to be a very affordable bike rack option that you could probably afford with greater ease.
The roof racks are also very common and also highly versatile. This comes as a result of the fact that you can customize it to transport many things, not just limited to bikes, but also surfboards, cargo boxes, kayaks, and so on. This model is a stable one that also keeps the gear out of your way.
Furthermore, roof racks won’t cause you problems by blocking the access to the doors of your car. Then again, they are not the most affordable bike racks that you can find, and some people may find the fact that they need to lift the gear over the head as being more difficult than they would want to.
Cargo boxes are also a popular option, as many bike racks reviews point out – but less so for bikes. These are containers that are hard-sided and that you can mount on a roof rack in order to keep the gear away from your vision. You can use them to carry skis, or snowboards, among others, but they’re not good at carrying bikes.
Cargo boxes have the ability to hold the loose gear that also has odd sizes and shapes in a tight system, but the downside is the fact that cargo boxes can lead to wind resistance and also produce a lot of noise when you are driving.
On the list of cheap bike racks, you will also find trunk racks that you can secure to hatches or trunks using a system that is made out of hooks and straps. Bicycle racks for cars in this category are very popular because of this, but also because they let you carry up to three bikes on the support arms.
This option is very easy to use, cheap, and it is also lightweight. The downside of these bike racks for SUV or cars is the fact that they can only transport bikes, and the access to the vehicle’s trunk can be limited by accident. On top of that, there is the risk of having the bikes bump into one another while you drive.
Truck racks are another model of bicycle racks that you can try out. This option requires internal rails or support bars that you install in a truck bed, for a while, to anchor the bicycles in one place. The best bicycle racks for SUV could just as well be this option, as many people surely think so.
The last alternative is also one that is a cheap bike rack option, the spare tire racks. Some consider these to be the best bike racks because they are affordable, lightweight, and can be used on vehicles that have exterior spare tire racks. But if it’s really the best bike rack for car, in your case, is really up to you.
Regardless if you look for bike racks for cars or the best bike rack for SUV, read at least one full bike rack review and make sure that the bike rack for SUV or car that you buy will fit your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do bike racks damage your car?
A bike rack can damage your car, yes, but it doesn’t have to – basically, you just need to be careful about it, and you won’t have to deal with having paint stretched from your car or dents. This problem can appear right as you mount the rack for the first time on the vehicle, which is why you need to be extra careful about it.
In order for these accidents not to happen, you have to follow some guidelines, meaning you will have to be sure you follow the proper steps for the installation of the rack, you should add an extra layer of protection to your vehicle, for the extra protection that you need, and you need to mount the racks properly.
While this is not a big deal in itself, nobody wants to have their car scratched, so just be really careful when you are dealing with the aforementioned aspects.
Q: Are bike racks removable?
Bike racks come in all shapes and sizes, with one of the most popular options out there being the folding one. As a result, whenever you are not using the bike rack, you can simply fold it, and it won’t take up any space or stop you from using your trunk, for example. Of course, you also have the option to remove a bike rack.
For example, during winter, if you have a bike rack that only carries bicycles, you would want it removed. The way to do this varies from model to model, from manufacturer to manufacturer, which means that you will probably find more info about it in the instruction manual that comes with the product.
Just to be sure that it’s not very complicated, you can ask about this before you buy the model that you are interested in so that you won’t have problems when the time comes.
Q: Can I open my trunk with a bike rack?
As bike racks are available in so many models, it could be tricky to answer for all of them, but, as a general rule, you should be able to open the trunk of your vehicle even if you are using a bike rack. Unfortunately, some models may present a problem when you are doing this, which is why it’s important to be informed in advance.
Because using a bike rack can tamper with your using of the trunk, check out what the manufacturer says about this, read the reviews on various trusty websites, and so on. If there is a problem regarding this aspect, you should find out in advance as returning the product can be quite a hassle.
Not being able to use your trunk just because you have a bike rack installed is obviously a big dealbreaker, which is why you have to know about this in advance.
Q: How much weight can a bike rack hold?
This varies a lot based on the model and manufacturer. As some are created for lightweight bikes, and some are for heavier bikes, the answer can vary and range to anywhere between 50 pounds and somewhere around 200 pounds. It’s important to know if this refers to both bikes or to the weight per bike.
Bike racks are made out of resistant materials – usually, at least – such as steel, so that they can resist in the face of the intense pressure that bikes will put on them. Nevertheless, even steel has a limit, which means that if you go over the recommended limit, there is a very high chance the bike rack will collapse under the weight.
If you don’t wish for that to happen, simply follow the instructions that are mentioned in the manual, and you should be fine for a long time from now on, as there is no point in risking to have any incident.
Q: Do bike racks fit all cars?
As you will probably notice from checking out various models of bike racks for cars and SUVs, generally speaking, you should be able to mount a bike rack on just about any model of SUV, car, or truck, but, for that, you need to make sure that you invest in the right kind of bike rack and that you follow the instructions for a good and natural fit.
Just because a bike rack can fit a car or a USV, it doesn’t mean that it will, and it has to do with a series of factors, such as size and width, which is why proper measurements, adjustability, and asking the right questions before you make any investment are all very important if you don’t want to risk ending up with a product you can’t use.
If the rack doesn’t seem to fit your car, don’t force it, as you may do damage to your car and break the rack.