Best Bike Racks

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 14, 2021
Sometimes you need to carry a bicycle or even several ones by car, and surely you want to keep both your vehicles safe during transportation. That's where a bike rack may come in handy. For this review, we have rounded up the 5 best bike racks to help you make a choice. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Mounting location
Method of bike fixation
Number of vehicles carried
Material
WARRANTY
 
PROS

The 22-inch long carry arms can be folded down neatly when the rack is not in use. The arms are made with bright red end caps, so the rack will be well-visible to other drivers.

CONS

Rubber sockets may squeeze the bike cables on the underside.

OUR VERDICT

This rack is an ideal choice for family trips as it can carry up to 4 bikes at once. And since it's made with padded cradles that swivel 360 degrees, it can accommodate a wide range of frame sizes and designs, whether it be a kid-sized mountain bike or a full-sized road bike.

detailed parameters
Mounting location

Hitch (sedans, hatchbacks, minivans and MPVs)

Method of bike fixation

Fixation with dual compound tie-down cradles

Number of vehicles carried

4 (up to 35 lbs per bike)

Material

Steel with powder-coated finish

WARRANTY

Limited lifetime

PROS

The process of attaching the rack to the trunk of your car will take you minimum time. The carrier is also very quick to fold down to extremely small size (not larger than a shoe box).

CONS

The buttons to open the bike rack are rather hard to push.

OUR VERDICT

This is surely one of the most portable and compact products on the market. When not in use, the Allen MT-2 rack folds to an extremely small size and fits into a standard backpack (carry bag is included). Yet. it can reliably accommodate two standard-sized bikes. 

detailed parameters
Mounting location

Trunk (sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, MPVs)

Method of bike fixation

Fixation with dual compound tie-down cradles

Number of vehicles carried

2 (up to 35 lbs per bike)

Material

Steel with powder-coated finish

WARRANTY

Limited lifetime

PROS

The rack is made of high-quality steel and has a powder-coated finish. This way, it's highly resistant to rust and corrosion. So, even if you often use it in the rain, you can have no worries about durability.

CONS

The metal mounting hooks aren't padded or rubberized.

OUR VERDICT

The Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack is a reasonably-priced model by a leading manufacturer. The rack comes with additional side straps for lateral stability, letting you secure your bikes with no backlash or wobble. So, it'll be great even for off-road.

detailed parameters
Mounting location

Trunk (sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, MPVs)

Method of bike fixation

Fixation with dual compound tie-down cradles

Number of vehicles carried

2 (up to 35 lbs per bike)

Material

Steel with powder-coated finish

WARRANTY

Limited lifetime

PROS

Thanks to the thick rubber padding, the rack won't leave marks and scratches on the paintwork of your vehicle. At the same time, the dual compound tie-down cradles won't damage the bike frame.

CONS

The joint hardware is not galvanized, so it may rust easily.

OUR VERDICT

If you are riding a massive fat bike or an electric bike with a high capacity battery, we recommend getting this heavy-duty rack. The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B can easily support bikes weighing up to 55 lbs. The kit includes an extra security strap.

detailed parameters
Mounting location

Trunk (sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, MPVs)

Method of bike fixation

Fixation with dual compound tie-down cradles (safety strap included)

Number of vehicles carried

1 (up to 55 lbs)

Material

Steel with powder-coated finish

WARRANTY

Limited lifetime

PROS

Although the kit comes with everything you need to attach the rack to the hitch, the manufacturer offers an optional Locking Hitch Pin (with or without Security Cable) to reduce the risk of bike theft.

CONS

The adapter for the hitch is a bit too loose.

OUR VERDICT

The Swagman XTC2 TILT Rack secures the bike in three places at once (the frame and both wheels), and therefore it is suitable for transporting not only standard sports and mountain bikes but also cruisers and road models.

detailed parameters
Mounting location

Hitch (sedans, hatchbacks, minivans and MPVs)

Method of bike fixation

Holding wheels with rubber straps, Ratcheted padded arm for securing a frame

Number of vehicles carried

2 (up to 35 lbs per bike)

Material

Steel with powder-coated finish

WARRANTY

Limited lifetime

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Allen Sports 4-Bike

Fits Them All

If you often go on fun cycling trips with your whole family, you surely need something extra-rugged that can keep multiple bikes safe and sound during transportation. The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack may fit that bill perfectly. As the name suggests, it's a heavy-duty rack that can do a great job, carrying 4 family bikes at once. The sturdy carry arm is able to accommodate a vast range of frame sizes and designs without a need for getting an additional extra support bar. The padded cradles swivel 360 degrees, so you can transport kids' bikes or adults' mountain bikes with equal confidence and with no wobble (when properly mounted to your hitch). The rack reliably pulls a wedge against the main shaft, which prevents any kind of rattling.

Best of all, the Allen rack doesn't block the rearview camera/rear hatch of the vehicle and even doesn't require you to remove your bicycles when you need to access the back of your car. It tilts back for easy lift-gate access. Of course, you'll need to put some effort to open the trunk with all 4 bikes on the rack. But once you access the back, you'll be able to lift the bikes back up and put the pin back in.

When not in use, the arm folds out of the way completely. The rack is solidly built and will hold up well even in rain or snow. It boasts a sturdy steel construction with a black powder coat finish. So, you won't need to dismount it every time the weather gets bad.

Review of Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

Easy to Install

The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack is fairly easy to install with only three bolts needed for assembly. After you put all the parts together, you'll simply need to attach the rack to your hitch and use the tie-down cradle system to secure your bikes. It comes with a special insert that fits 2-inch receiver hitches and is easy to operate. It's also equipped with a no-wobble tension bolt to prevent the rattle. And according to the majority of customers, the bolt is really effective at keeping the rack from moving inside the hitch even with 4 bikes attached at once.

Overall, this is a great, rugged rack that is easy to assembly and use. It fits vehicles with a 2-inch hitch and allows you to safely carry up to 4 bicycles on road trips. A must-have item for fun family adventures.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $115.34
Stock In stock
ASIN B00TRTSW46

 

Allen Sports Ultra Compact

Ultra Compact

The Allen MT-2 Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is surely one of the most portable products you can find on the market. It weighs only 2.2 lbs and folds down to ultimately compact size (smaller than a shoe box) but can still fit two full-size bikes and withstand a total weight of up to 70 lbs. So, what actually makes this bicycle carrier so strong yet compact?

Designed with the patented Allen's design, the MT-2 rack is extremely compact when not in use. It even comes with its own nylon carry bag that easily fits into a hiking backpack to provide you a convenient way to transport and store the rack when not in use. However, once installed on your vehicle, it stays extremely stable. Built with a rugged steel frame, the MT-2 stands up to heavy road bumps, screaming winds, freezing rains, dust, and high speeds. It's covered by a lifetime warranty, so you can rest assured knowing your bike carrier will always stay hard and tight, no matter the weather conditions.

Basically, the rack fits most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUV's and needs about 5 minutes to set up and get the bike on. However, if this is your first bike rack, the manual may seem a bit confusing to you. In this case, it's better to refer to Youtube videos provided by the manufacturer.

Review of Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

Scratch Free

Using Allen's patented Tie-Down system, the rack protects your bicycles like no other. The double-compound tie-downs are securely fixed on the carry arm but are able to rotate so that they can fit a wide range of bicycle frame sizes and styles (women's step-thru bikes, slanted, or horizontal frames, etc.). Also, the carrier has a large soft TPR landing pad on the main spine to protect your bikes during transportation and keep them away from your car. There is some type of semi-hard polyester coating on the metal hooks that sit on the vehicle.

All things considered, the Allen MT-2 Ultra-compact 2-bike carrier is surely one of the most portable options available for sale. It folds down to practically nothing and fits inside a backpack. With that, it reliably holds two bikes at once and is extremely easy to set up and go.

Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $54.28
Stock In stock
ASIN B00TRTS0JS

 

Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike

Good Entry-Level Model

If you're just about starting your riding experience and look for a reasonably-priced trunk-mounted rack by a reputable brand, you can't go wrong with the 102DN-R model from Allen Sports. It's a budget-friendly carrier that fits sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs alike. It has a patented design and comes fully assembled with a narrow set of carry arms. The 12-inch carry arms accommodate different bike frames and sizes. So, it doesn't matter whether you need to fit a traditional adult-size bicycle or a children's one, the 102DN-R rack can take them all.

Like its pricier competitors, it can hold up to 70 lbs of weight. It also comes with Allen's patented tie-down system that individually secures and protects your bicycles, as well as two side straps that deliver additional stability.

Overall, the 102DN-R carrier looks and feels well made. It is shipped in a certified frustration-free package and comes in top-notch condition. It's made of high-quality steel and has the finest powder-coated finish. Therefore, the rack is highly resistant to rust and corrosion, and even if you happen to use it in the heavy rain, you can have no worries about its durability.

Review of Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Get the Most Out of It

With more than 3,000 reviews on Amazon, there are naturally some complaints about the assembly and some other issues concerning the Allen Sports Deluxe 102DN-R rack. However, if you follow these simple recommendations, we're sure you'll have no problems with it.

First of all, the rack comes with a precaution that two metal hooks may be a pinch point. That's why it's better to wear some kind of protective gloves when setting them. Other than that, the assembly is simple and basically it's the only step you should take in order not to hurt yourself.

Secondly, do note that the above-mentioned metal hooks rest against the spoiler and may cause scratches. To avoid that, we recommend using a piece of foam or some soft pad to separate them.

Lastly, don't ignore the extra bungee included in the set. It may work great for keeping some loose bits on your bike from moving around.

If you follow these simple tips, you'll have no problems with the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike, and it will surely make your biking weekend getaways much more enjoyable.
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $39.93
Stock In stock
ASIN B00TRTSAZM

 

Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe

For One Bike

If you often travel alone and there is no need to clutter your vehicle with several bulky bikes, we have a great offering for you. The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Rack is a lightweight model that is designed for carrying one bicycle only. Yet, it's able to accommodate any amateur or professional bike up to 55 lbs of weight. That's a quite impressive bear loading capacity compared to many other racks of its type. With that, it holds the bike ultimately sturdy and grips on to compatible vehicles well, accommodating most of the sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs. In case your vehicle is featured with a rear spoiler though, it'll be better to either refer to the manual or contact the manufacturer and get the guidelines. The company is very responsive and has a helpful customer support team ready to answer any of your questions around the clock.

Moving on, we would like to emphasize that the carrier is made with the OE standard black E-Coating resistant against rust and fitted with individual soft cradles intended to protect your cycle frame and secure your bicycle with ratchet buckles. Also, the padded lower frame keeps your bicycle away from your vehicle extremely well. So, when everything is tightened and adjusted properly, the rack secures a bike very well and keeps it in place regardless of road or weather conditions.

Review of Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Comes Fully Assembled

What we like the most is that the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B comes fully assembled and allows for quick installation in minutes. Plus, the DIY instructions are already included in the package, so we believe you'll have no problems with mounting the whole thing onto your vehicle. For those who have zero experience in a bike rack installation, the manufacturer also offers very self-explanatory videos on Amazon.

As a bonus, the manufacturer also provides an additional safety strap that is able to stabilize your bike while driving. Once tightened, your bike will stay in place with minimal movement.

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that the rack is also fairly easy to take off of the car - the whole thing can be removed by loosening the straps with the push of a button. Actually, it'll take you a few seconds to put the rack in the trunk of your car and jump on your bike. All this makes the Tyger rack ideal for commuters and for those who prefer to conquer the hardest of trails alone.

Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack in the use
Last updated price $106.06
Stock In stock
ASIN B01C4WLZ4G

 

Swagman XTC2 TILT

By a Trustworthy Manufacturer

The Swagman company designs products that give users peace of mind, ensuring their sports equipment will get to the needed destination undamaged and in the most convenient way possible. Its vast range of bike carriers meets the latest demands of the bike and automobile world, so by purchasing the Swagman XTC2 carrier, you can be sure you're getting a high-quality rack for your ride.

It's a versatile solution great for carrying a couple of bikes on a platform-style rack. The carrier is built with a 1-1/4" receiver bar and a 2" adapter plate, making it suitable for Class 2 or higher hitches. With that, the rubber padded hooks will help protect your bike's frame when using a push-button ratcheting system for stabilizing the bikes into the wheel hoops.

Still, the major selling point of the Swagman XTC2 rack is that it's designed with the titling feature and is able to tilt towards you even when loaded with your bikes. This means you can open the rear hatch or trunk of your car without a need to take off the bicycles. All you have to do is simply remove the bottom pin, and the rack will tilt away from your car's rear gate, giving you plenty of room to grab bags out of the trunk.

Review of Swagman XTC2 TILT Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Security Above All

The Swagman XTC2 TILT Hitch Mount Bike Rack is very easy to install. Actually, if you follow all the provided instructions, you'll be able to assemble the whole thing and attach it to your vehicle without extra assistance in less than 10 minutes. Once assembled, it'll securely hold 2 bikes with minimum vibrations and wiggling. The rack has a sturdy design with soft, frame-friendly grip arms that ensure your bike will reliably stay put.

All told, the Swagman XTC2 rack is as easy to demount as it's easy to install. This means it can be easily stolen with your bike if you leave it unattended for some time. To solve this issue, the manufacturer offers an additional Locking Hitch Pin with Security Cable especially for those who often leave their cars in public parking lots. This way, you'll be able to additionally secure your bike and have total peace of mind when traveling to high-theft areas. Being quite sturdy and secure, the Swagman XTC2 is a very nice carrier that won't break the bank but will provide you with an opportunity to enjoy a pedaling workout wherever you go.

Swagman XTC2 TILT Hitch Mount Bike Rack in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $362.61
Stock In stock
ASIN B07X4C1KP9

 

What is a Bike Rack?

There are many reasons why people use bicycles. Bicycles require very low maintenance, they provide mobility, they don’t produce any exhaust emissions (unlike cars that burn gasoline), and they can also help lose weight and improve a rider’s overall health. For a lot of people, a bicycle serves as a second car that they use to commute in urban areas during weekends. Others take it more seriously and ride it for exercise. The issue all people riding a bike face sometimes is transporting it to different locations. If you’ve ever tried carrying it in the trunk of your car, you know first hand how inconvenient this can be. Besides, carrying it there, you’re likely to scratch or damage its interior at some stage. Therefore, designers have offered a new and convenient solution for transporting bikes over long distances, which now anyone can purchase and mount on their cars - a bike rack. In this review, we offer you to take a look at the five most popular racks for transporting bikes, among which you can choose the most suitable one for your vehicle.

If you want to make riding your bicycle more comfortable, you may look at our sport glasses review.

What Features to Compare

First of all, when you choose a bike rack for carrying bicycle, you need to consider the place of installation as various bike racks can be attached to different parts of cars.

Mounting Location

All bike racks can be divided into several types by the mo:

  • Roof bike racks. These bike racks are probably the most widespread. The bike sits into a wheel channel and adjustable clamps are fastened down the tube, to prevent your vehicle from rolling off.
  • Hitch bike racks. The hitch bike racks have a major advantage: it is much easier to fix a bicycle on the hitch than to lift it onto the roof and fasten up. The hitch bike racks are designed to carry two, three, and even four bicycles at a time.
  • Trunk bike racks. These bike racks should be chosen according to the design of a specific vehicle as the manufacturer usually does not specify brands and models of cars that are suitable for specific racks. More flexible bike racks are manufactured for a certain type of car, for example, hatchback or multipurpose vehicle.
  • Spare tire bike racks (for jeeps and minivans). These bike racks are designed for the owners of SUVs and minivans with the open spare tires. The spare tire bike racks have the advantages similar to the above bike racks and can be attached to the hitch or back door of your car. Fastening the bicycles can be done by using the durable straps to hold the spare tire.
  • Truck bed bike racks (for pickups and small trucks). These bike racks are placed in the vehicle body. When you pick a truck bed bike rack, you need to consider the body width of the car as bike racks are fixed with the screws to the sides of the body.

Design 

Design and dimensions are the parameters that must be considered. The material of a bike rack is crucial. Currently, we have different models made of steel, aluminum and plastic or a combination of both materials which make it lighter. If you are looking for a durable, solid frame bike rack, give preference to a bike rack made of corrosion-resistant material. The next thing to consider is the size of a bike rack. The weight of a bike rack is also important since it directly determines the maximum carrying load.

Carrying capacity

Finally, we consider the carrying capacity of bike racks. Here you need to decide on the type of vehicles you carry. If you have a big family fond of bicycling, you should consider the bike racks that will let you transport 3-4 bikes at once. Each bike rack has its own maximum load and the higher it is, the better. The carrying capacity of bike racks is measured in pounds, and some models are capable of carrying from 100 to 150 pounds.

Sources:

1. TD Wood Car Racks: How to Choose, Rei. June 25, 2015.

2. Curtis Smith How to Choose a Bike Rack, OutdoorGearLab. June 2, 2016.

3. Wally Phillips How To Choose A Bike Rack, backcountry. July 23, 2015.

4. Tips for Choosing the Right Bike Rack for Your Car, ConsumerReports. December 5, 2015.

5. Science of Cycling, Exploratorium. 2016.

6. Rob King Everything You Need To Know About Roof Racks, Micksgarage Blog. May 22, 2016.

7. Paul Smith Bike Racks - a Buyer's Guide, BikeRadar. May 5, 2014.

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