In the world of bike enthusiasts, bike racks are some of the most important accessories. These handy fixtures provide a secure place to store your bike while you are away, ensuring that your bike is always protected and accessible when you need it. There are many different types of bike racks, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of bike rack you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. Some of the most popular bike racks include wall-mounted racks, floor-mounted racks, and roof-mounted racks.
Wall-mounted bike racks are a great option if you have limited space. They’re easy to install and can be mounted at any height. However, wall-mounted bike racks can be difficult to access if you have tall ceilings. Floor-mounted bike racks are another great option for those with limited space. They’re easy to assemble and can be moved around as needed. Roof-mounted bike racks are a great option if you have a lot of space. They’re easy to install and can be used with any size bike. However, roof-mounted bike racks can be difficult to access if you have a low roof.
In 2023, the best bike racks on the market will offer all of these features & more. Innovative technologies like smart tracking systems will help to optimize bike storage for maximum efficiency and spatial utilization, while features like built-in lighting modules will further improve safety by making bikes visible even in low light conditions. So if you’re looking for a top-quality bike rack to suit your needs in 2023, look no further than our O.Bike experts’ list. With our innovative research & personally tested reviews, we’ve got everything you need to make bike storage easy.
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Picks for Best Bike Racks
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Our Top Picks for Best Bike Racks
In-Depth Review of Best Bike Racks
The following bike racks are tested on high speed and uneven roads by experts. Furthermore, they’re categorized as per their types, performance, features and value for the money.
1. Kuat Sherpa 2.0 – Editor’s Choice
|Number of bikes||2 bikes|
|Weight per bike||40 Pounds|
|Trunk Access||Loaded tilt|
|Bike attachment Point||Wheel|
|Hitcher Receiver||1.25” and 2”|
The Sherpa 2.0 Kuat reaches a golden point in terms of performance and its pricing for the features makes it unique. This lightweight variant requires less or little effort to mount and pack than many other tray racks. As compared to other bike racks that we’ve reviewed, it’s easier to secure in the hitch and its low lift height makes loading bikes a snap.
In our testing, the Sherpa 2.0 handled most types of bikes (up to 40 pounds) and even when fully loaded. It also folds up compactly when not in use. With its metallic powder-coat finish and anodized embellishments, this car mount for bike looks terrific for style-conscious riders. Furthermore, Kuat versions are available for both 1.25-inch and 2-inch receiver tubes.
2. 4-Bike Allen Sports 2 Hitch Rack- Best for Family
|Number of bikes||2 bikes|
|Weight per bike||35 pounds|
|Integrated Lock Provided||Yes|
Only a few bike racks can compete with the 4-Bike Allen Sports 2 Hitch Rack for a family bike rack. With a 2-bike capacity and a weight of approximately 23 pounds, this hitch rack is ideal for travel.
To accommodate the rack, you’ll need to add 2-inch hitches, but the rest of the installation is quite simple. For holding the separate bikes, the hitch rack comes with 22-inch foldable steel carry arms.
Also, the rack has a unique tie-down device to keep the bicycles from swinging. It also has a no-wobble bolt for further security during installation. In general, this rack makes it simple to load your bikes.
|Number of bikes||2 bikes|
|Load Capacity||130 Pounds|
|Maximum tire width||3’’|
|Hitcher Receiver||1.25” and 2”|
The EasyFold XT 2 Thule is an excellent choice for transporting larger bikes, such as some electric versions, or if you just want a rack that is simple to load and carry. It is one of the most costly versions but includes luxurious features that make it one of the best bike racks. When we received this hitch-rack, it appeared as good as it does on the screen and it is guaranteed to give you a premium feel.
The version EasyFold XT can handle bikes weighing up to 65 pounds each and comes with a folding ramp that allows you to roll bikes onto them rather than pull them up. It’s lighter in weight than comparable heavy-duty racks and folds up to the size of a big airline carry-on bag when not in use.
The Thule XT 2 is extremely simple to install and connect to a car and inbuilt cable locks allow you to secure bikes to the rack. The EasyFold, on the other hand, holds bikes by the frame rather than the wheels, which some riders dislike, and the clamps can be a bit tricky to use. It is designed to accommodate 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch receivers. You can also consider the best folding electric bikes for your next trip.
|Number of bikes||3 bikes|
|Weight per bike||35 pounds|
|Strong and Rust Free||Yes|
The Bones EX 3-Bike Saris stands out because it is well-made, lightweight, simple to install and store when not in use, and adjustable to almost any vehicle. The Bones, which is made of lightweight molded plastic, is simpler to load onto the back of a car and strap on than its competitors.
Despite its small weight, it proved to be strong and steady during our driving tests, especially at greater speeds and with sudden stops. The completely adjustable curving arms fit over even the largest factory rear trunk spoilers, and the entire setup folds almost flat for storage. Moreover, they are recognized as the best bike racks for SUVs.
5. Yakima HighRoad- Perfect Roof Rack
|Number of bikes||1 bike|
|Load Capacity||45 pounds|
|Maximum tire width||3.25’’|
Roof racks provide direct access to your vehicle’s cargo space and are the sole alternative for some automobile designs while being more expensive than trunk racks and not as simple to operate as hitch racks. The Yakima HighRoad roof rack was the easiest to use of the other best bike racks for roofs available in the market, both while mounting it and loading bikes.
It securely supports your bike by the front wheel, which we prefer over fork-mount designs because the rack does not make contact with your bike’s frame and you do not have to remove the front wheel and transport it separately. Furthermore, while transporting the bike with racks, do not forget to purchase the best mountain bikes helmets as you are going to ride your bike while or after traveling.
6. Kuat Beta: More Compact and less costly
|Number of bikes||2 bikes|
|Weight per bike||40 lbs|
|Hitcher Receiver||1.25”, 2”|
If you are on a tight budget or have limited storage space, the two-bike, hanging-style Kuat Beta is an excellent, less costly alternative to the Kuat Sherpa 2.0. It’s not as simple to load as the Sherpa 2.0 because it’s a hanging rack, and you have to unload your bikes to tilt the rack down for car access.
The Beta, on the other hand, is well-made and securely secures bikes, and it’s one of the lightest hitch racks available in the market, weighing only 18 pounds, making it simple to install and remove from a car.
Unlike other hitch racks, the Beta folds totally flat when not in use, making it easy to store anywhere and hang it on a garage wall hook or tuck it away in the back of an apartment closet. Moreover, it is compatible with 1.25” and 2” hitch receivers.
|Number of bikes||2|
|Maximum Load Capacity||100 Pounds|
The Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack features 12-inch steel carry arms that can support two bikes weighing up to 50 pounds each. The rack’s two unique tie-down cradles keep bikes securely in place while in travel. This rack has huge car pads that spread the weight of the bike on your vehicle. As a result, you won’t have to worry about scratching your vehicle.
Its innovative fast-snap design allows for a speedy setup. Its carry arms have a low profile for convenient bike loading and unloading. Furthermore, long travels can often lead to low air pressure in your bike. Hence, make sure to carry a bike pump with you.
Types of Bike Racks
After understanding the best vehicle bicycle racks, it is necessary to understand the various types of racks available, so that you can make sure that the best bike rack is available to you as per your requirement. Depending on where they are installed, the bike racks, which can be used as mountain bike car racks usually come in six basic forms.
1: Trunk Mounted Rack
Trunk-mounted racks are installed in the trunk or hatchback and use adjustable straps to secure the bike. Overall, they are a cost-effective option because they take up little room. Moreover, they can transport up to three bicycles, which is impressive. The racks are also among the most affordable, and they are often simple to disassemble when not in use.
As they hold bikes by their top tubes, they are not suitable for carrying mountain bikes. Also, they are not the safest option because the bike can move. In addition, they may be installed on any vehicle.
2: Bike Rack hitch mounted
Hitch bike racks, as the name implies, are attached to your vehicle’s rear hitch. In such a case, you may offload your bike with minimum lifting. Not only the offloading is effortless, but so is the loading as well. Moreover, the only disadvantage is that they make your car appear to be longer. If not secured, they can swing away from the automobile. Overall, they are a good option.
3: Hanging Hitch Rack
Hanging hitch racks include an arm-like device (called a mast) that holds the bike by its frame. Bicycle racks are usually small, with some being sturdy enough to handle many bikes. However, the only problem is that their design prevents you from fitting bikes of various sizes and shapes.
4: Platform Hitch Rack
Instead of swinging, the bike is supported by a tray-like platform. Thus, with this rack, your bicycle will not swing away, which reduces the possibility of damage to your automobile. Also, the design minimizes bike-to-bike contact, making the rack ideal for transporting two or more bikes of various sizes and shapes.
5: Rooftop mounted bike rack
In case you don’t want to accommodate your bike rack to the spare tire, hitch, or trunk, consider mounting it on your vehicle roof. The choice is more sturdy for carrying your bike upright and gives more storage for other items.
Also, rooftop racks are inexpensive. however, the main difficulty is that you will have to raise your bike onto the top, which can be a difficult task. Furthermore, these racks only have a one-bike capacity, which may be inconvenient for persons who possess many bikes.
6: Bike Rack Spare Tire
Remember that you may also attach a bike rack to your spare tire. This approach allows you to transport one or two bikes by resting the bikes on the spare tire. Overall, they are simple to install and remove, and they are reasonably priced.
However, their disadvantage is their limited capacity. They can also somewhat lengthen your bike. Moreover, when their benefits are considered, they are a sensible buy for your bikes.
How to Purchase the Best Bike Rack? (Buyer’s Guide)
If you are seeking to purchase the best bike rack which you can easily install on your vehicle, you need to follow the below pointers that can assist you in making an informed decision. The pointers are as follows:
1: Simple Installation
While purchasing a bike rack ensure that the installation process of a rack on your car should be simple and painless, requiring just a few tools and minor adjustments. Moreover, weight is also a major concern. The lighter the rack, the easier it is to transport and install.
This is especially crucial if you are unable to park your vehicle near where you put your rack. Furthermore, if removing, carrying, and reinstalling a large rack is cumbersome, you may wind up leaving it on the vehicle even when not in use.
Accessibility to the back of a vehicle is also an important criterion while considering the bike rack. You should be able to tilt or swing a hitch rack out of the way to access a vehicle’s rear door or trunk easily without having to unload the bikes.
3: Folding Ability
When not transporting bikes, trunk or hanging-hitch rack arms should be able to fold down and out of the way. Similarly, a tray rack should be able to fold up vertically to reduce the amount of space it takes up behind the car. Roof racks should also be flat.
4: Locking Capability
When travelling, you should be able to leave your bikes for a few minutes to get food or other requirements. Although you can usually buy the locks or cables separately, it is preferred that the best bike rack has integrated lock systems that allow you to lock the rack with the car and the bikes with the rack.
5: Simple to store
A bike rack that folds flat or almost flat without dissembling is considerably easier to store and takes up less room in your garage or home. It is preferred that the well-weighted hitch racks that could stand straight on their own rather than toppling over or requiring to be supported, causing a safety hazard.
6: Easy Assembling
Although you should only have to do this once (or at most once every riding season), it is crucial to choose models that were easy to install, had clear directions, and includes any necessary tools. Many of the racks did require some assembly right out of the box.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Are hitch bike racks worth it?
Although more expensive than trunk-mounted racks, hitch racks are an excellent choice for frequent users, particularly those who need to transport more than three bikes. Moreover, hitch racks are generally used to transport two to five bikes.
Q2. How does a bike frame on a bike rack become protected?
To minimize damage during transit, sturdy foam cushions form a soft, protective barrier between your bikes and the bike rack. Also, pads can be placed between your bike and your car to protect the finish of your vehicle. For instance, Saris Protect-O-Pads keep the bike frame from rubbing up against the trunk rack.
Q3. What is the purpose of a roof rack?
A roof rack is an excellent carrier that allows you to fill up your vehicle and transport large objects such as sporting goods, camping gear, and a variety of other stuff. Also, it’s crucial to keep in mind to constantly secure your goods, regardless of the sort of roof rack or rail you have put on your vehicle.