The Top 6 Bike Racks For Cars Reviewed
Biking is a highly enjoyable and healthy habit for people of all ages and backgrounds, but cycling through the same streets and routes day after day can get a little tedious.
By equipping your vehicle with a car bike rack, the door to a whole world of new adventures is flung wide open. Better still, those exploration experiences can be enjoyed by all the family.
The best bike racks for cars instantly transform your vehicle to provide you with new opportunities for days out around the city or even further afield. Alternatively, you can enjoy cycling on a family adventure holiday or weekend camping trip. The possibilities are endless, and can completely transform your family’s approach to leisurely activities.
Perhaps the most difficult task, though, revolves around finding the perfect bike rack for your car. The marketplace is saturated with many different brands, styles, and sizes. We’ve picked five of the best value bike racks on the market. You’ll be king of the road in no time.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Car Bike Rack is the Saris SuperClamp EX.
Best Bike Racks For Cars
There are a number of different racks available for transporting your bicycle with your car, including several very innovative designs. But one thing became clear as we started comparing features – not all of them are created equal. After analyzing feature sets and listening to owner feedback, we came up with our list of the best bike racks for cars:
Bike racks are tricky to get right. You want something rigid enough to allow you to drive without continually worrying, but you also need something that cuts wind resistance too.
Saris thinks that it might have cracked that nut with its SuperClamp EX. The rack fits on the back of the car, but instead of using straps that fit behind the boot door, it attaches to a tow bar instead. The result is a rack that feels tough and sturdy and won’t affect your mileage nearly as much as a roof rack.
While there are many so-called “platform hitch” racks on the market, Saris claims that their SuperClamp is substantially lighter than the competition – by around 40 percent. The company also claims that the frame will support up to four bikes in total, with the two bays closest to the vehicle supporting 30lb bikes and the outside bays supporting 35 lb/bike.
There’s no problem here with weight limits for road bikes unless you happen to be riding one made of lead. But you can imagine that this rack will not suffice for downhill mountain bikers wanting to transport four DH rigs to the nearest course. Getting that close to weight tolerances is not a good idea.
One of the beautiful things about the SuperClamp is that you don’t have to take it off the back of the car when it’s not in use. All you do is fold it up, and it’ll lie flush against the rear of the car, ready for your next adventure. The rack also comes with what Saris call a tilting feature that allows you to extend the frame to gain access to the trunk, even when loaded.
So, in summary, who’s this rack for? Primarily its for people who want maximum convenience and don’t want to worry about fitting straps behind the trunk door every time they take their bikes away. The tow-bar attachment is a significant upgrade over the traditional way of doing things and is great for peace of mind.
Saris SuperClamp EX
- 2 bikes 60 lb/bike in trays closest to vehicle: 35 lb/bike for outside two trays
- Two shepherd hooks hold bike by the top of wheels and does not touch the frame
- Integrated locking cable secures bikes to the rack
- Locking hitch pin secures rack to a 2″ reciever hitch
- Tilting feature allows access to the vehicle when loaded and folds up when not
The Allen Sports hitch rack can secure up to four bicycles to the back of your car courtesy of a simple tie-down system that is used on any 2” trailer hitch. The sleek black design that carries the Allen Sports branding is sturdy yet lightweight while it can also be folded away for easy storage when not in use. This makes it a very practical solution indeed.
While certainly designed with bigger bicycles in mind (adult and teen bikes), it is possible to attach a child’s bike to the car bike rack. Unlike many options on the market that overcomplicate things with seat stabilizers and other unnecessary items, the Allen Sports model focuses simply on fixing bicycles to the car while providing easy attaching and detaching features.
This is supported further by the tilt mechanism that allows you to easily access the trunk of the car even without removing the attached bicycles. This is ideal for those long journeys where you may need to access an item during a pitstop en route to the final destination or if you want to set up camp after arriving at your destination.
The metal bars are solid, study, and built to withstand harsh weather conditions and the bumps that may be encountered from frequent use and long drives. Crucially, all components, including the folding arms and tie down mechanism all boast exceptional quality and robustness. Moreover, the no-wobble properties ensure that the rack (and your precious bikes) aren’t going anywhere.
For simple function, stunning style, and an easy installation, the Allen Sports 4-bike hitch rack is a great place to start.
- 4-bike rack fits vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch only . Vehicle will require professionally installed Class III or IV 2" hitch to use this product
- 22-inch long carry arms individually secure bicycles with Allen's patented tie-down system
- Folding carry arms quickly drop out of the way when rack is not in use
- Rack sets up and installs in less than 5 minutes
- Sturdy steel construction with black powder coat finish; Lifetime warranty
The Swagman XC Cross-County Hitch Mount Rack is only suitable for up to two bikes. However, couples and those that only need two bikes fixed to the back of their vehicle may find that this is one of the best car bike racks on the market. It’s durable components and pleasing price offer great value for money.
With capabilities of attaching to hitch mounts of 1.25” and 2”, the Swagman can be used with many vehicles. Despite its noticeably lightweight properties, the XC Cross-Country rack will stay fixed in place to keep your bicycles suitable secure and protected. Meanwhile, the center arm can be folded to provide easy access to the rear of your vehicle, which is another very practical function.
Following the initial assembly, the installation and removal of the stylish black and silver car bike rack can be completed very quickly. Crucially, fixing bikes to the hitch only takes seconds while there is no bounce during the ride. This prevents cosmetic scrapes to the bicycles as well as potential damage to the chain and other key components.
Bikes can be fixed without the need to remove the front wheel too. So, since you’ve removed them from the hitch, you are ready to ride. The design of the bike rack also produces minimal obstruction to your view while the materials are constructed and finished in a way that is built to encourage longevity. Even frequent users will find that this is a reliable car bike rack for many years of service.
Swagman boasts a great reputation for producing quality goods that offer great practicality. This is yet another.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE: The XC2 hitch mount bike rack only takes a few minutes to assemble and the upright ratchet arms easily adjusts to different bike frame sizes, will accommodate bike frames up to 59 cm (23.2")
- WORRY FREE SECURITY: Sturdy design includes a built in anti-wobble hitch device to keep bikes in place
- SAVES YOU STORAGE SPACE: Rack folds easily so that you can conveniently store when you are done using it
- VERSATILE: Easily transports up to 2 bikes and is compatible with a Class 2 or higher, 1-1/4" and 2" hitch receiver. Maximum weight capacity of 35Ibs. per bike and fits 20" to 29" tire sizes
- ACCESSORIES SOLD SEPARATELY: Fat Bike Wheel Trays (64674), 1/2" Locking Hitch Pin (64029) and 1/2" Locking Hitch Pin and Security Cable (64031)
BV’s two-bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier is another ideal option for those looking to transport one or two bicycles at a time, not least because it can accommodate children’s bikes as well as bigger adult units. Thanks to its easy installation and folding capabilities, the car bike rack is one of the most practical on the market.
The three-point connection offers an extremely sturdy attachment to the car’s hitch while the tilted design offers the chance to access the trunk with ease. The tray style rack keeps wheels firmly in place while the bicycle frames will be securely tightened to the rack too. This allows for smooth transportation free from movement or handlebars tangling with each other.
As a particularly strong unit, it can hold up to 70lbs of bike weight while a four-bike alternative can hold up to 140lbs. The bike rack is very easy to install to the car, although it must be tightened to offer the no bounce properties. When done properly, the car bike rack will offer a very reliable function that’s built to last for several years.
Padded arms further feed into the fact that this rack will protect the bicycles from scratching and other damage while each of the bolts and other components are of a suitable quality so that the bike rack can be used or stored away as often as you like. Finally, a safety reflector on the rack itself ensures that night driving ahead of a cycling adventure is safe too.
The steel frame is one of the heavier bike racks on the market, but this provides a very sturdy performance, cementing its place as one of the best options on the market.
- Tilt Back Design - The tilt backward design enables users to open the rear gates without detaching the hitch rack.
- Fold Up Design – User can fold up the rack when not in use. Smart idea to save space!
- Safety Reflector – This rack includes a rear safety reflector to enhance the visibility, ensuring the night driving safety.
- Tray-styled Loops and Padded Arms – Not only can firmly held your bike in place, the padded arms can protect your bike from scratching.
- Bike Compatibility- For bikes under 35 lbs each, and 3" maximum tire width (Not for fat tire bike)
The Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is available in two, three, or four-bike configuration, providing buyers with excellent control over their purchase. In truth, it is also one of the most budget-friendly car bike racks on the market – at least of the products that provide the quality to transport your bicycles in a safe manner.
Rather than using the hitch mount, a padded lower frame is fixed to the trunk of the car and held in place through side straps and straps to the top and bottom, securing the frame in place on a variety of vehicles. This means that the assembly can be completed in seconds while removing and reattaching the car bike rack is equally quick and easy.
The straps will keep the bike fixed in place while the tie down mechanism is very reliable too. This means that there will be no sideways movement, even when you travel long distances and encounter off-road travel. You may, however, find that the addition of bungee cords will be needed to provide a fully secure fit. Even with this addition, the price of the trunk mounted bike rack is pleasing.
Allen Sports focuses heavily on practicality, and the fact that this device takes up minimal room when folded down is great news. When combined with the speed of installation, even frequent riders can remove the product when it’s not needed for a few days. Then again, the sleek design won’t ruin the look of your vehicle even when you don’t have bikes attached.
For an affordable bike rack that can be mounted to the back of your vehicle in a matter of seconds, this is one of the best.
- Patented design fits sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUV's consult manufacturer web site for specific vehicle fit information
- Side straps for increased lateral stability. Single configuration design eliminates setup hassles and headaches during installation
- Individual tie downs secure and protect bicycles
- Padded lower frame keeps bicycles away from vehicle
- Ships in Certified Frustration Free Packaging 70 pounds max capacity
Overdrive’s 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack brings smart tilting and a platform style to the table. Sides instantly fold with a push of a button when bicycles aren’t being transported while access to the trunk is available even when bicycles are in transit. For any vehicle boasting a 2” hitch, this is a fantastic model, particularly if you seek simplicity.
One of the best features on this model is the padded bars that can support thicker wheels. So, even if you have a bike built for tougher rides, there’s no need to remove the wheels. This means that you can get to enjoying your ride as soon as you take the bikes back off. Meanwhile, the padding helps prevent cosmetic scratches and minor damage.
The security and lock features are particularly well made while the frame itself is made from durable materials, ensuring that you’ll gain a reliable performance at all times. Even when subjected to harsh weather and frequent usage, the Overdrive product will live up to expectations. Bike frames, wheels, and handlebars will be tightly secured.
Easy-to-follow instructions allow you to coast through the initial installation while the bike rack is also strong enough to handle heavy E-bikes as well as standard bicycles. Whether using a single bike or two bikes, the bike rack is up to the task. This allows you to travel with confidence secure in the knowledge that your bike won’t fall.
While primarily designed with sporty bicycles in mind, this is a great all-rounder.
- PATENTED ANTI-WOBBLE SYSTEM: Mechanism utilizes a system to eliminate slack between the receiver and the rack, keeping your bikes sturdy and safe.
- QUICK RELEASE TILT DESIGN: Patented lever used to fold up rack when not carrying bikes and to tilt down the rack for rear cargo access.
- EASY TO ADJUST AND INSTALL: Padded clamps to hold bikes in place and 5" wide heavy duty wheel holders are all adjustable to fit most bikes. Installation is easy with most parts already pre-assembled. For 2" hitches only (Not recommended to use a 1 ¼” - 2” hitch adapter).
- SAFE, DURABLE & SECURE: Power coated steel tubing will hold bikes up to 60 lbs each. Includes key for locking hitch pin (spare included) and locking knob to secure bikes safely. Rear reflector included for enhanced visibility. Bikes with low Y-frame may require the use of an Overdrive Bike Frame Adapter for better support.
- LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY: At Overdrive, we stand by the quality and design of our Bike Rack products. Our Limited Lifetime Warranty covers a wide variety of mishaps and performance guarantees. Use on an RV or 5th wheel is prohibited.
Which Bike Rack Is Right For You?
Here is a great video explaining the differences between hitch mount racks, trunk mount racks, and roof mount racks: