A good cyclist knows there's more to a bicycle than just the frame, tires, pedals and handlebars. A bicycle, or a bike as others like to call it, is a gateway to the outdoors and a loyal companion on the trails.
But what are you to do when you want to safely transport you and your friends' bicycles? How do you go about ensuring they reach their destination without any scratches or damages?
Luckily, we’ve got a solution for you.
Below is a comprehensive review that covers the best bicycle rack for cars. You'll learn everything you need to learn about them, including information on their pros and cons, as well as a detailed buyers guide.
Bicycle racks are an effective way to transport all of your bikes to places that you want them to be. There are various types of racks out there, but this review only pays attention on those mounted on the hitch of your car, truc, suv, or even van.
Tons of hours have been used to compile this exhaustive list.
The review below consists of multiple types of racks that can fit bicycles ranging from beach cruisers to bad-boy carbon fiber models. But why should anyone choose these bike holders?
Well, because, as you'll soon see, they’re easy to install, are sturdy while on transit, are aerodynamic, and won’t cause any damage to your vehicle
So without more ado, here’s the list of the best bicycle rack for your car.
10 Best Bicycle Rack for Cars
1. Allen Sports Deluxe Best Bicycle Rack for Car - Best Choice
According to Allen Sports Deluxe, this 4-bicycle carrier with a 2-inch receiver makes getting to and from your biking trips a breeze.
It offers a safe, easy and quick way to transport your bikes from Point A to Point B using your car’s two-inch receiver hitch.
It's built to last thanks to quality steel construction. In addition, Allen backs it up with a lifetime warranty.
Installation is hassle free. According to Allen, you only need five minutes to have everything ready for you trip.
Safe. Since the rack has a carrying threshold, the possibility of damaging the bikes during transportation is almost zilch.
Installation is a snap. According to Allen Sports Deluxe, the company has a patented tie-down system that allows for an incredible 5-minute hassle-free installation
Lifetime warranty. How cool is that! The company believes in its product so much so that it backs it up with a lifetime warranty.
Foldable. When not in use, this bicycle carrier immediately drops out of the way thanks to what the company calls ‘a single pin mechanism’ that it claims patent to.
Does not wobble. The manufacturer says it comes with a no-wobble hitch installation that secures it in place. This prevents damage to your car's paintwork.
Quality steel construction. It's made using a sturdy steel construction with black powder coat finish ensuring it lasts a lifetime.
- 5-minute installation
- Weight: 22.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 25.7”x16.6”x3.8”
- Made in China
- Features 22” carry arms
- Capacity for four bikes (up to 140 pounds)
- Installs onto Class III &IV 2” receiver hitches
- Features individual tie-down cradles, lift-gate access, folding carry arms, and easy assembly
- Many positive customer feedback
- Lifetime warranty
- Foldable when not in use
- Features long arms
- Plenty of models on offer as well (522RR, S525, 542RR, S545, 552RR, and S555)
- Only one color option offered
Thule is one among the most trusted market leaders when it comes to bicycle carriers. And it comes as a no brainer that this is also destined for greatness.
And sure enough, the company says it features amazing features such as an integrated locking cable, Thule dampening technology, and Soft Touch anti-sway bike cages.
Thule Vertex Swing. Loading and unloading is as easy as can be thanks to the bicycle carrier's arc design. In addition, it gives you greater distance between your bikes and provides better ground clearance for easy transportation.
Allows normal access to the cargo area. It doesn’t get in the way when one wants to access the cargo area as it swings away to the passenger's side.
Keeps all bicycles secured into place. The included cable and hitch locks ensure the bike is locked to carrier and the carrier to the vehicle. Moreover, the company has a patented No-Sway cage that prevents bike contact.
Foldable. The company says the arc style bike arms will fold down when not in use thanks to the hitch switch lever.
- Tool free installation/Removal
- Easy access to rear of vehicle
- Has Shock absorbing cradles
- Arc Design for enhanced ground clearance
- Foldable when not in use
- Patented no-sway cage prevents bike to bike contact
- Has an integrated cable lock feature
- Requires 2-inch receivers (Class 2-4)
- Weight: 56.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 18”x11”x49”
- Features an array of practical and patented technologies
- Great customer feedback
- Costs a premium. It's the most expensive in this list. However, it's build quality is simply the best.
According to the manufacturer, this carrier of bicycles provides an easy way to transport your bikes from Point A to B stress-free at the trunk of your car.
It provides a safer and stable ride thanks to the sturdy frame that secures the two bikes at both wheels.
Can accommodate different bike sizes. Also available with the hitch carriers, which are cushioned with adjustable hooks that are enough to accommodate any bicycle while ensuring they’re ratcheted down tightly into place.
Has an inbuilt anti-wobble device. Wobbling bicycle carriersmay be a safety concern during transportation as they sway from side to side.
Versatile. Will accommodate all different kind of bicycles at your car's trunk – children’s, adult’s, downhill bikes, full-suspension bikes, cruiser bikes, BMW bikes, Y-frame designs and much more.
- Capacity – 2 bikes
- Requires both a 1-1/4” and 2” receiver
- Weight: 29.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 5”x34”x11”
- Has limited lifetime warranty
- Maximum carrying capacity: 35lbs/bike
- Many positive customer reviews
- Has adjustable upright ratcheting arms
- Only fits two bikes
4. Schwin Bike Mount for Car - Premium Pick
According to Schwinn, this bike mount for car not only provides enough room for safe transportation of four bikes but also doesn’t get in the way of your cargo room access.
Bikes are secured and protected by strong tie downs and cables ensuring they arrive the same way they departed.
Foldable. When not in use, it will easily fold out of the way to give way for easy access to the cargo area.
Long lasting. In addition to the high strength steel used in their construction, these hitch racks also have a black powder coat finish that guarantees they look great for years to come.
Installation and removal is easy. Schwinn says their assembly and operation is as easy as can get.
Lifetime warranty. The company is so much confident in their product so much so that they offer a lifetime warranty against defects.
- Made to fit 4 bicycles
- Requires either a 1.25-inch or 2-inch trailer hitch
- 5-minute installation
- Made in USA
- Lifetime warranty
- Dimensions: 29”x8.2”x15”
- Weight: 27 pounds
- Black powder coat finished
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- 5-minute installation
- Only one design offered
5. Yakima HoldUp Bicycle Carriers
Yakima hitch bicycle carriers are tool-free racks that are designed to make installation and removal a snap.
The manufacturer is an established auto-dealer with a reputation for producing quality, durable products.
Love it ‘Till You Leave It limited lifetime warranty. This goes a long way to show anyone the amount of faith the company has in this product.
Anti-Sway functionality. Secures your bicyles to the carrier with what the company calls zipstrips. The strips also eliminate bike to bike contact.
Foldable. Comes with a long tilting lever that can be adjusted to allow for easier access to the cargo area.
- Quick installation and removal
- Fits 1.25” and 2” hitch receiver
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Item dimensions: 44.09”x16.14”x12.2”
- Weight: 33.07 pounds
- Many positive customer feedback
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Only offered in black color
6. Swagman XTC2 Bicycle Hitch Rack
Swagman says their bicycle hitch rack provides the best value for the money, and is designed for convenience and durability.
It is for those looking for a rack that is molded on the basis of reliability and ease-of-use. It is lightweight and its installation is easy.
Built on a lightweight architecture. The company says it only weighs 35 pounds.
Securely holds bycles onto position on the hitch rack using 2 similar key lock cylinders. Additionally, available hook ratchets ensure the bike is stable whilst on the road.
Versatile. This rack will tilt down regardless of whether it is loaded or not.
Foldable. The manufacturer says the carrier can also fold against the vehicle when not in use. Again, it is completely adjustable and will slide to desired position.
- Carries up to 2 bicycles
- Fits 1-1/4” – 2” hitch receivers
- Up to 45 pounds per bike
- Lightweight (35 pounds)
- Dimensions: 5”x5”x5”
- Weight: 49.4 pounds
- Locking hitch pin included
- Easy installation
- Many positive customer feedbacks
- Fits only two bicycles
7. MaxxHaul 4-Bicyle Rack for Car
The Maxxhaul bicycle rack for car is a premium product that promises bike stability and safety when in transit.
It makes sure that the bikes don’t scratch each other or the car thanks to soft stability cradles available to secure them.
Easy to install and operate. According to Bell, you only need a couple of minutes to have everything ready.
Quality construction. It's made from high-quality steel.
Is very robust without being too heavy. It only weighs forty pounds.
- Foldable hitch bike rack
- Swing down features allows easy access to rear of vehicle
- Top bar folds down for compact storage and transport
- Cradles ensure the bikes are stable, secure, and separated from each another
- Carries bikes up to 150 pounds
- Rich-powder-coat finished
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Fits standard 2"x2" class iii and class iv hitch recivers
- Offers incredible stability to bikes
- Comes with a fit guarantee
- Built in reflector for added safety
- Padded bike craddle
- You have to request the warranty from the manufacturer
- Not for use on RV's, campers and fifth wheels
8. Hollywood HR1400 Sport Bicycle Holder for Car
According to the manufacturer, this bicycle rack has been built from a heavy-duty platform.
This build system makes it possible for the rack to be easily converted to hold either two or four bicycles. When not in use, it’ll conveniently fold flat against the vehicle.
Anti-wobble feature. This means the bicycle carrier will remain sturdy even in uneven road surfaces. This will helps protect your bicycle from damage.
Installation is snap. It comes already pre-installed.
Convenient. When not in use, it folds flat. This makes its transportation hassle-free. It also tilts down for easy cargo door access.
- Anti-wobble hitch system
- Has limited warranty against defects
- Foldable when not in use
- Holds 2 or 4 bikes
- Easy to adjust
- Dimensions: 36”x10”x27”
- Weight: 82.0 pounds
- Has an anti-wobble feature
- Has a limited warranty against defects
- Great customer reviews
- Only offered in Black color
9. TYGER Deluxe Bike Holder For Car - Best Value
This bike holder provides good value for the money. Not only is the rack backed up by a "no-hassle" limited warranty, but also the bicycle carrier is well made and articulates without issues.
No-hassle limited lifetime warranty. This goes a long way to show how trustworthy this hitch rack is.
Sturdy and handy construction. Moreover, OE standard Black color E-coating ensures the carrier stays rust-free for a very long time.
Installation is a snap. It will only take you some few minutes to have everything done. A DIY installation manual is provided together with the rest of the package. As a precaution though, the carrier rack shouldn’t be installed on trailer, RVs, campers or any other vehicles longer than 18 feet.
Allows for convenience with tilt down feature. When not in use, the rack is adjustable to permit access to the cargo bay.
Fits all types of dual-arm bikes with cars equipped with either a 1.25- or 2-inch hitch receiver.
Bike protection feature. Bar cushion and soft cradles help protect your bike against road impacts.
- It’s a 4-bike carrier rack
- Fits 1-1/4” and 2” hitch receivers
- Weight: 27 pounds
- Dimensions: 34.2”x14.5”x8.5”
- Works on broad range of vehicle types
- Backed by Allens lifetime warranty
- Dual compound feet protects vehicle
- Narrow set carry arms fit broad range of bicycle styles and sizes
- Sets up in seconds
- Has lifetime warranty
- Stylish yet sturdy build quality
- The company cautions against installing it on trailers, campers, RVs or any other vehicle longer than 18 feet
10. Allen Sports Premier Bicycle Rack for Car
This bicycle rack for car from Allen makes cycling adventures hassle free.
It has features ranging from a sturdy steel construction to impressive nitty gritty ones like tie down cradles that hold the bicycle firmly in place.
Convenient and compact design. Folds easily for storage when not in use. Moreover, it allows for gate access even when the bikes are already loaded.
Construction is sturdy. It is made of steel and can accommodate a weight of up to 110 pounds.
Safety is assured. The available straps and tie-down cradles help keep the bicycles secure void of wobbling.
Versatile. The manufacturer says this hitch mount bike rack can accommodate an array of sizes and styles thanks to the carry arm spacing feature.
- Carrying capacity – 3 bikes
- Weight: 22.2 pounds
- Requires a 2” trailer hitch
- Sturdy steel construction
- Has tie-down cradles and straps
- Cheapest option
- Has a foldable arm
- No warranty offered
- Cheaper alternative
- Warranty is only offered if you contact the seller
- Straps may fail after a slightly long usage
To choose the best bicycle carrier for your car, you need to consider several things. Such things include:
Security. This is, needless to say, a very important factor to consider when buying a bike rack. There are those bike racks that have exceptional security features, and there those that have little to none.
For optimum security, choose a rack with locks. This will help prevent your bike from being stolen. Locks are an additional feature and might end up costing you a few more bucks.
Hitch racks for trailers, specifically, come equipped with a locking hitch pin. The locking hitch pin helps keep your bike secure and makes it almost impossible for thieves to steal your cycle.
Besides the locking hitch pin, there are other models that come with cables. These cables, in addition to securing bikes, can also be used to keep the rack safe by attaching it to your car’s crossbars. Locking the quick release can also help keep your bike rack safe.
Frame Compatibility. There are literally thousands of different frame designs and shapes available. You’ll be prone to compatibility issues if you use the bicycle frame itself as a primary point of attachment. Luckily, all rack hitches discussed here offer universal compatibility.
Safety. Make sure that the rack you buy doesn’t obscure the rear view of your car or hides your number plate.
Efficiency. Choose racks that won’t affect the overall aerodynamics of your car. In addition, you also need to think about the ease of installation. From our review above, the average time for loading and unloading bikes on a rack should take you about 5 minutes.
Convenience. Does the rack still allow you access to the trunk? If it doesn’t, you are better off choosing one that does. Also, is your preferred bike rack foldable after use? Foldable bicycle carriers allow for easier transportation.
Stability. Is your preferred bike rack stable or does it sway sideways? Only choose a bike rack that has an anti-sway feature. Racks that aren’t sturdy are not only a safety issue but they can also seriously damage your car, especially the heavier types.
Build Quality. Read online reviews. Do you find any reviews suggesting that your preferred bike rack is prone to cracks, rust, loose bolts or any other frequent wear and tear?
1. Roof Bicycle Carriers
These types of bikes racks are designed to mount to the crossbars of a roof rack. They are ideal for vehicles with a low height profile. They are made by brands such as Thule, La Prealpina, Rhino and Mt Blanc.
Generally speaking, these types of bike racks are less expensive than hitch, trunk, and trailer hitch racks.
When choosing a roof-mounted bike rack, it pays to note the pros and cons that come with mounting bikes on your car’s roof.
1. Very secure, especially the fork mount option. You won’t have to worry about theft.
2. Doesn’t hinder access to any tailgate/hatch/boot/doors.
3. Super versatile for all kinds of gear hauling.
4. Accommodate up to six bikes.
1. Fuel consumption suffers. This is because you are adding aero-drug to your vehicle.
2. You can wreck your bikes and damage your car if you forget about your bikes and drive under something low.
2. Trunk Car Bicycle Carrier
These folding racks fit a wide variety of trunk styles. With these types of racks, the main elements that hold your bikes are just a bunch of straps. These straps hook your bikes around the lip of your vehicle’s bumper/hatchback/trunk.
1. They are the least expensive. You can buy these for as little as $40.
2. Are highly adjustable. You can fit them to just about any type of vehicle.
3. Easy to install. They are also relatively small and can fold for easier storage.
1. They tend to be the least secure. Your bikes could easily be stolen.
2. Your car’s paintwork can easily be damaged by the hooks that hold the straps to the vehicle.
3. Not a good option for heavy bikes. Trunk mounted bikes racks are generally limited to around thirty five pounds per bike.
3. Spare Wheel Mounted Bike Racks
Spare wheel mounted racks are a type of specialty racks. These racks can fit on any vehicle as long as they have a spare tire on the back door. With these racks, you don’t have to sacrifice your spare to lug a few bikes around.
When mounting your bicycles, you only need strap and lock the bike frame into position much like you would do with a hitch mounted carrier. Usually, these racks allow for a maximum of two bikes.
1. You don’t need to sacrifice any space.
2. No need to fit a two bar or roof bars.
1. Carry a maximum of two bikes.
4. Truck Bed Bike Racks
You might be tempted to just throw your bikes in the back and drive off if you own an open-bed truck. While this may seem simple, it leaves your bikes insecure and your car vulnerable to paintwork damage.
Use a truck bed rack instead. It won’t destroy your paintwork and will keep your bikes secure.
1. Allow you to carry your bikes vertically without risking damage or compromising safety.
2. Storing them after use is very convenient as they are lightweight.
3. They are less expensive.
1. Installation takes time. You may need to remove your front bikes’ wheels.
2. Can carry a maximum of three bikes.
But why is a hitch bicycle carrier better?
Hitch bicycles carriers are aerodynamic and easy to load, which makes these racks a great choice. If you have a car, truck or SUV with a hitch, this rack is the best way to get your bicycle to your next adventure.
Generally, hitch racks swing to the side or fold down. This feature makes them convenient if you want uninterrupted access to your trunk or trunk bed. Also, there is less risk of nicks and scratches. This is because the racks usually hold the bikes inches out of the vehicle.
As a basic rule, the more features a rack has, the more it costs. Such features may include lightweight materials, repair stands, built-in locks, etc.
A 2-inch receiver holds four or five bikes. On the other hand, a 11/4-inch receiver limits the number of bikes to just two.
1. Are cheap and easy to install.
2. Loading and offloading is simple.
3. Fuel consumption doesn’t suffer too much.
4. Requires lifting of bikes to waist level only, not overhead.
1. They don’t fit all vehicles.2. The attachment clips may scratch your car’s paint.
Clearly, there is no perfect bicycle rack for cars. Each one has its own pluses and minuses. Generally speaking, though, roof mounted carriers and hitch mounted ones are the most popular. This is mostly because of their adaptability to a broad variety of car models as well as their modest price.
Choose roof mount racks if you plan to transport your bikes regularly and if you plan on carrying other equipment. Leading makers of roof mounted bike racks are Rola, Yakima and Thule. On the other hand, choose hitch mounted racks if you are that casual cyclist that typically transports his/her bikes a half-dozen times a year.