The Best Bike Racks in 2023: Bring Your Bike on Every Adventure

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Whether you're a beginner cyclist or have years of experience, there’s certain equipment that’s worth a higher investment for higher quality. Safety accessories like helmets, lights, and locks all fall under this category because you want to protect yourself and your bike as well as best as you can. And a key piece of equipment to include in your arsenal is the best bike rack.

Whether you ride mountain bikes, road bikes, or e-bikes, investing in the right bike rack can ensure your bike stays protected and secure. So, we wanted to help. We've done the research and put together our list of the best bike racks to help you know what to look for so that you can find the rack that’s best for you.

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The Best Bike Rack - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall - Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch rack
  • Style: Platform
  • Dimensions: 45" x 15" x 12"
  • Weight: 32 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 80 lbs.

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The Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 blends security, ease of use, and functionality in a way that few other bike racks do. It’s a hitch rack with a platform that’s operated by a foot lever so you can unload even if you're carrying other equipment.

At 32 pounds, the Sherpa 2.0 is a fairly light hitch rack and the 80-pound weight limit is substantial for storing two bikes.

What We Like

  • Easy access for loading and unloading the rack
  • Foldable bike cradle gives you more clearance when you're not using the rack
  • Integrated lock keeps your bikes secure

What We Don't Like

  • Can only store two bikes at a time
  • E-bikes might exceed the weight limit

BUY: Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack

Best Hitch Bike Rack - RockyMounts Monorail Platform Hitch

RockyMounts Monorail Platform Hitch

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch rack
  • Style: Platform
  • Dimensions: 48" x 13" x 14"
  • Weight: 42 lbs.
  • Material: Blend
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 120 lbs.

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The RockyMounts Monorail hitch rack is a strong rack that holds two bikes up to a combined weight of 120 pounds. The bike cradles have a three-inch adjustment so that you can make sure you have the appropriate fit for your bikes.

We really like that the Monorail has a bike-to-rack and rack-to-car locking system so you won't have to worry about the security of your bikes. There’s also a tilt feature so you can still access the back of your car while the bikes are loaded.

What We Like

  • Bike-to-rack and rack-to-car locking system for added security and peace of mind
  • Tilt feature gives access to the back of your car while the bikes are loaded
  • Can add ability to carry a 3rd bike with an add-on platform

What We Don't Like

  • You may need an additional hitch stabilizer for heavier loads
  • Difficult to remove and store

BUY: RockyMounts Monorail Platform Hitch Rack

Best Bike Rack for SUVs - Saris Superclamp HD2

Saris Superclamp HD 2-Bike Hitch Rack

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch rack
  • Style: Platform
  • Dimensions: 49.67" x 12.71" x 15.71"
  • Weight: 38 lbs.
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 120 lbs.

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The Saris Superclamp HD 2 is a heavy-duty bike that fits 2 in. hitch receivers like you would find on larger vehicles like a truck or SUV. The mounting point is the wheels, but the clamp hooks completely avoid your bike's frame. Plus, there’s a tilting feature to give you access to the back of the vehicle.

What sets the Saris Superclamp apart from other racks in its class is the universal fit of the wheel tray and arms. That means you can fit almost any type of bike on this rack up to the 120-pound weight limit.

What We Like

  • Universal tray and adjustable arms make this a versatile rack
  • Clamp hooks do not touch the frame
  • RV-hitch compatible

What We Don't Like

  • No options to extend and carry more bikes
  • Hitch bracket is not permanent and may come loose over time

BUY: Saris Superclamp HD 2-Bike Hitch Rack

Best Bike Rack for Electric Bikes - Thule Easyfold XT 2

Thule Easyfold XT 2

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch rack
  • Style: Platform
  • Dimensions: 48.4" x 25" x 26.75"
  • Weight: 45 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum, plastic
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 130 lbs.

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Because electric bikes can be heavy, you may expect the bike rack to be cumbersome as well. But, the Thule Easyfold XT 2 is as easy to install and remove as it is to operate. No tools are required and the rack folds to a fairly compact size. There are also wheels and a carrying handle integrated into the design.

What we like most about this rack is the bike loading ramp. Why? Heavier bikes can be tough to load, but this rack’s torque control knob makes it easy to adjust the storage tension.

What We Like

  • Comes equipped with a bike loading ramp
  • Torque knob and ratchet wheel straps for easy adjustments to the tension
  • Rack folds when removed and has wheels for transport

What We Don't Like

  • Some parts of the rack are plastic and can break easily
  • Tire width limit is 3" and you have to buy an extender for thicker tires

BUY: Thule Easyfold XT 2

Best Trunk Bike Rack - Saris Bones 805 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Saris Bones 805 2-Bike Trunk Rack

SPECS

  • Rack type: Trunk rack
  • Style: N/A
  • Dimensions: 22" x 16" x 8"
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 35 lbs.

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We understand that not everyone needs a heavy-duty bike rack, especially if you're only going to be transporting light bikes like you would use for cycling. The Saris Bones 805 two-bike rack is a trunk mount rack that has all of the basics you'll need in a bike rack.

The mounting point on the Saris Bones 805 is a ratchet strap system that wraps around the frame of the bike in two places. We like that these straps are spaced—if you have two bikes, they won’t come into contact with each other.

What We Like

  • Easy to install and remove due to its simple design and light weight
  • Can comfortably hold two cycling bikes or other light bike types
  • Highly adjustable to fit most types of cars and SUVs

What We Don't Like

  • Ratchet straps could cause scuffing of the frame if not tightened properly
  • Rack doesn’t fold so it can be awkward to store

BUY: Saris Bones 805 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Best Car Bike Rack - Thule OutWay Platform Bike Mount

Thule Outway Platform Bike Mount

SPECS

  • Rack type: Trunk rack
  • Style: N/A
  • Dimensions: 24.5" x 30.7" x 31"
  • Weight: 18.3 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 66 lbs.

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The thing about trunk racks that worries most people is the movement of the bike when you hit potholes, speed bumps, or any other debris that could cause vibrations. The key to a good trunk rack is a tight fit that removes as much of this as possible.

The Thule OutWay Platform bike mount is unique among trunk racks because it has a full platform for frame support, and Thule's AcuTight torque knobs to adjust the tension. The platform creates a wide point of contact between the rack and the frame for max stability.

What We Like

  • The platform mount creates a more stable trunk rack experience
  • Thule's AcuTight Torque knobs create constant tension on the bike
  • The light weight rack is easy to install and remove and fits most sedans

What We Don't Like

  • You need a frame adapter for women's bikes
  • No trunk access while your bikes are loaded

BUY: Thule OutWay Platform Bike Mount

Best Bike Rack for RVs - Swagman Bicycle Carrier Traveler XC2 RV Hitch Mount

Swagman Bicycle Carrier Traveler XC2 RV Hitch Mount

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch rack
  • Style: Platform
  • Dimensions: 5" x 35 "x 11"
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Bike capacity: 2
  • Weight limit: 70 lbs.

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Swagman Traveler XC2 is a heavy-duty bike rack designed for large hitch connections like you find on RVs and trailers. It’s relatively light compared to other racks in its class, and because of this it only holds 75 lbs total between the two bikes.

However, the cross bar folds so you can access the rear of the RV or trailer even while the rack is loaded and the rack is easily installed once you assemble it. There’s also an accessory that allows you to mount this rack on continuous weld RV bumpers.

What We Like

  • Foldable while installed so you can have access to rear compartments of the vehicle
  • Can attach to continuous weld RV bumpers
  • Multiple accessories that you can buy to customize the rack

What We Don't Like

  • Locking pin for the hitch is sold separately
  • Platform is not adjustable to accommodate different tire widths

BUY: Swagman Bicycle Carrier Traveler XC2 RV Hitch Mount

Best 4 Bike Rack - Inno Racks Tire Hold Hitch 4 Bike Rack

Inno Racks Tire Hold Hitch 4 Bike Rack

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch mount
  • Style: Platform
  • Dimensions: 33" x 12" x 28"
  • Weight: 85 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Bike capacity: 4
  • Weight limit: 160 lbs.

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If traveling in a group or riding bikes is a family affair for you, then you'll likely need a bike rack that can accommodate as many bikes as possible. That is exactly what the Inno Racks four-bike rack was made for.

This rack is heavy duty at 85 pounds and can hold up to 160 pounds worth of bikes. With a unique construction, each tray on this rack can hold a 60 pound E-bike. Since the hitch can handle 160 pounds, you’re able to transport two of those if you prefer.

What We Like

  • Tire hold does not come into contact with the frame or the fork
  • E-bike capacity as each tray can hold up to 60 lbs.
  • Includes lock cables and security keys

What We Don't Like

  • 2" hitch compatibility may not fit most sedans
  • At 85 lbs. the rack is heavy and could be cumbersome

BUY: Inno Racks Tire Hold Hitch 4-Bike Rack

Best Roof Bike Rack - Thule UpRide

Thule Upride

SPECS

  • Rack type: Roof rack
  • Style: N/A
  • Dimensions: 64" x 13" x 4.3"
  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Bike capacity: 1
  • Weight limit: 44 lbs.

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Roof bike racks aren't for everyone, but they’re a solid option for smaller cars and midsize SUVs, especially if you're worried about access to your trunk space or worried about ground clearance.

The Thule UpRide uses a strap on both wheels of the bike to secure it to the roof of your car with a full wheel lock on the front tire. It’s also light and easy to install and operate.

What We Like

  • Roof racks keep the bikes out of sight and out of mind until you need them
  • Tire clamps do not touch the frame and keep the bike secure
  • Rack is strong enough to carry heavy bikes

What We Don't Like

  • Locks are not included
  • Thicker tires require an additional adapter purchased separately

BUY: Thule UpRide

Best Budget Bike Rack - Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount

Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount

SPECS

  • Rack type: Hitch rack
  • Style: Hanging cradle
  • Dimensions: 26.38" x 12.2" x 13.98"
  • Weight: 23 lbs.
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Bike capacity: 4
  • Weight limit: 140 lbs.

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You've probably noticed that bike racks can get fairly expensive. While a good rack is a worthwhile investment, it might not be realistic for you to drop a considerable amount on one. That’s why we wanted to highlight the Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike hitch mount as the most budget-friendly option.

Easy to install and use, it folds to a nice compact size, and it tilts to allow you to access the back of your vehicle. However, you’ll likely experience more movement on your bikes as you travel than more expensive, more secure options.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly 
  • Folds while not in use so you don't have to uninstall
  • Can hold 4 bikes up to 35 lbs. each

What We Don't Like

  • No locks that are made to lock the rack to the car
  • Straps are not as secure as other options

BUY: Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount

What to Consider When Buying a Bike Rack


Rack Type

When we're talking about type, what we really mean is the placement and function of the bike rack. There are several types, but the most common are hitch racks, roof racks, trunk racks, and spare tire mounts. Each mount has a different purpose.

  • Hitch racks connect to your car via a trailer hitch. These racks are generally stronger and able to carry more bikes and weight than other rack types.
  • Roof racks attach to the roof of your car similar to a luggage rack. These racks can be a bit more difficult to access since they’re on the car's roof, but are still a good option if you want access to your trunk or are worried about visibility.
  • Trunk racks are less expensive than the other rack types. They're also typically the simplest to install but are less secure than other types.
  • Spare tire mounts are a niche rack type that only works for sports utility vehicles with a spare tire mount on the back. But, these racks are comparable to trunk racks in their function and cost.

Style

Hitch racks come in two different styles: hanging cradle and platform. Hanging racks are lighter and give you more ground clearance while platform style makes the loading process much easier and more secure.

FAQs About Bike Racks


What style bike rack is best?

Bike rack styles have different purposes, and it depends on what you want to use the rack for. If you want maximum security, a hitch rack platform is the best choice for you.

If you're looking to keep the bike out of your way as you travel, you might consider a roof rack. Likewise, a trunk rack might be the best option if you're on a budget.

Do bike racks damage your car?

Bike racks should not damage your car if they are installed properly. However, depending on what type and quality of rack you get, your bikes may move during transit and bump your car which could cause minor damage.

Do you leave your bike rack on your car?

Many bike racks are designed to be left on your car even when not in use. But, most bike racks are fairly easy to remove so the choice is yours about whether to leave it on or not.

Are hitch bike racks worth it?

Hitch racks are the most secure and overall best racks in our opinion. They are also typically the most expensive, but many people view hitch racks as an investment to protect a more expensive cost: their bike. Bikes can be expensive and aren’t something you’ll want to replace regularly so investing in a high-quality hitch rack may be worth it for you.

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