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With the seemingly endless array of bike racks available on the market, storing or transporting your bikes isn’t a problem anymore.
However, choosing the wrong one can damage both your vehicles as well as bicycles, either temporarily or permanently.
And this is the reason why we’re here to guide you through our list of 14 best bike racks for cars.
Make sure to read them carefully and scroll down for buying guide and other in-depth reviews.
Best Bike Racks For Car Comparison Chart 2020
I’ve also included a comparison chart of 14 best car bike racks to help you with choosing the perfect one for you:
|Best Bike Racks For Car||It’s Best For||Rating|
|Allen Sports Tension Car Bike Racks||Best Value||4.5/5.0|
|Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Car Bike Racks||Best Versatile||4.6/5.0|
|Allen Sports 4-Bike Car Bike Racks||Best for Family/ Group Use||4.4/5.0|
|Thule T2 Pro XT2 Car Bike Racks||Best Overall||4.2/5.0|
|Swagman XC2 Car Bike Racks||Best for Budget||4.5/5.0|
|YAKIMA – Highroad Car Bike Racks||Best Roof Rack||4.1/5.0|
|SeaSucker Talon Car Bike Racks||Best Portable||4.7/5.0|
|RockyMounts Tomahawk Car Bike Racks||Best for Plus Tires||4.4/5.0|
|Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Car Bike Racks||Best for Everyday Use||4.6/5.0|
|Thule Camber Car Bike Racks||Best for Tow Hitches||4.5/5.0|
What Are The Best Bike Racks For Car To Buy?
Take a look at this list of 14 best bike racks which I’ve summarized to get some general information about each product:
- Best Value: Allen Sports Tension Car Bike Racks
- Best Versatile: Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Car Bike Racks
- Best for Family/ Group Use: Allen Sports 4-Bike Car Bike Racks
- Best Overall: Thule T2 Pro XT2 Car Bike Racks
- Best for Budget: Swagman XC2 Car Bike Racks
- Best Roof Rack: YAKIMA – Highroad Car Bike Racks
- Best Portable: SeaSucker Talon Car Bike Racks
- Best for Plus Tires: RockyMounts Tomahawk Car Bike Racks
- Best for Everyday Use: Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Car Bike Racks
- Best for Tow Hitches: Thule Camber Car Bike Racks
Top 14 Best Bike Racks For Car Reviews In 2020
Here we are, at the most expected part. Let’s wait no more and jump right into the list of 14 best car bike racks.
Allen Sports Tension Car Bike Racks
Of all the bike top bar adapters I’ve used (Yakima, Saris, Swagman), I can conclude that the Allen Sports Tension Car Bike Rack is probably the best value product you can get (of course at its lowest price point).
Unlike the Yakima rack which has no internal bungee, this one has a large internal metal spring, which in return provides you with strong resistance and stability. There was absolutely no movement of it when I attached it to my bike.
The locking mechanism with the pin is wider than that of the Saris rack, so secure that putting on of taking off your bike isn’t frustrating and exhausting anymore.
There’s one minor issue with the pin, however, which scratches the frame when you insert it in. To fix this, simply use duct tape or heat shrink wrap and cover the wire carefully.
Also, the product is backed by a no-nonsense lifetime warranty, which I truly appreciate. Should there’s a defect in workmanship or materials, simply return it with the original receipt and they will repair or replace your rack free of charge.
- Lightweight, easy to use
- No assembly required
- Lifetime warranty
- Pin may scratch the paint
|Dimension (inches)||21.65 x 7.09 x 6.69|
|Features||Plastic coated hooks to protect bike’s finish|
Internal spring to maintain tension
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Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Car Bike Racks
I was skeptical at first with this rack from Allen Sports, but after months of use, my doubts all went away.
This trunk mount comes fully assembled, and setting it up is hassle-free thanks to the simple configuration design.
I particularly like the side straps, which give you improved lateral stability and make holding 2 adult bikes a breeze.
An extra bungee cord is a plus, very handy to keep your bike’s front wheel from swaying too much.
Though there are tons of negative reviews about this rack, I strongly suggest you read the instructions and recommendations carefully. In doing so, I guarantee it does the job excellently once installed correctly.
- Great bang for your bucks
- Fits most sedans and hatchbacks
- Holds 2 adult bikes with no problem
- Tool-free assembly
- Lifetime warranty on workmanship and materials
- None so far
|Dimension (inches)||4.49 x 22.99 x 13.7|
|Features||Patented design fits most cars|
Individual tie downs for protection and security
12” long carry arms accommodate a wide range of bike styles
115” wide carry arms for better bike compatibility
Solid side straps
Allen Sports 4-Bike Car Bike Racks
Thinking of driving to somewhere far from the city to enjoy a comfortable biking tour with your friends? Then the Allen Sports 4-Bike Car Bike Rack might be the best choice for you.
The rack is able to carry 4 bikes at a time, a total max load of 140lbs.
I love how the arms fold down while still attached to the truck when not in use, very convenient. I was able to leave it on the van all year round and it’s still in great condition.
Besides, you don’t need to purchase a cross bar to put on 4 bikes, it’s totally possible to do so without that tool.
Assembly is easy and quick with the bolts and screws that come with the product, and it feels super solid despite frequent use and exposure to sunlight.
All in all, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Rack is an excellent alternative to the $250 Thule since it functions nearly the same, but at a lower price.
- Affordable quality
- Perfect for family use
- Can be left unattended thanks to the locking mechanism
- Frames could be made better
|Dimension (inches)||25 x 13 x 3.5|
|Weight (lbs)||4.2 ounces (approx. 0.26lbs)|
|Features||Fantastic locking mechanism|
Solid construction with thick gauge steel and high-strength bolts
Folding carry arms
Saris Bones Car Bike Racks
Saris is one of the reputable companies for its cycling equipment, and the Saris Bones Car Bike Rack is no exception.
Thanks to the 3 main pads that touch your trunk and bumper, I must say the rack has successfully passed the no-scratch test, leaving no abrasion on your car.
Not only that, the straps are super impressive, and there’s plenty of them which you can use to wrap around the bike’s front and rear wheel for extra security.
Also, there’s no need to worry your bike will fall off mid-ride because this excellently engineered rack can take speed bumps, corners and rough-road surfaces with no difficulty.
- Solid as rock
- Ready-to-use (no assembly required)
- None so far
|Dimension (inches)||30 x 8 x 30|
|Features||Carry 2 bikes (up to 70lbs total of max weight)|
6 attachment points for extra security
Injection-molded arms and legs
Rubber-coated feet for no-scratch protection
Thule T2 Pro XT2 Car Bike Racks
Price aside, when it comes to quality, there’s no way we cannot mention Thule’s products. And the T2 Pro XT 2 is an awesome bike rack promises to offer you the best experience ever.
The rack itself is very robust, absolutely rock-solid when it’s attached to the hitch, so mounting 2 bikes on or off isn’t rocket surgery. It folds up easily when not in use, and folds down for trunk access should you need to load your bikes on.
I particularly like the ratchet system which tightens the straps on the rear wheel to keep it secure and steady, and releases them with a single press, a feature hasn’t appeared on older bike racks.
The cable locks are also bonus from the manufacturer when you purchase the product.
Besides, you can even upgrade it to a 4-bike rack with the Pro XT 2 add-on, which makes it much more convenient, though with some extra cost.
- Upgradeable to 4-bike rack
- Perfect for carbon frames, mountain, downhill, electric bikes and fat bikes
- Premium design for stability even at speed
- Relatively heavy
|Dimension (inches)||52 x 16 x 12|
|Features||Carry 2 bikes with max load of 120lbs (60lbs/ bike)|
Frame-free ratcheting arm secures bike quickly
Tool-free, auto-attach system for easy installation and removal
Swagman XC2 Car Bike Racks
I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to the Swagman XC2 Car Bike Rack, one of the best hitch racks for the money.
It’s elegantly designed with the tires fitting onto the sturdy hoops, so that the bikes are safely secured high-up, which results in no banging tires at all, especially during deep and steep driveways.
Also, the solid construction and the quality components are very impressive, making it able to endure constant and strenuous use.
Although the rack does have an R latch, I’d recommend you replace it with a lock since the latch can be easily unscrewed and your rack might get stolen unawares.
In short, it’s a perfect bike rack for those who cycle on a daily basis and don’t want to load or unload their bike after every ride.
- Worthy investment
- Sturdy, well-built
- Versatile hitch-mount rack – accommodate kids and adults bike, full-suspension bikes, BMX bikes, downhill bikes, cruiser bikes, etc.
- Effortless installation and removal
- Locking mechanism could be better
|Dimension (inches)||5 x 34 x 11|
|Features||Carry 2 bikes (max load 35lbs/ bike)|
Soft, frame-friendly coated frame grip arms
Easy wheel hoops movement for bike size adjustment
“Y” frame design
YAKIMA Ridgeback Car Bike Racks
With the Yakima Ridgeback Car Bike Rack, you won’t be disappointed with its excellent quality.
The rack comes fully assembled, which is a big plus, and installation is a breeze with the 2” hitch receiver.
The locking mechanism of the hitch mount is phenomenal, allowing you to securely lock it and even leave it unattended. Also, the carrier can be titled to gain access to your trunk thanks to the tilting mechanism.
The 2 levers you use to operate the carrier are placed at the top, so there’s no need to bend down to do anything.
Plastic clips are used as an alternative to rubberized straps, which should last longer and easy to use.
These are the reasons I prefer this rack to that of Thule, features that Thule hasn’t yet incorporated into its products.
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Durable, stable and secure
- Tool-free installation with SpeedKnob
- Not for cross-country travelling
|Dimension (inches)||48 x 15.2 x 12.8|
|Features||Hold 4 bikes with traditional geometry|
Upperhand lever tilting mechanism
Anti-sway cradle design reduce contact between bikes
Removable ZipStrips secure bikes to the rack
Thule Vertex XT Car Bike Racks
Thule is a widely-known brand for its product line of bike racks, so don’t be surprised when I introduce you to another one.
This bike rack is capable of holding 5 bikes at a time. While the published total max load is 150lbs, I found that it held my bikes, which weighed nearly 180lbs in total, with no difficulty.
The reason why I was able to mount 5 bikes onto the rack was alternating the direction of the bikes, and that the pedals must be rotated correctly so that they can sit next to each other.
The package includes a strap for you to wrap around the wheels to prevent your bike from swaying left and right, which is a nice bonus from the manufacturer.
One thing I need to remind you that this mount only works with 2” hitch receiver, and can’t go into any smaller receivers.
In summary, this bike rack from Thule works beyond my expectations.
- Premium quality
- Extremely well-built
- Fold-down feature eases loading and unloading bicycles
- Vertical stabilizer may fall off when not attached to a bike
|Dimension (inches)||44 x 17 x 11|
|Features||Max load of 70lbs|
Anti-sway cages prevent bike-to-bike and bike-to-car contact
Hide-away and heavy-duty cable lock for secure and convenient locking
Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B Car Bike Racks
Use this Tyger Auto TG-RK4B102B and enjoy a wobble-free, zero-hassle experience.
I like almost everything about this bike rack, from the construction to the componentry.
Assembly isn’t finding a needle in a haystack, it slips into the 2” hitch receiver that comes with the purchase with ease.
Several extras such as hitch lock, lock and straps are an additional bonus at no extra cost, very helpful.
Also, the company has replaced the red plastic straps with rubberized ones, which don’t break when it gets cold.
However, I feel that 3 bikes fitting onto the rack would be very tight, so try to load a maximum of 2 bikes and wrap them with the included straps to prevent friction or movement during transport.
- Fantastic value for the price
- Tyger cable lock, hitch lock and security straps included
- Foldable carry arms
- Lifetime warranty
- Not good for cold weather
|Dimension (inches)||61 x 9 x 21|
Anti-rust OE Standard black color E-coating
Tilt down feature
Soft cradles and protection pads for bike protection
YAKIMA – Highroad Car Bike Racks
If you’re looking for a roof rack instead of a strap-on rack or a hitch-mount rack, then don’t skip the Yakima – High Road Car Bike Rack.
The Yakima HighRoads are fantastic in terms of design as well as functionality. There’s no need to deal with the downtube grabber that some of the racks have, and loading or unloading the bikes only takes a bit of effort. Most importantly, you don’t have to remove the front wheel of your bike.
Additionally, the fact that it can accommodate much larger tire width is a plus. I was struggling to find a perfect rack for my baby, which had 3.25” wide tires, and this rack completely took my worries away.
Also, the integrated cable that locks the bike is very useful, and hides itself away when not in use.
- Sleek design
- Screw-less installation
- No wheel removal
- Rear straps can be installed on either side
- Lock cores are sold separately and are expensive
|Dimension (inches)||58 x 13 x 8.5|
|Features||Hide-away, useful integrated locking cable|
SeaSucker Talon Car Bike Racks
Be prepared because this USA-made rack will blow your mind away.
It is the only rack that was used in Tour de France, and has been tested under the most strenuous and toughest conditions. So have peace in mind that the SeaSucker Talon is very durable and long-lasting.
Putting your bike on or taking it off isn’t rocket surgery, thanks to the push button pump as well as the quick release flap on the suction cup.
I know it’s on the expensive side, but think about changing the rack every time you change your car, then it’s really worth the investment. The portability and adaptability are the 2 things that impress me the most.
All in all, it works like a champ.
- Super lightweight
- More-than-simple yet efficient design
- Portable, fits into any car
- Great componentry that should last for years
- Fits into any backpack, bike bag or carry-on
- Need to supervise when park in public
|Dimension (inches)||15.4 x 3.5 x 13.8|
|Features||Pump-to-attach mechanism for easy mounting/ dismounting|
6” vacuum mount is pull rated up to 210lbs of strength
Powerful UV-inhibitor to keep plastics and rubbers from drying out under the sun
Power indicator signals when to re-pump
Stainless steel hardware for rust resistance
RockyMounts Tomahawk Car Bike Racks
Looking for an alternative roof rack to that of Yakima? Why not consider the RockyMounts Tomahawk Bike Rack? I’m sure you’ll love it.
The installation process is a breeze, though it may take a bit longer to interpret the directions.
What I like most about this rack is the fact that it is able to accommodate up to 5” wide tires, so those who own fat bikes can rest at heart because it can take it.
The product also comes with 2 wheel strap extension for you to secure your bike.
It requires no frame contact, all you need to do is to ratchet the hook over the front wheel and secure the wheel straps, either front or rear.
- Compatible with all styles of crossbars – round, aero, square, factory
- Well-built, sturdy, noise-free
- Great alternative to expensive models from Thule or Yakima
- Locking mechanism could be better
|Dimension (inches)||38 x 3.5 x 13|
|Features||Accommodate up to 5” wide tires|
Easy-load wheel straps
Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Car Bike Racks
After months of use, I’ve finally came to a conclusion that this Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Bike Rack has exceeded my expectations.
It is beautifully and elegantly fabricated with quality materials. The aluminum frame makes it lighter than the Thule T2 Pro Rack, very handy should you want to carry it around.
Moreover, the rack does fold down so that you can open the rear hatch of the car without unloading the bikes. What a labor-saving feature!
And I also love that the rack can be titled away from the car to allow you to access the trunk even with bikes on.
In short, it performs as desired with all the necessary features.
- Sturdy, easy to use
- Anti-sway expander ball works great
- Beefy ratcheting arms and improved release button
- Instructions are not detailed
|Dimension (inches)||45 x 15 x 15|
Co-molded straps for wheels protection
Folding front cradle adds space between rack and car
Thule Camber Car Bike Racks
Don’t rush just because it’s the last one on the list, or you might as well miss an excellent option.
The shinning feature on this Thule Camber Hitch rack is that it’s tow-hitch compatible.
Not only that, it’s capable of holding 4 bikes at a time, perfect for vacation or friends gatherings.
The rack itself is fairly minimal, so it’s easy to put on or remove from the hitch.
However, pay attention when you mount a women’s bike because you’ll need an adapter for the horizontal frame.
- Low-profile, effective and robust
- Perfect for vehicles with a tow hitch
- Rack tilts down for access to rear hatch
- May not perfectly fit women’s bikes or kids bikes
|Dimension (inches)||11 x 42.2 x 35.6|
|Features||Hold 4 bikes|
Integrated anti-sway cradles prevent bike-to-bike contact
Ratcheting straps quickly and securely protect bikes
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Best Bike Racks For Car In 2020
When it comes to purchasing a bike rack, there are several important factors you need to take into consideration:
TYPES OF BIKE RACK
There are many types of bike rack on the market:
Hitch bike racks
These racks typically fit more bikes in a smaller space, which means less hanging off the back of your car. Plus, it’s ultra-lightweight because it’s constructed from very few materials.
Some examples are the Kuat Sherpa 2.0, or Kuat NV 2.0.
Roof-mounted bike racks
The roof-mounted bike racks can be broken down into 2 styles: fork mount style (front wheel off) or upright style (front wheel kept). Both require a roof rack crossbar to connect to.
Trunk/ Hatch-mounted bike racks
Trunk-mounted bike racks, such as the Yakima HighRoads, are an excellent alternative to those expensive hitch or roof racks.
The straps are hooked to the edges of the trunk or hatch to keep the bikes steady and secure.
If you travel once in a while, then this type of rack might be the best choice.
RV bike racks
There are 2 main styles of RV bike racks, either front mounted or rear mounted. However, RV bike racks are not as popular as their counterparts.
It’s best to choose a rack that comes with a good locking mechanism, so that you can leave it unattended and focus on what you’re doing.
Alternatively, there are aftermarket bike locks to protect your bike from being stolen.
Padded attachment points
You never want any scratches or abrasions on your car right? Make sure that the points of the rack that lay against your car surface are covered with high-quality foam. Also, the straps that secure the rack should be coated with plastic or rubber.
Bike attachment points
We only talk about this feature for hitch racks and trunk racks, since they’re the two types of rack being widely used.
For hitch racks, we’d recommend you use a 2” hitch receiver for the rack to slide into the hitch. This is because the 2” model is stronger than smaller versions.
For trunk racks, the main attachment point is where the padded bar lays against the truck. The bar needs to be robust enough to keep your bike from swaying.
The straps that wrap around your bike should also be sturdy and secure so that they won’t go loose mid-ride. The more straps, the better because they add extra protection.
What bike rack is best?
It all depends on what you’re looking for, a rack for infrequent use, or to tackle strenuous, everyday use.
Here are the 3 popular brands which I believe to be a good start, especially for newbies:
Thule is a Swedish company that produces some of the best quality racks at all price points.
The Yakima company is very caring towards its customers and manufactures many racks to meet specific needs.
The “Bones” product line is said to be one of the best on the market.
Do bike racks damage your car?
Of course yes, but only when without padded attachment points.
No one would ever want to get a rack and get scratches on their car in return. Make sure you read the product description carefully to see whether or not they have protection pads.
Can I put a bike rack on my car?
Obviously you can, but depends on which type of rack you’re using that you need to mount it at the rear hatch, or on the roof of your vehicle.
How do I choose a bike rack?
Be wise and choose a bike rack that balances all criteria (performance, functionality, durability, materials, etc.) and is available at a reasonable price point.
Don’t pour your money into a rack that breaks down after a few uses.
How do I put a bike rack on top of my car?
Each type of rack requires a different position and method of installation.
How to install a roof rack on a car?
Roof rack allows greater versatility and hence, are widely used because it can be adjusted to fit different sized bikes.
Do keep in mind that a crossbar is needed for this type of bike rack.
Watch this video to on how to install a roof rack:
*For your information: Roof rack crossbar installation:
How to install a truck-mounted rack on a car?
The installation process for truck-mounted racks is fairly simple and straightforward.
Remember to read the description carefully to see whether or not it fits your car.
Watch this video on how to install a truck-mounted rack:
There you have it! I hope you enjoy reading this review of 14 best bike racks.
Stay tuned for more updates!