Top 10 Best Roof Mounted Bike Racks In 2021

Updated on 09/22/2021
BY Jim Felt

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Top 10 Best Roof Mounted Bike Racks In 2021

Cycling is a great way to keep in shape and enjoy the scenery at the same time. But to get on some beautiful secluded trails, you may need the help of the best roof mounted bike racks. With this type of bike rack, transporting bikes on the roof of your car becomes easy.

Most roof racks have many advantages over a hitch mounted rack. Two of the most impressive features include the no-contact bicycle’s frame and compatibility with multiple types of bikes.

Among the 10 roof-mounted racks below, I suggest three great roof racks for you.

Some people want to find buying advice, the bike rack buying guide is what they need.

Important Note: Some products may be out of stock due to the high demand. You can choose other products on the post or wait for the next few months.

Best Roof Mounted Bike Racks Comparison Chart

Take a look at the best roof mounted bike racks comparison chart first before digging into the detailed reviews.

ImageBest roof mounted bike racksCapacityMaterials
Swagman UPRIGHT Bike RackSwagman UPRIGHT Bike Rack - Best Overall1 bikeAluminum
Thule UpRide Bike RackThule UpRide Bike Rack - Best For Carbon Frame1 bikeAluminum
Thule ProRide XT Bike RackThule ProRide XT Bike Rack - Best Frame Mount1 bikeAluminum
Yakima FrontLoader Bike RackYakima FrontLoader Bike Rack - Best For Road Bike1 bikeCarbon Fiber
Yakima HighRoad Bike RackYakima HighRoad Bike Rack - Best For Mountain Bike1 bikeN/A
SeaSucker Talon Bike RackSeaSucker Talon Bike Rack - Best For BMX Bike1 bikeMetal
Yakima Universal Forklift Bike RackYakima Universal Forklift Bike Rack - Best Fork Mount1 bikeAlloy Steel
Swagman STANDARD Bike RackSwagman STANDARD Bike Rack - Best Value For Money1 bikeAluminum
SeaSucker Bomber Bike RackSeaSucker Bomber Bike Rack - Best For Subaru3 bikesHigh-density Polyethylene
SeaSucker Mini Bomber Bike RackSeaSucker Mini Bomber Bike Rack - Best For SUV2 bikesHigh-density Polyethylene

Top 10 Best Roof Mounted Bike Racks In 2021

Here are the detailed reviews for the best roof mounted bike racks.

1. Swagman UPRIGHT Bike Rack

(Best Overall)

Swagman UPRIGHT Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Minimalistic and sleek design
  • Tie-down nylon straps for wheels included
  • Locking feature, locking knob
  • Excellent stability offred

Sleek design and great versatility

At first sight, you will be impressed with the minimalistic look of the Swagman UPRIGHT. It surely looks great on any vehicle you put it on. In addition, the whole thing is incredibly lightweight at only 5 pounds.

Such a lightweight construction is actually quite durable against extended use. Also, the frame is coated with black powder for rust resistance.

Versatility is also its selling point. Like most hitch racks, the rack can fit square, round, and oval bars up to 3 inches wide. As an added perk, it is easy to install and requires no wheel removal. That’s why I call this roof rack a highly versatile one because it can deal with many axle standards.

The best thing about Swagman UPRIGHT is how affordable it is. You can even purchase multiple units to use at one time instead of going for a high-end rack. Note that the weight limit of this rack is high enough to transport many items.

Worry-free security features

Swagman uses an adjustable clamp to fit the bike in place. But the features worth talking about are the tie down straps and integrated locks. Surely, the trunk racks don’t lock your car so the security is less. Most bikes are kept securely and prevent theft. Please, double check the rack installation before driving cars.

Overall, this roof rack can be considered the best roof mounted bike rack.

Product Specs

Dimensions3 x 8 x 34 inches
Weight5 pounds


Does it come with hardware?

Yes, this rack comes with brackets and hardware for the installation process.

Will this fit on a cross bar?

It should be able to fit most crossbars fine.

How wide will the claw open up?

Up to 2.5 inches.

Watch video: Swagman UPRIGHT Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Amazon!

2. Thule UpRide Bike Rack

(Best For Carbon Frame)

Thule UpRide Bike Rack

Key Features

  • No frame contact design
  • Ratcheting wheel strap for a tight and secure hold
  • Lockable skewer with single-side adjustment
  • Integrated high-wall wheel cradle

No frame contact design

This Thule Upride mount is considered the best for carbon frame due to the intuitive no bike frame contact. There is a hook to grab the front wheel securely onto the rack. Therefore, the rack will not have a chance to chip your bike’s frame. Also, the front tire will be safe during transport, please take a look at the tire width too.

Now you can rest assured to let the Thule take care of your expensive carbon bikes. It can be a wonderful single bike rack.

This rack also comes with an integrated wheel cradle for added security and optimal fit. A ratcheting strap secures the rear wheel in the cradle. It can fit most 20 – 29-inch wheeled bicycles with tires up to 3 inches wide. The installation is safe to prevent any harm to the tailgate pads.

The tool-free universal mounting tray

The Thule UpRide mounts easily to almost any crossbar. Plus, it requires no tool for installation.

As an added perk, the aluminum bike trays are resistant to corrosion. You can expect it to last a long time despite heavy use and harsh weather conditions.

Unlike most trunk racks, this excellent rack is lockable to the vehicle to protect itself against theft. However, it does not come with an integrated cable lock or a locking hitch pin. They are sold separately.

You can buy a new bike rack through the links below.

Product Specs

Dimensions64 x 13 x 4.3 inches
Weight17 Pounds


Can this rack be set up on the left side?


Can the rack be mounted backwards to hold up to four bikes?

Yes, it offers easy storage for three or four bikes.

Does the rack fit a 2017 Lexus NX300 Factory Crossbars?


Watch video: Thule UpRide Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Amazon! Read Full Reviews At REI! Read Full Reviews At Backcountry! Read Full Reviews At Competitivecyclist!

3. Thule ProRide XT Bike Rack

(Best Frame Mount)

Thule ProRide XT Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Torque limited dial
  • Diagonal quick-release wheel straps
  • Tool-free interface
  • Well-secured with many feature locks

Ergonomic design with torquer limiter dial

The model comes with a unique wheel tray and frame. You will not need to push the bike anymore, and you need no tools to mount or load bikes either. It is overall a versatile rack.

More notably, there is a torque limiter dial to control the force going into the bike. All pressure you apply will be spread across the soft claw pads. Therefore, the rack can minimize the risk of damage to your bike’s frame.

Sturdy wheel holders

Thule provides sturdy front wheel holders to solve the problem of bikes swinging on your vehicle’s roof. In addition, these holders feature quick-release wheel straps so that it is hassle-free for you when securing the bike’s wheels.

To further ensure the loaded bikes stay stable, the manufacturer also adds extended lower jaws on the claws.

Even you are carrying a bulky bike, it is fair game to this roof rack.

Please note that if you use this bike rack correctly, the fuel consumption is likely to decrease due to the wind resistance reduction.

Product Specs

Dimensions58 x 13.5 x 4 inches
Weight9.9 lbs


Is this lockable?

Yes, but you will have to purchase locks separately.

Does this fit 27.5 wheeled bikes?

Absolutely. It is very adjustable.

Will it hold fat bikes with 4-inch width tires?

Regretfully no. 3 inches is the largest size tire it will carry.

Watch video: Thule ProRide XT Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Amazon! Read Full Reviews At REI! Read Full Reviews At Backcountry! Read Full Reviews At Competitivecyclist!

4. Yakima FrontLoader Bike Rack

(Best For Road Bike)

Yakima FrontLoader Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Universal built-in hardware
  • Built in locks and repair stands
  • No frame contact
  • Removable wheel tray with a ratcheting strap

Wheel mount rack with removable wheel tray

Wheel mounts are a great option to choose if your car does not have a receiver hitch.

As a wheel mount rack, the rack can accommodate many types of bikes. It fits disc brakes, and full suspension just fine.

The rack uses a 56-inch black wheel tray and a ratcheting strap to secure the bike’s rear wheel. Meanwhile, the front wheel is held using a cradle with a brace.

The brace is adjustable, meaning it can slide up and down to match the wheel sizes. It can fit any wheel ranging from 20 to 29 inches. There is also a short brace for additional support.

Tool-free installation

Just open the clamp and attach it to the front section of your roof rack. Then turn the spin handle clockwise until the rack is firmly secured on the crossbar. Therefore, there is no release handle malfunction.

Do the same with the rear clamp and you are all set for a ride.

This Yakima Bike Rack will transport bikes on the roof of your car. For sure, you can safely drive your car.

Product Specs

Dimensions56.5 x 8.5 x 10 inches
Weight18 Pounds


How many SKS lock cores will I need for this rack?

Two locks for each bike.

Will it fit a Prius V 2014?

Yes, with a car roof bar installed.

Read more: Top 8 Best Bike Racks For Prius C and V In 2021: October Update!

Watch video: Yakima FrontLoader Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Amazon! Read Full Reviews At REI!

5. Yakima HighRoad Bike Rack

(Best For Mountain Bike)

Yakima HighRoad Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Low profile tray for minimal hatch interference
  • No contact with the bike’s frame
  • Integrated TorqueRight tightening knob

Streamlined protection features

The Yakima HighRoad is also a wheel-on mount like the FrontLoader, but with upgraded features.

For example, it includes a low-profile tray that sits further forward on your car to give more lift hatch clearance. This is especially useful for loading and unloading bikes on small SUVs. The car’s crossbars will be safe too.

Read more: Top 10 Best Bike Racks For SUV In 2021: September Update!

More notably, the rack can fit tires as thick as 4 inches, making it one of the best roof mounted bike racks for all MTBs, even electric mountain bikes.

The rack has a non-contact frame so it will protect the perfect paint job of your bikes and cars too. And of course, there is no need for front wheel removal when securing bikes.

TorqueRight tightening knob

Yakima equipped this rack with a TorqueRight tightening knob so that you can secure your bike quickly and precisely. It is also compatible with 2SKS locks, but you will need to buy them separately. According to some buying advice, this feature is important to install bikes to racks.

Product Specs

Dimensions 56.5 x 6.3 x 10.43 inches
Weight18.98 Pounds


Will this work for a 2010 RAV4?

Yes, it will mount directly to the crossbars.

Can it carry bikes of kids?

Yes, as long as the bikes have 20-inch and larger front wheels.

Can I mount a fat bike?

As long as the tires are not wider than 4 inches.

Watch video: Yakima HighRoad Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At REI!

6. SeaSucker Talon Bike Rack

(Best For BMX Bike)

SeaSucker Talon Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Easy pump-to-attach mechanism
  • Four 6-inch vacuum mounts
  • 316 rust-free stainless steel hardware
  • Power indicator band
  • Hitch receiver like most hitch racks

Incredibly small and lightweight design

The SeaSucker Talon is probably the smallest roof rack in the market. It is built with all lightweight materials. It weighs only six pounds and is small enough to fit into a bike bag or carry-on luggage. Surely a must-have if you are an adventurous type who often travels with your bikes.

No surprise that this Talon is incredibly easy to install. You just need to make sure the roof of your car is perfectly clean. Press down the cups and they will quickly attach to the surface. Although it is small, it provides enough space to carry many small items on the car’s roof.

Four SeaSucker vacuum mounts

This rack comes in a flat T-shaped piece with a sucker at each edge to distribute the force across the panel of your vehicle. It is a key system to make the rack wonderful. Each one of the mounts is pull rated at over 210 pounds so your bikes will be in safe hands. It is generally safer in transporting bikes.

Such a design allows the rack to accommodate a variety of bikes, be it road bikes, e bikes, electric mountain bikes, trail bikes, kids bikes downhill bikes, or BMX bikes. Clearly, the weight limit of this rack is enough for heavy bikes.

Product Specs

Dimensions15.35 x 3.54 x 13.78 inches
Weight6 pounds


Does this come with a back wheel cup holder?

Regretfully no.

Can it work in the rain?

It should work well in the rain, heat, and cold.

What is the maximum speed of travel advised with these installed?

The manufacturer suggests 75mph.

Watch video: SeaSucker Talon Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Amazon! Read Full Reviews At Competitivecyclist!

7.Yakima Universal Forklift Bike Rack

(Best Fork Mount)

Yakima Universal Forklift Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Adjustable sliding wheel tray for easy positioning the rear onto the rack
  • Simple tool-free installation and removal
  • No frame contact
  • Secure and lockable skewer with integrated adjustment knob

Three clamp positions and adjustable wheel tray

The Yakima clamp offers three different positions. The lower two levels are great for factory crossbars, while the top setting works best with square and round bars. Hence, this rack is compatible with many types and brands of cars.

When loading bikes, the Yakima Forklift has a highly adjustable wheel tray to adapt to a wide range of bike lengths. In general, it works well with any bike with 9mm quick release dropout.

Unfortunately, the rack is not compatible with forks – the only thing as thru-axles are increasingly popular, especially in cyclocross bikes. The rack locks are sold separately.

Great ease of installation

The Yakima ForkLift requires no tools for installation. More notably, it installs in minutes. It can be installed on either side of your car thanks to the clamp lever. Also, the bike is easily installed onto the rack.

Note that you will need a wheel removed before loading the bike up the mount. It is generally safer to your bike frame.

Product Specs

Dimensions54 x 6 x 6 inches
Weight9 pounds


Is the rear tire strap long enough for fat tire bikes?

Unfortunately no.

Will this bike work with Thru Axle Forks?

You will need an adapter.

Will this attach to a 2017 Subaru Forester?

Yes, absolutely.

Watch video: Yakima Universal Forklift Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At REI! Read Full Reviews At Competitivecyclist!

8. Swagman STANDARD Bike Rack

(Best Value For Money)

Swagman STANDARD Bike Rack

Key Features

  • Quick-release 9mm skewer
  • Tie-down straps with cam buckle

Standard fork mount rack

This rack is aptly named by the manufacturer. It has a standard design with few bells and whistles.

But being a standard fork mount model does not mean a lack of flexibility. In contrast, it is compatible with many types of bikes as well as crossbars.

But keep in mind that you will need an adapter to transport bikes. Then, it does not hinder access to car doors.

There is another advantage coming with this standard design: an affordable price tag. The Swagman STANDARD rack costs only a fraction of similar high-end racks and hitch mount racks while offering almost the same performance.

With this model, you can easily transport your bike.

Quick-release and tie-down straps

The attached bikes will be secured on the blocks. For more security, the rack uses quick-release and tie-down straps to attach to the front wheel and back wheel. You will save money on buying traps separately.

Product Specs

Dimensions31 x 9 x 4 Inches


Will this work with a Thru Axle on a mountain bike?

No, it will not.

My recumbent bike measures 69 inches from front axle fork to back tire. Can the track accommodate it?

No, 69 inches is too long. The maximum length is 50 inches.

How long does it take to attach and detach it from vehicle racks?

About 30 minutes in total.

Watch video: Swagman STANDARD Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Amazon!

9. SeaSucker Bomber Bike Rack

(Best For Subaru)

SeaSucker Bomber Bike Rack

Key Features

  • 3/4” thick high-density polyethylene (HDPE) body
  • Two HUSKE Universal fork mounts with 9mm plugs
  • 6″ vacuum mounts
  • Three 22-inch rear wheel straps
  • Fully assembled

Six vacuum suction cups

No nuts and bolts are required in installing this SeaSucker bike rack to your Subaru or SUV.

Instead, it can attach to your car automatically thanks to 6 vacuum suction cups, which work with metal, glass, and even fiberglass surfaces. The HDPE body is flexible to conform to your vehicle’s curves.

These cups have been tested and proved to withhold up to 210 pounds. Using this rack to transport your bike (up to three bikes) is no problem. Not to mention its hassle-free installation compared to full-fledged roof racks.

Fork mounts and holders

Once the SeaSucker Bomber is attached to your vehicle, you are capable of hauling bikes up using two fork mounts and holders. Note that you will have to remove the front wheel.

Three wheel straps measure 22 inches, allowing the rack to accommodate most bike tires, even fat bikes. In addition, there are two crank arm straps to prevent the pedals from contacting and chirping the car’s roof.

Product Specs

Dimensions41 x 11 inches footprint
Weight17 pounds


Does the summer heat cause the vacuum to detach?

No, the heat does not affect the vacuum of our mounts.

Can this rack be mounted horizontally?

Yes, it can.

Will this attach to a vinyl truck bed cover?

The SeaSucker Bomber will attach to ridged truck bed covers.

Read more: Top 10 Best Truck Bed Bike Racks in 2021

Read Full Reviews At Mikesbikes!

10. SeaSucker Mini Bomber Bike Rack

(Best For SUV)

SeaSucker Mini Bomber Bike Rack

Key Features

  • 3/4” thick high-density polyethylene (HDPE) body
  • Two 22-inch rear wheel straps
  • Two crank arm straps

Ease of installation and versatility

As its name might suggest, the SeaSucker Mini Bomber is just the mini version of the SeaSucker Bomber.

It works exactly the same as the Bomber, except for the capacity. Instead of holding three bikes, the Mini Bomber is designed to hold two bikes only.

Like the Bomber roof rack, the Mini is compatible with many vehicles, especially SUVs. In addition, it is incredibly easy to install. Setting up and removing the whole thing only takes some minutes if you have got the hang of it from the top tube.

Strong and durable body

What really impresses me is the strong body of the SeaSucker. It is crafted out of thick high-density polyethylene to withstand the test of time. Feel free to use this rack even in harsh weather conditions without worrying.

You can safely and quickly transport your bike with this SeaSucker rack. Again, two bikes only for each transport.

Product Specs

Dimensions27 x 8 inches footprint
Weight12 pounds


Will this work if I have hail damage on the car?

Probably not.

Would it fit a 2018 Volvo XC90?


Does rain affect the suction cups?

Not at all. The cups will stick perfectly to the surface as long as you have properly installed them.

Watch video: SeaSucker Mini Bomber Bike Rack Review
Read Full Reviews At Mikesbikes!

Besides the roof-mounted racks, you might be interested in other racks. Here is the list of other bike rack types with the best products for each category:

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The Author

Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.



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