Best Bike Racks for Secure Storage and Transportation

Last updated: April 06, 2020
Best Overall
Easy to Assemble, Can Carry 2 Bikes and Sturdy
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Best Budget
Best for Value, Sturdy and Fits All Cars
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Best for SUV
Sturdy, Quick Installation and Saves Storage
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Best for Car
Comes Pre-Assembled and Folds Flat for Easy Storage
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Best for Truck
Tilt-Back/Fold-Up Design and Safety Reflector
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Your guide

We all know how difficult it is to carry your bike around everywhere without risking losing or damaging it. Similar to how it’s important to do your research when you’re buying a bike, it’s also just as important to do your research before buying the best bike rack for your car.

Since there are countless types, brands, and price ranges, it can get confusing at times to find a suitable product online. Bike racks are a game changer for all you bikers out there, providing a smart solution to car expansion.

Whether you prioritize performance, a friendly budget, or both, you’ll find the bike rack that works for you right here. Since not all bike racks work for the same car type, they definitely will vary in accessibility for your car. We’ve done the research and testing necessary, and have rounded up our favorite five picks separated based on overall performance, budget, and car type.

Top 5 Bike Racks

Whether you’re biking for leisure or for sport, it’s already a hobby that you’ve invested a lot of time and effort in. Outdoor adventures are already difficult to properly plan and carry out efficiently.

You’ll certainly need to make sure your bike and gear are transported from one place to another safely, in a time-efficient manner, and through hassle-free means – whether you own a road bike, hybrid bike, or maybe even a commuter bike, the bike rack is a smart and secure solution.

man dismounting his bike from the bike rack

But how do you know which bike rack would work for your car? There are a few questions you need to ask first before conducting your research:

  • What vehicle type are you purchasing this bike rack for? You need to be fully aware of your car’s make and model in order to buy the right rack. Big-name manufacturers usually identify which car types would work with their bike racks, ranging from a sedan, SUV, and truck.
  • What exactly will be placed on the bike rack? It depends on the amount of bikes and if you’re also adding gear to the rack, because then it would be better to choose a more versatile bike rack to accommodate for that. This means that you need to plan ahead and know what types of trips you’ll be making for the coming period.
  • Is your vehicle structured to accommodate for bike racks? Some cars already come with crossbars on the roof or trailer hitches, but in this case you’ll need to know the size. If you don’t have either, you may need to install them beforehand.

1. Best Overall - Swagman XC2

Specifications:

  • Rack weight: 32 lbs
  • Wheel-size accommodation: 20” – 29” wheel sizes
  • Bike frame accommodation: up to 59 cm
  • Maximum carrying capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Material: Steel
  • Style: Hitch

Key Features:

  • Folds up to become a vertical, compact unit
  • Sturdy design with built-in anti-wobble hitch device
  • Compatible with 1-1/4″ And 2″ Receiver hitch
  • Easily adjustable upright ratchet arms to fit different bike sizes

Swagman XC2 Sturdy Hitch Bike Rack Review

When evaluating a product for overall performance, it’s important to consider all aspects such as performance, budget, technical specifications, and key features.

The Swagman XC2 met all the above criteria without prioritizing and compromising – it’s an inexpensive hitch bike rack for its key features, is lightweight, and provides an overall great performance.

It’s not easy finding a hitch mount rack with a tray that folds down the middle to save car storage space easily – in fact, the Swagman XC2 is only one of two in the market that offers this feature. It’s specially designed to remain sturdy, with an anti-wobble hitch device that ensures your bike stays in place.

Accommodating up to two bikes with 59cm wheels and a maximum capacity of 35 lbs, the Swagman XC2 is compatible with 1 1/4″ and 2″ receiver hitch and takes up to five minutes to assemble. The bike rack’s easily adjustable upright ratchet arms make it a strong contender among its close competition.

Popular among bikers, the Swagman XC2 has a couple of issues worth noting. First, it clamps to the car frame, meaning your bike can experience scratches.

Second, with the locking hitch pin sold separately, there are no security measures to ensure the bike doesn’t fall off. However, given its price and performance, the bike rack delivers on all other aspects.

With a wide variety of bike racks available in the market ranging in both price and performance, Swagman is one of the first brands to both design and market bike racks. Backed up by many key athletes and brand ambassadors, the brand plants emphasis on the constant release of new and innovative products to cater to all bikers out there.

While it’s not the fanciest rack out there, the Swagman XC2 definitely delivers on performance and durability given its moderate price.

It also offers easy transport for both adults and children’s bikes, accommodating bike types ranging from cruiser bikes, full-suspension bikes, downhill bikes, BMX bikes, and Y Frame designed-bikes, all without the hassle of removing the wheels.

Pros
  • Easy to assemble and adjust
  • Sturdy and keeps the bike stable
  • Saves storage space
  • Versatile and can transport up to 2 bikes
  • Has easily adjustable upright ratchet arms
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Lacks security features 
  • No straps to secure bike wheels 
  • Clamps contact the frame

2. Best Budget - Allen Sports Deluxe

Specifications:

  • Rack weight: 7.5 lbs
  • Maximum carrying capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Bike Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Style: Trunk

Key Features:

  • Dual compound cradles
  • Lightweight
  • Padded lower frame to prevent bike to frame contact
  • Individual tie-down cradles to keep bikes in place
  • Patented design to fit all vehicles (sedans, trucks, SUVs)
  • Fully assembled
  • Wide legs to distribute bike load
  • Side straps for stability
  • Quick fold and setup design

Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack Review

We all know how difficult it is to find a good quality product that delivers on both performance and value, while accommodating your biking needs. If there’s one thing you can guarantee when making your budget-friendly purchase, it’s that the Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack does the job at a very competitive price.

Allen Sports is one of the more well known brands in the market, so you know you’re getting a good product based on their excellent reputation.

Upon arrival, you’ll be pleased to know that no tools are required to set up the Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack up – it’s pre-assembled and ready for attachment! On first impressions, you might be worried that the rack won’t be compact enough to fit in your car’s trunk, but you’ll find that it’s the exact opposite.

One thing though – make sure you thoroughly read and follow the rack assembly instructions. It takes two minutes, and all you have to do is make sure the lock the pins and place the top rubber pads flat on top of the vehicle, then proceed to fasten the side, bottom, and top straps.

Load the bikes only when this process is complete, otherwise you’re gonna have a bad time. Seemingly made from good quality material, the rack can carry all types of children’s, adult’s, and sports bikes around, with a maximum of 2 bikes weighing 35 lbs.

Its straps are long, and this model is actually an improved version that provides additional side straps which were not present in the previous model. The straps are nylon, making them more durable than their plastic or rubber alternatives.

It also has foam bumpers to ensure your bike doesn’t get scratched, however there is a possibility these will wear out with time. Worries may arise about securing the bike to the car or even securing the bikes to the rack, but you can always place a piece of cloth on the bike pedals to secure its wheels in place and protect your car.

The wheels and frame are quite close to the trunk due to the small size of the rack’s frame, but this also enables it to keep the weight down. You can open your trunk with the rack mounted, but bear in mind that naturally, some hooks might come undone. In all cases, that’s still better than having to disassemble the rack everytime you open the trunk.

Overall, the Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is perfect for those who are looking for an affordable, easy to set up, and durable rack. You’ll find sturdier and bigger options in the market, but it’s unbeatable in terms of its performance to price ratio.

The rack’s small size may make you hesitant to take it on long trips, but it’s absolutely fine – allow this rack to enable your love for the outdoors!

Pros
  • Arrives pre-assembled and ready to attach easily
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and compact so that it can be stored in the trunk
  • Car trunk can be opened while the rack is attached
  • Compatible with many car types and sizes
  • Provides horizontal stability due to the available side straps
Cons
  • Needs to be set up properly as per the instructions to avoid scratching your car
  • No security measures taken to lock the bike in place

3. Best For SUV - Allen Sports Racks

Specifications:

  • Rack weight: 22 lbs
  • Maximum carrying capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Bike Capacity: 4 bikes
  • Material: Steel
  • Style: Hitch

Key Features:

  • Quick install locking hitch insert for flexibility
  • Quick folding 22” carry arms
  • Securing anti-wobble device installation
  • Securing tie-down straps for protection
  • Rapid tilt-away main mast

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch Review

With healthy living becoming a global trend these days, many direct themselves to biking to fulfill their exercise quota for the day – including groups of family and friends that will need to head to the outdoors to do so!

The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks will allow you to transport up to 4 bikes on your camping excursions or road trips, are reasonably priced, and pretty simply designed. Known for their sturdy build, the racks can handle frequent use and age quite well.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy these racks are to set up since they come pre-assembled. The anti-wobble device that prevents swaying inside the hitch requires two wrenches to install, but other than that, you’re good to go by tightening just three bolts.

However, take care – do not attempt to drill a bigger hole for the hitch bolt to enter, because that will only cause more swaying and instability issues.

While the bolt itself requires a lot of effort to remove, we recommend that if you’re carrying around expensive bikes it’s worth investing in extra security measures to keep your bikes safe.

Their key features make the racks hard to beat in their price and performance capabilities. The tilt function is highly useful, allowing easy access to the trunk if you need it to stow your groceries or gear.

The padded cradles are able to swing all the way around, accommodating different bike frames and types, and the long length of the carry arms allow you to secure each bike individually. When evaluated based on their price, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks definitely over-deliver on basics and efficiency.

As with every product out there, there are a few flaws with the racks. Given the close proximity of the bikes to each other, attaching four bikes will almost always be super tight. While the rack itself is sturdy, it takes a lot of effort to remove and put back, making it difficult if you constantly need to remove it to access the trunk.

Lastly, the racks themselves are quite heavy as they’re made of steel, so lifting them might be an issue – but other than that, you’re covered in terms of durability, value, and performance.

In conclusion, while the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks don’t offer all the fancy features you might find on other racks, they definitely offer value for your money. This is basically what the brand is about – facilitating an easy and affordable biking life while still being innovative.

The racks are perfect for groups of families or friends that enjoy a little outdoor biking with each other and can easily handle long trips. If you don’t really need a high-end luxury model, these racks are perfect for what you’re looking for!

Pros
  • Can fit four bikes, meaning those traveling in groups can utilize it simultaneously
  • Can hold a wide range of bikes with different frame sizes
  • There is a lock system in place to hold each bike securely
  • While not in use, it can be folded back entirely and access the back of the SUV
  • Low loading height
Cons
  • Only provides a 2” receiver hitch, mounting the bikes very close together
  • The bikes are at risk of getting scratches as it uses the frame as an attachment point

4. Best For Car - Hollywood Racks

Specifications:

  • Rack weight: 10 lbs
  • Maximum carrying capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Bike Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Material: Rubber
  • Style: Trunk

Key Features:

  • Folds completely flat for easy storage
  • Six attachment straps for security with adjustment points
  • Integrated tie-downs for fastening bikes
  • Rubber padding to protect bikes
  • Cradles have 6” of spacing between each other

Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack Review

It’s important to find the right bike rack for your car, especially if you own a regular sedan rather than an SUV or truck, as storage space becomes a priority! The best part about purchasing the Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is the satisfaction of finding a product that’s not only economical, but also fits all types of cars.

You’ll be worried about the effectiveness of the rack when you first see it, but once you try it you’ll see how effective it can be.

The Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack has many features that make it a serious contender in the market. First, it’s super easy to assemble and install because the straps and tubs provided allow you to effectively adjust it on the car with the exact calibration you need.

This extensive adjustability and Hollywood Rack’s available accessories allow it to accommodate a wide range of bike types and sizes. The soft cradles and spacing prevent any scratches from occurring on the bike, and its foldable nature allows you to save a lot of storage space!

On the other hand, the only cause of concern for this rack is the quality of both the adjustment straps and the fasteners, especially if you are planning on making long trips. In addition, if you’re mounting a bike with a child or women’s frame, you might need a top-tube adapter to fasten it.

But other than the slight loosening of one of the straps, the rack has been proven to work very well.

Hollywood racks is a reputable family company that boasts simplicity and security at a good quality, constantly innovating to ensure there’s a rack out there for everyone. Its products are of a wide range and are readily available, so whether you need additional purchases, accessories, replacement parts, or a consultation, they’ll be there to attend to your needs.

In the case of the Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack, you can conclude that its pros completely outweigh its cons – for the price you buy it at! Just make sure you attach it right, and it’ll be as reliable as you can get. What you see is what you get with this product, at a pretty unbeatable value.

Pros
  • Affordable 
  • Arrived pre-assembled 
  • Folds easily 
  • Has tie-downs for extra security 
  • Easily adjustable 
  • Fits on any vehicle 
  • Lightweight
  • Has padding to protect the bikes from scratches 
Cons
  • The quality of the material of the adjustment straps 

5. Best For Truck - BV Bike Rack

Specifications:

  • Rack weight: 39.1 lbs
  • Maximum carrying capacity: Under 35 lbs per bike
  • Bike Capacity: 4 bikes
  • Style: Hitch/Tray

Key Features:

  • Tilt-back design – allowing for easy access to the back of the vehicle
  • Fold-up design – a smart solution for storage space
  • Safety reflector – increasing visibility during night time driving
  • Anti-wobble device – decreasing any movement between the rack and hitch
  • Tray-style loops – allowing the firm fastening of bikes to the rack
  • Padded arms – preventing scratching from occurring on the bike

BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier Review

It’s tricky finding the perfect bike rack for your truck, especially when there are so many brands out there claiming theirs is the perfect fit.

The BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier is a slightly unconventional model with its tray-style rack, however its extremely effective in the transport of up to four bikes for long distances. The rack’s features are quite unique when compared to other contenders in the market.

Its special tilt-back feature is specially designed so you can access your trunk without detaching the hitch rack, which is quite useful for your day-to-day excursions. The fact that it folds up is a must to save storage space, especially if you are one to constantly fill up your truck with items to transport.

A vital feature that must not be overlooked is the safety reflector – often times we forget that safety comes first! The padded arms and loops provide a secure means of fastening and firmly holding the bikes in place and also protect them from scratching.

The only downside to the BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier is its lack of compatibility with bike sizes and types. First off, it cannot handle bikes that exceed 35 lbs each with a 3” tire width.

However what it lacks in compatibility, it more than makes up for in ensuring the safe transport of your bikes. BV is constantly utilizing technological and innovative advances and adapting them to their bike racks to accommodate for all bikers; touring cyclists, recreational riders, and commuting bikers.

While this is not the cheapest bike rack out there, being more expensive than other contenders in the market, it’s definitely up there on the brands that are awesome.

Boasting convenience, style, and comfort, the BV Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier is, in our opinion, the best bike rack for your truck. The best part about is it’s tilt-back design, because unlike many other bike racks, it actually delivers on what it promises.

Pros
  • Can be folded for storage purposes when not in use
  • Has a safety reflector to increase visibility while driving at night
  • Tilt-back design that allows easy access to the trunk
  • Includes a lock system so secure the bikes
Cons
  • Can only handle bikes under 35 lbs
  • Not for bikes with wide tyres, can only handle 3” or less

Bike Racks: Frequently Asked Questions

Would Bike Racks Scratch My Vehicle?

If you manage to install the bike rack according to the instructions it arrives with, there really shouldn’t be a scratching problem. Either way, we recommend that you constantly check the area at risk and clean it to prevent damage. Contact the manufacturer or the authorized dealer you bought the rack from if its rubber coating wears out.

How Many Bikes Can a Bike Rack Carry?

It really depends on the amount of bikes you want to be transporting, but most bike racks carry from two to four bikes. However, bear in mind that if you’re buying a roof rack, you’ll only be able to transport either one or two. You also need to take care in regards to the bike weight, because usually the racks will specify how much weight they can carry per bike.

What Type of Bike Racks Are Available and How Can I Tell Which One Works for My Car?

There are three main types of bike racks. The first one is a roof rack, which includes three mechanisms: trays, suction cups, and direct attachment to the bare roof of the vehicle. You can also install your bike using two ways, either you remove your bike’s front wheel or you don’t, it’s pretty much up to you. The plus side here is that everything locks in place, reducing the risk of damage to the bike, even if you get rear-ended at any point. Just be careful though if you’re heading into a garage with a low ceiling!

The second is a hitch rack, known to be the most convenient option out there. Once you install it, all you’ll need to do is just lift and attach the bikes to it; the bikes can either be hung or placed on trays. They can either slide onto the car’s receiver tube or hinged to fold-up, in the case of newer models. Many brands out there offer different options and specs to choose from, but hitch racks often come with locks to fasten the bikes in place. The main downside here is that this type of rack will extend your car’s overall length, so you’ll need to be careful when backing up or parallel parking.

The final type is a trunk rack which uses straps, hooks, and its lower feet to stabilize the bikes. The upside to this rack is that it’s usually the cheapest and the lightest out there. The downside is that you’ll need to learn how to quickly and easily remove and reinstall the rack because you basically won’t have access to your trunk when it’s placed. They also don’t lock to the car, so you’ll need to know how to do that to keep it in your trunk when you’re away.

What’s the Best Material for a Bike Rack?

Stainless steel is generally the most durable material to look for when you buy a bike rack. Not that rubber isn’t a good option, but steel is stronger, does not get compromised, and when coated with a protective layer it offers increased resistance to corrosion.

Best Bike Racks for Secure Storage and Transportation — Bike Hacks