Best Spare Tire Bike Racks: Secure Your Bicycle on a Road Trip
These top spare tire bike racks are sturdy and reliable
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PUBLISHED ON September 25, 2019
If you love biking and want a simple way to transport your bicycle to your favorite trail, you may want to consider a spare tire bike rack. These racks are mounted on the spare tire on the rear door of your SUV, Jeep, or another vehicle. They are designed to keep both your bike and vehicle free from scratches. Our buying guide highlights some of the best spare tire bike racks on the market.
- Best OverallHollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire RackSummarySummaryThis rack uses a universal plate that fits most bolt patterns and includes three extension brackets to fit up to 12-inch tires. Maximum capacity is 35 pounds per bike.ProsProsThis rack is well-made, heavy-duty, and sturdy. The bike does not shake while driving, and the rack’s low-profile design gives you the ability to open some vehicle tailgates.ConsConsYou may need a tube adapter to mount kids’ and ladies-frame bikes on this rack. It does not fit a 2018 Jeep Wrangler or some other makes and models.
- Best ValueAllen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire RackSummarySummaryThis rack holds bikes away from the road and hot exhaust. It can accommodate two bicycles up to 70 pounds and fits nearly all spare tires, including those with over-the-tire third brake lights.ProsProsThis rack is very easy to assemble, has a robust construction, is simple to operate, and is very stable and secure. The rack is very durable and reliable for the price.ConsConsThis rack may be difficult to use if you have a cover on the spare tire. The straps may loosen while driving, and they may have to be undone to open the tailgate.
- Honorable MentionYakima SpareRide 2 Bike Carrier RackSummarySummaryThis rack holds two bikes and includes Yakima's signature bottle opener for a post-ride drink. It fits nearly any stock size spare and includes a universal mounting plate.ProsProsThe rack is strong and durable, and its anti-sway cradle design minimizes bike-to-bike contact. It's simple to load and unload your bike, and installation is quick and easy.ConsConsIt's very pricey, and it does not accommodate smaller, children's bikes. You may need an adapter to secure bicycles with angled top tubes, such as mountain bikes.
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- After you mount your bicycle on the rack, make sure the bike's tires are several inches away from your vehicle's exhaust pipe to avoid damage.
- If the bike rack has straps, make sure to securely tighten them every time you use the rack. Check them frequently when you take a break from driving because they may loosen.
- If you drive on a bumpy or dirt road while transporting a bicycle, reduce your speed. Rough roads and vibrations can jostle the bike and the bike rack, which can loosen them.
- In most cases, we don't recommend opening the gate of your vehicle when a bike is loaded on the spare tire rack unless it’s permitted by the manufacturer. This may damage your car.
Q: What type of spare tire bike rack is best for my vehicle?
A: Many products have multiple ways of installing them, so make sure the rack is compatible with your particular vehicle. The number of bikes you want to transport is also important. Some can handle only one bike at a time, while others can hold two or more.
Q: Does it matter what type of bike I have when it comes to bike racks?
A: Yes. Bike racks are designed to hold a certain amount of weight, and you don't want to overload the rack because it may fail and damage both the bicycle and the vehicle. Also, some racks don’t accommodate smaller, children’s bikes or require adapters for bikes with angled top tubes.
Q: Are spare tire bicycle racks easy to install?
A: Most products come with instructions, and many are not difficult to install. However, you may need specific tools to install certain types of racks, so keep that in mind before you make a purchase.
Our pick for the best spare tire bike rack is the Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack. It's made of high-quality materials, and it keeps your bike from shaking when you're driving.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack.