Reviews

LAST UPDATED: February 16, 2020

Best Roof-Mounted Bike Racks: Practical and Safe Transportation

Free up some luggage space with these top three roof-mounted bike racks

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The Review Team

  • Product Network

    18 Products

  • Clock

    13 Hours

  • Reviews

    12 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON February 16, 2020

There are several types of bike racks you can use to transport your bike to a desired destination. However, if you want to save some storage space, a roof-mounted bike rack might be the best solution. It's a versatile and easy way to transport a bike that doesn't obscure your rear view. Also, your bike will be safe and secure during the ride, and you won't even know that it's there. To help you find the best roof-mounted bike rack on the market, we composed the following guide.

  • Best Overall
    RockyMounts BrassKnuckles Upright Mount
    Summary
    Summary

    This is a high-quality single-bike roof rack that can accommodate different bike types. It features a unique shape and solid construction. Fits most factory crossbars as well as aftermarket ones.

    Pros
    Pros

    The rack has a capacity of 45 pounds. The stainless steel mounting straps secure by the front wheel, and the rack doesn’t touch the bike’s frame. The handle is designed for simple adjustments. It has an ergonomic design and is sturdy and durable.

    Cons
    Cons

    It might be hard to take the bike off from the crossbars. An arm is a little difficult to pivot. A bike might sway for a couple of inches.

  • Best Overall
    RockyMounts BrassKnuckles Upright Mount
  • Best Value
    Swagman Rooftop Bike Carrier
    Summary
    Summary
    Swagman offers a solid roof bike rack that mounts on crossbars of different sizes (up to three inches wide). The rack is sturdy, durable, and secure, allowing you to transport bikes with ease.
    Pros
    Pros
    The rack has a capacity of 35 pounds. It offers a fork mount, attaching to the front fork and the rear wheel of the bike. It has adjustable and quality-made wheel straps, a quick-release skewer, and a tool-free installation.


    Cons
    Cons
    It might rust faster than other options. The instructions are poorly written. It doesn't have a locking mechanism.
  • Best Value
    Swagman Rooftop Bike Carrier
  • Honorable Mention
    RockyMounts Tomahawk Upright Mount
    Summary
    Summary

    This is a quality bike rack from RockyMounts. It's specially designed for fat bikes and mountain bikes. It’s suitable for different crossbars, such as round, square, and factory ones.

    Pros
    Pros
    The rack has a unique aerodynamic design and a capacity of 35 pounds. It’s stable and durable. It’s specially designed for tough road bikes. The hook goes over the front wheel, and straps ensure a secure position. There is no frame contact.
    Cons
    Cons
    Positioning the straps is a little challenging. Some might experience issues with the included screws. The cable lock is not very secure.
  • Honorable Mention
    RockyMounts Tomahawk Upright Mount

    There are several types of bike racks you can use to transport your bike to a desired destination. However, if you want to save some storage space, a roof-mounted bike rack might be the best solution. It's a versatile and easy way to transport a bike that doesn't obscure your rear view. Also, your bike will be safe and secure during the ride, and you won't even know that it's there. To help you find the best roof-mounted bike rack on the market, we composed the following guide.

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    Tips

    • Pick the type of rack that is suitable for your vehicle. Some vehicles can only accommodate hitch racks, while others do better with roof rack systems.
    • Make sure that your bike can fit a particular rooftop bike rack. Check the tire size, especially the tire width, and compare it to the rack size before making a purchase. 
    • Make sure the rack is properly attached to the car's roof. Also, pay attention to the rack and bike frame and make sure your bike is safely positioned. 
    • When using a roof-mounted rack, you must lift the bike onto the top of the car. This can be quite challenging. Look for a rack that allows for easy loading and has intuitive tie-down options.

    FAQs

    Q: What is a roof-mounted bike rack? 

    A: It's a bike carrier that attaches to the car’s crossbars. The rack either clamps around the bike's down tube or it holds the fork dropouts (which requires removing the front wheel). A roof rack is a safe and secure transportation option that works on most vehicle types. It can also accommodate almost any type of bike. 

    Q: Will a roof-mounted bike rack fit on every vehicle? 

    A: No, you have to have crossbars on the top of your vehicle if you want to install a roof bike rack. The good thing is that you can get and install roof bars on most types of vehicles. 

    Q: Why choose a roof-mounted bike rack? 

    A: Choosing between a hitch-mounted and roof type of rack is largely a matter of preference. The main benefits of a roof bike rack are free storage space, versatility, and ease of use. Unlike a hitch bike rack, a roof rack doesn't block trunk access or obscure the rearview. You can use it to transport bikes, surfboards, snowboards, kayaks, and more. 

    Final Thoughts

    The RockyMounts BrassKnuckles Upright Mount is our top pick when it comes to roof-mounted bike racks. It’s a versatile and durable rack that can accommodate different bike types. 

    Our best value pick is the Swagman Rooftop Bike Carrier, an excellent option for those who are on a tight budget.