Best Roof-Mounted Bike Racks: Practical and Safe Transportation

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

Best Overall

YAKIMA — FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount Upright Bike Carrier

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Best Value

Swagman Upright Roof Mount Bike Rack

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Honorable Mention

Rhino Rack Roof Top Hybrid Bike Carrier

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There are several types of bike racks you can use to transport your bike to a specific destination. However, if you want to save 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. Check out the best roof-mounted bike racks in our guide below.

Summary List

Best Roof-Mounted Bike Racks: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

YAKIMA — FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount Upright Bike Carrier for Roof Racks

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Best Value

Swagman Upright Roof Mount Bike Rack

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Premium Pick

Rhino Rack Roof Top Hybrid Bike Carrier

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Best for One Bike

Hooke Road Universal Bike Car Carrier

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Honorable Mention

CyclingDeal Alloy Car Roof Bike Rack

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Our Verdict on the Best Roof-Mounted Bike Racks

The YAKIMA — FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount Upright Bike Carrier for Roof Racks is hands down our top pick for the best overall. It features high-quality construction and strength that ensures your bike stays safe in some of the harshest weather conditions. It’s a single-bike roof rack that can accommodate different bike types.

Our favorite budget-friendly pick is the Swagman Upright Roof Mount Bike Rack. This ultra-lightweight, yet durable roof rack is constructed from rust-resistant and sturdy aluminum that is quick and simple to mount on most oval, round, or square crossbars up to 3 inches wide.

Tips to Find the Best Roof-Mounted Bike Rack

  • 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. 

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Lisa Conant

Freelance Editor

Lisa Conant has had a varied and colorful career in freelance writing. She’s written about everything from healthcare to headlamps. Originally from Canada, she currently hangs out in New Hampshire with her two kids and two freeloading cats.