The Best Bicycle Racks (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Transport and store your bike safely and securely
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Learning to ride a bicycle is a familiar rite of passage for many folks. Many continue their love of cycling into adulthood and use it as a way to spend time with family and for other recreational purposes. One thing to consider, though, is that the more people enjoying the ride, the more of a mess you might have in your garage or front yard from bicycles scattered about. Unless of course, you have a storage solution when not in use. We took a look at the best bicycle racks on the market, including wall-mounted racks and racks that attach to your vehicle, to help you decide the best option for your needs. Here’s what we found.
If you're looking for a wall-mounted bike rack, this is the way to go. It's constructed of heavy gauge steel, has 15 inches between hooks, and is made in America.
- Durable and easy to use
- Hardware is included
- Compatible with all wheel types
- No instructions
- Additional hardware may be required
This trunk rack is ideal for hatchbacks and sedans. It holds two bikes and has a weight capacity of 70 pounds.
- Padded to prevent scratches
- Tie downs for security
- Fully assembled
- Easy to install
- May bounce at highway speeds
- Metal hooks may chip vehicle’s paint
This wall hanger mount holds up to 200 pounds, and the hanging hooks are adjustable and can hold up to five bikes.
- Solid metal and heavy duty
- Hardware included
- Easy installation
- Works in small spaces
- Bikes are very close together
- May not accommodate multiple fat tire bikes
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Bicycle Racks
- They're convenient. If you want to ride your bicycle on a trail that's not particularly close to your home, you need a method of getting it there. Instead of stuffing your bike into the trunk of your vehicle, look for a bike rack that makes transporting it a lot easier.
- They save space. If you're storing one or more bikes in your garage, a bike rack can keep them organized and out of the way. If you're traveling, you can put a bike rack on your car and leave the trunk free to hold luggage and other gear.
- They're easy to use. Once you assemble your bike rack, it should be fairly simple to attach and remove a bike from the rack. They're designed specifically to be user friendly.
Types of Bicycle Racks
If you want to store your bicycles in your garage or workshop when they're not in use, a wall-mounted rack is a good option. Depending on the style, these racks can hold as many as five bicycles. Some can hold fat-tire bikes, and they often feature hooks that are adjustable for more versatility.
Roof racks come in a variety of configurations. You can purchase a total rack system to install on a bare roof or one that attaches to factory-installed crossbars or tracks. You can also buy a rack with suction cups that seal to the surface. As for mounting the bikes on a roof rack, you can either leave the wheels on or remove the front wheel.
If you have a vehicle with a hitch, this type of bicycle rack is very convenient. A hitch rack simply slides into the receiver tube and locks into place. They work with most 1.25 and two-inch receivers. One advantage is that many of them fold out of the way when you're not using them. Some brands have locking systems for security. One drawback is you have to be careful when backing up or parallel parking because they add some length to the back of your vehicle.
You attach this type of rack to your trunk using straps hooks, and stabilizing feet. These racks are very affordable, lightweight, and portable. They are a good temporary option, which is helpful if you live or travel in a questionable area and want to remove the rack when you're not using it. These racks do not lock to your vehicle, can potentially scratch paint, and don't work with all types of bikes.
The Swedish company Thule was founded in 1942 and focused on roof racks and other accessories that enabled people to more easily transport their outdoor gear. One popular product is the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack.
Yakima got its start in Washington state as a machine shop. It began focusing on outdoor accessories, including roof racks and other types of racks, in the early 1980s. Check out the Yakima HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack.
Based in Portsmouth, N.H., Allen Sports was founded by Nick Allen, who worked on aerospace technology for the Apollo program in the 1960s. His prototype was a trunk-mounted bike rack, and by 1971 Allen Bike Racks were sold by several distributors. We recommend the Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack.
Bicycle Racks Pricing
- Under $50: You can get a strap-style or trunk rack without spending a lot of money. These racks are quite basic, lightweight, and portable and work on a variety of vehicles. Wall-mounted racks for garages are also quite affordable.
- $100-$200: If you want a bike rack that will last a long time, you may have to spend a little more money. Racks in this price range are built with heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant materials.
- $200 and up: Bike racks can get very expensive and cost several hundred dollars, especially if you buy one from a brand name such as Thule or Yakima. These racks are well made and can typically accommodate several bikes.
If you're going to invest in a bike rack, you want one that will last a long time, particularly if you use it frequently. If you plan on transporting or storing heavy bikes or installing a rack on a vehicle that will traverse bumpy roads, you need a rack that can withstand a little abuse. Look for durable materials and strong designs. For example, powder-coated and aluminum designs are rust-resistant, and stainless steel hardware is also desirable.
Maybe people could leave their bikes unattended in the 1950s, but unfortunately, that's not possible today, particularly if you have a very expensive model. You need a bike rack that has some sort of security system, particularly if it's attached to your car or truck. Look for integrated locks or the ability to add an aftermarket lock to the rack in order to deter thieves.
Before you choose a bike rack, you need to figure out how many bikes you need it to hold. Some racks can only accommodate a bike or two, while others can carry three or more. It doesn't matter if you want a rack for your garage or your vehicle, just make sure it's large enough for your needs.
- Easy Assembly: No matter what you purchase, if it requires assembly you want it to be as simple as possible. When it comes to bike racks, you should only have to assemble it one time, and the easier it is, the better. Some bike racks are simple to install and come with good instructions, while others are more challenging and difficult to assemble. Read what customers say to get a good gauge about the assembly.
- Height: Some bike racks are more accessible than others, depending on your size, the weight of the bike, and the type of vehicle you drive. If you're not very tall or very strong, it can be very difficult to lift a bike onto the roof of a large SUV, for example.
Best Bicycle Racks Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- As we already noted, there are several different styles of bicycle racks. Make sure you look at the advantages and disadvantages of each before making a purchase to ensure you get the right one for your vehicle or your garage.
- When choosing a bike rack, consider how much space it will take up in storage when it’s not in use. Some fold flat, while others may take up a good amount of space in your garage or basement.
- For the most security, choose a well-known brand that has a solid reputation. That way you know you're getting a high-quality product that's built to last.
Q. What are the best bicycle racks for cars?
Bike racks come in a variety of styles and configurations, so the best one will depend on your particular vehicle. We include several great options in this buying guide.
Q. Why are bike racks so expensive?
If you want to protect your bike, you need a high-quality rack that won't fail you. Good racks are designed with durable materials that last a long time, ensuring your investment stays safe. You don't want a cheap rack that will break and cause any damage to your vehicle or bike.
Q. Can you put a bike rack on any car?
There are so many different types of bike racks that you should be able to find one that suits your particular vehicle. However, you need a hitch for some racks and crossbars/tracks on the roof for other styles. Make sure to read the specs on the rack before making a purchase.
Q. How do you transport a bike without a rack?
You can put some bikes into the trunk or back of your vehicle, but that may require removing the front wheel. Some bikes may be too large to fit in your car. You can also ask a friend with a van to help you transport your bike.
Our top pick is the Koova Bike Rack, which is a great option if you’re looking for a wall-mounted rack. This durable rack is made of heavy gauge steel and is easy to use. It accommodates bikes with different wheels, and the hooks rest on the rim not the spokes for added protection. Plus, all hardware comes with it. For a budget-friendly bike rack for your vehicle, consider the Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack.