Reviews

Best Bicycle Rack (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

Transport and store your bike safely and securely.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON November 15, 2021

Planning to hit your favorite local bike paths or explore new trails on your mountain bike? No matter where you’re headed, you’re going to need a bicycle rack in order to get yourself and your ride there together. Adding a bicycle rack onto your vehicle is an easy way to be prepared and ready to bring your bike anywhere. Available in a vast variety of different styles and sizes, there are racks made for passenger cars as well as vans and SUVs, racks that can carry one bike or up to four bikes, and racks for rooftop setup or the rear of your vehicle. So, whether you’re carrying-ready with an available hitch or need something that’s a bit more flexible, we’ve rounded up some of the best bicycle racks you can buy right here.

Best Overall
Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack
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Summary
Summary

This bicycle rack can carry anywhere from two to five bikes, all while adapting to bikes of different types, weights, and sizes.

Pros
Pros
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Tilts and folds for added convenience
  • Keeps your vehicle aerodynamic even with bikes on board
Cons
Cons
  • Requires some assembly
  • May not perfectly fit all hitch receivers
Best Overall
Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Best Value
Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack
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Summary
Summary

This trunk rack is ideal for sedans. It holds two bikes and has a weight capacity of 70 pounds.

Pros
Pros
  • Padded to prevent scratches
  • Tie downs for security
  • Fully assembled
  • Easy to install
Cons
Cons
  • May bounce at highway speeds
  • Metal hooks may chip vehicle’s paint
Best Value
Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack
Honorable Mention
Thule Passage Trunk Mount Rack
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Summary
Summary

You’ll keep your bicycle rack and your bikes extra secure with this adjustable and locking option that limits movement and theft.

Pros
Pros
  • Extra-secure details like locking straps prevent theft and movement
  • Innovative Road Dampening Technology limits wobble
  • Protective features for your car are built in
Cons
Cons
  • Won’t fit station wagon, hatchback, or SUV trunks
  • Cradles can be too close together for larger bikes
Honorable Mention
Thule Passage Trunk Mount Rack
Bicycle Rack In The Garage
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Why Trust Us


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.

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Our Methodology

With so many different types of bicycle racks for cars available, we set out to find the best options by considering and comparing a number of popular styles. We took an in-depth look at hitch mounted bike racks, roof bicycle racks, tilting bicycle racks, and racks that could hold anywhere from one to four bikes at once. To determine which were the best in terms of quality and investment, we looked at the material and construction details of each rack, as well as their functionality and installation method. And we didn’t rule out users’ real-life experiences with these racks, as explained through their reviews. 

Best Bicycle Rack Reviews & Recommendations

Best Bicycle Rack Overall
Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Hauling your bikes can be a breeze, especially if you opt for the Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack. This versatile and easy-to-use rack tilts, holds multiple bikes, and works with all Class III and IV 2-inch hitches, giving you plenty of options. Made out of alloy steel, this bicycle rack can hold 2-5 bikes, depending on the model you choose, and offers arm spacing that’s designed to accommodate all different kinds of bike frames. Tie-down cradles and straps help secure your bikes without causing any damage. There’s even an adapter included to minimize the wobbling of bikes while you’re on the road, giving you adaptability for all bike sizes.


Minor assembly is required, so you will have to put together some parts of this bicycle rack. Additionally, some hitch receivers may have somewhat of a sloppy fit with this rack, which means you may need to add a stabilizer to reduce rattling.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Attaches to 2-inch hitch receivers
  • Number of Bikes: 2 to 5, depending on model
  • Material: Alloy steel

Pros

  • Tilting style allows easy rear trunk access
  • Folds down when not in use
  • Holds up to 35 pounds per bike
  • Damage-free straps and tie-down cradles

Cons

  • Does require some assembly
  • Can rattle on some hitches and require a stabilizer
Best Bicycle Rack Value
Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack

The Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack works great on smaller vehicles like hatchbacks and sedans and holds two bicycles, up to 70 pounds. It has a padded lower frame to protect your vehicle from being scratched by the bikes and individual tie-downs to keep the bikes secure. The rack comes fully assembled and installs in seconds on the trunk of your car.


The 12-inch-long carry arms will hold many types of vehicles and include side straps that will help with lateral stability. Its compact design weighing only 7.5 pounds makes it the right choice for those with smaller vehicles who want to take their bikes on the road.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Straps around trunk
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Alloy steel

Pros

  • Easy to set up and securely attach to your trunk
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Holds up to 70 pounds
  • Padded for protection for your vehicle and bikes

Cons

  • Metal hooks that sit on your trunk can leave behind damage
  • Can bounce or wobble while you’re driving
Honorable Mention
Thule Passage Trunk Mount Rack

No one wants their bikes bouncing around or disappearing from the rack, and that’s what makes the Thule Passage Trunk Mount Rack such a great product. It’s both high-tech and highly secure, keeping your bikes in place all while protecting them (and your car). Built to hold up to two bikes, this rack mounts right onto your trunk and stays secure by hanging. It features patented Hold Fast Cradles made with Road Dampening Technology (RDT) and anti-sway cages to keep your bike securely in place all while preventing bike-to-bike or bike-to-car contact. A cinch level adjusts bike arms to adapt to different types of frames, and a locking strap secures the entire rack. Plus, you’ll love the oversized molded pads that protect your vehicle’s rear.


Just keep in mind that this bicycle rack doesn’t work with station wagons, hatchbacks, or SUVs. And it does run small in terms of bike size, and larger bikes may not fit without adapters or touching one another.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Straps around trunk
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Vinyl-coated steel

Pros

  • Built with extra-secure Hold Fast Cradles
  • Limits wobbling with Road Dampening Technology and no-sway cages
  • Locking cable and straps offer added security
  • Molded pads protect bikes and vehicle’s exterior

Cons

  • Doesn’t work for station wagons, hatchbacks, or SUVs
  • Cradles are close together and may not fit larger bikes
Best Easy Installation Bicycle Rack
KAC Overdrive Sports K2 Hitch Mounted Rack

If you want to take your bicycle with you wherever you go, then the KAC Overdrive Sports K2 Mounted Rack is a good option. This two-inch mounted rack holds up to two bicycles weighing 60 pounds each and features a patented anti-wobble system to keep your bikes secure. A quick-release tilt design makes it easy to access the rear cargo area and fold up when not in use and the five-inch wide trays will support all kinds of bikes, including e-bikes, fat tire, and mountain bikes. The padded clamps protect against scratching, and a rear reflector adds enhanced visibility and the hitch pin locks and comes with a key to keep your bikes secure.


It is not recommended for use with RV or fifth-wheel campers, nor do customers say it’s the most secure rack around.

Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Hitch receiver mounted
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Alloy steel

Pros

  • Comes almost fully assembled
  • Mounts easily onto all 2-inch hitch receivers
  • Patented anti-wobble design limits vibrations
  • Supports and holds all types and sizes of bicycles

Cons

  • Won’t fit RVs or fifth wheel campers
  • Not the most secure rack
Most Versatile Bicycle Rack
Hyper Tough Hitch-Mounted Platform 2-Bike Rack

If you’re looking for a bicycle rack that offers quality alongside versatility, you’ve got to consider the Hyper Tough Hitch-Mounted Platform 2-Bike Rack. This product not only fits cars and trucks with either 1.25-inch or 2-inch hitch receivers, but it also securely carries bikes with tires up to 2.5 inches wide. It’s able to adjust too, giving you even more options. The adjustable wheel trays can accommodate all types of bikes in almost every size, and the adjustable foam-padded hooks will secure any and all frames. Plus, it offers a nice grip to keep your bikes from wobbling. And when you aren’t hauling your bicycles, the rack folds up so you don’t have to keep extra length hanging off the back of your car.


However, just keep in mind that while the frame of this bicycle rack is made out of metal, the attachment hooks and other components are plastic. They may not last as long as the rack itself.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Attaches to 1.25-inch and 2-inch hitch receivers
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Powder-coated steel

Pros

  • Adjustable wheel trays and foam-padded hooks for all bike types
  • Fits bike tires up to 2.5 inches wide
  • Folds up when not in use
  • Versatile enough to adapt to different bike sizes

Cons

  • Plastic components may be prone to breakage and wear
Best Bicycle Rack for Access
Haul-Master Two Bike Hitch Mount Bike Rack

The Haul-Master Two Bike Hitch Mount Bike Rack allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. You’ll easily be able to carry one or two bikes on the rear of your vehicle, but you don’t have to sacrifice your trunk’s cargo space. This convenient bicycle rack is designed to tilt out of your way so you can get inside the rear of your car, all without completely removing or disassembling your rack. Made out of metal and non-marring thermoplastic, with hook-and-loop straps, this rack is secure and able to be used without worrying about damage to your vehicle’s exterior or your bicycles. Plus, it’s able to be mounted onto Class I, II, III, and IV hitch receivers with a pinch hitch pin, which gives you even more value for your investment.


Though this bike rack is stable and secure, keep in mind that its plastic components can be weaker and more prone to breakage than the metal frame.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Attaches to all types of hitch mount receivers
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Metal

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable price
  • Works on all types of hitches without difficulty
  • Non-marring components help prevent damage

Cons

  • Plastic components may be prone to breakage or wear compared to metal frame
Best Bicycle Rack for 4 Bikes
MaxxHaul Hitch Mount 4-Bike Rack HD Series

The MaxxHaul Hitch Mount 4-Bike Rack HD Series is a great option if you need to carry more than one or two bikes. It’s built to haul up to four bicycles without issue, and the rack will work on any vehicle with a receiver hitch, including vans, SUVs, trucks, and even sedans. It takes just minutes to install onto your car, and its powder-coated all-steel construction is made to be highly durable, even in the face of potential challenges like corrosion. This bicycle rack has adjustable wheel cradles and hook-and-loop straps for a flawless fit regardless of the type or size of your bike. Overall, it’s a product that’ll stay durable and reliable for many miles.


Do keep in mind that this bicycle rack isn’t exactly protective. Your bike’s frame can get scratched or damaged, as this rack doesn’t come with a whole lot of padding or cushioning. Additionally, it cannot be used on RVs, campers, or fifth wheels.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Attaches to 2-inch hitch receivers
  • Number of Bikes: 4
  • Material: Powder-coated steel

Pros

  • Durable, corrosion-resistant steel frame
  • Can carry up to four bicycles
  • Tilts out of the way to allow rear vehicle access
  • Adjustable wheel cradles offer bike versatility

Cons

  • Doesn’t pad or cushion bikes for protection
  • Cannot be used on RVs, campers, or fifth wheels
Best Folding Bicycle Rack
Elevate Outdoor 2-Bike Folding Hitch Bicycle Rack

The Elevate Outdoor 2-Bike Folding Hitch Bicycle Rack gives you all of the movement you need to be able to easily carry bikes and get the rack out of the way when you’re done. This hitch-mounted rack works with 1.25-inch Class I and II receivers and, when the included adapter is used, also works with 2-inch Class III and IV receivers. It can carry up to two bicycles, and it’s built with a reinforced weight-balancing gusset and a locking pin system to keep your bikes secure and sturdy no matter what. The rack features a spring-loaded tilt lock, which allows you to fold it flat against your vehicle when not in use or tilt it away from your vehicle when you need to get into the trunk. You’ll be able to carry any bike with a frame up to 1 5/8-inch diameter without worrying about wheel size.


Unfortunately, this bicycle rack can’t really adapt to different bike frames, meaning some larger models may not fit. Additionally, if there’s a point of weakness on this rack, it’s the main tube that can weaken under a lot of weight, so keep the weight capacity in mind.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Mounts on hitch receiver
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Powder-coated steel

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Added support around the main tube prevents breakage
  • Weight-balancing gusset prevents bending or slipping
  • Works with all hitch classes, thanks to included adapter

Cons

  • Can’t adjust or adapt to accommodate all bikes
  • Main standup tube can become a point of weakness
Best Adjustable Bicycle Rack
Rhino-Rack 2 Bike Hitch Mount Bike Carrier

If you need adjustability, consider the Rhino-Rack 2 Bike Hitch Mount Bike Carrier. Designed to fit up to two bikes and made for all different styles of bicycle frames, this is a rack that will suit bikes both big and small, fancy and simple. Constructed with adjustable cradles for different wheel sizes as well as adjustable, collapsible arms to fit frames of varying widths. There’s foam padding placed along critical touch points throughout the rack so your bike won’t be subjected to damage or scratches. And if you’re worried about having access to your car’s rear cargo space, this bicycle rack features a pull latch and tilts forward so you don’t have to struggle with access. Plus, the entire rack is backed by a three-year warranty.


Unfortunately, because this bicycle rack has multiple moving parts, those points of movement can ultimately turn out to be weaker than the overall frame of the rack. You’ll want to look out for wear in these areas.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Attaches to 2-inch hitch receiver
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Alloy steel

Pros

  • Allows easy trunk or cargo access
  • Adjustable wheel cradles fit different bike sizes
  • Adjustable arms give you more room for bigger frames
  • Backed by a three-year warranty

Cons

  • Moveable parts can wear faster and be more prone to weakness
Best Rooftop Bicycle Rack
Thule TopRide Bike Rack

Thule is one of the best names in bicycle racks, which is why we’ve named a second rack from this brand–the Thule TopRide Bike Rack–as a top product. And if you’re looking for a roof rack, this is one of the best you’ll come across. Made out of lightweight aluminum, this rack allows you to easily mount thru-axle and standard bicycles right onto the roof of your passenger vehicle. It grabs onto and secures the fork of your bike, latching it into place with an audible sound so you know you’re in correctly. And when you’re ready to ride, the quick-release lever makes getting your bike down a breeze. You’ll even have control over the bike rack’s hold thanks to the Thule AcuTight torque limiter knob that clicks when it’s tightened properly. The integrated dual locking system locks onto your vehicle’s roof and your bike, ensuring slips won’t happen on the road.


The only potential downside of this bicycle rack? If you’re on the shorter side, reaching and lifting your bikes can be a challenge.


Product Specs

  • Installation Method: Roof mount
  • Number of Bikes: 2
  • Material: Aluminum

Pros

  • Doesn’t block any of your vehicle access
  • Works with thru-axle and standard bicycle forks
  • Audible sounds help you determine when you have a secure fit
  • Easy to install on any vehicle

Cons

  • Reaching bikes can be a challenge if you’re short

Our Verdict on Bicycle Racks

Our pick for the best bicycle rack is the Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack, which is capable, convenient and easy to use, and completely flexible. It not only folds and tilts, but it can also hold anywhere from 2-5 bikes, giving you plenty of options. However, you also can’t go wrong with the Allen Sports Model 102ND-R Trunk Rack, a product that offers a combination of convenience and affordability.

What to Consider When Buying a Bicycle Rack

Whether you’re looking to carry a single bike or a whole family’s worth of bikes on your car, you need a bicycle rack that’s durable, supportive, and easy to manage. Plus, you’ve got to find a rack that works with your vehicle’s size, hitch (or lack of hitch), and other unique features. We’ve got your guide to picking out the perfect bicycle rack no matter your needs. 

Types of Bicycle Racks

Roof Racks

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.

Hitch Rack

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.

Trunk Rack

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.

Bicycle Rack Key Features

Construction

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.

Security

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.

Size

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.

Bicycle Rack Brands to Know

Thule

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

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.

Allen Sports

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.

Hyper Tough

If you’re looking for a name that’s synonymous with affordability or good value, Hyper Tough is a great brand to know. This Walmart-owned brand is widely available and makes budget-friendly yet nicely durable and easy-to-use products, including different styles of hitch mount bicycle racks.

MaxxHaul

When it comes to hauling heavy items, MaxxHaul is one great brand. This company manufactures all kinds of different towing and trailering products and accessories, including hitch-ready bicycle racks so you can easily use your existing hitch with a number of different sizes and styles of racks.

Bicycle Rack Pricing 

For under $5, you can get a strap-style or trunk rack. These racks are quite basic, lightweight, and portable and work on a variety of vehicles. Step up to the $100 to $200 price range, however, and you’ll get a bike rack that’ll last a long time. Racks in this price range are built with heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant materials. For more than $200, you’ll have a selection that includes brands such as Thule or Yakima. These racks are well made and can typically accommodate several bikes.

Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and bicycle racks. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

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.