10 best HITCH bike racks in 2018
No matter which types your bike is or if you have children’s bikes or women’s bikes, these state of the art hitch bike racks are the best on the market. To save you some time to get a high-quality carrier, we compiled a list of the best hitch bike racks and the best platform bike racks in 2018 and also gave you some useful tips.View more
Best selling SUV bike racks
The ideal SUV bike rack depends on your vehicle, budget, bike, and personal priorities. Sometimes the best routes are further away, on few hundreds of kilometers. Instead of jamming your new bicycle rack into the trunk of your SUV, load it up and lock it with one of the best bike racks. The mounting options give you the flexibility to choose between hitch, roof or trunk and racks can accommodate mountain, full suspension or road bikes. Here are the best selling bike racks for SUV that comes at an affordable price.
Top-rated high-ranked racks
The price comes with quality. Even if you will find these bicycle racks expensive, you will get the best quality and a lot of features. Durability, sturdiness, strong construction, versatility, bike and car protection are only some advantages you will get with these SUV bike racks which stand out from the crowd.
Hitch mount bike racks
The hitch mount bike rack is the most versatile while it can carry up to 5 bikes. It is required a hitch receiver though. It is the easiest way to carry multiple bikes and it will not damage the car paint. You have two main types to choose from: hanging (support arm) and platform (tray-style). Check 10 best hitch racks in 2018.
Advantages: can hold up to 5 bikes, the easiest way to carry multiple bikes, no damage to vehicle finish, easy to load/unload, easy to lift and secure the bikes, great for heavier bikes, comes in different sizes and shapes, the largest variety of styles.View hitch racks Buy now
Trunk mount bike racks
Trunk bike rack for SUV is the most cost-effective way to carry bikes. This rack works by clamping to your vehicle with 4-6 rubber-dipped hooks, and rubber pads that are secured to your bumper, trunk or rear window for support. Check 7 Best Trunk Bike Racks in 2018.
Advantages: hold up to 4 bikes, cost-efficient, requires the least amount of installation and storage, can keep front wheels intact, padded or indented cradles to hold the frame, no overhead lifting required.View trunk racks Buy now
Roof mount bike racks
The roof bicycle racks for SUV will give you a variety of mounting options: frame-mount, fork-mount, and wheel-mount. It has the ability to carry more bikes as compared with many trunk-mounted carriers. The rack will remain mounted even if it is not in use. Check 5 best roof racks in 2018.
Advantages: versatile, locking is most stable and secure, easy to install if your vehicle has crossbars, multi-purpose uses for other equipment, can support odd frame bikes, comes equipped with a security strap to lock up bikes.View roof racks Buy now
Spare-Tire bike racks
Spare tire bicycle racks are compact and easy to install. It comes in 2-bike versions since the weight is transmitted to the spare tire bracket. It can feature locking systems which secure your bikes to the rack, and lock the rack to your tire.
Advantages: it can transport up to 2 bikes, no overhead lifting required, integrated locking cable, patented tie-down system, doesn’t touch the bodywork, fits both oversized and regular tires, won’t restrict access into the cargo area. It will swing with the access door, solid when attached properly.View spare-tire racks Buy now
Shop by number of bikes
1-bike and 2-bike racks are ideal for those who don’t have many bicycles and roof mount is the best choice. Remember is always good to be future-proof and choose a 3-bike or even 4-bike rack even if you have 2 bicycles now. If you want to carry different types of bicycles on the same rack, then hitch mount and trunk mount are your best option. For a better stability and protection, trailer hitch 4-bike rack for SUV might be ideal. You can transport road or mountain bikes, child or women bikes and through axles, disc brakes, and full suspension bikes. We recommend Allen Sports, Thule, Kuat and Yakima carriers. 5-bike carriers are not so popular since the load is very high, but if you really want to buy one, then Amazon has some good offers from various brands.Shop now
Shop by Manufacturer
Discover each of the bike rack manufacturers below has to offer. By giving you some hints we would like to mention that Allen bike racks offer hitch, trunk, and spare-tire mounting options and they place in the middle when it comes to price. For example, Allen Sports Deluxe 4-bike Hitch Mount Rack is one of their best sellers. Thule SUV bike racks offer great quality and you can choose between hitch, roof, and trunk mounting options. Thule T2 Pro XT is one of their best product. Yakima offers from hitch to spare-tire racks and Ridgeback and FrontLoader bike carriers are one of their best sellers. When it comes to the highest security and stability Kuat stands out from the crowd. They offer amazing hitch mount bike racks for SUV but the price is also on the expectation. Kuat NV 2.0 appears to be a complete rack system with an amazing design.
making the right decision. some useful tips
- Consider what to buy by asking you about vehicle type and bike type. If your SUV has factory crossbars then maybe a roof bike rack system is the best and practical choice. Next is your bike – if you have 20mm through axle forks, for example, Yakima HighRoller or Yakima FrontLoader can be a good fit. If you have downhill bikes and/or without crossbars, then a hitch mount (tray or platform style) might be a good option. SUV bike carriers like Thule T2 Pro XT or Hollywood Racks HR1400 are a good option to carry heavy bikes securely to the final destination. If you don’t have a hitch receiver, then a 2” receiver is recommended since it gives you more options for a compatible bicycle carrier.
- Be future-proof. Even if you are transporting 1 bike now, in future you may want to add more, so buy a 2 or 3 bike rack. You never know.
- Bike frame compatibility is also important. It’s almost impossible to determine the right bicycle rack for your SUV since there are lots of different frame designs, but if you want to stay safe, there are some rack styles that accommodate almost any bike: Yakima FrontLoader, Kuat NV and Kuat NV 2.0, Thule T2 Pro XT or Saris Bones 801.
- Check your vehicle’s manual before installing a roof system to find the max allowable weight the SUV roof can accommodate. Towing capacity needs to be checked in case of a hitch rack.
- If you own a tandem bike then roof bike carriers usually do the job, like Yakima Sidewinder.
- If you do not want to install a hitch receiver or roof racks are not an option, then you may consider purchasing a trunk mount rack. It fits a wide range of SUVs but be aware if you have full suspension mountain bikes or of potential incompatibility. The fit information can be accessed on manufacturer’s websites: Yakima, Thule, Kuat, Allen Sports, Saris.
- Check vehicle’s payload limits. It’s important to avoid any damage caused by the high load.
- Securing the bike on the rack may be also a must have. Even if this will cost you extra, it will prevent the theft. Take into account that not all SUV bicycle racks came with this feature so you might consider to buy it. Even if your bike is not expensive, an additional cable lock may prevent some headaches and some extra money in your pocket.
hitch racks: pros & cons
Hitch bicycle racks for SUV require a hitch receiver (which can be installed if needed) and the cost for these carriers is a bit higher as they offer more sophisticated materials and features. Platform-style carriers can hold 2 bikes and can be extended to 4 bikes; these type of bicycle carriers offer a higher weight limit and Amazon offers a wide range from which you can choose. Trailer hitch bike carrier for SUV can transport 2 to 5 bikes, the installation and removal are easy, minimum effort is required for lifting, compared with roof bike racks, locks are available and some fold flat against the vehicle.
However, the price is a bit higher, the trunk or rear door might be blocked, bikes may partially obstruct license plate and taillights and the driver must remain aware of SUV’s extended length. Tray style hitch mounts have some ergonomic advantages when it comes to loading and you can carry mainly any type of bicycle. Hitch mounted bike racks for SUV keep bicycles out of the wind but can make parking in tight places difficult. Some bike racks from Amazon can respond to your needs, like Thule T2 Pro XT or Yakima RidgeBack.
- Pros: can transport up to 5 bikes, generally the installation is simple, fuel consumption is not that high, it is not permanently attached to the vehicle, locks are available, easy to load and unload, bikes can be strong secured, some fold flat against vehicle to provide clearance to the trunk, bicycles attach with a moderate amount of lifting.
- Cons: a receiver hitch is needed, swing-away models which offer the easiest access, are also the most expensive, the driver must be aware of SUV’s extended length, bicycles may partially obstruct taillights or rear license plate.
roof racks: pros & cons
One of the best bike racks for SUV is the roof mounted styles due to its versatility. However, take into account that mounted onto an SUV will require lifting the bicycle over your head. If you will manage to do that you may consider that you will likely only be able to carry 2 bikes since the center of the crossbars will be out of reach. Many people appreciate their stability while driving. It is recommended to check your vehicle’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly to understand the max allowable weight the roof can maintain. Bike carriers for roof racks vary between ones that allow both wheels to remain on the bicycle and the ones that require front wheel removal. Car bike racks that keep both wheels on the bicycle are taller, can be less stable and cost more while those with front wheel removal are great for SUVs and can be easier to load and unload.
Crossbars can be used to carry other equipment like kayaks or cargo boxes. Roof SUV bike racks are versatile, generate moderate cost, there is no bike-to-bike contact and no visual obstruction to driver’s view. However, the aerodynamics of SUV is reduced, some noise may be caused by wind resistance, can be hard to load the bicycles, the driver must be aware of height restrictions. Some Amazon bike racks may be perfect for your needs, like Yakima FrontLoader or Yakima ForkLift.
- Pros: versatile for all kinds of gear hauling, moderate cost, bikes do not sway, no obstructions to driver’s view, bike-to-rack lockers available, one of the most secure carriers, access to any doors/hatch/tailgate.
- Cons: wind resistance reduce aerodynamics, the driver must be always aware of height restrictions, may be hard to load and unload items, fuel consumption will likely increase.
trunk racks: pros & cons
Trunk mount bike racks may be an alternative for your SUV especially if you don’t prefer roof racks. They involve the least amount of installation and the least expensive way to transport your bike to the desired destination. SUV trunk bike racks are lightweight, can transport 2-3 bikes and are an economical choice. The same bike carrier can be easily moved between vehicles.
Straps with hooks are used to secure them to the SUV and the attachment system will prevent you from being able to open the hatch when needed. Bikes rest on support arms equipped with cradles. Also, security from theft is limited. The design limits rack’s ability to carry full suspension mountain bikes for example. Maximum allowed weight capacity per bike is around 30-35lbs so could not be a good option for massive bicycles. You will notice that some bike racks for SUV carry the same nr of bicycles but the price is different; this happens due to extra versatility to fit more vehicles, extra features (like anti-sway cradles, or fold-away), locking options, better materials. Amazon offers a wide range of bike carriers which are very good, like Saris Bones 801 or Hollywood Racks Heavy Duty.
- Pros: easy installation, lightweight, moderate amount of lifting is needed, least expensive option, fold for easy storage, handy for occasional use.
- Cons: least secure, the trunk is blocked, bikes may sway during transport if are not properly fixed, SUV’s finish may be affected if you do not pay attention while attaching hooks, requires some maintenance during transit just to be sure you are not losing them.