10 Bike Racks for Mountain Bikes
Your number one priority while transporting mountain bikes on a bike rack is safety and security. Arriving safely with your bikes undamaged and gear in place must have paramount importance. Mountain bikes have their unique challenges: they are heavier than road bikes, not all carriers fit full-suspension and thru-axles, the bike tires are more robust, etc.
Most mountain bike tire widths typically range from 2.0 to 2.4 inches for cross-country bikes while enduro and downhill bikes come around 2.5 to 2.6 inches tire width. Anything beyond that falls into the fat tire range with 4.0 – 5.0 inches. Some of the most common wheel sizes include 26”, 27.5”, 29” and 24”. The bike weight usually depends on frame materials and tire size. The most commonly preferred frame material is an aluminum alloy; however, other options are carbon fiber, titanium, and steel. If you are after buying additional mountain biking gear we recommend rei.com’s checklist.
To help you get through all of the challenges of searching the right mountain bike rack we carefully selected 10 bike carriers that have amazing functionality and quality, giving you what you are looking for.
Our list of mountain bike racks in 2023
- KAC K2 Hitch Rack
- RockyMounts WestSlope
- Swagman Current
- Thule Camber
- Trimax Road Max
- Yakima HoldUp
- Kuat Transfer V2
- Hollywood Racks Destination
- KAC S4 Premium
- Vibrelli V70
1. K2 2-Bike Platform Hitch Rack for Standard, Fat Tire and Electric Bikes from KAC
KAC K2 proves to have a flawless design which makes it perfect not only for mountain bikes but for electric bikes and almost any bike size and style. K2 platform carries 2 bikes up to 60 lbs each (120 lbs total) with durable powder coated steel tubing. The heavy duty 5” wide trays are adjustable to fit most electric bikes, fat tire, road, and mountain bikes. Low Y-frame bikes may require support of a KAC bike frame adapter. The patended anti-wobble system keeps the bicycles safe and sturdy while padded clamps and locking knob and hitch pin add security.
This tow hitch mounted bike rack for car, truck, or SUV has rugged 5” wide steel trays fit most narrow and fat tires. The knob adjusted sliding wheel holders accommodate an axle to axle wheelbase up to 54″, making this an ideal carrier for most standard bikes, e-bikes, mountain bikes, and more. The quick release smart tilt feature allows the entire rack to be dropped away from the vehicle for rear cargo access, even while bikes are loaded. When bikes are unloaded, the center post and hook arms can be folded down flat with the push of a button for quick and easy access to the vehicle back hatch.
2. WestSlope Hitch Bike Rack from RockyMounts
RockyMounts WestSlope is a great alternative to other high-rated mountain bike racks like Yakima HoldUp or Kuat Transfer V2. This carrier comes with a 2-bike or 3-bike version with both 1.25 and 2-inch receivers being compatible. WestSlope carries tires up to 3.0 inch wide mountain bike tires, and diameters from 20” to 29”.
Installation is incredible easy while all necessary tools are being provided. WestSlope is a sturdy and good looking mountain bike rack compatible with bicycle wheelbases from 34” to 48”. It folds flat against the vehicle and tilts down 30 degrees to allow for hatch access.
3. Current Platform Hitch Carrier from Swagman
Swagman Current could be the perfect solution for your mountain bike. It fits 5-inch tire width which is a great carrier for fat bikes, mountain bikes, and electric bikes. It is Swagman’s heavy-duty rack which will accommodate almost any bike. The rack weighs 33 lbs which is making it extremely lightweight while adapts to most frame sizes, shapes, and styles. The maximum weight capacity per bike is 60 lbs and it is fat tire bike compatible (up to 5″ wide). You can tilt it away from your vehicle when bicycles are loaded so it gives a lot of accessibility when needed. All in all, is an excellent solution for just any bicycle out there.
4. Camber Hitch Bike Carrier from Thule
Thule Camber hitch bike carrier is available in two configurations: 2-bike or 4-bike while it is designed to fit 1.25″ or 2″ hitch receivers. Fits many bike sizes and frame styles including mountain bikes, road bikes kids bikes, etc. It features superior bike stability and fit with integrated anti-sway that prevent bike to bike contact and ‘disappears’ when not needed. Bicycles are safe and secure during transport thanks to 7” of spacing between each bike. The HitchSwitch lever tilts the carrier away from vehicle for trunk, hatch, or tailgate access. When the rack is not in use bike arms fold down.
5. Road Max Hitch Mount Rack from Trimax
Trimax Road-Max Blade-Runner is a great alternative to the other well-known mountain bike racks, offering great features at a decent price. It has a light and compact design that allows the storage in SUV trunk. Adjustable padded arm will support the bikes vertically while the rack can fold when not in use for gate access. Blade Runner has a strong and easy to use locking attachment system to fit any 2″ receiver. High resistance wheel straps with zamack buckles and soft pads fit all rims and tire sizes.
6. HoldUp Hitch Mountain Bike Carrier from Yakima
The HoldUp is Yakima’s fastest, easiest way to load bikes. Its beefed-up arm pivot makes it stronger than ever and the side-to-side adjustability reduces the chance for bike-to-bike interference. It’s a road trip companion for life. Fits 20″ – 27.5″ wheel sizes with tires up to 3.0″ wide and 29″ tires up to 2.5″ wide. Accommodates disc brakes, through axles, and full suspension bikes. Tilts down with bikes loaded for rear-of-vehicle access. StrongArm design secures bike at wheels, protecting paint and carbon frames. However, it may be not the most user-friendly out there due to its limited adjustability and tire width limitations. Mountain bikes, though, should not impose any issues. HoldUp stands apart from other hitch bike carriers due to the trays being hinged on the clamp end.
7. Transfer V2 Platform Bike Carrier for Mountain Bikes from Kuat
Kuat Transfer V2 is a platform bike carrier which holds the bikes by the tires, a new improved system from the former Transfer model. The Transfer V2 now accepts a wider range of wheel sizes (from 18″ to 29″), wheelbases up to 50″ to better accommodate modern mountain bikes and tires up to 5″ wide. The body of the carrier has been redesigned for better stability when loaded with a mechanism that locks the carrier into the receiver for wiggle-free operation. What’s amazing is that the new model comes with the modular configurations available so you get a multi-rider rack at an everyone-friendly price. There is a FLATLOCK cam system meant to improve stability in tow, an external cable with a semi-integrated lock that makes sure you feel safe stepping away from your ride, all of these at the same price as the old version.
8. Destination 2-4 Bikes Hitch Rack from Hollywood Racks
Destination from Hollywood Racks is a lightweight mountain bike hitch rack capable of transporting up to 4 bikes (max load 35 lbs per bike). Weighing only 42 pounds this platform hitch carrier has a lot of fantastic features. It’s designed with individual wheel trays to make loading and unloading super breezy and includes padded frame holders to protect your bicycles even on the roughest roads. It also includes ratchet straps that slide vertically along the center post and rotate 360 degrees to accommodate every shape and size of the bike frame. The locking threaded hitch pin keeps the hitch bike carrier from swaying during transit and the rack also folds up when not in use for safer driving and convenience.
With a max wheelbase of 48″ And max tire width of 3″, Destination accommodates mountain bikes, most kids bicycles, ladies frames, hybrids, road bikes. This platorm bike rack folds up vertically to make it easier to carry and store it and even easier to drive around when bikes aren’t loaded.
9. S4 Premium Mountain Bike Rack from KAC
KAC S4 2″ hitch bike rack can carry up to four bicycles of any style, including mountain bikes. It is a versatile hanging carrier designed for a 2-inch hitch receiver and has a load capacity of 30 lbs/bike (120 lbs total). Note that step through bikes may require a frame adapter. Keep your bikes sturdy and safe on the road with a patented Anti-Wobble System that eliminates slack between the receiver and the rack. Secure your rack with an included locking hitch pin. Top it off with an anti-wobble mechanism to make it a smooth and sturdy ride, and rear reflectors to improve visibility. Dual Quick Release Levers allow the carrying arms to drop down when not in use for space-saving storage, and for the bike rack body to be tilted away from the vehicle for quick access to trunk and rear cargo. KAC S4 mountain bike rack is a top-of-the-line carrier which scores high at durability and security, same as KAC K4 Sport Hitch Rack.
10. V70 Electric Mountain Bike Rack from Vibrelli
Vibrelli V70 is a premium electric mountain bike rack with an impressive array of features including patended anti-wobble hitch, custom enginereed cradles that fit all tires, key locking, quick release tilt down and many more. It holds ebikes, electric mountain bikes, road and mountain bikes. The unique wheel cradle design allows thin road bike tires and fat tires up to 5 inches wide, to be held firmly in place, while distributing pressure evenly avoiding damage. The quick and easy ratchet strap mechanism secures the wheels, reducing movement when driving. While still attached to the vehicle hitch, the bike rack can easily fold up out of the way when not in use, making it easy to park in the garage or store safely when out on a ride.
What Type of Bike Carrier do I Need for my Mountain Bike?
The market is loaded with many unique and study forms of mountain bike carriers. Some of the most common options in the market are hitch racks, roof racks, trunk racks, and spare tire racks. But when you are planning to move out on SUV, the best idea is to invest on a hitch rack. There are so many reasons to prefer hitch mounted racks over other options:
- Simple to install
- Easy to access bikes and convenient loading
- Good choice for frequent use
- Compatible with most of the SUV models
- Some of these racks can haul multiple mountain bikes
Can You Put a Mountain Bike on a Bike Rack?
Bike carriers have been created to safely transport your bicycles from point A to point B. From the many options out there some can transport mountain bikes with ease as lately, special characteristics like durability, versatility and security become standard. Brands like Thule, RockyMounts, Hollywood Racks, KAC, Yakima, Kuat offer best-in-class bike racks capable of mounting bikes with tire widths up to 5 inches.
Now you have gone through all essential details about mountain bike racks. It is the right time to pick the best rack for your expensive bike and plan your tour to the most popular tourist destination. A secure and sturdy carrier can promise complete comfort for tough rides while securing your mountain bike perfectly on the back of the SUV.
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