Best Bike Rack for SUV Cars in 2021
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SUVs are superb for a family’s outdoor recreational activities. These large cars provide plenty of room for everyone to ride comfortably and you also get adequate trunk space for all your supplies and gears.
However, if you have to bring two or three bikes with you during the trip, you may not be able to fit all your stuff in the boot.
So, if your family loves to enjoy cycling trails far away from home, the best bike rack for SUV will make bike transport stress free.
SUV Bicycle Rack Reviews
There are dozens of SUV bike racks in the market today. Before you decide to buy one, it’s important to do your research and understand the pros and cons of each brand.
Nonetheless, we analyzed several models and came up with some of the best racks out there.
1. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
You can consider the Thule T2 Pro as a spacious and practical rack that can hold two bikes at any given time. However, if you need to haul more than two bikes, special rack adapters are available to help you expand capacity up to 4.
The rack has a hitch mount design and features integrated cable locks for extra security. We noticed however that the cables are low gauge and would easily be cut by anyone motivated enough.
Despite this, the cable locks are still good enough to tightly fasten the bikes on the rack. Additionally, you will also love that the Thule T2 Pro gives you plenty of room as the rack leaves nearly a foot of space between each bike.
This means that even if you’re going on a rough ride, the bikes won’t hit each other.
2. Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Rack
The Swagman XC2 is extremely versatile. It’s designed to accommodate large tires too and comes in a stylish sleek design.
The rack is quite sturdy and can handle up to 70 pounds in weight. It fits into a 1 ¼ hitch receiver but would also work on a 2-inch option. This means that this bike carrier for SUV can fit into several cars without any issues.
The Swagman XC2 also has a built-in anti-wobble device that keeps all the bikes secured and balanced when on the road. The rack features upright arms with built-in ratchets. The ratchets are also adjustable, something that makes it easier to fit several different bike frames.
The center arm is also foldable. This ensures you get easy access to your car’s boot even when you mount the rack. It’s this kind of versatility and user friendless that makes the Swagman XC2 a popular choice for a lot of people.
3. YAKIMA HoldUp Hitch Mount Tray Rack
The YAKIMA HoldUp is also a hitch bike rack that offers superb ergonomics and enough durability to accommodate heavier bikes.
The rack is versatile enough to attach to any SUV but falls short when it comes to user-friendliness.
However, it’s very affordable compared to other racks out there. Its compact design should make storage and portability easier.
The YAKIMA HoldUp also comes with a beefed-up arm pivot for extra strength. It’s a great option for long-winded road trips on rough roads.
4. Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Bicycle Rack
The Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S is a pretty sturdy bike rack that can easily transport three bikes. The rack protrudes about 20 inches from the rear when fully installed.
No doubt this is long compared to other racks. But when you consider it can hold three bikes, perhaps it could be a bit longer than that.
Nonetheless, the Tyger Auto rack rests relatively closer to the vehicle and this gives it extra support and strength.
This has a downside though because it means the bikes also come uncomfortably close to the car which isn’t recommended. But other than that, it’s a solid and versatile SUV bike rack.
5. CyclingDeal Alloy Car Roof Carrier Rack
The CyclingDeal Carrier Rack, as the name suggests, is a roof-mounted design. At just 15 pounds, it’s one of the lightest racks you can buy.
The piece is constructed from aluminum for extra longevity too. It holds the bike wheels very securely in place and has channels that go the entire length of the bike for extra reliability.
Still on reliability, unlike most racks that use the peg-in-hole attachment, the CyclingDeal Roof Rack uses buckles on its mounting saddles to ensure secure attachment. The rack is also very easy to mount and doesn’t require any tools.
Despite this, the super lightweight design has its drawbacks. It’s prone to wobbling, especially when you’re moving at high speeds. This may not be the best bike rack for SUV but it delivers great value.
6. KAC Overdrive Sports Hitch Mounted Rack
The KAC Overdrive Sports K2 is available in two options, a two bike model and a four bike model. It features a durable heavy-duty design that should last years.
You also get two lock cylinders that perform two roles. First, they lock the rack to the receiver, and secondly, they also help to secure the bikes to the rack as well.
The KAC Overdrive Sports K2 also attaches to the hitch receiver and it feels a whole lot tighter than most receiver hookups.
The manufacturer even claims that this bicycle rack for SUV offers an anti-wobble fit once you fully mount it on the receiver. The only downside we found is that this rack doesn’t work well with road bikes that tend to have thin tires.
7. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack
The Allen Sports 4 is a durable high-performance rack that features a hitch mount design too. The rack protrudes nearly 22 inches from the tailgate, enough to carry up to four bikes. It’s also fitted with a tie-down system that secures each bicycle in place.
However, you will need to fit a 2-inch trailer hitch onto your vehicle to use this rack. Although there are several trailer hitch options out there, we would strongly recommend a Class III or IV hitch. They are durable enough to hold your rack in place without any issues.
The Allen Sports 4 also comes with sturdy heavy-duty steel construction and an excellent black powder finish for immense class. It’s one of the few racks on the market that combines strength and aesthetic value very well.
It’s important to note though that there are two models to go for in the Allen Sports Deluxe series. The first one is the Model 542RR which can hold up to four bikes and support roughly 140 lbs in total weight. The second model in the series is the S545.
This one has all the features of the 542RR but offers quick easy folding, secure straps, and carrying arms for portability. You also get a dual compound spine shield and dual compound cradles for extra performance. The S545 is one of the best bike racks for SUV based on these features alone.
8. MaxxHaul 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack
This sturdy 4-bike rack is designed to attach to a 2-inch trailer hitch receiver in no time. The racks are also innovatively designed to ensure that the only connection between your car and the rack is at the hitch receiver.
This is especially important for one reason. It allows the bike rack to fold downwards, something that makes it easier for you to access the rear of your car. However, you’ll need to remove the bikes racked if any to be able to fold down the rack. But it’s a pretty good feature that gives you more flexibility.
The rack also comes with padded cradles designed to offer a softer hold on the bikes. This ensures the bike paint isn’t damaged. Despite this, you’ll have trouble fitting four bikes on this rack.
Although eventually they will all find some space, it takes a little effort and fumbling. But three bikes should fit in this SUV bicycle rack easily.
How to Get the Best Bike Rack for SUV
So, as you can probably guess, there are many bike racks out there to choose from. But we know that narrowing down your options and picking a rack that meets your needs is often easier said than done.
There are many things to consider as you start shopping for a bike rack. How many bikes can the rack hold? How much money are you willing to spend? Is it a durable rack that will serve you for years?
These are all valuable questions to ask but there are still many other factors to keep in mind before you buy the best SUV bike rack. We will highlight some of them here below.
Let’s start with the most basic question. How many bikes do you intend to hold with your rack?
Ultimately, you want to pick a bike rack that can haul all the bicycles you have. Typically, a majority of bike racks would carry two bikes at any given go. But some brands will accommodate up to four.
It’s also possible to extend the capacity of your rack by buying extra adapters. Either way, always make sure the rack you go for can accommodate all the bikes of your family members.
It’s very common to leave your racked bikes on your car to do other errands.
Let’s say, for example, you’ve stopped for gas and you need to jump into the convenience store and buy a few supplies. This means that for several minutes your bikes will be unattended.
For this reason, you need to make sure the racks are secure enough to prevent potential theft. Heavy gauge metal cables are often used to secure women bikes on racks. They are harder to cut and should provide excellent security for your unattended bike.
The last thing you want is to buy a bike rack only for it to break after a few months.
Besides, you still want a bike rack that can strongly and securely hold your bicycles in place even at fast speeds. Bike racks are typically constructed using heavy-duty metal for strength and durability.
However, it’s important to make sure that this metal doesn’t dent your car. For this reason, you may want to consider racks that feature rubber and foam designs at the point of contact with the vehicle.
This ensures you get the durability and strength of heavy-duty metal without risking the paintwork on your SUV.
It’s also important to go for racks with anti-rust technology. Rusting affects the strength of metal and will significantly accelerate the degeneration of your racks.
Anti-rust properties are especially important for people who live in high salt areas like near beaches. The same way you protect your bikes from rusting should be the same way you protect the bike racks too.
You’ll need to find some space to store the bike rack for SUV when it’s not in use. Typically, smaller, foldable, more compact racks provide a lot of flexibility in storage.
It’s, therefore, recommended that you choose such designs. But in case you intend to install the rack on your SUV forever, then you don’t need to worry about storage.
When it comes to ease of use, there are two standards to look for. First, you need to know how easy it is to install and remove the rack from your SUV.
For most people, a bike rack is a temporary accessory. In essence, you simply mount it on the car if and when you need it.
It’s therefore important to pick a rack that takes less than five minutes to mount and unmounts without searching for how to put bike rack on SUV guides online.
Secondly, it’s important to consider how easy it is to load and unload bikes from the rack. For instance, you’ll need more strength and effort to mount bikes on roof racks compared to hitch mount racks.
The ease of mounting also varies a lot from brand to brand. Make sure you’re aware of these differences before you buy a rack of your choice.
Because of their design, bike racks can cause a lot of inconvenience to other road users. This is why there are laws and regulations in many countries around the world that govern how the racks are used on the road.
Before you purchase a rack, you may want to check with your local transport authorities and know which racks are allowed and which ones aren’t. Your safety on the road is also very important.
As a rule of thumb, it’s always advisable to pick a bike rack that doesn’t obscure the plates on your car and its taillights.
If you’re going to spend money on a bike rack, then it’s only fair to make sure that you get as much from it as possible.
The value of a rack is determined by its cost and the features it offers. Ideally, you want an SUV bicycle rack that offers as many useful features as possible without costing too much money.
But don’t just focus on cheap racks. Sometimes you may need to spend a few extra bucks to get the quality you need. But it will be worth every penny in the long run.
Types of SUV Bike Racks
There are several different types of SUV bike racks designed to meet the needs of different people. Each of these options has unique pros and cons too.
Here’s a breakdown of each type out there:
As the name suggests, these racks are placed on the car’s roof.
They are normally clamped on the crossbars on your SUV. Roof mount racks can carry a lot of bikes if needed.
But they are very expensive compared to other racks in the market. Additionally, it takes a lot of time and upper body strength to load bikes on the roof of the car.
Trunk-mount bike racks are designed for people who don’t have a hitch on their cars. The racks simply secure your bikes on the car using a series of nylon straps and hooks. However, trunk mount racks have a few challenges.
First, they are very light and wouldn’t be able to hold heavier bikes. They don’t also offer any security. The racks can easily be cut.
But they are super cheap and very easy to use and install. The racks can haul two to three bikes at any given time too and can work in a wide variety of vehicles.
These bicycle racks are mounted to a hitch located at the back of your SUV. Hitch mount bike racks are available in three major categories.
They include Class I, Class II, and Class III. Although they are relatively expensive compared to other types of racks, they offer an array of excellent features, including easy installation.
Hitch bike mounts can carry multiple bikes and won’t damage the paintwork on your car. They offer excellent versatility as well and you can choose between a platform (tray-style) design and a hanging (support arm) model.
Specialty racks can carry special bikes. We all know that bikes come in different shapes and sizes, right?
While most racks can accommodate a fair share of bikes out there, there are a few bike brands that may require special racks.
Common features in specialty racks include a hook and loop tie-down mechanism designed to separate bicycles from each other.
You’ll also notice that specialty racks have widely spaced arms to ensure they can hold bikes with thicker frames. These racks are typically more versatile too but would cost relatively more money.
Getting a quality bike rack may seem like an easy thing but when you start considering all the options available, it’s easy to get confused.
Although each rack offers its pros and cons, we strongly believe that the Thule T2 Pro stands out in many aspects.
First, the rack can hold up to four bikes at any given time, giving you extra versatility on the road. There’s also a lot of space between bikes. This ensures the bikes don’t slap against each other on transit, something that reduces any risk of damage.
The Thule T2 Pro is also upper easy to install and offers incredible user-friendliness. It’s by far the best bike rack for SUV you can go for.