When you have an outdoor plan for your family, chances are that you’ll need an SUV. An SUV is a flexible vehicle that allows for smooth transportation. What’s more, is that it’s a spectacular carrier of luggage with its large storage capacity. For families who boast great interest in cycling, an SUV would provide even greater help as it’s compatible with so many racks that let you add bikes to your trip.
Bike racks come in various shapes and sizes, with a myriad of functionalities designed to make them convenient for users. Nevertheless, not all racks can be used with an SUV. In today’s article, we will place our emphasis on the best bike racks for SUVs as well as some tips for you when finding one. Read on to discover our suggestions.
If after reading our list of the best bike racks for SUVs you start to wonder what the factors to look for in an excellent product are, we’re here to help you out. In this next section, we’ll focus on the key elements that will have a great influence on your buying process, so if you want to find a bike rack that suits you and your SUV the most, don’t miss out on what’s next.
You may find it hard to believe because in the end, all racks are used for the same purpose, but there is indeed more than one type of bike rack. More specifically, there are 4 types that consumers commonly encounter on the market, which are: Hitch-Mounted, Strap-On, Spare Tire, and Roof-mounted. The following part is dedicated to presenting the pros and cons of each type, so keep on scrolling to find out which one is your type.
- Hitch-Mounted Rack
The hitch-mounted bike rack is probably the most diverse group. They come in various sizes and shapes so no matter how much your budget is, you can still find a hitch-mounted rack that meets all your requirements. An advantage of models of this type is that you don’t need to have any professional knowledge or extra help to install them, setting them up is a simple task that you can finish on your own.
On the other hand, hitch-mounted models can block your rear door, so that’s a drawback. And since they add some length to the overall dimension of your vehicle, it may be difficult to maneuver the rack.
If you’re looking for a decent hitch-mounted bike rack, the Swagman XC2 Bike Rack is a telling example. This model will keep your bikes safe and stable no matter how far you travel.
- Strap-on Rack
Products of this group are known for being easy to install and remove. They are designed with convenience in mind, as they can be stored easily and offer good carrying security. The bikes secured by this group are kept at a low position, therefore you can still have an amazing view of the scenery from your rear window.
The downside is, nevertheless, its limited capacity. The maximum weight that this rack can hold is quite low, so it’s not suitable for families with several bikes or heavy e-bikes. You also stand the risk of scratching your own car when attaching the hooks of the rack, so you need to be extra careful.
If the idea of a towbar-mounted strap-on rack intrigues you, check out the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Rack, an effective product that has become a favorite of so many customers.
- Spare Tire Rack
For those whose SUV has a spare tire and only carries around a maximum of 2 bikes, a spare tire rack is a way to go. Products of this type are often compact and light-weighted, and they are made to be easy for storage and removal. Furthermore, you won’t have to be afraid of your car being scratched because there’s no direct contact between this kind of rack and your vehicle.
The disadvantages are that spare tire racks are not the most trusted when it comes to anti-theft options, and they can block the rear view or tail lights. If these cons don’t discourage you, take some time to look at the Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack.
- Roof-Mounted Rack
Roof racks are probably the most versatile among the best bike racks for SUVs. Besides carrying bikes, they can even carry any other type of luggage as long as you know what to adjust. This group of products also delivers impressive performance regarding capacity, since it can handle up to 5 bikes.
Because the rack is implemented on the roof of the car, there’s no possibility of it obstructing the driver’s view. And as if all these features aren’t amazing enough, they’re also budget-friendly, costing a relatively low amount of money. Interested now? Check out the Yakima ForkLift Fork Mount.
Yet, don’t forget that this product group has its own limitations as well. One is that in order to pack the bikes on the rack, you have to carry them over your head, which can be pretty exhausting. And height restrictions may also be a serious problem, along with louder noises coming from more wind resistance.
2. Usage Pattern
When we talk about usage patterns, what we actually mean is the frequency at which you use your bike racks. If you use it all the time, the rack can actually be a permanent fixture on your SUV, therefore it won’t be too much of an issue. But if you use it occasionally, let’s say only for your vacations, you need to find something that can be removed and stored easily, a model that can fit with the space you designate for it.
Our suggestion is that you figure this out in advance, so you can limit your choices down to the ones that actually satisfy your demands
3. Number of Bikes
A basic, but tends to be forgotten factor. You have to determine how many bikes you usually carry. This doesn’t have to be a fixed number, but at least know the range, like 1 to 2, 3 to 4, or more than that. If you want to bring many bikes but your rack is small, how can it fit? And buying a rack bigger than what you actually need is not smart either, as it will be a waste of space and money.
Find out what you need, and stick to it. That’s how you will be able to find the best bike rack for your SUV.
When it comes to the best bike racks for SUVs, it would be such a huge mistake not to mention the Thule T2 Pro XT. This rack receives countless positive reviews for its user-friendly nature along with its exceptional versatility, making it a smart choice for any customer in need.
With dimensions being 54 x 15 x 43 inches and folded dimensions of 54.7 x 22.5 x 33.8 inches, the T2 Pro XT can handle 2 bikes at ease. The frame-free ratcheting arm allows users to rapidly pack their bikes without any contact with the frame, and the bikes are safely kept 12.5 inches apart.
For convenience, the rack is designed so that it can be tilted down to make it easier for customers to load the bikes on can to fold up when not in use. In addition, you will find this rack extremely simple to set up and remove as it’s paired with the tool-free auto attach system.
Regarding capacity, the rack from Thule can handle up to 60 pounds of maximum bike weight and 120 pounds of load capacity in general. Ideally, this product should be used with carbon frames, mountain, downhill, e-bikes, and fat bikes, since it can accommodate wheels with sizes from 20 to 29 inches.
You may feel that this product is pretty limited in use because it only fits in vehicles with a 2-inch trailer hitch only. But if you possess a vehicle of this type, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks should be on the top of your shopping list.
This product comes with 22-inch long carry arms that can secure bicycles with the patented tie-down system from Allen on its own. It only takes you less than 5 minutes to install the rack, so don’t worry about the setup of this model.
There’s one thing that you need to pay attention to, however, is that it’s required to have a professionally installed Class III or IV 2-inch hitch on your vehicle if you want to start using this product.
Among the best bike racks for SUVs, the IKURAM 4-Bike rack is considered one of the most long-lasting. This model is made of alloy steel with all steel great durability.
The dual-arm mounting design optimizes accommodation as you can now carry bikes of various sizes, with a maximum of 4 bikes. Another feature that deserves all the praises is the easy tilt-down which creates convenient access to the rear of vehicles. The easy fold-down arms make folding a piece of cake, so you will no longer have to be worried whether the rack will take up a large amount of space when not in use.
What makes this product even more appealing is the customer service that IKURAM offers. Like every other model from IKURAM, this model is supported by the company’s lifetime warranty, therefore you can be reassured that no matter what happens, IKURAM will have your back. You are also supplied with professional consulting services, so if you have any problems feel free to contact them.
You may realize that among the best bike racks for SUVs discussed here, the Saris Bones Bike Trunk Rack is the one that has a completely different appearance. It is this innovative design that sets it apart from other products in this section. The product is structured like 2 arcs in order to carry 2 bikes but at different levels, thus saving some more space.
Looking at the rack, you may think it’s delicate and fragile, but the truth is totally the opposite. This model from Saris Bones is made with heavy-duty materials that allow it to endure hardcore use for a prolonged period of time, the injection-molded arms and legs are rust-resistant. The consequence is that you can freely use your rack in any weather condition without having to sweat over the potential effect that weather has on your item.
If you’re the type to be environmentally aware and have great concern about the impact that your bike may have on the environment, this product is your best friend since it’s made with 100% recyclable materials. Moreover, you don’t have to think about the fact that your rack can scratch your car either, for the Saris Bones rack is equipped with rubber feet that interact gently with the surface of the car.
The compact design also means that this product is a lot lighter than other racks on the market, which will come in handy if you have to carry it around a lot.
Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Can a bike rack carry other items?
Most bike racks are designed so that they would be able to handle other cargo. All you need is a few adjustments so that it could fit what you intend to bring.
Bear in mind that you need to take the type of your cargo into consideration. For instance, if you already have a roof box, you should choose another type instead of roof-mounted racks. By listing out what you usually carry and reading our descriptions of the 4 rack types presented above, we believe you’ll have no difficulty finding what you need.
2. Does a bike rack decrease the speed at which I drive?
It’s hard to answer this question to the fullest because with each bike rack comes to a recommended maximum speed. We advise you to refer to the manual instructions that come with your track to know which speed you can safely obtain when the track is in use.
One more important note is that pay attention to how much you’re carrying. The number of bikes is directly related to the weight put on your car, and you should adjust your speed accordingly. Remember that all of this is for your own safety, so don’t overlook this problem.
3. How can I protect my SUV when a bike rack is installed?
The integration of a bike rack itself means more weight is put on your SUV, so you may start to wonder how to protect your vehicle from the added weight as well as the potential scratches. Understanding this concern from customers, many manufacturers nowadays made sure that their products are equipped with padding, foam, and extra protection pads.
No matter which protection add-ons you choose, never forget to secure your bikes tightly. Once your bikes are safely secured, there are fewer chances for them to wobble, as a result, fewer chances of accidents for both you and your SUV.
4. How important is storage space?
As we’ve mentioned above, when a bike rack is not in use, it can be removed and stored somewhere else. This is when storage space comes into the picture. Although bike racks are usually folded pretty neatly, you still need to make sure that your house has space for it. And even when the rack is fixed on your SUV, you still need to care about storage because how much space the rack takes is proportional to aerodynamics, which is in turn proportional to fuel consumption.
5. How do I keep my bike racks working for a longer period of time?
To make sure that your rack can function for a long time, choose a model that is made of durable materials. This allows the rack to be resistant to possible accidents that may occur in the process.
Many racks are also covered in a special coating that makes them resistant to dust and corrosion as well as normal tearing and wearing, which improves the longevity of the rack.
To wrap up our article today, below is a list of the best bike racks for SUVs that we’ve put together with a view to facilitating your decision-making process. We hope you will find what you need with this list.
- Best bike racks for SUV overall: Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks
- Best Hitch-Mounted: Swagman XC2 Bike Rack
- Best Strap-On: Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Rack
- Best Spare Tire: Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
- Best Roof-Mounted: Yakima ForkLift Fork Mount
- Best Durability: IKURAM 4-Bike Rack
- Best Compact: Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack
And that concludes what we’ve got to say about the best bike racks for SUVs. We hope you find this article helpful and please look forward to our future updates!