Top 10 Best Bike Rack for Car or Truck Buying Guide

After spending your hard-earned money on a nice bike, you want to be able to bring it with you to ride in new places, so you will want to get the best bike rack for your car or truck.

I have so many memories of watching nervously out the back window of our station wagon as my beloved two-wheeler bounced precariously on the PVC rack that my dad had put together so that we could go riding on the bike path. Luckily, there are many more sturdy options available today at a variety of price points to protect your investment.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BIKE RACK

Know Your Vehicle

It is important to take stock of your vehicle features and size when choosing a rack. A roof-mounted rack will add height, and traveling under bridges and signs must be considered. You must also be physically able to lift the bike onto the top of the vehicle if you should choose this type of rack. For trucks, a truck bed-mounted rack will typically keep the overall height at or below the roof level, but it is still important to be sure that the height is manageable for you. If you are considering a rack which installs to a trailer hitch, you must be sure that your vehicle is equipped with one and that it is rated to hold the total weight of the rack and bike(s). A rear-mounted rack is a good choice for a car or SUV, but can be difficult to install on a truck.

Know Your Budget

If you are not sure how frequently you will be transporting your bike, you might want to consider a lower-priced option at first. Typically, this will be the rear-mounted or strap rack system. It is lightweight and a temporary installation which folds flat for storage. Slightly higher in price will be the tow hitch-mounted rack. Many vehicles can have a tow hitch added if this is a rack that you are considering. At a premium price point is the roof rack, which offers features like locking mechanisms and very secure anchor points. It is also possible with the roof rack to purchase attachments for other equipment.

Know Your Needs

Are you looking for a permanent fixture on your vehicle that will also be used to transport kayaks or skis? Or are you interested in something more temporary that is easy to reach? Do you need to lock your bike to ensure that your wheels are safe, or is it sufficient to use a cable lock system? These must be considered when choosing the right rack for you.

Top 10 Amazon Best Sellers: Best Bike Racks

You can read further down below for our buyers guide to help you choose the right bike rack. But if you are ready to start shopping, here is the current top 10 list of best sellers as of today on Amazon. Customers vote with their wallets, so you can see here what customers consider to be the best bike racks on the market.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Lifetime Warranty TMS® 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier Canoe Boat Surf Ski Roof Top Mount Car SUV Crossbar
850 Reviews
Lifetime Warranty TMS® 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack HD Kayak Carrier Canoe Boat Surf Ski Roof Top Mount Car SUV Crossbar
  • KAYAK CAR TOP CARRIER A simple, low-cost solution to carrying your kayak ITEM#: KAYAK-RK-J(2SET)...
  • This Kayak Carrier designed mounts to virtually all crossbars and load bars on the market. The...
  • Features: Steel design with adjustable padding for carrying strength and kayak protection Wide mouth...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY- Your satisfaction is the most important to us and we offer limited lifetime...
  • ~PLEASE CHECK MEASUREMENTS BEFORE PURCHASE.~The crossbars shown in the pictures are not included....
SaleBestseller No. 2
Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (1/1/4 and 2-Inch Receiver)
1083 Reviews
Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (1/1/4 and 2-Inch Receiver)
  • Carries up to 2 bikes
  • Fits a 1-1/4" and 2" hitch reciever
  • Max load capacity: 35lbs per bike
  • Center arm folds down to allow access to the rear-of-vehicle without removing the rack
  • Upright ratcheting arms easily adjust to different bike frame sizes
  • Transports up to 2 bikes, compatible with 1 1/4" and 2" receiver hitch also has a built in anti...
  • Upright ratchet arms easily adjust to different bike frame sizes, will accommodate bike frames up to...
  • Center arm folds down to allow access to the rear of the vehicle without removing the rack.
  • Fits 20' to 29" tire sizes.
  • Locking hitch pin required by manufacturer is item No. 64029
SaleBestseller No. 3
TYGER Deluxe Black 3-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack. (Fits most Sedans/Hatchbacks/Minivans and SUVs.)
85 Reviews
TYGER Deluxe Black 3-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack. (Fits most Sedans/Hatchbacks/Minivans and SUVs.)
  • 100% assembled. Fits most Sedans/Hatchbacks/Minivans and SUV's. (Not recommended for vehicles...
  • 3 bike capacity with sturdy and handy construction. Padded lower frame keeps bicycles away from...
  • Individual soft cradles made to protect your bike frame and secure your bikes. OE standard black...
  • Easy installation in minutes. (DIY instruction included in package.)
  • TYGER No-Hassle Limited Lifetime Warranty!
Bestseller No. 4
Thule Lock Cylinders for Car Racks
285 Reviews
Thule Lock Cylinders for Car Racks
  • Works with all compatible Thule racks and accessories
  • Includes 2 matching keys and an installation key
  • Keyed alike lock cylinders
  • Available in 2, 4, 6, and 8 pack
  • Protects your bike, boat, skis, or other gear from theft
Bestseller No. 5
Thule Traverse System Fit Kit
251 Reviews
Thule Traverse System Fit Kit
  • Vehicle specific fit kit for cars with a bare roof.
  • Rubber coated steel brackets and molded rubber pads withstand a lifetime of use.
  • Please check Thule Buyers Guide for vehicle specific fit
SaleBestseller No. 6
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
1275 Reviews
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
  • Simple, sturdy bike carrying system
  • Fits most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs
  • 12- inch long carry arms accommodate a wide range of bicycle styles
  • 11.5- inch wide carry arms for greater bike compatibility
  • Single configuration design eliminates setup hassles and headaches during installation
  • patented individual tie-down system secures and protects Ships in Certified Frustration-Free...
Bestseller No. 7
Yakima Products RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack
496 Reviews
Bestseller No. 8
Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack
453 Reviews
Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack
  • Awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars from Bicycling Magazine
  • Safely carries 2 bikes up to 35lbs each
  • Compatible with most vehicles (see Saris Fit Guide for approved fits)
  • Arc-based design fits over most spoilers and separates bikes on different levels
  • Injection-molded arms and legs are the strongest on the market
Bestseller No. 9
Allen Sports Ultra Compact Folding 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
675 Reviews
Allen Sports Ultra Compact Folding 1-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
  • Ultra-compact 1-bike carrier for traveling and commuting
  • Folds up small and fits inside carrying bag or backpack
  • 3 padded legs rest against vehicle; 3 adjustable security straps
  • Tie-downs and padding keep bike secure and separate from vehicle
  • Fits sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs
Bestseller No. 10
RV Square Bumper for Bike Cargo Carrier Hitch Receiver Adapter Mount on RV Travel Trailer Coachman For 4' square continuous welded RV bumpers (also fits bumpers 4.5' tall x 4.25' deep).
85 Reviews
RV Square Bumper for Bike Cargo Carrier Hitch Receiver Adapter Mount on RV Travel Trailer Coachman For 4" square continuous welded RV bumpers (also fits bumpers 4.5" tall x 4.25" deep).
  • Red Hound Auto Premium RV Bumper Receiver Adapter
  • Size: 2 inch receiver
  • For 4" square continuous welded RV bumpers (also fits bumpers 45" tall x 425" deep)
  • Constructed of black powder coated steel with zinc plated hardware
  • Designed for bike racks, NOT for towing purposes

Here is a handy video to help you along…

WHAT IS A BIKE RACK?

A bike rack can be mounted permanently or temporarily to your car or truck for the purpose of transporting your bike(s) anywhere you want to ride. Most are attached to the top or rear of the vehicle, and if you have a truck you also have the option of a rack which goes right in the truck bed. You will want to take a look at your vehicle and understand where the rack will be attached in order to make an informed decision about which rack will be right for your needs.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A BIKE RACK?

I’m sure that when you purchased your bike, all of your dreams about riding didn’t stop in your neighborhood. A bike is a great way to explore new places while you get some exercise. Bike paths and trails are popping up everywhere, and they are there for you to explore. A rack makes it easy to transport your bike to these places and see new things, join riding meet-ups, or challenge yourself with new terrain. Some rack systems also include locking mechanisms, which keep your bike secure when you are away from your vehicle.

THINGS TO AVOID AND DRAWBACKS

Make sure that you know what you are buying. You might find a second-hand roof rack for a great price, but if it is not the right size for your vehicle, that money has been wasted. At the other end of the spectrum, a strap rack that attaches at the rear of the vehicle may bend the edges of the rear door if attached too tightly, and may be insecure if not tightened enough.

CONCLUSION

It is important to know your budget and your needs when searching for the ideal bike rack. There are many options to choose from in a range of prices. It may be helpful to talk to someone at a specialty bike retailer or to watch a video like the one below. No matter which rack you choose, have fun out there exploring!

Originally authored by Allbesttop10.com