The countless variety of choices often confuses you, the endless list of products makes you tired of scrolling down the webpages – when you have a bike-craze and looking for the best bike rack for an SUV. You don’t want to depart from your crazy bike in the long miles, but at the same time you have to remain anxious with its safety in the drive. The ultimate goal – not to harm your pricey wheels, and most definitely- not losing them on the hazardous drive.
Bike-racks come in various designs to do your job, some get mounted to the hitch of your vehicle, and some set on the trunk. It is therefore necessary to pick up your kind, depending on the features that suit your vehicle and bike’s exterior the most. Some vehicles may not have a hitch at the back, and your option probably narrows to only the trunk-mounted racks then. Among the variety of cars people use for tours, an SUV is the most popular choice. SUVs have the versatility – not only they carry you, but the entire family to spend time together outdoors.
These vehicles typically have plenty of room for all the members, but to accommodate a bicycle is often problematic. If you or your folks are fond of biking and opt for cycling farther a few miles from your home, then you must start looking for the best bike rack for SUV. How to Find the Best Bike Rack for SUV Bike riding can be a very healthy and rewarding pursuit, apart from being an extreme work of fun.
To extend this hobby of yours to the next level, get your family involved in it too. Furthermore, taking a short drive with the bike on your car, to a track more persuasive, more challenging for riding would keep up the esteem in you and your folks too. Thus, use the bike-rack on the rear of your SUV, to safely carry your bikes to such locations and open up the journey to the horizons with your Spartan wheels. Keep scrolling down the snapshots of the seven best racks, and their in-depth reviews.
Then keep reading the buying-guide towards the end, and let us help you to draw a conclusion in this bike-rack hunt of yours. Own a truck and are wondering to buy a truck bed bike rack? See our article on the best truck bed bike rack.
- 1 How We Reviewed these Racks :
- 2 Top 10 Best Bike Rack for an SUV 2021 – Ultimate Review & FAQ
- 3 Product 1 : Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2 in. Hitch
- 4 Product 2 : Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
- 5 Product 3 : DELUXE TRUNK MOUNTED BIKE RACK
- 6 Product 4 : Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
- 7 Product 5: BV Bike Carrier Tray Style Hitch Rack
- 8 Product 6 : MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack
- 9 Product 7 : Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
- 10 Product 8 : Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
- 11 Product 9 : Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack
- 12 Helpful Buyers Guide for Best Bike Rack for an SUV
- 13 Roof mounted racks or Roof Racks
- 14 Hitch mounted racks or Hitch Racks
- 15 Installation is very easy with hitch-racks – many racks don’t require any tool to slide and lock the rack into the receiver. At best you may need pliers to tighten the bolt joining them. Once it’s installed, nothing else is to be done.
- 16 It is much easier to take the bikes on and off : you just have to lift them up a foot and strap onto the trays. It is pretty less tiresome than lifting them over your head-the required on a roof rack. Most newer racks are hinged to fold up and out of the way when not in use, giving rear access. Many have integrated locks to secure bikes to the rack using arms over the front wheel.
- 17 Trunk mount racks or Trunk Racks
- 18 Sea-suckers or Sea-sucker Bike Racks
- 19 Truck Bed Bike Racks
- 20 Spare Tire Bike Racks
- 21 Tailgate Pad Racks
- 22 Buying Factors to Purchase the Best Bike Rack
- 23 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for a Rack
- 24 How to Set-up a Bike Rack
- 25 Best Bike Rack for Car FAQ:
- 26 Question: Do I have to drill holes in my car?
- 27 Question: My car does not have any rain gutters, can I put a roof rack on it?
- 28 Question: What if I alternate my SUV? Can I use the bike-rack on the new one too?
- 29 Question: Can I put another hitch or trailer on my car while using a bike rack?
- 30 Question: Can I get replacement parts for my rack?
- 31 Question: Can I get a car wash with my rack installed on the car?
- 32 Share this:
- 33 Related
How We Reviewed these Racks :
Our editors have thoroughly analyzed the market, researched the specifications, scrutinized user-reviews, spoken with product-manufacturers and engineers, and used their own faculty to give you the best listing. The surveying experts kept using these racks on numerous vehicles for months, utilizing and extorting them till their last- to know their best and worst parts. Thus you have an objective market research done for you. These are the 7—that survived our hectic scrutiny successfully :
Top 10 Best Bike Rack for an SUV 2021 – Ultimate Review & FAQ
Product 1 : Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2 in. Hitch
This 4-Bike Hitch Rack comes from the reputed Allen Sports. From their startup in 1967, they try their best to make their products user-friendly. They have put more than three dozens of patents in their credit, till date. Accordingly, you shall find some unique easiness with this 4-Bike Hitch Rack, such as, folding carry-arms, three bolts’ quick installation etc. With this product, Allen Sports satisfies its customers over the USA, Mexico, Canada, China and other nations. A variety of 5 models with different locking systems to suit individual demands are available. All the models are equipped with a no-wobble bolt to keep the rack tight inside the hitch. To save your pricey bikes from scratches, the carrier is colored with a black powder-coated finish. This coating acts as a rugged safety for your bikes. Considering all the features, we rank this as the top pick for the best bike rack in the market.
Highlighted Features :
26 x 3.5 x 14 inches
Product 2 : Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
The Allen MT-1 Ultra-compact 1-bike carrier provides all of the conveniences of a premium quality SUV bike-rack. The manufacturer has to their credit making the first ever SUV rack and bringing it in market by 1971. All of Allen’s products are subjected to optimal research to improve their efficiency. Likewise, this one is special for the ease of use in its Allen’s patented folding design feature. Among all the bike carriers of this huge company, this one tops as the best bike rack for SUV. The engineering on Allen’s MT Racks makes them extremely compact when folded, but extremely stable when installed on your vehicle. Like all trunk mounted racks, it is easy to transport and store when not in use. But, this one is truly the ultimate commuter rack. Built on a rugged steel frame, the MT-1 offers dual compound tie-down cradles to firmly hold your bicycle. All these facilities are backed by Allen’s exceptional customer service and lifetime warranty. Highlighted Features :
7.3 x 3.5 x 14 inches
Product 3 : DELUXE TRUNK MOUNTED BIKE RACK
This carrier is perhaps the most successful addition to the list of Allen’s innovations. They did not stop only at pioneering trunk-mounted racks in the market. Rather, they kept a continuous effort to research the customer-friendliness of their products. Customizations followed these studies and came up with optimised products like this Deluxe Trunk-mounted bike rack. This Deluxe four bike rack is an optimised version of the MT-1 Ultra Compact model. The changes have been done to suit sedans, hatchbacks, minivans and SUVs. You can use three phrases to sum up the rack’s evaluation - Safe, versatile, and easy to use. Its patented design allows you to set it up in seconds. Two side-straps and an extra-wide bottom-foot deliver remarkable stability. Allen’s patented tie-down system secures each bike individually and safely transports your bicycles around town or cross country at affordable cost. All these specs would definitely convince you to acknowledge it as the best bike rack for a car, or to say it more specifically, the best bike rack for hatchbacks. Highlighted Features :
4.5 x 23 x 13.7 inches
Product 4 : Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Added to the list of the creativity of Allen Sports, this rack possesses a hybrid design. You shall find a blend of Allen’s two former products in it : the MT-1 Ultra Compact and the Deluxe Trunk-mounted models. The Premier rack has wide profile feet like the Deluxe model, but uses leg padding like the Ultra -compact. The foam-pads in the Deluxe model have been one of its backdrops – they frequently tear down and bother you to replace them. This fault has been covered up in this Premier model. The leg-pads of the Ultra Compact model are durable, plus they are very safe to rest against glasses too. They leave the surface they stand on scratchless. The main frame secures the bike away from your vehicle as in the Deluxe model, improving car-paint safety. Moreover, it gives stability when holding bikes on them, when speeding up. The overall function of this rack is satisfactory; and its features are compatible to suit versatile purposes of different class bikers. Perhaps this optimised version shall soon replace its predecessor, the best seller Deluxe model, in the market, as it already occupies the 4th best seller title. Those among you buying it can rest assured that you have chosen the best bike rack trunk mounted, or at least one best bike rack for an SUV in the market.
5.1 x 23.6 x 14.2 inches
Product 5: BV Bike Carrier Tray Style Hitch Rack
BV Bike Carrier Hitch Rack comes to your solution with some unique features among all its competitors. You shall find smart and intricate care in its design, for your ample convenience. Thanks to these amenities, BV Bike Carrier Tray Style Hitch Rack ranks among the most pursued bike racks in budget. User-friendly workmanship leaves trails all over its parts - from the Smart Tilt Back design, to the night safety reflector installed at the rear.The Folding Up option adds to the list of benefits, allowing easy parking scope for users. Each bike on the rack is gripped in position by the three-point connection system – two tray style arms on the bottom and one vertical arm on top, enabling you to carry your wheelers sway-free. BV, the manufacturer, is already recognised for their innovative solutions for all sorts of bikers. This hitch rack also marks the same. Other than the ultra convenient design, you shall get a sleek bike rack to suit your style.
Highlighted Features :
1.25″ x 1.25″ and 2″ x 2″ inches
Product 6 : MaxxHaul (70210) 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack
“MaxxHaul for the long haul” is the motto of the global manufacturer of this carrier. They declare their commitment to “guarantee customers’ satisfaction on all MaxxHaul branded products and best quality in pricing”. The China-based global manufacturer of towing accessories has come up with this heavy-duty all steel constructed bike rack truly for your extra convenience. The rack is made from their high quality design and state-of-the-art workmanship. This bike rack will beyond any doubt transport the weight of up to 4 of your heavy bicycles. Your bikes remain protected with features like padded cradles, with hook and loop straps preventing scratches. Unlike being concerned about the common hitch-type racks being flimsy, you shall find this thing SOLID as a ROCK.
Highlighted Features :
33 x 10 x 6 inches
Product 7 : Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
“Ride, paddle, explore: Seek your adventure,” Coming up with this philosophy, Swagman’s venture resulted in several ground-breaking designs in the North American Bicycle, RV and Automobile markets. Swagman was one of the first companies to design and market a hitch-style bike rack in the early 90’s. The Swagman XC2 is a versatile hitch-mount rack that easily accommodates children’s and adult bikes, downhill bikes, cruiser bikes, full-suspension bikes, BMX bikes, ”Y” frame designed bikes, and much more. A tray-style carrier, the XC2 slides into multi-size hitch receivers and can carry up to two bikes. The XC2 is a product that ensures both safety and facility. It comes with both steel-strength and flexible design. Additionally the rack easily adjusts to different bike frame sizes with the simple movement of the wheel hoops. The tray guards its wheels from losses, while its grip-arms with a soft coating firmly grip your bike. Similar to all the tray-styled racks, XC2 decreases extra pressure on bike hubs and cogset. Still, the unique advantage it has among all the competitors is that the wheel-trays can be folded up when not in use.
Highlighted Features :
5 x 34 x 11 inch
Product 8 : Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
This Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Rack is a Spartan – easy to install and remove from the rack with the tool-free AutoAttach system. The HitchSwitch-lever enables it to fold up when not in use and tilt away from the vehicle to give you rear access – Just as expected from an ideal bike rack hitch mounts. But the unique features it comes up with would surprise you- perhaps would hold your breath. Firstly, your bikes won’t be stolen anymore- the integrated Cable-lock and Lock-knob would hold tight your bikes to the rack and the rack to the receiver. Secondly, the bikes won’t collide against each other – you can adjust side to side to create generous spacing between both mounts. Last but not the least, the Ratcheting-arms would push tight on the wheels – without any frame contact, so – No Scratches! All these specs XT2 has are sought by premium users. And why not ! Thule is no new name in the market. Till date, Thule rules the market of cargo carriers for automobiles and sport bags like a boss over 100 countries. Indeed, this rack is devoted for those looking for a product from a premium grade manufacturer. It obviously counts in the best bike racks for hitch mounts. Though the price tags of Thule products share the same impression too.
|Weight : 52 pounds Size : 55 x 15 x 13 inches Model Number : 9035XTB Manufacturer : Thule|
|Things to Be Aware of (CONS) :|
Product 9 : Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack
This Lenox Hitch Mount Bike Rack comes from Retrospec, the destination of all looking for cycling accessories. This bicycle manufacturer fulfils its commitment to ensure green standard compliance of the product as well as to gain customer satisfaction. As a result, you shall find the product free from toxic chemicals causing cancers. Lenox is also super customer compliant. You shall get all the ease-of-use that users desire in this crazy hitch bike rack : easy to assemble, individual tie-down, smart tilt away mast and fold-down carry arm and what not ! Indeed, Retrospec does respect their customer’s facility and desires. The bike rack is constructed of a full steel body, ensuring the strength crucial for hitch mount racks. So you can rest assured your rack won’t disappear with your bike, when you hit a bump on the road. The carry arm you’ll get has the maximum weight-bearing capacity for each bike (around 40 lbs) – but you can always rely on the weight limit they say. Added to the facilities you shall get an anti-wobble hitch adapter for bike’s increased safety, and the bikes would lay with sufficient gaps in between – not to hit and scratch each other. With the help of some minor tools included in the package, the carrier easily installs itself into Class III or IV 2-inch receiver hitches. You shall find the rubber padded cradles flexible enough to hold a variety of bike top-tubes, and the rubber straps would gently tighten the bikes unto them. Retrospec was born out of a passion for cycling, coming into the market they tried to serve the fellow bikers their best. Fueled by a small but scrupulous team of innovators, they continue to do so till date. In Front of you is such a bike rack, shaped with the outcomes of their continuous determination.
2-bike – 80lbs, 3-bike – 110lbs, 4-bike – 140lbs, 5-bike – 170lbs
|Weight : 21 pounds Size : 8 x 6 x 2 inches? Model Number : 2637 Manufacturer : Retrospec|
|Things to Be Aware of (CONS) :|
Product 10 : Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Black 1-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack
A newcomer in the market, Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B bike rack has already rolled into the topmost choice list when it comes to modern trunk mounted bike racks. Modern day customers hate the hassle of installation and prefer to go for compact product choices in everyday life. Keeping this in mind, the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B comes 10% assembled to fit sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, SUVs, and almost all cars types you may have. The rack gives definitely an athletic look, but will surprise you with the decent care its manufacturer took to ensure optimum user-friendliness.
All the bars that come close to either your car or your bike can be found padded and the pads are not those which get worn easily over time. Added extra safety straps bear testimony of the producer’s crave for user satisfaction of the next age. The popular complaint about trunk-mounted racks that the lower frame of the carry-arms often scratches the bikes cannot be found here – for an efficient coated armour has been attached to those parts to softly distance the bike from the vehicle, touching the bike frame. One of the crucial things customers want to learn is the time limit before the rack-metals start to rust.
To your utter surprise, you shall not find a single complaint with rusting, as the whole frame has an OE standard black e-coating for ultimate rust-resistance. Added to the top of all these conveniences, the TG-RK1B204B comes with the lifetime limited warranty wide-known for their quality service. Tyger Auto belongs to a group of innovators based in California. They truly have done their best to bring you this innovative modern day hassle-free bike rack, on which you can let your bike rest, and you yourself rest assured in the long drive.
|Weight : 8.6 pounds Size : 20 x 15 x 9 inches Model Number : TG-RK1B204B Manufacturer : TYGER|
|Things to Be Aware of (CONS) :|
Last Words : As we have said in the beginning, the variety of bike-rack types and their specs would get you confused. But don’t go paranoid, we have kept that in mind while reviewing these products. Our experts have come up with some gross outlines you need to know to match your choice and needs equally. Again, you may have questions after you buy or fix to buy a rack which may remain even after going through those guidelines. To get a solution for all those problems and queries altogether, scroll down to read our Buying Guide, and then the FAQ section for you. You may find one of your heart-felt questions enlisted there. Lastly, you may have already bought a bike rack, but don’t know how to install it. Then find below our Guide on how to set up a bike rack for an SUV . Remember to let us know your opinions, or ask further questions if you have, in the comment section of this page. Have a good drive with your rack!
Helpful Buyers Guide for Best Bike Rack for an SUV
It’s a must that you are well aware of the options when you hunt for the best bike rack for jeep wranglers or the best bike rack for minivans. Among the available bike rack choices, the kinds of products you have are:
Roof mounted racks or Roof Racks
Three types of roof racks are available:
- Complete rack systems that can be installed on the bare roof
- Trays that install on your built-in crossbars or side rails
- Racks with suction cups that vacuum-pack to the roof surface
And bikes can be carried on them in two ways: with or without removing the front wheel. Removing the wheel lowers the height, lightens the load, and enhances stability. But it may be annoying and may not be easy to do with bikes with some disc-brakes. Adapters are available to fit through-axles. The roof-rack gives you extra security compared to other modes but may be troublesome to fit all vehicles and to pass through tunnels with them.
Hitch mounted racks or Hitch Racks
Hitch racks seem to make carriers the most convenient, provided that you must have a hitch receiver built in at the rear of your car.
Installation is very easy with hitch-racks – many racks don’t require any tool to slide and lock the rack into the receiver. At best you may need pliers to tighten the bolt joining them. Once it’s installed, nothing else is to be done.
It is much easier to take the bikes on and off : you just have to lift them up a foot and strap onto the trays. It is pretty less tiresome than lifting them over your head-the required on a roof rack. Most newer racks are hinged to fold up and out of the way when not in use, giving rear access. Many have integrated locks to secure bikes to the rack using arms over the front wheel.
The drawbacks of hitch racks are: They extend the length of your car, so you’ll have to be cautious in movement; They also give remarkable wobbles at high speed and most of them can’t be used off roads.
Trunk mount racks or Trunk Racks
Trunk mounted racks are typically the most affordable carriers with the most portability. These racks attach to your trunk with straps and hooks, and their upper and lower feet stabilize the body against the car. It’s easy to install and uninstall and to carry in a small bag – installation doesn’t require any tools. But the thing to worry about is that the trunk racks remain very closely suspended against your vehicle, and may lead to scratching the paints in several places- where the straps are hooked, and at the trunk-surface from the paddles and tubes moving around. The hooks may leave damages to the trunk too. The other most potential downside is that of security – the whole load is suspended on the hooked straps which may tear down over time and cause you bikes irrecoverable damage.
Sea-suckers or Sea-sucker Bike Racks
It’s a unique kind of rack manufactured and marketed by the company Seasucker in 2009. These racks use powerful vacuum mounts to attach the carrier to the surface of the vehicle. The benefit of this kind is that they can be attached to almost any surface – roof, trunk, rear-gates, glasses etc and fit a wide variety of vehicles : sedan, van, pickup, truck, SUV, convertible, sports car, even a camper/RV. There’s generally no set lifetime limit on the vacuum mounts, and they have indicators installed on the pump to indicate potential failures. The smoother, flatter and cleaner the surfaces are, the maximum shall be the performance. As the suction pads are made of plastic, they leave no scar on the surface attached. Dedicated racks are sold for transporting bikes, but can also be used for transporting skis, snowboards, surfboards, paddle boards, kayaks, canoes etc. Despite all of its versatility, the most potential lack is that of durability- they cannot be used for heavy use. Also, you always need to keep a powered pump to install them.
Truck Bed Bike Racks
Though designed only for pickups, trucks and vehicles with carry floors on them, these are perhaps the safest option to carry your bikes – if you own a pick-up van or a truck. Many of the truck-bed racks can be used as a stand-alone bike rack in your garage too. Unless you have to carry other things with the bikes as well on your truck, truck-bed racks are the best choice for you. TO LEARN ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IN DETAIL ABOUT TRUCK BED BIKE RAKCS, CLICK HERE.
Spare Tire Bike Racks
Spare tire bike racks are mounted onto the spare tire you carry on the back of your vehicle. Those who must carry a tire extra, especially those going off-roads or on long countryside or wild nature drives, this is a must. However, these would work only if you have the spare tire fastened to the rear, which is common for most SUVs and other off-road vehicles. And when you have the wheel uninstalled, you may need a rack of another kind.
Tailgate Pad Racks
Just like the truck-bed racks, these racks too are especially targeted for vehicles with rear space – pick-ups and trucks. The Tailgate pads are installed on both sides of the tailgate to protect the car’s polish and carry bikes over them. The front wheel of the bike is installed across the gate and the tailgate gets in between the down tube and head tube of the bike. The bike gets into a hanging position leaving the front wheels hanging off the gates. Straps and loops are used to keep the bikes in position. Thus the bikes are carried using the vehicle’s own tailgate, and the rack has no solid or metal frame at all.
Buying Factors to Purchase the Best Bike Rack
Generally, the type of car you drive, your budget, number of bikes to carry etc. factors will dictate your choice of the best suited bike rack. Let us now focus in detail on each of the points you have to consider before buying a bike carrier : Your Budget With so many brands, and different sizes, the prices of racks differ widely. It is obvious that you settle for the one that won’t hurt your wallet, but that doesn’t mean you prefer cheaper prices over quality. Remember that a basic rack that fits your purpose may be bought twice to serve double its lifetime as opposed to a premium quality rack costing double, but not serving such long. Check for outlets that accept slow payments. Most importantly, you must choose sellers with a full refund policy for your order.
Fitting the Size and Style of your Vehicle It is crucial that the carrier appropriately fits in your vehicle’s exterior. If you choose one which doesn’t, you are most likely to inflict damage on your car. The trunk-mounted racks are known to fit a wider variety of cars, while the hitch-mounted racks can only be loaded if there is a hitch-receiver installed onto your vehicle.
The leading advantage of the hitch racks is that they don’t touch the delicate surface of your car. Manufacturer’s Reputation Among the factors that must be put into consideration is the manufacturer’s reputation. Some are known to cut corners in their production, or widely known for substandard products, and you should always be conscious to avoid such options.
If the quality and durability are compromised, value for your money gets ultimately lost in the long run. You can have a look at the best seller ranking of Amazon or other markets for this purpose. Strength and Security Racks secure bikes by locking the bikes onto themselves. You consider the strength and safety of the carrier’s main frame first, and then also the straps and cradles. You may be able to replace the straps at minute expenses, as opposed to the general structure of the bike rack, which can’t be made stronger once it is manufactured below par.
The anti-theft locks should also be considered with priority, whether the rack at least provides an option for installing them or not. The Number of Transportable Bikes The number of bikes that a rack can properly accommodate is a vital consideration. If you bike in the company of friends or family, then you need a rack that can haul the maximum number of bikes.
It is always advised that you get a bike rack that will prevent your bicycles from knocking each other during transit. Many racks can’t carry the load of the maximum number of bikes they say to do. Many would bend over larger weights of heavier mountain bikes.
So, try to determine the average number and weight of your bikes, and decide on its basis. There is a key rule that every carrier would genuinely carry half the load it claims to do. Expected Level of Usage and Durability How often you expect to use the racks should determine your choice of a rack. If it is once in months, then you may go for the cheaper ones.
But if the mount will be in heavy use, opt for a premium one and don’t pay for the less than the best. Additional Functions Some racks support only your bikes during transportation. But as we found out in some, they can serve additional purposes when not in use. You may carry some items, like fishing rods, surfing boards etc. on them too. Many racks can be used to hold your bikes in your garage. Think of these additional benefits if you have use of them.
Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for a Rack
- Buying a rack that doesn’t fulfill your outdoor needs.
- Opting for a cheaper rack overlooking safety concerns.
- Buying the rack with incompatible design for your vehicle.
- Getting a rack that can’t properly carry all your bikes.
It is highly recommended that when you are shopping for a rack, never should you sacrifice quality, durability, and safety for a lower price. Information mentioned above should assist you to come to proper conclusions, and I am confident you will choose the best pick.
How to Set-up a Bike Rack
Set-up processes for bike racks widely vary on their prototypes. Whereas the roof mount, trunk mount, and spare tire racks are mainly hooked to the vehicle, the seasuckers are attached using vacuum. The hitch mount racks need to be attached to the hitch receiver of your vehicle and mostly require a bolt to be installed in between – still they don’t mess up with the vehicle’s main body. On the contrary, the truck bed racks require the most aggressive installation : most of them are to be bolted and drilled into the body of the truck. On the other hand, the tailgate pad racks are the easiest ones among all to be installed – you just have to cover the tailgate and then tie the straps together. Irrespective of type, modern day bike racks are designed to easily attach themselves to your vehicle. Still, assuming that you are unfamiliar with bike racks here are a few tips to help you along the installation process:
- All bike racks come with a user manual with the package. Before starting the installation, you must go through it attentively to gain an overall insight.
- After you have gone through the manual, gather the necessary equipment and start the process step by step as mentioned in the guide.
- Most bike racks are simple to install, and you can just hang the frames with the hooks without seeking assistance from anyone. However, if you do not feel confident enough, or your car has a brand new polish, seek assistance from experts to eliminate the chances of scratch and damages
- Clean the point of contact, where your rack and vehicle gets attached. Otherwise, tightening screws on dusty surfaces may lead to noteworthy scratches on the vehicle’s bodywork.
- When you first install the rack, tie it with an extra cable or rope and suspend it from somewhere above. This would help you to do the screwing job much easily without damages to the rack or vehicle.
- In case of hitch racks, you must first learn the match between your car’s hitch and the rack’s hitch receiver. You may need an adapter to install in between to adjust differing hitch and receiver sizes. Then, find out whether the hitch receiver automatically installs into the hitch receiver, or you have to bolt it. If you need to bolt it, use bolts and tools provided in the boxes with priority.
- If you are on the job with a truck bed rack, where you have to drill the frame onto your vehicle’s body, be sure, you are experienced to do so. It requires skills. Otherwise, it’s not wise to practice drilling your car as a novice.
- All the carriers where the load is suspended on hooked straps, you must be watchful whether you properly installed the hooks to an exact hanger or not. Else, your car would be scratched heavily or your rack and bikes would suffer damage from fall down.
- You must be aware of your carrier’s load capacity for each bike and the weight of your own bike too. Always stick to it. Going beyond the limits may result in serious loss.
- Hold and carry your bike’s weight by yourself or on a suspension, when you first mount them on the carrier arms. Do not let go hold of them. Anything in the rack mechanism may fail to work initially, but that should not be tested upon your pricey bike.
- Many racks require front wheel removal. Then the hubs and cogset may let open metal bolts and screws. You must be aware while carrying those bikes and installing them onto the racks to avoid wounding your car’s finish.
- Many racks suspend the bikes too high from the vehicle’s height, or in a position wider than the size of the vehicle. After installation, you must be wary not to hit entrances, trees or low-level bridges while driving with them on.
- While on a drive it’s highly recommended to check the rack and the bikes every 40-50 km to ensure they are in place properly
- At any point of the installation you may become unsure what to do next. Then what you must do is that you must go through the user manual and installation guide again. You may consider consulting the hotline agent of the product’s manufacturer. Still, if you find yourself unguided, always locate a professional mechanic to do the rest.
Follow these steps and you have already installed your racks to their places. Now it’s time for the haul !
Best Bike Rack for Car FAQ:
Question: Do I have to drill holes in my car?
Answer: No. None of the listed above products require any sort of drilling – they attach via hooks to the trail-gate or directly onto the hitch receiver. Some of the products may require pliers to tighten the bolts occasionally, otherwise, you won’t be needing tools.
Question: My car does not have any rain gutters, can I put a roof rack on it?
Answer: You can. Wait for our latest guide to the best roof racks on the market, for a list of products that can be attached to vehicles lacking rain gutters.
Question: What if I alternate my SUV? Can I use the bike-rack on the new one too?
Answer: Of course you can, if your new car comes up with the same options. The trunk mounted bike-racks are suited to almost all vehicles except for trucks. The hitch-mount bike-racks require a hitch-receiver available on your new vehicle.
Question: Can I put another hitch or trailer on my car while using a bike rack?
Answer: No. The racks that are mounted to the hitch necessarily plug into it, blocking it from other uses.
Question: Can I get replacement parts for my rack?
Answer: Most products listed above come with at least a limited period of replacement warranty. Almost all products on AMAZON provide options for cash refund or replacements for faulty products. The most limited warranties also cover replacements of faulty parts, at least for a short period. After that, you may need to contact the company. The well-known manufacturers like Thule, Yakima or Allen Sports are usually helpful and Allen provides lifetime warranty.
Question: Can I get a car wash with my rack installed on the car?
Answer: We recommend not to do so, as parts of the car wash can snag on the rack. Moreover, many good carriers are also prone to rusting. So, better to uninstall them before the wash.