Best Bike Racks for Cars

Whether you’re heading to a national forest for a mountain biking adventure or heading cross-country for a bike race, every rider needs a dependable bike rack for their car. Which kind of bike rack you pick depends on a few factors, including how many bikes you need to transport. But the most important distinction is between trunk-mount racks, which work on almost any car but take a little more fiddling, and hitch-mount racks, which slip into your car’s installed trailer hitch. These two picks should fit any vehicle, no matter how you intend to use them.
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Best Trunk-Mount

Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack, Model 102DN-R

Attaches to Any Car. No trailer hitch needed for this secure rack, which mounts with a set of tie-downs.

What We Liked

If you have a small car, or just don’t want to bother with a trailer hitch, this versatile, nearly-universal rack is for you. Four tie-downs—one for the top of the trunk, one for the bottom, and two lateral straps to reduce side-to-side sway—keep your bikes stable and safe. They tighten easily, with a simple yank of the strap. The padded lower frame provides a safe buffer between the metal frame and the body of your car for scratch-free operation. At a maximum capacity of 70 pounds for two bikes, this can handle everything except e-bikes. Buy Now

Best Hitch Rack

Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Racks for 1 1/4 in. and 2 in. Hitch

Best Hitch Rack. If you have a trailer hitch, spring for this easy-to-use, rock-solid rack.

What We Liked

No trunk-mount rack will ever match the sturdiness of a good hitch-mounted rack, so if you’re carrying a full load of cycles, spring for this model. The locking hitch insert is compatible with either 1.25 or 2-inch receivers and tightens with a knob for dead-easy installation. When not in use, it’s simple to fold back the arms on the rack. Like the trunk-mounted option, this rack can carry up two bicycles, with a total weight capacity of 70 pounds, which will handle everything from an ultralight carbon triathlon bike to a chunky beach cruiser. Buy Now

Easiest to Use

Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Efficient Bike Carrier. Looking for an easy-to-stow hitch rack? This wheels-down model folds up when not in use.

What We Liked

Whether you’re living in a small apartment or just want a rack that will fit in the back of the car easily when you’re done using it, this wheels-down rack (think of the kind used on public buses) compacts for simple storage when you’re done using it. It’s also dead easy to use: Put your bike’s wheels in the tray, pull the hook over your frame, and you’re ready to drive. Simple as it is, the attachment points provide a solid, wobble-free ride. Buy Now