Written by 2:50 pm MTB, MTB Gears

My Best Mountain Bike Racks (Reviews & Buying Guide)

(Last Updated On: July 1, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: MY BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE RACKS

MY BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE RACKS COMPARISON:

Image Product Details   Price
THULE T2 XTR

Best overall hitch bike rack on the market
Number of bikes: 2
Max Weight: 60 lbs/bike
Mounting type: Platform
Durable
Easy installation
Easy use
Compatible with fat-bikes
High price
Check Price
on REI.com
KUAT SHERPA 2.0

A lightweight hitch bike rack
Number of bikes: 2
Max Weight: 40 lbs/bike
Mounting type: Platform
Lightweight
Easy to install
Long-term durability issues
Not versatile
Limited bike weight limit
Limited tire width
Check Price
on REI.com
THULE 934 EASYFOLD XT

A strong and sturdy bike rack that folds on itself with an integrated carrying handle
Number of bikes: 3
Max Weight: 60 kg
Mounting type: lockable hitch
Solid construction
You can access the safe easily
Easy and quick installation
Price
Check Price
on REI.com
SWAGMAN XC2

Best budget hitch rack
Number of bikes:  2
Max Weight: 32lbs
Mounting type: Hitch mounted
Incredibly cheap
Reliable
Not user-friendly
Check Price
on Amazon.com
THULE INSTAGATER

Best option if you are looking for a great rack for only one bike
Number of bikes: 1
Max Weight: 35lbs pounds
Mounting type: Hitch mounted 
Quick and easy
installation
Incredibly stable
Incredibly light
Only 1 bike
Check Price
on Moosejaw.con
YAKIMA HOLDUP EVO

Best for riders looking for an all-rounded rack
Number of bikes: 2
Max Weight: 51lbs
Mounting type: Hitch mounted
Sturdy design
Easy to install
Pricey
Lacks resistance in the folding arms
Check Price
on REI.com
SEA SUCKER TALON

Best innovative design that can stick on your car roof
Number of bikes: 1
Max Weight: 20lbs
Mounting type: Roof mounting
Innovative technology
Easy installation
You can’t be sure it is actually attached properly
Check Price
on REI.com

MY BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE RACKS REVIEWS:

THULE T2 XTR

  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Max Weight: 60 lbs/bike
  • Mounting type: Platform
  • Pros: Durable – Easy installation – Easy use – Compatible with fat-bikes
  • Cons: High price

KUAT SHERPA 2.0

  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Max Weight: 40 lbs/bike
  • Mounting type: Platform
  • Pros: Lightweight – Easy to install – 
  • Cons: Long-term durability issues – Not versatile – Limited bike weight limit – Limited tire width

THULE 934 EASYFOLD XT

  • Number of bikes: 3
  • Max Weight: 60 kg
  • Mounting type: lockable hitch
  • Pros: solid construction, you can access the safe easily, easy and quick installation
  • Cons: price

SWAGMAN XC2

  • Number of bikes:  2
  • Max Weight: 32lbs
  • Mounting type: Hitch mounted
  • Pros: incredibly cheap, reliable
  • Cons: not user-friendly

THULE INSTAGATER

  • Number of bikes: 1
  • Max Weight: 35lbs pounds
  • Mounting type: Hitch mounted 
  • Pros:  Quick and easy installation, incredibly stable, incredibly light
  • Cons: only 1 bike

YAKIMA HOLDUP EVO

  • Number of bikes: 2
  • Max Weight: 51lbs
  • Mounting type: Hitch mounted
  • Pros:  sturdy design, easy to install
  • Cons: pricey, lacks resistance in the folding arms

SEA SUCKER TALON

  • Number of bikes: 1
  • Max Weight: 20lbs
  • Mounting type: Roof mounting
  • Pros: innovative technology, easy installation
  • Cons: You can’t be sure it is actually attached properly

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BIKE RACK

There are quite a number of things you need to factor in when buying a bike rack.

Your needs

What is that you really need? Just like any investment you make today, defining your needs and also assessing the condition of your car are the two most important things you need to consider when choosing a bike rack. To help you define your needs well, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself. It will help you make a very wise choice.

  • How often will you use the bike rack?
  • How much money are you willing to spend on this device
  • How high can you really lift the bike and hold it steadily
  • Are you planning on transporting special bikes
  • Does your car come with a built-in roof-mounted rack?

Types of Rack

What type of rack do you really need? This will depend on a number of things. It could be price, features and also how it is mounted. The condition of the vehicle can also dictate what you need to go for. Here are the most common types of racks we have in the market.

Hitch-mounted

Although it is quite expensive, hitch-mounted bike racks are very popular among many people. It is easy to load and unload your bike on these racks. The fact that you don’t need to lift your bike onto your car’s roof makes it a very popular option for many riders who don’t want to go through all the hassle. Its set up is pretty much simple; the rack is often connected to a 1 ¼ inch and at times a 2inch receiver hitch that you can effortlessly mount on your car.

Advantages

  • They are really strong if you can get a good one
  • Incredibly easy loading and unloading.
  • Comes with great security features
  • Mounted at the back of the car that means it is out main airflow way
  • You don’t need to worry about height clearance

Disadvantages

  • You need a receiver hitch and that makes them quite expensive
  • In case the bike gets off while you are reversing
  • If your car doesn’t come with a receiver end, you will be forced to buy one

Roof Mounted Racks

It comes second in popularity after hitch mounted racks. These racks often come with feet that you can attach to the roof of your car. It is also equipped with crossbars that you can attach the bike to.

This option often comes with two options. One is where it needs front wheel removal. This one can make loading quite easy as it is a traditional way of hauling bikes up top. The second one is where both wheels remain on the bike. This one is less stable. However, the two come with integrated locks for much-needed security.

One of the best things about this type of mounting is the amount of versatility it comes with. While it is not permanent, it can actually stay in your car all the time. Additionally, you can also add a few accessories like cargo boxed, skis and SUP boards.

Advantages

  • Incredibly versatile; you can do all kinds of gear hauling with them
  • One of the most secured racks available
  • Don’t limit access to doors, boot, and tailgate

Disadvantages

  • It brings a bit of aero drag to your car; that could increase fuel consumption
  • If you drive in a place with height restriction and you forget about the bikes, you could end up ruining them

Trunk-mounted

This is a suitable option for shoppers on a budget. It is one of the least expensive options in the market today. It also offers less security for your bikes. This kind of mounting features a bunch of straps that you can hook around the clip of your car’s trunk or bumper.

These racks can be adjusted with ease. You can have them fitted on the rear of practically any car. In the end, really, this is one of the most affordable options you can put your hands on today. However, the kind of security you can net from it will largely rely on how well it is fitted and strapped.

Advantages

  • Incredibly easy to fit
  • Less expensive; it won’t hurt your wallet
  • Easy to remove
  • Its storage is also easy; it can be folded and stored away

Cons

  • Less secured
  • If you don’t have it properly fixed, your bikes can be stolen while you are driving.

Now you know the types of mountain bike racks we have in the market. You now want to narrow down the list to the best option. As when you are making any choice today, there are quite a number of things you can factor in as you sieve through the huge selection and choices we have in the market.

The number of bikes

Other than just focusing on the type, you also need to factor in the number of bikes that particular rack can hold without any problem. These devices come with different bike capacities and you can go for one depending on what you really need. For example, if you know you will be traveling as a group; let’s say 4 people; you need to get a rack that can hold 4 bikes safely.  We have seen tremendous advancement in technology and you can find one that can accommodate 6 bikes or even more at a go. However, that will come with a few sacrifices as well. The weight will significantly go up.

Security

What level of security are you getting? Should you leave the car parked at the roadsides, are your bikes safe? Ideally, you need a rack that comes with great level of security. Most racks feature those additional security features including locking bars.  So ensure you get the best security features always. Nonetheless, people are always advised to keep an eye when they are on the road. Don’t just assume everything is okay.

Stability

The overall stability of the rack is crucial and must be considered as well. At any given time, make sure the rack is super stable and can effortlessly hold your bikes in place even when you hit those road bumps or any other obstacle along the way. In short, the bikes should not wobble around as you drive through those sharp bends.

Ease of Use

When it comes to mountain bike gears and parts, like a mountain bike GPS, we all want something that is straightforward. It should be simple and incredibly easy to use. Ideally, when you are buying a rack for your bikes, make sure its loading and unloading is a simple process, especially if you hit the road more often. No one would want something that can take hours to load the bike and vice versa.

Key Features To Consider

For great stability and security, there are a number of features you need to be on the lookout for. Even if it will cost you extra money; just make sure they are there.

  • Locking cables

This feature takes the security of your bikes a notch higher. These cables are built-in devices that can wrap a strong and sturdy chain around your bike, and make sure it is safely locked into place. This feature, alone can prevent thieves from stealing your bike or bikes. This is a great feature and it is only included in more premium models in the market. You pay more for this feature.

  • Strong securing points

Technically, your bike will have to be attached somewhere in the rack, and this is where securing points come in. For extra security and stability, ensure these points are strong enough to hold your bike or bikes while at the same time being gentle so as not to damage the frame or cause some dents on the paintwork.

  • Padded securing points

This is less the same with the points above, but these are padded. This feature does come with a number of great benefits. For example, should you go for a rack that holds your bike via a top lube, you should also go for one with a level of padding on the securing points. This will ensure that paintwork is not affected when you are locking the bike into place.

  • Anti-Sway Cages

There are a couple of ways a bike can be prevented from swaying, but an anti-sway cage is quite popular among many people. So ensure the choice you make does come with this amazing feature. It will make sure the bike is stable even as you maneuver those sharp corners with your car.

Final Words

Like we always love to say; if you are looking for the best mountain bike rack, there is no going around it. First, factor in your needs and move onwards from there. Additionally, other than your needs the amount of money you are willing to splash on this gear will also dictate what you are going to take home at the end of the day. Nonetheless, ensure you pick one which will perfectly meet your needs.

Last modified: July 1, 2021

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