The Best Bike Racks for SUV

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The SUV is the perfect all-rounder for families who love to spend time outside. These vehicles typically have plenty of room for the entire family and their luggage, especially with the extra help of hitch cargo carriers, but adding one or two or three bicycles to the mix can be a problem. If your family loves cycling and wants to continue cycling adventures that span more than a few blocks from your home, it might be time to start looking for a bike rack for your SUV. In the article titled The Best Bike Racks for SUV, we will provide information that will guide exactly this issue.

There are a wide variety of bike racks in all shapes, capacities, and designs. However, not all of them are suitable for SUVs and even those that may not fit your vehicle. It is very important to weigh all your options before purchasing an SUV bike rack. You should know the pros and cons of each model.

Our favorite SUV bike rack manufacturers include Thule, Allen, Yakima, and Swagman.

Bicycle rack mounting configurations for SUVs can be divided into 4 groups. We will discuss the pros and cons of each:

  1. Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks
  2. Strap-on Trunk Racks
  3. Spare Tire Bike Racks
  4. Roof Mounted Bike Racks

SUV Hitch Mount Racks

If you’re looking for something that requires less muscle strength when loading and unloading bikes, an SUV link mounting rack can be the solution for you. This is if you don’t have a Jeep or other SUV types with a spare tire fitted at the back.

Most vehicles have a hanger assembly, but you need to find out which class your assembly belongs to ensure proper fit.

Hitch mount bike racks come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and sizes, and can carry 2 to 5 bikes at a time, depending on the design. While not as versatile as a roof rack, hitchhiking bike racks for SUVs will keep bikes away from the wind so your car will be more aerodynamic and consume less gas.

Hitch receivers come in two major sizes: 1-inch and 2-inch. Links only slide into these receivers. It also comes with all sorts of solutions to keep the SUV rear door accessible, such as swinging, tilting or folding options.

Bicycles will be held in place by Velcro straps, trays or a vertical staff. Hitch mounts are the most popular way to attach a bike rack to a vehicle. There is a good reason for this because you are working from a solid platform and the number of options and ease of access really work in favor of this configuration.

Pros

  • Wide variety of options for every budget
  • Robust solid mounting option
  • Easy to install
  • More ergonomic
  • Not permanently attached to the SUV
  • More Aerodynamic

Cons

  • Can block the back door
  • Does not always fit spare tires on the back
  • Suspended bicycles tend to swing
  • Oscillating models are expensive
  • Ground clearance may be a problem with some models
  • Extends vehicle length, making it difficult to maneuver
  • Can block rear plate and taillights or driver’s rearview
  • Alternative frame bikes may need special adapters

Our Pick

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hanger Mount Rack with Receiver

Easy-to-use, sturdy rack for safely carrying your bikes

Quick assembly and easy installation
With just three bolts to assemble your Allen Deluxe Hitch Rack, your rack will come out of the box and get on your way in a matter of minutes.


The 3 Best SUV Hitch Mount Racks:

1- Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks

Our choice for a bike rack mounted on the SUV assembly is the Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mounting Rack. There are also 2 and 5 bike models, but this is the most popular model. A 2-inch trailer coupling must be attached to your vehicle. If you don’t already have one, we recommend having a professionally installed Class III or IV connection.

The carrying handle protrudes 22 inches and is equipped with a fastening system to secure each bike individually. Arms may fall off the road when the bike is not attached. This makes storage much easier. The first installation and assembly of the rack are quite easy.

Removing the rack from the hanger is simple enough with a single pin. Allen Sports Deluxe is made of steel (so they’re a bit heavier), but it’s combined with a classy black powder coating and Allen’s lifetime warranty. You have high-quality equipment that will last for many years.

Note that Allen has two 4-bike models in the Sports Deluxe series; Model 542RR and Model S545 Both of these racks carry 4 bikes and up to 140 lbs. The S545 has a few extra features, such as quick folding, carrying handles, fast secure belts, and dual compound slots. It also boasts a fast bending post and a double compound backbone shield.

We are not convinced that the additional utility justifies the price difference, so we recommend purchasing the standard 542RR model. If you prefer to have these features on your bike rack, the Allen Sports Premier Hitch Mounted 4 Bike Carrier S545 might be the answer.

Available at: Amazon

2- Swagman XC Cross Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount

Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

This stylish rack is extremely easy to install and can even accommodate fat tires; just buy an extra tray. The standard rack will pick up tires between 20 and 29 inches. The shelf sits on the 1-hour receiver or 2 ”; making it possible to use multiple SUVs; handy if two people or a friend need to borrow. Once installed, it has an inch locking pin to ensure that the rack does not get lost. Again this is sold separately with a 10mm cable.

The rack can lift a total of 70 lbs; 35 lbs per bike, which should be enough to make most people happy. More importantly, it has a built-in, non-shaking device. This helps to keep your bikes in balance while driving and to use the vehicle properly.

It is worth noting that the middle arm of this rack can be folded down; gives access to your boot while the rack is in place.

Besides the tire size, you need to consider how large a frame this rack can fit. Fortunately, it comes with upright handles with built-in locks. This allows you to adjust them to fit the frame of your bike. The maximum height of the frame of your bike is 59 cm.

The Swagman XC Cross country 2-Bike rack is made of steel and weighs 32 pounds. When not in use, it can be folded vertically to minimize the space it occupies at home or behind your vehicle. Just remember that he is there when going back!

It is worth noting that the bicycles are fixed with their wheels, and then the latch is closed on top. This ensures that they do not move while driving. You can even slide the wheel plates to accommodate different size frames. It doesn’t matter if you have a road bike, downhill, full suspension or BX; this shelf can handle it and make it reach where it needs it.

Available at: Amazon

3- Yakima Full Swing

Yakima Full Swing

If you want to carry 4 bikes at a time, this can be the perfect hitch-mounted carrier for you. The racks sit on your toe stick and come up to support all 4 bikes. This can be easily turned sideways, giving you full access to the trunk of your vehicle.

While this is great for all types of vehicles, it is particularly useful for an SUV where your large tailgate opens sideways.

A great feature of this rack is that it is only compatible with a single bolt; although good. In fact, there is a speed button that allows you to adjust the rack without using a tool.

For security reasons, it is recommended to purchase a Yakima clamp lock; this will allow you to fix the bikes on your shelf and make sure that they will still be there; no matter how long you leave your vehicle.

Your bikes are held in place by ZipStrips on the shelf. These are very easy to add and lock to your mount and your bike. When you add the anti-shake cradles that the bikes sit on, you will make sure that your bikes are not only safe but also can not hit each other on the journey. Even the links are padded to keep your bike safe.

A really nice touch of Yakima is a limited lifetime warranty. This covers the rack with anything that does not have normal wear and tear; throughout the life of the first owner.

The rack measures 26 x 18 x 44 inches and weighs 56 pounds. It is designed to carry up to 150 pounds of weight; 37.5 pounds per bike.

To release this rack and move it sideways, you need to turn the speed knob and then release the pin. This release pin is 6.25 inches from the locking pin; you will need at least that much clearance to fit it into your vehicle. If you don’t have that much, you might not be able to lock the lever in place and insert the pin.

The quick button is a great idea, but many users have commented on the need to shake the rack side by side while squeezing; this will ensure that it is really tight and unable to move in transit. You can also pull the top handle to fold the upper arms; Help keep the profile to a minimum when the bike rack is not in use.

Available at: Amazon

SUV Strap-On Trunk Bike Racks

The luggage rack is a simple solution if you don’t have a glitch receiver in your car and don’t want to carry a bike on the roof. Usually, they are very easy to install and do not need many accessories to make them work for different bike frames. Body-type shelves are also usually very light, making it easy to use in different vehicles in a family, but they can usually only carry one or two bikes at a time and have a weight limit.

These racks are definitely a better solution than an SUV for a sedan or hatchback. Most luggage assemblies only use cables or nylon straps with hooks, so security can be alarming for theft. You cannot access the back door when the rack is installed. Also, be sure to collect some feedback from your friends or online sources and look for a design that will not harm the paint in your car. Although most of the trunk bike racks are designed to reduce this potential hazard, unfortunately, you may experience an unhappy surprise in the form of minor scratches or even get into your trunk if you are not careful.

Pros

  • Multidirectional; can fit many different vehicles
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Compact storage (usually foldable)
  • More portable
  • Less expensive
  • Ideal for occasional use and short trips
  • More aerodynamic than a roof rack

Cons

  • Best suited for fewer bicycles
  • Prevents rear access to the vehicle
  • Stability depends on how securely you attach the straps
  • Can block your rearview or taillights and license plate
  • Does not work with rear spare tire installed
  • Not always lockable
  • Risk of scratching the vehicle when attaching the hooks
  • Request continuous checks during transport to make sure the rack doesn’t slip

Our Pick

Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Safe, versatile, and easy to use

Works on a wide range of vehicle types
Allen S-102 can be used in a wide variety of vehicles. The only thing that needs to be adjusted is the length of the top straps.

The 2 Best SUV Strap-On Trunk Bike Racks:

1-   Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Our choice for a bike rack mounted on the SUV assembly is the Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mounting Rack. There are also 2 and 5 bike models, but this is the most popular model. A 2-inch trailer coupling must be attached to your vehicle. If you don’t already have one, we recommend having a professionally installed Class III or IV connection.

The carrying handle protrudes 22 inches and is equipped with a fastening system to secure each bike individually. Arms may fall off the road when the bike is not attached. This makes storage much easier. The first installation and assembly of the rack are quite easy.

Removing the rack from the hanger is simple enough with a single pin. Allen Sports Deluxe is made of steel (so they’re a bit heavier), but it’s combined with a classy black powder coating and Allen’s lifetime warranty. You have high-quality equipment that will last for many years.

Note that Allen has two 4-bike models in the Sports Deluxe series; Model 542RR and Model S545 Both of these racks carry 4 bikes and up to 140 lbs. The S545 has a few extra features, such as quick folding, carrying handles, fast secure belts, and dual compound slots. It also boasts a fast bending post and a double compound backbone shield.

We are not convinced that the additional utility justifies the price difference, so we recommend purchasing the standard 542RR model. If you prefer to have these features on your bike rack, the Allen Sports Premier Hitch Mounted 4 Bike Carrier S545 might be the answer.

Available at: Amazon

2- Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Trunk Mount Rack

Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Trunk Mount Rack

This small rack is designed to carry only 1 bike; it makes it a great option if you plan to complete a single journey or just meet some friends. It’s not the best option if you’re ready to start family cycling holidays!

The rack is designed to be fixed on the trunk of your vehicle. It should fit any sedan, hatchback, minivan and of course SUVs. However, it is not designed to be used if your car has a rear spoiler.

The rack is extremely sturdy and well designed. There is padding at the bottom of the frame to protect your car from the shelf while pulling the latch straps tightly. That’s what keeps the shelf in place. Safety straps are also available to secure the bike and maintain its position. The shelf is well designed, powder-coated black to protect it from the elements; this should stop rusting. Even the part that the bike sits on has padding to prevent damage to your bike.

The rack itself is filled with soft cradles to ensure that the bike is well looked after during transport. The arms fold in to the main body when not in use. This is designed for convenient storage and transport when the rack is removed from the vehicle. However, it is also possible to attach these arms to the main rack while in your vehicle; minimizes the risk of damage when not in use.

There are many instructions along with the rack to allow you to install it on your SUV in a matter of minutes. Assembly is not required and comes with a lifetime warranty for the first owner. However, do not try to attach this rack to caravans or a trailer.

The shelf itself weighs only 8.9 pounds and is 20 x 15x 9 inches. However, even though it is extremely easy to install, you will not be able to open your boot without removing your rack. While this will not be a problem in many cases, there are times when you may find it seriously uncomfortable!

This is a stylish looking, streamlined shelf. However, the rack is still limited to about 35 pounds. This is enough to deal with most bicycles, but if you have something a little heavier, don’t overdo it.

The main thing is that the springs that allow the arms to be folded are not as large as possible. For this reason, some users have reported that their bikes have fallen as small springs have failed.

Available at: Amazon

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