Cycles have been and are still a popular mode of travel for people worldwide. However, it can be challenging to fit a cycle in your car while traveling without the right accessories. Whether you plan to head on a trail on a mountain bike, take your bike for a race, or cycle with your family on a scenic route, you will need a bike carrier. It is one accessory that not only helps you safely carry your cycle but also opens up the possibilities of when and where you can ride.
So, if you are having trouble with transporting your bike and are looking for a bike carrier, dive right in to find out the best bike carriers for your car.
What are the different types of bike carriers?
Given the popularity of bikes, today’s markets flood with all types of carriers you can choose from. It can be a daunting job to pick the right one if you don’t understand the different types and their use. Here are three primary types of bike carriers for cars:
1. Roof racks:
As the name suggests, the roof rack goes on the roof of your vehicle. Cyclists highly prefer them as they don’t inhibit sightlines and make it easy to access your car’s back. The roof rack is also very versatile, as you can use it for paddleboards and kayaks. They are ideal for compact cars like hatchbacks and sedans or vehicles with a low center of gravity. However, mounting your bike on top of the roof rack can be challenging, especially if you’re a solo rider.
2. Trunk-mounted racks:
This rack connects to the hatch or trunk of your vehicle using buckles, straps, and hooks. The trunk racks are designed to be highly compact and can be ideal for conventional vehicles. However, the trunk-mounted rack can make it difficult for you to access the trunk and hinder rear visibility. But, they are light-weight and easy to use, making them a popular bike carrier for cars.
3. Hitch-mounted racks:
A hitch bike rack connects to the vehicle’s hitch to enable easy loading and unloading. Since these racks sit your cycle far away from the vehicle, it reduces the chances of scratches on your vehicle. Much like trunk-mounted bike racks, they can also limit access to the trunk. Some of them even come with a tilting design, which may make it a little more convenient for you to use the trunk without hassle.
The top 7 bike carriers for your car
If you’re planning to invest in a bike carrier for your vehicle, here are the top seven options to choose from:
1. Allen Sports Premier Trunk Rack:
If you’re looking for an affordable, basic rack that offers value for money, the Allen Sports Premier Trunk Rack is the ideal option for you. It features a simple design that suits the needs of most riders without costing much. This rack’s unique design makes it easily compatible with a wide range of cars, including hatchbacks, SUVs, and minivans. No matter what your vehicle is, you can easily install this bike carrier on it. You can carry two cycles on it, weighing up to 35 pounds each. The straps that come with the rack ensure the bikes stay right in place during the journey.
- Ideal for all bike types
- Fit inside your truck when not in use
- Need extra cords to prevent scratching
- No locking mechanism
2. BV Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier:
What makes BV Bicycle Hitch Mount Rank Carrier a top choice among cyclists is the distinct features that it comes with. This rack is not only tiltable but can also fold quite easily, allowing you to access the trunk while the bikes are loaded on it. Whenever you need to access the car’s trunk to load or unload things, you can tilt this hitch mount rack without any hassle. Being a hitch rack, it is heavy and weighs 70 pounds, ensuring it can handle your bikes’ weight. You can easily assemble and mount it on your vehicle to keep your cycles secured while traveling.
- Tiltable and foldable
- Easy to use
- Saris Bones EX 3-Bike Trunk Rack:
An upgrade to the standard Bones model, the Saris Bones EX 3-Bike rack offers both style and utility. It comes with a new system that makes it compatible with a majority of vehicles. The high compatibility ensures that it fits not just your current car but also the future one you buy. You can install two bikes weighing 35 pounds each on this rack and secure them using the high-quality ratchet straps. The integrated strap system of this rack not only maintains a cleaner look but the design also positions your bikes on different levels, so they don’t get intertwined. It is made from injection-molded plastic, making it highly durable, strong, and resistant to rust. Besides that, it is made using recycled plastic, making it an eco-friendly option.
- Compact and light-weight
- Compatible with many vehicles
- Restricts use of hatchback
4. Kuat Sherpa 2.0:
Another hitch bike rack that is suitable for heavy use is the Kuat Sherpa 2.0. Given the aluminum construction, the rack is one of the most light-weight options and merely weighs 31 pounds. Due to this, the task of installing or removing the rack becomes very easy. It secures your cycle using a system that has a front tire ratchet and a strap at the rear. This bike carrier’s efficient design ensures the bike stays locked in its place without the rack touching the frame. The company has seamlessly integrated a unique foot-activated pivot system, which allows you to open the bike rack and move it again into position by using your foot. The sheer convenience it offers makes the Sherpa 2.0 an ideal choice for you.
- Easy to load and unload
- Tilts for easy trunk access
- Ideal for light-weight bikes under 40 pounds
5. Yakima HighRoad Top Car Bike Rack:
The Yakima HighRoad Top Car Bike Rack is quite different from the rest of the roof racks since it doesn’t require you to take off the front tire to load it. It has a secure design that keeps the bike in place. The two hoops clamp securely on the front wheel, while the torque knob further locks it down into position, thus limiting movement. A strap holds down the rear wheel to add extra security. Another factor that makes it a hit is that it is easy to install. You can attach it to your vehicle’s crossbar using two front straps and a single back strap.
- Ideal for many types of bikes
- Easy to install
- It doesn’t touch the frame
- It doesn’t have built-in locks
- It needs to be used with crossbars
- Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE4:
While the Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE4 is among the most expensive options, the utility it offers justifies the prices. It is a heavy-duty hitch rack that can accommodate four bikes at a time. It comes equipped with a patented feature of ‘No Wobble, No Tools’ tightening system and a locking hitch pin. You can fit different bikes on it, including mountain bikes, road bikes, cruisers, ladies frames, and even kids bikes. Since it has a wide tire kit, you can also transport bikes with tires of 5 inches on this rack.
- Holds four bikes
- Locking hitch pin
- Various add-ons
- 8 inches long security cable
- Heavy and tricky to install
7. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack:
Are you looking for a versatile yet straightforward bike carrier for your car? Your search ends here at Thule T2 Pro XT 2. This rack has a frame-free ratcheting arm to secure your bike having wheels in the range of 20 to 29 inches. It can also accommodate fat tire bikes that have tires up to 5 inches thick. You can use the attachment to slide on the hitch during the installation process. However, you may need some extra help to install it since the rack weighs 50 pounds. The most striking feature of this rack is the easy tilt option. You can move the bike carrier away whenever you need to use the trunk or hatchback. The incredible design offers both durability and stability while holding a bike of any size.
- Tilts to grant easy access
- Sturdy and durable
- A little heavy
- Tricky to assemble
As much enjoyable and beneficial cycling is, carrying your bikes along can be an equally big hassle. Investing in a sturdy and efficient bike carrier for your car can end all the troubles. If you’ve developed a keen interest in cycling, you must get a bike carrier to help you securely transport the cycle. You can choose any bike rack from the ones mentioned above and get on the road stress-free.