Finding the Best Bike Rack for Your Jeep Wrangler

“Elevate Your Next Adventure,” Jeep Wrangler’s tag line in 2018. Since its unveiling at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jeep Wrangler (JK) has been delivering that promise. As it has always been highlighting its off-road ability, no other vehicle has made more of its name in the off-road department than Jeep Wrangler. With features like Rubicon trim, it’s off-road powers has made it the vehicular counterpart of a mountain goat.

Jeep Wrangler doesn’t come short in providing all you need for your outdoor adventure. Even when every model looks almost exactly the same, people still want it for its efficiency as an off-roader. Just staring at its rugged, go-anywhere look, it will leave you no doubt it is the SUV you want to bring on your next road trip.

And, if that trip happens to involve you taking along your bike, then, here are some tips on how to prep your bike and your Jeep Wrangler. Let’s forget about bungee cords and hooking up your bike atop your roof rack or cramming it in the trunk. We’ve got you some bike racks you can check out. Such gears will certainly keep your bike in good condition without much hassle.

Comparison Table

Product Image Features
Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack
  • Up to 2 bikes
  • Max 35 lbs. per bike
  • Mid-range price
Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier
Thule 963Pro Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier
  • Up to 2 bikes
  • Max weight of 75 lbs.
  • High-end price
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack 
Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack
  • Up to 2 bikes
  • High-end price
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack
  • Up to 2 bikes
  • Max weight of 70 lbs.
  • Low price range
Rhino-Rack USA, Spare Wheel Bike Carrier
Rhino-Rack USA, Spare Wheel Bike Carrier
  • Up to 2 bikes
  • Max weight of 66 lbs.
  • Mid-range price
Saris Freedom 2 Bike Rack 
Saris Freedom Spare Tire 2 Bike Unique Mount
  • Up to 2 bikes
  • Max weight of 70 lbs.
  • High-end price
Surco BT300 Spare Bike Rack
Surco BT300 Spare Bike Rack
  • Up to 3 bikes
  • Mid-high end price

Reviews of the Best Bike Racks for Jeep Wrangler

As fun as it is to tag your bike for some biking adventure, it stops when you have to tie it up on your car with bungee cords. These cords could be fussy as the metal ends where the hooks are could hit and hurt you or your car and are just downright not reliable. Cramming your bike into your trunk isn’t as convenient too. That space where the bike is crammed could be more useful for other things you need to bring.

#1. Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack

Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack

Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack is ideal for beginners as it is already assembled and all there is to do is to attach it and use when you need it. It comes with a universal adapter that is designed to fit an array of stud spacing, worry not about any interference issues. This makes the bike attachment to your Jeep snugly and securely.

Since it is attached to the spare tire, then it by no means in contact with the truck of your Jeep. This means you can open and close your trunk without taking it or the bike off. These racks come with soft rubber cradles and you can use up to two pairs to carry up to two bikes. The safety strap that it came with ensures secure bike transport. Do you need to leave your Jeep on a parking lot with your rack still attached? Let the lock it came with keep an eye on it.

ProsCons
Adjustable mounts make managing your bikes easily as you can effortlessly adjust the location of the rack with the bolts under the spare tiresNo vibration dampening on the cradle arms making it less ideal for delicate carbon frame bikes
Allows you to carry up to two bikesDoes not include security features
Easy storage
Works with other vehicles

#2. Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier

Thule 963Pro Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier

Ease up with your struggle to bring your mountain bikes on your road trips. From very clear mounting instructions of the racks and putting up your bikes, Thule 963PRO deserves to hold a place on this list. As with most bike racks attached to spare tire, the first step is taking off your spare tire to attach a backing plate on. Make sure the spare tire is attached back securely before attaching the rack. And, from there it’s just like completing a simple puzzle.

Thanks to anti-sway cages and stay-put cradles, there is not much slipping or shaking with highway speeds. Its sophisticated design also makes it one of the best-looking racks on the market. You also need to spare your worries about the sizes of your spare tire. It fits on almost any tire but, if its an oversized one, you can use an adapter to extend the rack outward, giving extra space to the tire.

ProsCons
Racks that hold the bike have notches for the wires so you won’t have to worry about them getting pinched by the weight of the bikes
You will have to add the Thule frame adapter to hold the bike through the handlebars and the saddle
The locking knob and the integrated cables for locking secure your bike firmly
The blue safety straps that hold the bike from swaying causes bike paint to peel off
Lets you open and close the trunk without the bike getting in the way
More expensive than others
You can fold down the cradle arms if not in useScrews are known to loosen up with time

#3. Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack 

Yakima SpareRide Bike Rack

This bike rack set lets you make your spare tire work, as their tag line says. Let the mounting bracket rest by its rack holes, re-attach the spare tire, secure with lug nuts, and install the bike rack. Unlike most racks that usually have two bars, Yakima SpareRide has only but one bar. This makes this bike rack look simple and sophisticated.

Once you have the bike on the cradles, all there is to do to secure it from moving forward and back is to zip strip it. ZipStrip™ is the technology that Yakima used where you can just press them in once the bike bars are aligned. It gives you the ratcheting sound as it goes in and lets you know it is the farthest it can get when you can no longer hear it. As you get to your destination and think you’d like a bottle or two of beer, two bottle openers at the edges of the bars that hold the bike can come in handy.

ProsCons
Foldable arms, mounts can be installed and left there leaving you nothing but convenience when you need to use it again
Even with ZipStrips™ on, the bike is still going to move. Some users went with pool noodles to impact points to avoid damage if they bump against another bike or the spare tire
Coated finish leaves Yakima SpareRide not just the modern look but prevention from rusting tooThe cradles hold the bike by its top tube, so you might not want to use it with expensive carbon frames
Its anti-sway cradles called the SuperCush™ allows premium bike protectionComes a little too short with oversized tires
Compact and sleek
Yakima’s anti-theft secures the bike rack

#4. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack

Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack

Carry your bike angled up and out with Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire’s patented design. This layout keeps your bike away from the road and the hot exhaust. When it comes to deciding which gear to buy with your Jeep, it often feels worrisome to go with the cheapest one. However, with Allen’s over 50 years of in making bike racks, it has found its way to keep your bike secure with the most inexpensive solutions. Making it less scary to go with the lowest price possible.

The easy and fast-to-install rack has its bottom wide to secure the rim from touching the rack. For that, it uses the back tire to fit against the bottom instead. Clamping nicely over your Jeep’s spare tire, you will instantly be impressed with its tough construction, easy operation, and stable performance. It is so simple that even with the spare tire’s cover on, the installation won’t be a struggle.

ProsCons
Allen Sports Deluxe installs in seconds. Only minor assembly is requiredThe Nylon webbing running down the trunk puts a stop to opening the trunk when the rack is attached
Weight of 13 lbs. makes it the lightest bike carrier and relatively easier to install
Arms are not adjustable nor collapsible so, you might just want to get it off when not in use
Keeps your bike from getting damaged by hot exhaust of your JeepCradle is not ideal and could damage fragile carbon frames
Wide arms give enough space for two
bikes without damaging the rim of your spare tire
One of the cheapest in the market

#5. Rhino-Rack USA, Spare Wheel Bike Carrier

Rhino-Rack USA, Spare Wheel Bike Carrier

Transport 2 bikes with ease by utilizing your rear spare wheel. This well-known brand is popular amongst campers and off-roaders so, it isn’t surprising they have one to help you carry around your bike. Rhino-Rack RBC025 is light and strappy and probably it is just how Rhino-Rack cleverly designed it; to sit securely on top of the tire with its metal stand and clipping on both sides with the straps. This design also minimizes time to assemble and install. Because, when it needs to be put up or taken off, it’s always better if it can be easily done.

If it concerns you that the easy assembly and installation may lay your bikes on the line, Rhino-Rack made sure they have got you covered with thick rubber straps.

ProsCons
Effortless assembly and installation thus, giving you more time to enjoy the ride with your group
While it can house any style of bike (from racers to fat tires), it only has a max capacity of 66 lbs
RBC025 is fully adjustable, so you can fit it with the centered or off-centered spare tire at the rear of your JeepNot ideal with heavy off-roading

#6. Saris Freedom 2 Bike Rack 

Saris Freedom 2 Bike Rack

One of the things I like about Saris Freedom 2 Bike Rack is its ratcheting straps that keep bikes steady and locked. The ratcheting sound it makes as you lock it just makes you feel your bike is safe. Also, unlike most bike racks where you hang and strap up your bike to its cradles, this one has a platform on where they can stand. Still, you will need them strapped so they won’t go falling when you speed off. That’s what the Cuscinos – or pillows are for. These straps are specifically designed to avoid scraping or rubbing off your bike’s paint while being transported.

Saris Freedom also features cradle pivots that slide up and down its central mast. This lets the rack to take a grip of your bike’s downtube to its ideal angle. There are also adjustable wheel trays that accommodate bikes with various wheelbases.

ProsCons
Rubber lined notches on the cradles for brake lines and cables, so weight would not sit on them and cause damage
A little difficult to adjust the holders if you are transporting a different pair of bikes
Foldable arms allow for flat and compact storageIt may look a little different than what’s advertised
Can adapt to left, right, or center positioned spare tires
Bike rack can fit almost any spare tire sizes
Sturdy twist knobs secure the cradles in place

#7. Surco BT300 Spare Bike Rack

Surco BT300 Spare Bike Rack

“Put your spare to work.” Sure, that’s what most brands for bike racks say. But, Surco, a brand that has been there since the 1970s, tells no joke when it advises you that. Surco BT300 Spare Bike Rack attaches to any spare tire and can transport up to three bikes with ease. Thanks to the heavy-duty steel mounting hardware that is tightly bolted and acts as a solid base. You won’t hear a single wobble or rattle.

As hard as the materials used for these bike racks are, the bikes are secured and won’t be scraped off the paint with its padded channel. It allows any size and shape of the bike without getting in the way of opening or closing the back of your jeep.

ProsCons
Designed to prevent damage. The pads and soft Velcro straps won’t scrape off the paint off the handles
Surco only has but one key provided for the built-in lock so, in case you lose it, you may need to contact a blacksmith to help you out
Solid, secure, and attaches very snuggly
While it is rated for 3 bikes, it isn’t for full sized mountain bikes. Rather, for 2 large bikes and 1 kid’s bike
Strong attachment to your jeep leaves no hint of rattle
Arms are not collapsible. You will have to unscrew to remove it which could take a while to do so
Fits 3 bikes onto the spare wheel

What to consider before getting a Jeep Wrangler Bike Rack 

You have a Jeep Wrangler, that makes me think you 95% love the outdoors. And, your love for it makes you want to explore it even more. What better way to do that than to bring your bike with you.

Since you can’t just toss your bike in the trunk, it helps to get a bike rack to support it steady for you. Let’s break down what you need to know before getting your Jeep one.

First off, there are different rack types’ Roof Racks, Hitch Mount Racks, And Trunk Mounts. Roof racks are more ideal for low roof vehicles like sedans. Trunk mounts attach directly to the trunk rather than the rear hitch. Hitch mount racks are the most ideal for Jeep Wranglers. They are easy to attach and very simple to load.

Security

The important thing to consider is Security. You don’t want to feel that worst feeling in the world when you come back to your jeep only to find that your bike is gone. The ideal bike rack provides Anti-Theft Protection to secure your bike and the bike rack itself from being stolen.

Compatibility

What kind of bike do you have? While you are narrowing down your choices for bike racks that can fit your Jeep Wrangler, you also have to take into account your bike’s frame compatibility. It isn’t wise to get a rack that could transport a number of bikes but damaging them along the way.

Capacity for Holding Bikes

Will you be biking alone or with your group? The number of bikes that you need to bring with you also plays a deciding factor. If you are not sure about this part yet, might as well get the one that’s more compact. After all, racks are now adaptable and you can just add an extension if you need to put on another pair of bikes with you.

Stability

You also do not want your bike looking all scraped off, scathed, and paint-less. Prevent damage to your bikes by choosing racks that have qualities designed to stop bikes from bumping against each other or with your spare tire while speeding off. Have a rack that has stay-put cradles or anti-sway straps to avoid bike-to-bike or Jeep-to-bike contact. 

Ease of Use

Assembly and installation shouldn’t give you a headache. If it is easy to put up the bike rack, it shouldn’t be hard hooking up your bike too. We all want ease of use. I do. I mean, after a long drive to get to where I’d like to trail, all I’d hope for is that for me to have no issues retrieving my bike from the rack. And, putting it up after a long ride for the day. Style shouldn’t be compromised either. It would be ideal to get your rack placed at the back of your Jeep. This way, it frees up your roof.

Conclusion

Jeep Wranglers come off as rugged and adventure-seeking vehicles. Thus, it is not a surprise that most Jeep Wrangler owners are bikers too. Or, it could be that these bikers are impressed with the off-road abilities of this vehicle. On that note, it is wise to have a bike rack that will make Jeep more functional and efficient than ever. Bike racks are the most preferred method of transporting your bikes, may it be for a road trip or relocation. It is safer than a roof rack or bungee cords, or tossing it into the trunk. Before you choose, decide on what you really need considering your budget. But, if you are looking for something you can use long term, it would be wiser to get the one that’s strong and durable even if you have to shed some extra cash for it. It will just make you spend more if you get the cheap ones that aren’t working with what you need.

Our Favorites

If you are buying under a budget, you may consider Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Bike Rack. The low price and the same features with other bike racks make it a lot more attractive. Also, the ingenious idea of propping up the bike to get it away from the exhaust is notable. You just might want to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your rear visibility. Consider that before mounting.

If you are looking for strength, durability, and something that could be a good investment for your bike (and your Jeep), pick Spare Me 963 Pro Bike Carrier from Thule. Sure, it is expensive. But, its features will save you money from getting additional locks and cables. With its integrated lock, you’ll be sure you won’t have to replace a stolen bike. No thieves can outsmart and lift your bike off your Jeep even with a set of wrenches.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What style of rack is recommended for my Jeep Wrangler?

A: Better to have the one that attaches to the spare tire. This allows free and easy access to the trunk without taking off your bikes from the rack. It is also convenient to just hang it at the back of your Jeep rather than needing a stool to reach the roof rack if that’s where you decide to put it.

Q: Should I get locks for it and the bike?

A: Bikes are the easiest means of transportation to steal. A quick stop at the gasoline station leaves the thieves enough time to get your bike of the racks. Bike racks now have anti-theft technology that although could make it pricier, would leave you and your bike safe. If you decide on getting a rack without safety features, might as well invest in a good cable lock.

Q: Is it advisable to transport more than 2 bikes?

A: It depends on the carrying capacity of the bike rack you are getting. There are bike racks that can carry up to 4. But, I would want to make sure that the safety and security of my bikes aren’t compromised during transport. I wouldn’t like them getting in contact with each other, causing damage just because I felt my rack can carry up to 4.

If you’re still with us and if you’re unsure about if a bike rack is really for you, take a look at our guide on different storage methods for your car.

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