Top 10 Best Bike Racks for Mountain Bikes

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Cycling is becoming trendier that most people do this sport for fun, aside from keeping their bodies fit. Some do it as a career, while others do it as a group activity to bond with family members or friends. Whether you’re an athlete, you might need to consider investing in a bike rack for your car.

No matter how much you love biking, you’ll need a rack to hold your bike once you need to head back home from a long ride. You may not have enough energy to go back by biking, so installing one can be handy.

Top 10 Best Bike Racks for Mountain Bikes

There are various bike racks available, and it’s essential to determine which type suits your vehicle. If you need reliable ones, here are some of the best bike racks for mountain bikes.

  1. 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack by TMS
  2. 4-Bike Hitch Racks by Allen Sports
  3. Helium Pro Hitch Bike Rack by Thule
  4. HR1000 Sport Rider 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack by Hollywood Racks
  5. 64678 Current 1-2 Bike Carrier by Swagman
  6. SingleSpeed Lightweight Single Bike Tray Hitch Rack by YAKIMA
  7. Raceway Pro Trunk Bike Rack by Thule
  8. XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack by Swagman
  9. SR1 Spare Tire Rack by Hollywood Racks
  10. Camber Hitch Bike Rack by Thule

#1. 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack by TMS – Best Overall

2 Pairs J-Bar Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Roof
  • Locking Features: None
  • Capacity: 2 bikes per pair
  • Weight: 8.98 pounds

If you’re looking for the best bike rack deal, you should check out what TMS has to offer, such as the 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack. It’s a competitive set over other brands because it comes with two pairs of roof racks for your mountain bike. All you need is a sturdy crossbar, and you’re all set.

Each pair can hold up to two bikes securely, thanks to its Kayak straps. It comes with four pieces, and each strap can hold a 75-pound bike. Plus, it can hold bikes that measure 36 inches. Even though it doesn’t have a locking feature, these straps will secure your bikes during drives.

It comes with a J-style advantage, which provides ample space on the roof of your bike. It’s easy to install, which bikers admire more. Also, it doesn’t give any inconvenience because each rack only weighs less than 10 pounds.

You can count on its sturdiness as it comes from a premium-quality of steel material. It even comes with adjustable padding to protect your car and your bikes from scratches or damages. You’ll undoubtedly love how easy loading and unloading is with this rack.

ProsCons
Comes with a lifetime warrantyThe longevity of metal plates
Fits on a ladder rack bar
Needs a crossbar

#2. 4-Bike Hitch Racks by Allen Sports – Best Hitch Rack

4-Bike Hitch Racks

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Included (depending on the model)
  • Capacity: 4 bikes
  • Weight: 23 pounds

Do you need a handy hitch rack for your mountain bike? You should consider buying the 4-Bike Hitch Racks by Allen Sports. It’s one of the best frames for convenience because it features foldable arms, which you can put down when you’re not using it.

The rack comes from an excellent quality of material, which makes it very durable despite frequent use. It also comes with a black powder coat as its finish to keep it long-lasting. Plus, the 22-inch arms come with the patented Tie-Down system by Allen for maximum security.

It fits a 2-inch hitch receiver, and your car should have an IV 2 or a Class III receiver-type. Installation is hassle-free, letting you install it in five minutes or less. Plus, you don’t have to worry about its durability as it can hold up to four mountain bikes with full security and protection despite its 23-pound weight.

The locking features of this rack depends on the model you prefer to buy. On the other hand, if you don’t have this feature, your bikes are still safe because this rack features a No-wobble advantage. Plus, its Tilt-away mast lets you put the frame down if you need to access your rear door.

ProsCons
Features a patented Tie-Down SystemOnly for IV 2 or Class III receiver-types
FoldableNo default locking features

#3. Helium Pro Hitch Bike Rack by Thule

Helium Pro Hitch Bike Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Included
  • Capacity: 2 to 3 bikes
  • Weight: 35 pounds

If you’re looking for an impressive bike rack for your mountain bike, Thule is one of the recommended brands to consider. It offers various frames, and one is the Helium Pro Hitch Bike Rack. Bikers love it because its lightweight, yet it performs well.

This rack fits either a 2-inch or a 1.25-inch hitch receiver, and it provides an ease to bikers as they install and remove it. Despite its lightweight advantage, weighing less than 40 pounds, this rack can hold two to three bikes, depending on the model you choose. Plus, you can guarantee each bike’s protection from damages or scratches because it allots a 7-inch spacing per bike.

Also, bikers love how it’s stable during long drives, thanks to its Anti-Sway cradle. These will secure the bikes from wobbling with the integrated cable locks, especially if you’re driving on bumpy areas.

Another reason why bikers admire it is that it features a HitchSwitch advantage. This feature will let you tilt the rack down with full comfort if you need to access the rear. You don’t have to uninstall it, which makes it very favorable. Plus, you can fold the arms as well with the HitchSwitch lever.

You’ll love how sturdy this bike rack is because it comes from a premium-quality of aluminum material.

ProsCons
Features a 7-inch space between bikesNarrow top-tube on the cradle
LightweightDifficult to unlock straps

#4. HR1000 Sport Rider 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack by Hollywood Racks

HR1000 Sport Rider 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Included
  • Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Weight: 25 pounds

If you’re looking for the best hitch rack, you can never go wrong with the HR1000 Sport Rider 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack. This rack by Hollywood Racks never fails to meet bikers’ expectations when it comes to its handiness. It features adjustable wheel holders, which fit a 3-inch tire by width and a 60-inch wheelbase.

It also comes with a fast-loading platform, which fits a receiver that measures 2 inches or 1.25 inches. You’ll love how it can hold up to two bikes, weighing 50 pounds each. It’s the best bike rack for your mountain bikes. Also, other bike-types can fit on this rack as well.

When it comes to security, it has a threaded locking pin on the hitch. It will prevent the rack from swaying while driving. Plus, it comes with locking frame hooks, which are ideal for deterring theft.

You can count on this rack’s durability since it comes from high-quality materials. Even when you put any bike-type, it doesn’t easily break. Also, it’s heavy-duty despite weighing 25 pounds.

Aside from that, it provides convenience to bikers because installing it will never be a hassle. It even folds flat for easy storing. Also, you can tilt it down, which lets you access the cargo door without any hassle.

ProsCons
Features adjustable wheel holdersDoesn't fit in Class 1 of a 1.25-inch receiver
Comes with locking clamps
Bulky by style

#5. Current 1-2 Bike Carrier by Swagman

64678 Current 1-2 Bike Carrier

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Included
  • Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Weight: 33 pounds

Swagman has been continuously providing exceptional racks to bikers up to now. If you need a sturdy frame for your hitch, you can never go wrong with the 64678 Current 1-2 Bike Carrier. It fits well on in a 1.25-inch to 2-inch receiver. Plus, installing it is hassle-free, which bikers admire more.

It’s one of the recommended racks for mountain bikes because it adapts well to any frame size, bike-style, or shapes. It can hold up to two bikes with maximum security, with a maximum weight of 60 pounds each. Plus, it can securely hold a tire that’s 5 inches by width.

It may be weighty, yet it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its construction. It comes from an excellent quality of materials to guarantee durability regardless of frequent usage or long drives. It can even carry bikes that measure 20 inches to 29 inches.

Aside from that, it’s also convenient when it comes to storage because it’s foldable. It can fold over the car’s rear if you’re not using it. Plus, you can tilt the rack down, too, to get something from the rear door.

Adding security is the locking hitch pin and hooks. It comes with the same key, which prevents undesirable theft when you park your car outside.

The design of this rack is what makes it competitive as well. It’s appealing, which matches any car-model.

ProsCons
Adapts well on any bike-type or frame-sizeThe longevity of plastic straps
Appealing frame-designWeighty

#6. SingleSpeed Lightweight Single Bike Tray Hitch Rack by YAKIMA

SingleSpeed Lightweight Single Bike Tray Hitch Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Included
  • Capacity: 1 bike
  • Weight: 26.3 pound

Another bike rack that you can check out for your mountain bike is the SingleSpeed Lightweight Single Bike Tray Hitch Rack. YAKIMA’s hitch rack is one of the in-demand bike racks for bikers who ride alone. Since it only carries one bike, it does not drag in the rear part of your car.

It features a smart design, having the StrongArm hook to secure your mountain bike on its wheel. This advantage doesn’t compromise the carbon-painted frames of the bike. Its structure lets you fold the wheel cup for a compact rack, keeping it hassle-free when you’re not using it.

It’s convenient as well because you don’t have to use any tool to install it. The SpeedKnob makes it easier for you to remove and connect it with exceptional security. What you’ll love more about this rack is that it features the Same Key System or SKS. It will protect your bike from unwanted theft.

This rack can hold any bike that measures 20 inches to 29 inches by wheel or tires that are 4.8 inches by width. Despite weighing less than 25 pounds, it doesn’t compromise security, especially on long drives. Plus, it fits any bike-type, which makes it very versatile as well.

It comes from a premium-quality of materials even though it’s not weighty, unlike other racks. It fits a hitch receiver of 1.25 inches to 2 inches. It doesn’t hold the bike on the frame, and you can assure it clings well on the hitch.

ProsCons
Uses SKS locks for Anti-TheftNot handy for a group
Easy to storeMeek by style

#7. Raceway Pro Trunk Bike Rack by Thule – Best Trunk Rack

Raceway Pro Trunk Bike Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Trunk
  • Locking Features: Included
  • Capacity: 2 to 3 bikes
  • Weight: 23.4 pounds

Do you need an exceptional trunk rack? You should consider the Raceway Pro Trunk Bike Rack by Thule. Bikers who drive sedans use this rack for their mountain bikes because it’s secure and durable, featuring a hanging-style. It comes from a premium-quality of materials, letting it hold up to three bikes with maximum security.

Aside from that, it features a patented FitDial, which is an exceptional fit for the vehicle. It prevents it from wobbling during bumpy or long drives. It protects the car from damages or scratches from the bikes. Plus, it comes with molded rubber pads for further protection.

The cradle of this rack holds any bike-type, including children’s bikes. Whether you use it for your mountain bike or other types, you can count on this rack. Also, the soft cradle absorbs shock while moving.

It comes with exceptional security features, having lockable cables. These secure every bike, which is excellent in preventing incidents of theft. Plus, it comes with locks, making it favorable to bikers who frequently park outside buildings or garages.

The fast mounting technology of this rack fastens it well in your car. Regardless of long-hour drives or bumpy ones, this rack remains still at the trunk of your vehicle. Installing it is not a hassle, too, because it doesn’t require any tool.

ProsCons
Comes with a fast mounting technologyDoesn't fit in some car-models
Features a patented FitDial advantage
Cable-release easily breaks

#8. XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack by Swagman

XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Excluded
  • Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Weight: 28 pounds

If you can’t decide what bike rack to buy for your mountain bike, you should check out what Swagman has to offer, like the XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack. It provides exceptional stability on the bike, thanks to its Anti-Wobble advantage. Even if you’re going for a long drive, you can count on this rack.

It comes from a premium-quality of steel material, which guarantees durability as you put up two bikes. It can hold these securely, even when each bike weighs 35 pounds. Plus, it can fit a wide range of tire-sizes, from 20 inches to 29 inches.

Installing this rack will not be a hassle because it fits a 2-inch or 1.25-inch hitch receiver. You can also adjust the ratchet arms quickly, letting you adjust it based on the bike’s frame size. Plus, you can install it in a few minutes.

Another edge of this bike rack is that it’s foldable. If you want a compact feature, you can fold the arms with full convenience after using it or not using it. Also, it will let you save space for storage.

The locking feature of this rack is not part of the package. It comes with a locking hitch pin cable, yet you have to buy it separately.

ProsCons
Easy to assembleNot suitable for highway driving
Solid cradle
Not rust-resistant

#9. SR1 Spare Tire Rack by Hollywood Racks – Best Spare Tire Rack

SR1 Spare Tire Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Spare Tire Rack
  • Locking Features: None
  • Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Weight: 10 pounds

If you’re looking for a bike rack to install on your spare tire rack, you should check out what Hollywood Racks offers. One of the best frames is the SR1 Spare Tire Rack, and it’s best for Jeep Wrangler.

Bikers admire this rack because it’s lightweight, weighing 10 pounds. Despite this advantage, you can assure its sturdiness because it can hold up to two bikes with exceptional security. Plus, it can carry up to 35 pounds per bike.

It’s very versatile because it can hold any bike-type, from mountain bikes to kids’ bikes. You don’t have to remove the spare tire at the back to install it because it’s pre-assembled. Also, you can install it quickly, providing further convenience to bikers.

If you’re into outdoor activities and you always bring your bike wherever you go, this rack is what you should buy. It uses high-quality materials, which make them very sturdy. For the best fit, you need a top tube adapter.

ProsCons
Hassle-free to installNot suitable for e-Bikes
Fits wellMetal rusts quickly

#10. Camber Hitch Bike Rack by Thule

Camber Hitch Bike Rack

Specifications:

  • Type: Hitch
  • Locking Features: Included
  • Capacity: 2 bikes
  • Weight: 35 pounds

Thule is one of the respected brands when it comes to quality bike racks. If you can’t decide what frame to buy, you should buy the Camber Hitch Bike Rack. It’s very convenient to use because you can tilt the rack down if you need to access the rear door.

This rack can hold up to two mountain bikes with optimum security, and each bike comes with 7-inch spacing. It protects the bikes from damages or scratches, especially during the drive. Also, it can hold a bike that weighs up to 37.5 pounds.

You can install this rack with full ease as it fits both 2-inch and 1.25-inch receivers. The HitchSwitch lever doesn’t compromise the hitch of your car. Plus, it provides exceptional convenience because you can easily fold the arms when you’re not using it.

Another reason why bikers love this rack is that it’s stable, even on bumpy roads. The Anti-Sway cradle keeps the bike from damaging each other. Also, it comes with ratcheting straps to secure all bikes.

ProsCons
Durable connecting boltFlimsy bike straps
Heavy-dutyShallow cradles

Top Pick – 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack by TMS

There are many brands offering bike racks, and if you need the best deal, the 2 Pairs J-Bar Rack by TMS is the top pick.

It provides exceptional convenience because it only weighs 8.98 pounds, yet it can hold up to two bikes. What’s excellent about this set is that it comes with two pairs or racks, four in total.

All racks are very durable, coming from a premium-quality of material for the cradle. Even if your bike weighs up to 75 pounds, it can hold your mountain bike securely. Plus, it comes with four straps to secure your bikes further.

The J-style of each rack provides ample space on the car’s roof. You can install it with ease, without the need of any tool. Plus, it prevents your car and bikes from getting undesirable scratches or damages.

It needs a crossbar for installation, and you can use it on a ladder rack bar as well, making it very versatile. Plus, another reason why bikers admire this rack is that it comes with a lifetime warranty.

If you need an exceptional rack for your mountain bike, you can count on this rack.


Getting the Best Bike Racks for Mountain Bikes – Buyers Guide

Before you can find the best bike rack, you need to consider many factors, especially the type you need for your car. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which one to buy.

Type of Bike Rack

There are three common bike rack-types, and it’s essential to consider it because buying the wrong one will only waste your money. You can’t return it for a refund, and you can’t use it as well. Here are three types:

Roof-mounted Carrier

You attach this rack on the roof of the car. Some types can cling on the rain gutter or door frame, while some need crossbars for practical mounting, depending on the brand. Also, it’s ideal to buy if you’re not passing along highways.

Pros

One of the advantages of this rack is the additional space it provides on the cargo. It’s also versatile because it doesn’t only hold bikes. You can also use it to carry canoes or ski boards, which makes it very handy. Plus, it lets you attach as many bikes as the mount can hold, ideally four bikes.

Cons

The downsides include the difficulty of installing and lifting the bikes on top. It’s a risk for damages or scratches. Also, you can’t go inside parking garages or drive-thru of fast-food restaurants with vertical clearance. Aside from that, it can lead to rollover accidents when you exceed the advised weight allowance.

Trunk-mounted Carrier

This rack type is the cheapest mount for bikes. It’s typical for sedans, and it needs straps for installation. Other car-types, such as hatchbacks, also can use it. Plus, it can hold two to three bikes, which is the typical capacity.

Pros

This rack doesn’t need a specific vehicle, which makes it very handy. One can fit a lot of car-models, and it’s also affordable. You can also store this type with ease inside the truck, and it provides convenience in lifting it. Aside from that, it’s budget-wise.

Cons

Some of the disadvantages of this type include the inconvenience of the blocked rear window, blocked taillights, and license plate. Another downside is that it’s prone to incidents, like hitting another car at the back or objects.

Hitch-mounted Carrier

This type is popular these days, and it’s available in different sizes. You can attach in car-models that use Class I hitches with the 1.25-inch receiver or Class III with a 2-inch receiver. Also, most racks are foldable, which are favorable to riders. Plus, this type can hold up to four bikes, depending on the durability of the frame.

Pros

Installing it is easy, and it takes less than five minutes, which is one of its advantages. Another benefit is that it lessens the chances of paint damages or scratches. Plus, there’s no need to remove anything from the vehicle when you install it.

Cons

Some of the disadvantages include the difficulty of locking the bikes to racks, and it can block the rear liftgate’s access. There are Swing-away models available, yet these are pricey compared to typical hitch racks. Plus, it’s also prone to hitting something from behind, especially other vehicles.

Spare Wheel-mounted Carrier

This type is not typical, yet some buy it for their 4×4 cars with attached spare wheels. Some would put the bikes in the vehicle since it can fit inside. However, others would still prefer to install this rack for ample space for passengers.

Pros

Installing this rack will give enough space for passengers to fit inside the vehicle. Also, it can hold two to four bikes as well.

Cons

You may need to uninstall it if you need to use the spare wheel on unexpected incidents.

Essential Factors in Choosing a Bike Rack

Once you know what bike rack-type to buy for your car, here are some critical factors to keep in mind as you choose from various brands:

Fuel Economy

Some racks can affect your car’s aerodynamics, especially roof racks. Roof-types can cut 30% of fuel efficiency.

Security

This factor is crucial, especially if you own an expensive bike. Not all brands have locking features. As for some brands that have, these can be pricey for your entry-level budget. If you frequently park outside the garage or house, you may need to invest on a rack with locking features

Stability

Another essential aspect to consider is the stability of the rack. Roof and hitch racks are more stable than trunk racks. It may not be an issue if you only need a frame to hold up to two bikes. However, if you need one to hold up to four bikes, it’s best to buy a hitch or roof-types.


Some Safety Measures in Using a Bike Rack

If you’re planning to buy a rack for your car, here are some safety measures before the purchase and installation.

  • Make sure your rack doesn’t cover your taillights. Drivers behind your car need to see it, especially during night driving. Hitch and truck racks might include the taillights if you install the frame in the wrong position. Also, covering it may cause unwanted accidents.
  • Your bike rack shouldn’t cover the license plate of your car as well. It may sound beneficial on your end, but it’s illegal. Make sure you position your rack correctly where it can’t cover your car’s registration plate.
  • If you’re installing a rack at the back, your frame and bike shouldn’t exceed your car’s width. It will cause further incidents once your rack and bike overlap the vehicle’s width. Most structures don’t come in lengthy size, which makes these are ideal for most models. If there’s nothing you can do with the bike’s width, you’ll need to disassemble the wheels, which can be too hassling.
  • Another crucial safety measure is knowing the load limit of your car based on the manufacturer. Aside from the bikes’ overall load, you also need to consider the rest of the car’s capacity.

Conclusion

Bikers need exceptional bike racks, especially if you prefer biking in the countryside. It will be a long drive from the city, so installing a frame can be handy.

You’ll need to buy a rack that’ll suit your car-model. Besides that, you need to consider both frames and vehicles’ capacity to avoid undesirable incidents.

Suppose you can’t decide which track to buy out of numerous options, these racks the best to consider. From quality to sturdiness, these racks are worth your money.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a spare wheel rack on my SUV if it has a spare wheel?

A: You can consider using it, yet if your wheel has a cover, it might damage it. It’s highly advisable to use roof racks instead since SUVs have crossbars. If your car doesn’t have a crossbar, roof racks have straps, closing on the door frame or rain gutter.

Q: What tools do I need to install bike racks?

A: Most bike racks don’t need any tool for installation. You can even install some in less than five minutes. If you need tools, you might need screwdrivers to tighten some bolts if you prefer to further secure the rack.

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