So you bike a lot and want to take your bike(s) with you everywhere you go? Whether it’s around the town, cross country, road trips, camping, etc.?
If that’s you, you’ll really appreciate how convenient a bike rack will turn out to be in your life. The best bike rack for SUV lets you to safely and securely bring your bikes on board your SUV and take it with you anywhere.
Sadly, not all the carriers out there do their expected job well. You go down the cheap road, and you’ll end up with a flimsy rack that lets doesn’t secure your bike well and it might even fly off when driving at highway speeds.
To ensure you get the perfect bike rack for your SUV, we have tested dozens of these racks over the last few months. We were keen on durability, ease of assembly and use, security, and cost.
Right below, you’ll find our selection of the most reliable bike racks you can buy today...
Our Best Bike Racks for SUV:
1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack
If you’re on the market for a bike rack for SUV with hitch, you should include the Allen’s 4-bike hitch rack in your list of top options. It’s incredibly easy to assemble and will securely hold up to 4 bikes at a go for transport to any place.
Your bikes are securely held in place using a patented tie-down cradle and straps system. This way, you can hit the road with full confidence, knowing that your bike won’t fly off at high speed.
Even better, it comes with a twist knob that helps you tighten the carrier to your SUV hitch securely—eliminating bike wobbling that might cause it to break.
The rack is designed to hold up to regular use and stay strong for longer than most models out there. It features a heavy-duty construction of thick gauge steel connected using high-strength bolts for unparalleled sturdiness. On top of this, it features a black powder-coated finish that keeps it protected from extreme weather conditions.
Installing this bike rack on your SUV is as easy as taking it off. This makes it even more convenient for you if you don’t travel with your bike rottenly. You can just remove it easily and add it back when the need arises. Not to forget, it comes with foldable carry arms to save as much space as possible during storage.
Considering the durability, high versatility, and ease of mounting and taking off this rack from your vehicle, there’s no doubt that it’s an excellent choice for securely moving your bike to any place. On top of all this, it comes at a great price, so it’ll give you value for money.
2. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
Also designed by Allen Sports, this trunk mount bike rack for SUV will allow you to take your bike with you everywhere. It will securely carry up to 2 bikes, with a total weight of 70lbs, in your SUV track. It comes fully assembled and sets up in a matter of seconds.
Like the previous rack from Allen, this model also come with a 12-inch arm that can comfortably accommodate a wide range of bikes models and designs. It presents you with Allen’s tie-downs that help you secure and protects your bike so you can ride with peace of mind. What’s more, the rack features padding on the lower frame to keep your bicycles away from your vehicle and prevent possible damages.
You’ll really appreciate the side straps that come with this rack as they help increase lateral stability…these will quite helpful when you’re embarking on longer trips.
Note that this 2-bike trunk rack comes with a patented design that enables it to comfortably fit a wide range of vehicles, including SUVs, minivans, hatchbacks, sedan, etc. It’s an excellent choice for your next road trip or camping excursion. Remember, it comes fully assembled and sets up in seconds.
3. Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
The Swagman XC2 will also provide you with a stress-free way to transport your bikes to your next log excursion to the mountains, beach, etc. It’s designed for installation in your SUV hitch. And it works with both the 1-1/4” and 2” receiver hitch, making it a pretty versatile option.
It comes designed to comfortably accommodate up to 2 bikes, each weighing up to 35lbs. Its carry arms will work with all bikes with a frame size of up to 59-inches, making it an even more versatile rack for ferrying your bikes. It also comes with sliding wheel hoops that easily fit bike wheels from 20 to 29 inches.
Note that this hitch carrier features a completely new frame grip arms whose improved soft frame-friendly coating ensures maximum protection to your bike’s finish.
We also like its push-button ratchet arms, which easily and quickly adjust to secure your bike while offering you an easy bike loading and unloading experience. Its upright bar is designed to fold down to provide you with easy access to your SUV’s rear cargo area.
And when not in use, both the rack’s wheel tray bars fold up into a smaller size to ensure convenient and hassle0-free storage in your storage closet or garage.
4. Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack
If you’re looking for a simple but reliable roof bike rack for SUV for carrying only one bike, this Swagman upright rack is a sure bet. It comes with a minimalistic and sleek design and will look great on just any vehicle. Made from sturdy plastic plus steel, this rack weighs 5lbs only.
When it comes to transporting your bike to your destination, this rack will not disappoint you. It comes tie-down straps that you can use to secure the wheels for secure transportation. In addition to that, it provides you with a lock that lets you lock the calm for extra security and safety.
Being one of the most versatile racks on the market today, this Swagman will easily fit round, oval, and square bars up to 3 inches wide. Even better, you can use multiple of these racks on a single vehicle—that is, if you want to ferry more bikes.
Don’t forget that this single rail rack is super-easy to install for everyone, including absolute beginners. Unlike other similar carriers out there, it enables you to carry your bike without removing the wheels.
5. Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack
If you’re made of money, this premium hitch bike rack is for you. An upgrade of the previous model, this hitch bike rack offers you the easiest and most reliable way to carry your bikes behind your SUV. It comes optimized for quick setup, ease of use, and reliable security.
The rack will work a 2-inch hitch receiver and will comfortably hold up to 2 bikes, each weighing around 60lbs. It carries your bikes in such a manner that it leaves generous space between them to help eliminate possible interference and damage. It allows you to quickly secure your bikes to it without making frame contact, thanks to its frame-free ratcheting arm.
For your own peace of mind, this carrier also provides you with locking convenience. It features an integrated lock cable plus lock knob that allows you to secure your bikes to the rack and the rack to the receiver. The result is maximum security, so you can drive with the ultimate confidence.
Note that this rack is also easy to install and remove, thanks to its tool-free AutoAttach system. It easily folds when not use and tilts away to give you easy access to your vehicle rear. You can use this rack with a wide array of bikes, including mountain, a carbon frame, downhill, fat bikes, e-bikes, etc. It fits bikes with wheel size 20 to 29-inch and tire sizes up to 5-inch.
6. Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Looking for the bike rack for SUV with hitch at an affordable cost? If yes, this Retrospec Lenox hitch carrier is a cool choice. Don’t judge it by its price, though! This rack comes capable of carrying up to 4 bikes (with a total capacity of 140lbs) and will easily install into class III or IV 2-inch receiver hitches.
The Lenox is constricted from steel to deliver unmatched strength and reliably help you get your bikes to your destination for your cycling adventures. It’s super-easy to install. It features tie-down straps plus cradles that work together to secure your bike to ensure secure and safe transportation.
When you’re not using this rack, you can easily fold it down into a compact size to allow for convenient storage. And just like most of the top-end models out there, it also comes with a titling main mast to let you easily access your vehicle rear cargo space.
Remember that the Lenox’s carry arm is designed to accommodate a wide range of bike frame styles. The included adapter helps minimize wobble of your bikes during transportation to prevent breaking and other forms of damage.
7. Saris Superclamp Bike Hitch Car Rack
Proudly made in the USA, this Saris makes the best bike rack for SUV for carrying standard bikes, e-bikes, TT bikes, beefy downhill, rigs, and many other types of bikes. It features a lightweight design (weighs 35lbs only) but is rugged enough to carry up to 2 bikes, each weighing up to 60lbs.
One of the unique features of this rack is the dual shepherd hooks. These do a great job of securing your bike without necessarily touching the bike frames, ensuring a safe and worry-free journey.
It comes with universal wheel trays that will easily fit wheelbases up to 48 inches. Not to forget, it also wheels straps for securing kids’ bikes, e-bikes, or bikes that have fenders. The ratcheting arm pivot on the case hardened brackets ensure superior strength.
And thanks to its tilting feature, you won’t have to unload your bikes to get access to the rear cargo area of your SUV. You just tilt down and release the hounds. The carrier also folds up when not in use, facilitating easy and hassle-less storage.
Other BONUS features that make this rack worth every cent include the integrated locks, head-turning reflectors, built-in bottle opener.
8. Tyger Auto Deluxe 3-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Rack
Wondering whether you can get a perfect bike rack for SUV with no hitch? Well, this Tyger Autorack is designed for mounting on your SUV’s trunk and will easily work your vehicle with no need for a hitch.
This rack comes 100% assembled and ready for setup on your vehicle’s truck. It’s designed to comfortably carry up to 3 bikes (with a maximum capacity of 99lbs). It features a sturdy and handy construction that can withstand the weight of your 3 bikes with regular use and last longer. The black coating prevents rusting, further enhancing the carrier’s durability.
You’ll notice that this rack features padding on the lower frame. This helps keep your bicycles away from your vehicle during transportation and prevent possible damages. It also features durable rubber bumpers that protect the vehicle surfaces in contact with the frame.
Additionally, it features soft cradles that work hard to secure not only your bike but also protects its frame. The included extra safety strap ensures added stability and prevents bike rattling during transit. Like most of the other racks featured on this list, this rack also allows you to fold it carry arms when not in use for easy storage.
9. Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Most of the newer SUVs, hatchbacks, and minivans come with a wind defecting spoiler situated over the back window to increase fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, this spoiler can be problematic when you want to attach a trunk rack to your vehicle. That’s why they designed this trunk mount bike rack for SUV with a spoiler.
It features a high-rise frame design that helps keep the carrier straps and frame from making any contact with the spoilers by simply going above it (the spoiler) and giving you up to 3 attachment options for your vehicle. These include attaching to your vehicle’s roof rails, trunk seam, or using the anchors inside your SUV.
The rack provides you with rubber anti-sway bike cradles plus EPDM rubber straps that firmly and securely hold up to 3 bikes in place. The soft rubber cradles will protect your bike’s finish from getting damaged.
Remember that this rack comes fully assembled to ensure hassle-free and fast setup on your vehicle. Once you adjust it for your car, this rack offers a snug and safe fit. And when not in use, it easily folds flat for easy storage in your vehicle’s trunk or garage.
10. BV 2-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack
This is also a great bike rack for SUV with hitch that presents you with an easy and convenient way to transport your bikes. It comes ready to accommodate up to 2 bikes and works with bikes weighing around 35lbs each and with a maximum tire width of 3 inches.
One thing you’ll really like about this rack is its smart tilt-back design. As you can easily tell, this design enables you to easily open your vehicle’s rear gates without necessarily detaching the hitch.
Another reason to love this rack revolves around the maximum security it offers your bikes during transport. Each of your bikes is secured using a 3-point connection system, two tray-style arms at the bottom, and a vertical arm on top. This firmly holds your bicycles in place and prevents them from swaying during transportation.
You’ll also notice that that the rack’s carry arms are padded to help protect your bikes’ finish from getting scratches.
Other cool features you’ll get from this hitch mount rack for SUVs include a fold-up design for convenient storage when not in use and safety reflector to enhance your vision and ensure maximum safety when driving at night.
11. IKURAM 4 Bike Rack Bicycle Carrier
So you’re planning for a cycling adventure far from home with your friends or family and want a carrier that will help you conveniently haul all your bikes at the back of your SUV? Well, this Ikuram will match your needs. It’s designed to carry up to 4 bikes, with 140lbs total capacity, and fits standard class III & IV 2” receiver hitches.
You don’t have to worry about the reliability of this carrier in hauling 4 bikes at a go. It features heavy-duty all-steel construction that gives it the strength it needs to carry up to 4 bikes. The powder coat finish resists rust that might weaken the carrier, ensuring maximum durability and longevity.
It provides you with fully adjustable and individual tie-down cradles to help secure your bike for safe hauling. What’s more, those cradles come padded to ensure the protection of your bike’s finish.
Also worth mentioning is that this carrier comes with a swing-don backward design to help you easily open your vehicle’s rear without having tit detach the rack. Like most of the other models featured above, this Ikuram hitch rack folds into a compact design for easy storage.
With just 3 bolts required to assemble this rack, you’ll have an easy time putting it together and attaching it to your vehicle. Once set up, the rack will offer you a wobble-free, safe solution for transporting your friends or family bikes to your preferred cycling destination.
12. Overdrive Sport 2-Bike Hitch Mounted Rack
The last best bike carrier for SUV spot on our list goes to this hitch-mounted rack from Overdrive. Whether it’s the standard, electric, or fat tire bike you want to haul, this carrier will offer you a convenient way of doing so.
One of the things that push the popularity of this rack up there involves its patented anti-wobble system. This is a mechanism that works tirelessly to eliminate any slack between your receiver and the rack to keep your 100% secure and safe.
It comes equipped with padded clamps that securely hold your bike in place with damaging its finish. It also features 5-inch wide heavy-duty wheels holders with fully adjustable design to accommodate different bike designs and models.
Regarding the construction, this rack is built to last a lifetime. It comes with a powder-coated steel tubing that will securely hold bikes weighing up to 60lbs each. For added safety, the carrier presents youth with key for locking hitch pin plus locking knob for securing the bike. It even comes with a rear reflector to increase your visibility (safety) on the roads.
With most parts of this rack pre-assembled, installing it in your SUV is pretty easy and quick. It works with 2-inch hitch receivers. Its patented design enables it to get out of the way for rear cargo area access. And when not in use, you can use its patented lever to fold it down for easy storage.
How do you put a bike rack on an SUV?
It depends on the type of bike rack you’re using. As you’re already aware, there are different types of racks—hitch, roof, and truck-mounted—and each has a different installation procedure on your vehicle.
In this guide, we’ll focus on installing a hitch bike rack since it’s the most popular bike rack used by vehicle owners across the globe.
Installing a hitch-mounted bike rack
Step 1. Check the hitch compatibility
The first thing you need to do before installing your hitch-mounted rack is checking whether it’s compatible with your vehicle’s receiver hitch. For starters, the hitches are usually categorized into classes running from Class I to V. Most of the hitch racks on the market usually work with hitch receivers in Class II to IV.
Step 2. Slide in your bike rack
Once you have confirmed that your SUV’s hitch receiver is compatible with your bike rack hitch, it’s now time to fit the bike rack into the receiver. As you slide in the bike rack arm, ensure you correctly line up its mount hole to that on your receiver. Then, screw the bolt through the hole, ensuring it has a locking washer sitting before its head and a flat washer. Tighten the bolt using a wrench, and then insert a pin into it (the bolt) to lock it into place.
Step 3. the carry arms correctly.
Position your bike carrier’s support arms or wheel trays correctly and lock everything into position with the help of the included security pins. Be sure to adjust the wheel trays and ready the rack’s tie-downs to accommodate your bikes.
Step 4. Load your bikes
Finally, load your bikes onto the carrier, one at a time. Correctly place each bike onto the supporting arms or wheel trays and then secure it using the tie downs. Repeat the same loading and securing procedure for the rest of the bikes.
BONUS: Transporting and unloading your bikes.
During the transportation of your bikes, we advise you to stop after driving a few miles to inspect your rack. Ensure your bikes are still anchored correctly, and the rack itself is still secured to the vehicle.
Before entering the highway, be sure to take one last look at all your bike rack attachments. This is because the highway speed might end up loosening straps and improperly fastened hitch connections, which can lead to dire consequences.
When you reach your destination, start unloading your bikes. Remove one bike at a time and set it safely aside before moving on to the next one. When not in use, most hitch racks allow you to fold them up into a smaller size and store them in your vehicle’s trunk.
What to look for before buying?
When shopping for the best SUV bike rack for your vehicle, you’ll need to educate yourself first on the key factors that influence your choice of a rack. This will help you avoid the poorly designed models and get a rack that will securely and reliably ferry your bikes to your destinations.
Below, we have prepared a list of the most important factors that will help you choose the perfect bike rack for your vehicle.
Type of bike rack
We have just mentioned in our previous section that bike racks come in different types—namely hitch-mounted, trunk racks and roof bike rack for SUV.
The most common type of rack for SUV owners is the hitch mounted. Most vehicle owners love this type of rack because it doesn’t require any assembling and disassembling of your bike, ensuring easy loading. The only thing you might not like about this model is it may come at a higher cost and might block your rearview mirror.
If your vehicles don’t have a receiver hitch, then you can go for a bike rack for SUV with no hitch. In this case, you can either opt for bike racks for car roofs or trunk bike racks.
One top factor that sets good racks from the others involves the materials used to construct them.
To ensure you get a reliable model that gives you value for money, we highly encourage you to go for racks made using high-quality materials. Most of the top-rated bike racks come with heavy-duty steel construction. This enables them to withstand daily usage and punishment that comes their way and stay durable for longer.
A quality rack should also come with foam or rubber contacts to ensure no harm comes to your bike’s finish or vehicle.
Most manufacturers also add powder coating to their racks to make resistance to rust and elements, extending their lifespan.
Avoid racks that come with plastic parts as they might not securely hold your bike. They also have a shorter lifespan and will send you back to stores for a new rack every few months.
Number of bikes
You should also ask yourself how many bikes you plan to transport with your new bike rack. This will help you decide the rack that best suits your needs.
If you like to go on solo adventures, then going a 4-bike rack is simply a waste of your money. You’d think that a single bike carrier is the best option for you…though we’d encourage you to go for a 2-bike carrier just in case you decide to go on a cycling adventure with a friend.
If you plan to go out for cycling adventures together with your friends or your family, you’ll need to look for a bike carrier that can accommodate more bikes.
Another important consideration that will help you invest in a great bike rack for your vehicle is checking the security features it comes with.
For instance, a good rack should come with a locking feature that locks your bikes to your carrier, and the carrier to the vehicle. Such a bike carrier will give you peace of mind when you leave your bike unattended as you’re sure no unwanted hands can get to them.
Racks that features both the lock and a long locking cable are more preferable.
Ease of assembly and use
As you’re already aware, you’ll need to assemble your new bike rack and mount it on your vehicle so that you can start using it.
With this in mind, you should make sure you look for a rack that’s quite easy and fast to set up on your vehicle.
Look for racks that come fully pre-assembled or with most parts assembled. Also, look for a model that doesn’t require any special tools to attach to your vehicle. Racks that can be easily mounted on different vehicles are also worth considering.
While still at it, ensure the rack you buy is also easy to dismount from your SUV.
Additional factors that make a rack easy to use include the ability to fold down to compact size for storage and tilt design to give you hassle-free access to your vehicle’s rear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do bike racks damage your car?
Yes, and no. An improperly installed rack can easily damage your car. We suggest that you make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before installing your new rack to ensure you do it correctly. Only use the accessories included in the box and avoid compromising as much as possible.
Q: How do I protect my car from a bike rack?
Apart from the proper installation of your rack, there are extra measures you can take to ensure your vehicle remains fully protected from the rack.
Firstly, you should ensure you mount your bikes properly on the rack to prevent possible damages.
You can also use protection films that go between the areas your rack comes into contact with the vehicle, preventing possible scratches and damages.
Ensure your car’s surface is clean, non-greasy, and dirt-free to minimize the risk of marks and scratches.
Above all, avoid overloading your bike.
Q: How do I choose a hitch for my bike rack?
The right hitch depends on the number of bikes your rack is designed to carry. Most bike racks come in hitch sizes 1¼” or 2”. These sizes are usually grouped as Class I, II, III, & IV. A class III or IV receiver hitch will be ideal for a rack that hauls up to 5 bikes.
Q: What kind of bike rack fits my car?
The ideal bike rack for your car will depend on where you plan to carry your bikes (is it at the back or on the roof), the number of bikes you plan to carry, and the kind of bikes you’re transporting.
A bike rack enables you to safely and securely carry your bikes when going for a road trip or camping trip. A cheaply made model can, however, give you headaches during assembly, securing your bike, and even cause accidents.
Instead of gambling with the multiple racks out there, this guide will show you how to get the most reliable bike carrier for your SUV vehicle. We have personally tested most of the models we featured on this guide to ensure they’ll reliably serve your bike transportation needs.
Don’t leave your bike behind again! Get yourself the best bike rack for SUV from our list above before your next camping trip.