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Wondering which bike rack is right for you?  We’ll break it down for you.

Getting your bike to the BMX track can be tricky.  If you have a truck, it’s a no-brainer (we even have some awesome product recommendations to help).  However, if you have a car or an SUV, you might be wondering which type of bike rack is best.

We’ll show you bike racks that are perfect for each type of vehicle and you can decide which is best for you.

What type of bike rack is best


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What Bike Rack Should You Buy?

If you’re wondering which type of bike rack is right for you, you first need to determine what your needs are.

  • Does the vehicle have a trailer hitch receiver?
  • How many bikes do you need to transport?
  • Is it important to access the rear of your vehicle?
  • Does your vehicle have features that may interfere with a mounted bike rack, such as a rear-mounted spare tire, panoramic sunroof, spoiler or aftermarket bumper/exhaust?

You also want to take into consideration the following when choosing the bike rack that’s right for you:

  • How easy is it to install?
  • How easy is it to load the bikes onto the rack?
  • Does the rack provide protection for the bike?
  • Will the rack cause any wear and tear on your vehicle?

The type of rack you choose depends on the type of vehicle you are going to use and whether or not it has a trailer hitch receiver.  There are several types of bike racks available:

  • Hitch Mount Bike Racks
  • Truck Bed Bike Racks
  • Spare Tire Mount Bike Racks
  • Trunk Mount Bike Racks
  • Roof Mount Bike Racks

Here’s a look at each type and recommendations for you to consider.

TAKE NOTE: Before purchasing a bike rack, make sure that the option you choose will fit your vehicle’s make and model.  If you’re not sure, reach to the bike rack manufacturer to double check.  

Hitch Mounted Bike Racks

If your vehicle has a hitch receiver, there are a number of great options available.

These racks are great options because you can transport several bikes at once (up to 5 depending on the rack and vehicle) and they have a low profile.  However, you need to have a hitch receiver already installed on your vehicle and bikes are exposed to road grime.

There are two basic types – hanging racks and platform racks.

Hitch Mounted Hanging Bike Racks

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Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

Hitch Mounted Platform Bike Racks

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Hitch Mounted Platform

Truck Bed Bike Racks

If you have a truck with an open bed, there are some great options available.

These racks are great because, again, you can transport several bikes at once and you don’t need to add any extra equipment to the outside of your vehicle.  However, it can be a little more cumbersome to load your bikes into the truck bed, as opposed to using hitch rack.

There are two basic types – hanging racks and platform racks.

Truck Bed Bike Racks

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Truck bed rack

Truck Bed Bike Mats

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Truck Pad Bike Rack

Spare Tire Mounted Bike Racks

If your vehicle does not have a hitch receiver and has a spare tire mounted on the back of the vehicle, there is a limited selection of bike racks available.

Spare tire mounted bike racks typically hold up to two bikes at most.

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Spare Tire Mount Bike Rack

Trunk Mounted Bike Racks

This type of bike rack mounts to your vehicle using the vehicle trunk.  You don’t need to have a hitch receiver installed to use this rack.

Trunk mounted bike racks are fairly inexpensive and easy to install.  However, you do need to be careful when installing and uninstalling the rack so that you don’t damage your vehicle.

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Trunk Mount Bike RackRoof Mounted Bike Racks

In order to use a roof mounted bike rack, you must have a base roof rack already installed.  These can come from the vehicle manufacturer or you can purchase them after-market.

What’s great about this type of rack is you don’t have any visibility issues when driving because the bike is mounted to the top of your vehicle.  You also have easy access to the back of your vehicle.

However, roof mounted bike racks require you to life your bike on top of your vehicle.  You may also have difficulty pulling into garages and drive-throughs or traveling under low bridges.

There are two basic types – fork mounted (front tire is removed) and upright mounted (front tire is left on).

Fork Mounted Roof Bike Racks

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Roof Bike Rack

Upright Mounted Roof Bike Racks

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Roof bike rack Upright

What’s the best bike rack for a truck?

If you drive a truck you have a number of options available to you.  You can use any of the hitch mounted racks or the truck bed systems.   It’s a matter of personal preference.  We love this one because it swings away from the tailgate.

What’s the best bike rack for a car?

If you drive a car that doesn’t have a hitch receiver, you are limited to roof mounted racks or trunk mounted bike racks.  Explore the different types and choose the rack that best fits your needs.

What’s the best bike rack for an SUV?

If you drive a SUV, you first need to determine if the vehicle has a hitch receiver.  If so, you can use any bike rack that mounts to the receiver.

However, if your vehicle doesn’t have a receiver, you will need to consider a roof mounted rack, trunk mounted rack (check to make sure it will work with your vehicle make and model) or spare tire mounted rack (if applicable).

TAKE NOTE: Before purchasing a bike rack, make sure that the option you choose will fit your vehicle’s make and model.  If you’re not sure, reach to the bike rack manufacturer to double check.  

Other gear you may need for your bike rack

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Looking for more?  Check out all of the BMX Gear content on BMX-Insider.

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