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Some Of The Best Bike Carriers or Racks For Your Vehicle

If you’re reading this article it’s likely you’re constantly using your bicycle during the weekends, or why not everyday. Probably, you’re even after the correct bike carrier for your vehicle, and for you.

Bike carriers are one of the smartest inventions of the past 10 or 20 years. They’ve made it so much easier to carry around our bikes without having to take off the front wheel and then stuff them in the trunk. Unpractical, time consuming and literally just a pain.

Before we start taking a look at the different bike carriers we’ll recommend, we want to make sure you understand what’s better for you.

Right now, there are two very common types of carriers:

  • Hitch Bike Carriers
  • Rack Bike Carriers 

The hitch bike mounts or carriers are a very lightweight, straightforward and easy-to-install accessory that will attach to the hitch of your car. That’s the square-like hole on the rear of your vehicle, usually below the rear bumper.

The rack bike carrier is the traditional bike holder, which will securely carry your bicycle on the top of the rack. It’ll make sure the bike travels in an upward position, but you require a roof rack, or truck bed rack, in order to have one.

Which of the two is better? 

Well, the hitch bike mount is firstly, cheaper if you don’t have a roof rack, and frankly easier to install and to mount and unmounts your bikes. However, the upside is that it’ll affect visibility on the back of your car, as well as being a bit of a hassle when you need to open or access anything form your trunk.

The upright bike rack carriers will firstly hold your bicycle upright, which is slightly safer, as well as posing a lesser risk for your unit. However, the inconvenience is that they need a rack in order to work, mounting the bike or taking it down from your roof isn’t an easy task, and roof racks themselves are heavy and can affect the fuel consumption of your vehicle. 

That said, whatever decision you make, you’re in safe hands, especially if you go with one of the options we’re going to present to you.

Please keep in mind we do sell a few of these, but there are others we don’t. Also, bear in mind there are many other brands, models and designs you can choose from, but we narrowed down the list to those we consider a better option.

 

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Carrier

https://offroadtents.com/products/thule-t2-pro-xt-2-for-1-25-and-2-receivers?_pos=2&_sid=c98b5675d&_ss=r&variant=19624162066489

Thule needs no introduction, the Swedish company has been around for quite a while and the reputation of their products is frankly outstanding. 

The T2 Pro XT 2 is probably their best hitch mount bike carrier.

First things first, this is the most expensive carrier in the list, but probably one of the safest and better designed ones. It’s worth every buck, if you can afford it.

Attaching it to your hitch is a breeze, no tools required, all you need to make sure is that it’ll fit your 1.25 or 2 inch hitch. We then come to the bikes, which when mounted are just around a foot above the ground, reducing fuel consumption, and making the process of mounting them and taking them off much easier.

Safety will never be a concerned; as it has ratchet arms that locks the bikes in place really, really well. Just in case, it has the traditional cable lock. That gives that extra security for your peace of mind. 

As to the bikes themselves, well, they won’t be rattling much, and thanks to the design, you’ll make sure that their frames don’t touch or scratch each other. Furthermore, you can add the T2 Pro XT Add-On, if you ever need to carry more bikes back there. 

Probably the best feature is the fact that it has a tilting option, which is a complete game changer, as it’ll make it really, really easy for you to access the trunk of your vehicle, especially when compared to any other bike carrier.

Pros

Cons

Settin up is a breeze, require NO tools

Expensive

Accessing trunk is easy thanks to tilting feature

 

Very Safe

 

Folds when not in use

 

 

Thule does have other interesting and very good bike racks and bike hitch carriers, you can take a look at them HERE

Yakima RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack

Yakima RidgeBack Hitch Bike Rack

Another hitch bike carrier, by another big name company. Yakima is a synonym of reliability, you can trust pretty much anything they make, and this hitch bike rack is no exception.

However, this is not your typical bike carrier, since it will not carry the units from their wheels. Basically, instead of mounting your bicycles to the carrier by the wheels, you will do it by attaching the bike’s tubes to a specific arm.

As a carrier it’s very easy to install, as it has a point, called the SpeedKnob, which will insert in just a matter of seconds to the hitch of your vehicle.

Also, an advantage over pretty much many of the other hitch racks is that this model can carry from two, to four or even 5 bicycles, just what you need for a family or friend trip.

Security won’t be a concern, as it has secure zip strips, as well as cradles that avoid the sway, and make sure that your bikes wont’ rattle, or worse, crash into one another.

Pros

Cons

Installation of the carrier is very simple and fast, tool free

Holds bikes by tubes, which some won’t like

Adaptable: has different models for more or less bikes

 

Very Safe

 

Allowed For Off-Road Use

 

  

 

Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

 

Read around the internet and this will be one of the best reviewed and most recommended bike carriers. Reason? Well, Allen Sports has a tradition in bike carriers and racks, they know what they’re doing and they like to stay ahead of the competition.

This deluxe hitch carrier is extremely simple to use, probably the easiest one of them all. It’ll go inside the hitch of your vehicle (it must be 2 inches), and then the carrier will stand upright, to then be secured by a strong, sturdy bolt, which is very, very safe.

The arms of the unit are 22 inches long, perfect for wider or bigger bike frames. And then, the best thing of them all it’s the patented tie-down system that they have. The system itself is perfect to avoid the bikes crashing into each other, avoiding scratches or any other accident.

Plus, it has space for at least 4 bikes, meaning once again family trips, or an incredibly affordable bike rack covers weekend adventures with friends, which might be one of the best.

Pros

Cons

Affordable

Will cause problems to access trunk of vehicle

Installation on hitch takes seconds

 

Can carry up to 4 bikes

 

Tie-Down system is fantastic

 

 

 

Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Bike Carrier

rhino rack spare wheel bicycle carrier

Let’s spice things up a bit and change form the traditional hitch carriers to a spare wheel bike carrier. Of course, the problem with this type of bike rack is the fact that you need a spare wheel in the rear of your vehicle in order to be able to use it. 

That excludes a lot of vehicles. However, if you do have a spare tire, then this is an affordable, smart and extremely easy to mount solution.

Let’s start by the fact that this carrier is made by Rhino-Rack, an Australian brand that has been making roof racks and off-road parts for decades, and they know their business. 

The way to mount this carrier is literally a piece of cake, since all you got to do is place it over the spare tire, tie it around it with the strap provided, and that’s it, a matter of seconds without having to bend downwards or anything of the sort. 

As to the bikes, they’re secured by really thick rubber straps, and there us enough separation to carry two bikes at the same time, without any risk of them touching each other.

It also folds up when not in use, so it’s easy to store in the trunk of your car afterwards.

The downside of this carrier is the fact that it’s limited in many ways. It’s not the safest when left unwatched, plus it’s extremely simple and basic. It gets the job done if you’re going for short trips, or for non-complex occasions.

Nevertheless, if you’re going off-roads, on long trips, or need to carry more bikes, then you’re better off with another option.

If you prefer a roof rack bike carrier, then you'll need a roof rack, and you can take a look at Rhino-Rack roof racks HERE.

Pros

Cons

Affordable

Requires a spare tire

Setting up the carrier and bikes takes second

Not suitable for off-road use

Lightweight

Not the safest

 

 

Front Runner Thru Axle Bike Carrier

front runner thru axle bike carrier

Front Runner Outfitters is a famous South African brand that has been manufacturing some of the best roof racks and outdoors equipment for the past 20 years, if not more. 

Their Slimline II Roof Rack has become an icon in the overlanding world, and well, they have  a lot of accessories for this rack, one of them being this Thru Axle carrier.

This bike carrier can fit 100mm x 15mm and 110mm x 20 mm thru axles, as well as 110mm x 15mm boost hubs. Oh, and the rear tire holder can fit up to 4.5” jumbo tires.

The rear wheel holder has an adjustable ratchet buckle and strap that will adjust and fasten in just seconds.

It’s extremely secure, and that means in any occasion, even heavy off road use. It’ll keep your bikes upright, in place, secure, avoiding rattling and contact between them. 

It’ll allow you to easily access your trunk, but the main issue is getting them up there and down from there, which can be a headache.

Plus, if you do overland often, that also means you might own a roof top tent, and you’ll have to decide between one and the other.

However, this is an affordable and very safe option to choose from. Just remember, it’ll require you to own a Front Runner Slimline II rack or bed rack in order to buy one of these carriers.

Pros

Cons

Affordable

Complicated to mount or dismount bikes

Keeps Bikes Upright

Requires a Front Runner rack

Very Safe

 

Allowed For Off-Road Use

 

  

What Else To Consider?

Before we end up this extensive and descriptive article, we want to give you a last few tips in case you haven’t made up your mind.

Other very important features to look for in any bike rack are the locking cables. They are very common, and come in most of the hitch bike racks, they are built-in security systems that wrap around the bike, in the form of a sturdy and thick chain, as to lock it and avoid not only the bike from falling down, but anyone from stealing it.

Then the Anti-Sway Cages, which are mostly found on racks that hold the bicycles by the tubes. These are pretty much a feature that avoids the bikes from swaying, moving too much, even at higher speeds, hence reducing the risk of any unpleasant damage.

Finally, take a look at your car and see what attachment points it has. Does it have a hitch and how wide is it? Does it have a spare tire? Will you have to mount the bikes on the roof? These are all very basic, yet essential questions you must ask yourself before going out and buying one!

***If you're not sure whether your vehicle has the right roof rack, please take a look at our roof rack collection, most of which will be able to support any roof top tent.***

FINALLY, if you would like to share info, pictures or anything, bicycle, roof top tent or overland related, please feel free to do so Joining Our Facebook Group HERE.

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