Bike Racks For Cars & Tow Bars (Quick Stats)
If you don't have time to read the full article, here is our quick review.
It doesn't matter if you're looking for a roof rack, tow bar rack or general bike carrier, we look at all your alternatives below. We then break down the top 8 from our research and reader feedback. (Your best bet for options is Bicyclesonline.com.au)
RIDE (Not applicable)
PRICE RANGE (at time of writing)
$350 to $700
(Full details of each bike rack further down the page):
|EziGrip Enduro 4 Bike Rack|
Rated 7 / 10
|SeaSucker Talon QR Fork Mount Rack|
Rated 8.5 / 10
|Thule Upride 599001 Roof Rack|
Rate 7 / 10
|SeaSucker Mini Bomber Roof Rack|
Rated 8.5 / 10
Bike racks from various manufacturers have experienced considerable alterations in terms of security and style in recent years, so we have compiled information on a few of the most popular brands to put up this buyers’ guide.
There are roof racks, tailgate pads, hitch mount racks, and spare tyre mounting alternatives. All of them are valid and beneficial to the user, depending on the person and their cycling or driving preferences. We are going to concentrate on the best bike racks available from various brands because we are primarily interested in you getting the best quality products within your budget.
What Are the Different Types of Bike Racks?
When trying to find the ideal bike rack, there are various show-stopping options to choose from; however, the main types include:
- Roof racks
- Hitch racks or towbar racks
- Boot racks
Roof top mounts offer quick access to the back doors or boot while also keeping motorcycles out of the way of indicator, brake, and registration lights. One can attest that hiding these annoys the cops, but it also poses a traffic risk. If you go with a tow ball mount rack, be sure to think of an alternative number plate and light solution to keep them visible and keep them lawful.
Roof bike racks can keep bike frames and deep carbon rims out of the direction of the car lights, but they might be difficult to access for many individuals in taller cars such as SUVs. Due to the overhead lifting, they are not ideal for heavy bikes, but other than that, they are perfect for the normal carbon roadie. Additionally, they save room in your car, prevent greasy chains from getting on the upholstery, and make it easier to transport the bike to and from events or riding routes that start with a long, unpleasant, or risky journey.
The majority of roof racks are made up of feet, roof bars, and crossbars that latch to the roof of your car. The accessories then attach to this depending on the style of the product. Roof racks come in two types: those that need the front wheel to be removed and those that enable both wheels to stay on the bike.
Removing the front wheel lowers the bike, making loading easier and lighter, and is the traditional manner of putting bikes on top of the car.
A bike rack that maintains both wheels on the bike is higher, costs more, and is less sturdy, but they eliminate the need for regular wheel removal and re-installation.
Integrated locks are commonly included with any choice to secure the bike to the roof-mounted rack. The rack is, of course, secured to the crossbars, which is attached to the car.
Simplified roof-mounted bike racks that do not require a specialized base crossbar installation, such as the SeaSucker rack, which attaches to the vehicle with suction cups, and roof-mounted bike racks that link to the car’s manufacturing roof rack, are accessible.
Hitch Racks or Towbar Racks
A hitch or towbar rack connects to a receiver hitch on the car. This style is normally more expensive than other bike rack models, but the convenience with which they can load and unload bikes and the fact that you do not need to lift the bike onto the car’s roof makes them a favourable choice.
The majority of them have locks that secure the bike to the hitch mount rack and the rack to the car. Innovative designs allow for practically one-handed installation, and hinged load portions enable access to your vehicle’s tailgate o boot without having to remove the bike.
The more characteristics a bike rack has, such as repair stands, built-in locks, lightweight materials, and so on, the more expensive it is. You also need a hitch or towbar on your car, which can be costly if you do not already possess one, and some cars are only compatible with specific hitches, which limit the rack to two bikes rather than the four or five that certain hitches allow.
Bikes are frequently held by hitch-mounted racks by its wheels, with arms fastening the front wheel, or by suspending it from the top tubes.
Trunk Racks or Boot Racks
Trunk-mounted racks are usually the cheapest and least secure choice. The major item that keeps them attached to your car is a set of straps that hook around the bumper, trunk, or hatchback lip.
Typically, such racks are very adaptable, allowing them to be fitted to the back of practically any style of vehicle. The car is gripped by foam or rubber ‘feet,’ with the entire assembly pulled tightly and held by the straps.
This is the most cost-effective rack, but it relies largely on good installation, and the hooks that secure the straps to the car might scratch paintwork.
Low-cost trunk racks usually do not include a lock for the bike or a mechanism to secure it to your car, making them easy to steal.
Specialty Car Bike Racks
There are show-stopping bike racks for almost every style of car, from SUVs with spare tyres on their back door to pickup truck beds: there is a method to transport a bike safely and easily.
The tailgate pad is a design you have probably witnessed on trucks at your local trail or trailhead centre.
Hook and loop tie-downs hold the bikes securely and keep them separated in sophisticated versions, but homemade ones, such as old and thick blankets or a pair of folded bike crates, are a little less elegant.
Which Type of Bike Rack Do You Need?
There are so many bike rack styles to choose from; therefore, how do you know which one is ideal for you and your bikes?
The initial question is how often and how far you must transport bicycles. Then you have to figure out what kind of bikes you require and how many you need. What type of vehicle – or cars – do you own, and are you going to be riding a combination of bikes? Is it lightweight, do they contain thru-axles, and could they become dirty?
The next factor is how you intend to transport the bicycles. On the car’s roof? Is it possible to get something off the rear of the vehicle? Is your car equipped with a receiver hitch? Is the front wheel of the bike attached or detached? Another factor to determine is whether or not you need or want to transport additional athletic equipment.
Bikes come in a wide range of prices, styles, sizes, and weights, all which you need to consider while choosing a mode of transportation. You do not want to jeopardize your costly bike being carried on a rack that is cheaper than one of the extremely lightweight tyres.
Consider practicality, if the rack meets your requirements currently and in the years to come; user-friendliness, such as is it easy to install and insert the bikes; security, such as whether the bike rack securely holds the products and locks them to the bike rack and car; and the amount of room it takes up when you are not using it.
8 Best Bike Racks Available in Australia
If you are looking to buy a bike rack, you may want to consider the following options:
- EziGrip Enduro 4 Bike Rack
- SeaSucker Talon QR Fork Mount Rack
- Thule 598001 Roof Bike Rack ProRide
- SeaSucker Mini Bomber Roof Rack
- Thule Upride 599001 Roof Rack
- Saris Bones 2- Bike Trunk Rack
- Topeak Roadie Bicycle Rack with RX Quick Track
- CD Quick Release Bike A-Frame Twin Pole Rack Tow Ball Hitch Trailer Mount
EziGrip Enduro 4 Bike Rack
One of the best methods to carry and show mountain bikes, on-road or off-road bikes, cruiser bikes, or hybrid bikes, is with the EziGrip Enduro 4 Bike Rack. The EziGrip Enduro car bike rack, which is secured to your vehicle’s tow ball, can carry up to four bikes on the tailgate pad and is meant to keep them isolated from one another during transportation, preventing scratches and damage.
These garage and car bike racks are suitable for most bikes, from little children’s bikes to bigger downhill bikes, thanks to the adjustable and separate wheel trays.
Three straps on each bike with rubber housings connect your bikes to the car bike rack, keeping your rims scratch-free. A robust durable metal cam buckle secures the straps. Bikes may be mounted on the rack in a matter of seconds. There is no need to fiddle with handlebars and seat posts; simply strap the bike on and ride!
The 200mm distance from center to center between each wheel tray, helps to keep the bikes apart.
Standard flat tongue towbars and European swan neck towbars are both compatible with these car bike racks. The rack is secured to the tow ball once installed. There are two keys included; however, this only works with tow balls that are 50mm in diameter. You should not use it with tow balls that can be swapped out.
This model has a removable light board that shows the indicators and brake lights of the vehicle and a second number plate.
- It is easy to assemble and install.
- These bike racks are safe to use on any car.
- Offers a great deal of stability
- This is quite an expensive model
SeaSucker Talon QR Fork Mount Rack
The show-stopping Talon, like the SeaSucker Mini Bomber, clings to the car using suction cups. Adaptors for all major axle styles are available to carry one bike with the front wheel detached.
Unfortunately, the Talon is pricey for a single rack; however, if you are determined to transport a bike in a sports vehicle or other car that is not equipped with standard racks, it is a viable option.
- It has a powerful suction ability.
- One can easily swap the adapters to their preferences.
- You have to remove the front wheel.
- One cannot lock the bike rack down.
- It could be easy for thieves to steal the bike from your vehicle.
Thule 598001 Roof Bike Rack ProRide
As long as you are okay with clamping straight onto your bike’s down tube, the Thule ProRide 598001 is a superb all-around pick for roof bike racks. The jaws of the Thule are manufactured in such a manner as to reduce the possibility of any damage.
The Thule 598001 is great for transporting bikes with fenders or mudguards because, unlike racks that just support the bike by the wheels, the Thule does not interact with them. Additionally, the simple operation, stability at great speeds, and sleek aesthetic make this one of the best available options. While this is an extremely expensive bike rack, you can rest assured knowing it is going to last you for a very long time.
- Easy to assemble and install
- Simple and effective operation
- Thule has great compatibility
- There is a more secure hold, making it safer on carbon.
- The Thule is extremely expensive.
- There may be slight frame contact in the form of clamping.
SeaSucker Mini Bomber Roof Rack
The Mini Bomber from SeaSucker is different from many other bike racks since it mounts with suction cups. This may seem improbable, but every suction cup has a drawing power of up to 210 pounds, and six of them are present — hence, it is a rock-solid design.
In the same way as many roof rack bike carriers, the Mini Bomber holds bikes via the front fork. Additionally, SeaSucker has a variety of components to fit whichever axle your specific front wheel is equipped with.
Returning to the suction cups, these SeaSuckers may be put onto the roof of your vehicle, a part on the back hatch glass, and part on the boot of a range of automobiles. There are several options available.
The Mini Bomber’s compact size is another advantage. It can simply be stored in most vehicles while not in use.
While SeaSucker provides a cable and lock for safety purposes, it is not as attractive as a few other racks’ built-in options.
- Easy installation
- Simple removal process
- It can fit a wide range of motor vehicles
- Small and compact size
- The bike rack is lightweight
- It offers minimal safety and security for the bike and roof rack
- You have to remove the front wheel
- One needs an adaptor for anything other than a nine-millimeter QR.
Thule Upride 599001 Roof Rack
The Thule Upride 599001 is an excellent option to load bikes to a vehicle as it does not make any frame contact when you grab the wheel with the hook. These Thule mounted bike racks are suitable for bikes that contain a carbon frame.
Additionally, the versatile and unique design can accommodate bikes with non-traditional frame designs, bottle cages, and rear suspension. The simple interface enables you to switch the carrier from one side of the vehicle to the other side. Finally, the fact that you can lock your bikes to the rack and the car bike rack to the vehicle, adds to the four and a half star rating on this product. Many reviews state that this product is similar to the Thule T2 Pro XT; therefore if you are a fan of this bike rack, you are most certainly going to love the Upride.
- It is easy and quick to install and use
- The car bike rack can hold a variety of heavy items, such as a men’s mountain bike.
- You have to purchase the carbon frame protector separately.
- The cable locks are not of the highest quality – it is challenging to lock the pick up to the rack.
Saris Bones 2- Bike Trunk Rack
These mounted bike racks included molded legs and arms that are a few of the most powerful available on the market. This product can carry two bikes, and one can easily adjust the hold-downs to suit their preferences. Another beneficial factor regarding these car bike racks is that it is built from 100% non-rusting and recyclable materials.
It truly is one of the most practical and durable options available for all types of vehicles and bikes.
- It is extremely practical and easy to use
- These bike rack styles are aesthetically pleasing
- It is simple and convenient to load the bikes onto the racks
- The release lever is easy to use
- The product does not include any additional components when you purchase it.
- As these car bike racks do not include any additional accessories, it could make it easier to steal
Topeak Roadie Bicycle Rack with RX Quick Track
These car bike racks with a compact design and quick attaching method allow for easy installation and removal. It is adjustable from multiple angles, which provides a precise fit on the bike. Topeak bags can be slid and locked with the RX QuickTrack plate and released with a push button, thanks to the unique built-in RX QuickTrackTM plate. Additionally, this product can fit up to 700 x 25c road tyres. The positive reviews and five-star rating on the website page prove that this is a high-quality and superior option.
- It is lightweight and powerful
- It has an excellent design and rack style
- A few reviews mentioned that these mounted bike racks do not fit in the bag.
CD Quick Release Bike A-Frame Twin Pole Rack Tow Ball Hitch Trailer Mount
This high-quality hitch rack fits perfectly onto any vehicle and is user-friendly. These hitch-mounted bike racks offer compatibility, a smart design, power, and protection.
Regarding compatibility, the hitch receiver can be used with a twin ball hitch trailer and has a maximum capacity of four bikes, meaning it is ideal for the entire family.
The quick-release design means that you can assemble and disassemble the product quickly so that you can easily access the rear of your vehicle without having to remove the entire rack from the hitch. Additionally, the robust and simple A-Frame offers increased stability so you can travel with confidence and peace of mind.
These hitch rakes are coated in a powder coating which reinforces the safety of your bikes. The rubber holder inserts ensure that your bikes do not get damaged in any way and the quick-release straps ensure quick and efficient loading and unloading.
- These hitch racks can hold all types of bikes, including adult and children’s bikes.
- It provides great value for money
- The frame is extremely easy to install
- You can use the hitch receiver for various purposes
- The hitch rack is designed with comfort and style in mind.
- You may have to remove a wheel to make the journey more comfortable.
- Trying to get all four bikes on the rack may be a tight fit that might scratch the paint off the bikes.
- Loading bikes onto the rack may be challenging at times.
The Bottom Line
The finest bike racks for automobiles make transporting your bike easier, and they are a must if you cannot fit everything inside your car. There are a variety of bike rack models available at various price points. Has this guide helped you in determining the ideal style for you?
A rack produced to carry your bikes on your car has gone through the same amount of study and engineering as the actual bike you ride. So, pick out what you require and the style that best suits your activities and preferences, and gets your bikes transported faster and easier than ever before.