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4 Different Types of Bike Racks: Which One is Right for You?

RAM 1500 glideAWAY Elite Bike Rack; Carries 4 Bikes

By Mike Cote - December 11, 2018

Taking your two-wheeler from home to trail – or anywhere in between – should be an easy feat. Whether you use it as a green alternative for commuting or during your leisure time, the fact is you’ll eventually need to stow it on your four-wheeled mode of transportation. This probably leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions. Will your bike rack hinder your view of traffic? Will it fall off your roof? What if you don’t have a roof rack or trailer hitch? In this list you’ll find four different types of bike racks and the answer to your questions.


The options for this style of bike rack vary depending on your vehicle. Roof mount bike racks attach to your factory or aftermarket crossbars and can transport one or two bicycles. You can even choose from styles that don’t require wheel removal such as the Rhino-Rack Roof Mount Hybrid Bike Rack that lets you carry up to 2 fully-assembled bicycles at a time. If you’re worried about rear window visibility, this is the best option for you. Plus, it’s the only bike rack that lets you carry a tandem bike. Check out RockyMounts Tandem Mount R4 Roof Bike Rack – perfect for a romantic getaway.


One of the easiest bike racks to use – hitch mount bike racks simply plug into your hitch receiver and are ready for loading. While they may have had a historical reputation as distracting and risky, modern technology employs soft cradles and anti-sway technology to keep everyone safe. Many hitch racks also offer swing away technology so you can still access your rear hatch, such as the Softride Dura Hydraulic Assist Hitch Bike Rack. Hitch Bike Racks usually come ready to fit universal receiver sizes – some even give you the option to transport up to 5 bikes, like the Thule Apex Hitch Bike Rack.


One of the less expensive styles, trunk mount bike racks are fairly versatile and usually fit most vehicles without having to get additional parts or components. A fun biking adventure for the whole family is possible with a Thule Getaway Trunk Mount Bike Rack – carry up to 3 bikes by mounting it to your car’s trunk and you’re ready to go. Trunk mount options are now easier to setup and do a better job protecting your paint. Also, when not in use, many models have incorporated a clever folding design allowing compact, easy storage.


If you drive a truck and have open bed space, keep your bikes sturdy with a truck bed rack such as the Advantage SportsRack Truck Bed Bike Rack. It mounts right into your bed to keep your bikes securely stowed. An alternative option is an over-the-tailgate mat – it provides a soft resting place for your bikes while protecting your paint job. With truck bed bike carriers that provide space to transport up to 4 bikes, you can easily take a bike for each member of the family. If truck bed space is not an option, you can always opt for a different style of truck bike rack, like the Tail-Gator Truck Tailgate Bike Rack.

Whatever rack you decide to mount your cycle on, you can rest assured the best-selling, top-brand products featured on our list are made from heavy-duty materials that won’t leave you with a fallen or broken bike in the middle of the highway.