If you’re looking for the best bike rack for SUV, then you’ve come to the right place.
After spending hours and hours researching and testing each one, we’ve come up with a list of the best bike racks for SUV. However, before anything else, we’d like to single out the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack.
We recommend it as our top choice for a bike holder for SUV. It combines a premium feature set that includes a tool-free attachment system with zero frame contact.
With that being said, let’s help you get started in looking for the best bike rack for SUV.
Hitch Mount Bike Rack
The Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack takes premium to a whole other level. It’s easily the most expensive SUV bike rack on our list. But, at the same time, it’s our choice as the best bike rack for SUV.
While it is admittedly expensive, you do get what you pay for.
This bike rack utilizes a tool-free auto-attach system. This makes it easy to install and remove. At the same time, the frame-free ratcheting arm guarantees zero frame contact without compromising security.
There’s a whopping 12.5-inch distance in between the two bikes once they’re mounted, which you can then lock using the integrated cable lock.
For easy rear compartment access, you can tilt the rack down. Then, if the rack is not in use anymore, you can fold the rack up to save space.
This back rack can also fit fat bike tires as wide as 5 inches. It can hold bike wheels anywhere between 20 inches to 29 inches. It has a maximum bike weight capacity of 60 pounds, with a maximum load capacity of 100 pounds.
All in all, this is the best automobile bicycle rack we’d recommended for SUVs.
- Zero frame contact between mounted bikes
- Easy installation and removal
- Fits bike tires as wide as 5 inches
- 4-bike compatible (w/ add-on)
- Very expensive
The Kuat Sherpa 2.0 is a lightweight heavy-duty hitch bike rack. The all-aluminum construction allows it to stay light at 31 pounds without sacrificing durability. As a result, it’s easy to install and remove from your SUV when needed.
Speaking of installing, the Sherpa 2.0 uses two systems to secure your bike. This includes a rear tire strap on top of a front tire ratchet arm.
This system allows you to lock your bike into place without any frame contact. Meanwhile, when it’s no longer in use, you can slide the rack to keep it out of the way.
When you consider its lightweight, mounting even a heavy 40-pound bike on the Sherpa 2.0 is very convenient.
Speaking of convenience, the Sherpa 2.0 uses a foot-activated pivot system. Using just a tap of the foot, you can move the rack into its proper position.
So, even if you’re carrying a bike, you can open the rack. This is a feature notably absent from other bike racks. You’ll find it very useful if you’re an avid cyclist.
For all the good that this bike rack brings to the table, it does have a few flaws. Notably, it is not cheap. Also, because of its lightweight nature, you can’t expect the rack to support bikes heavier than 40 pounds nor fat bike tires. Even mounting a 40-pound bike is pushing it close and not something we’d recommend.
So long as you’re okay with the weight limit, this is as good of a bike rack for SUV with hitch as any.
- Convenient loading process
- No frame contact
- Can’t hold bikes heavier than 40 pounds
- Not compatible with fat bike tires
- Still relatively expensive
Read More: 9 Best 4-Bike Hitch Racks
Best for Those on a Budget
If you find yourself needing to carry more bikes than you’d expected but don’t want to ruin your finances, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch is a budget-friendly choice.
Admittedly, this bike hitch rack is fairly basic. It’s not beautiful, sleek, nor stylish by any means. However, what it lacks in form, it more than makes up for in function.
It has a strong painted all-weather steel mainframe with protruding tubes. You’ll mount the bikes on top of the said tubes just by lifting up. It’s that easy.
If you’re worried about your bike’s stability and security, you shouldn’t be. The 22-inch long carry arms come with individual patented tie-down systems.
Then, once you’re no longer using it, you can fold the carrying arms down. Also, if there are no bikes, you can fold them down as well if you want to access your SUV’s rear hatch.
Naturally, this SUV bike rack isn’t perfect. It doesn’t exactly have the most secure hitch mount. You’ll also notice some bouncing on this rack when going through rougher roads.
Still, if the budget is tight, this hitch-mounted bike rack can keep your bike safe and secure during transport.
- Quick and efficient design
- Can mount 4 bikes
- Very little gap in between mounted bikes
- Doesn’t have the most secure hold
Trunk-Mount Bike Rack
Best Trunk Mount Bike Rack
The Saris Bones EX Trunk Bike Rack Carrier, Mount 3 Bikes, Black is one of the most flexible bike racks on the market. It’s fitted with a padded frame that can fit just as well on SUVs as it would on pick-up trucks and sedans.
You can even place the mount in different areas of your automobile.
Once you find your ideal placement, you can support the rack using five straps, frame supports, and tension straps. This all combines to create a solid foundation for you to carry as many as 3 bikes.
The 12-inch support arms are flexible enough to support multiple kinds of bike frames. It’s also capable of supporting up to 70 pounds. However, installation isn’t easy, and you’ll want to follow the instructions. Also, proper strap placement is necessary if you want to keep the mounted bikes stable.
Speaking of the straps, the ends are exposed metal. You can expect them to leave quite a few scratches on your SUV. But, you can remedy this by using additional support to tie your bike down.
- Versatile placement
- Quick and efficient
- Made out of 100% recyclable material
- Exposed metal straps might scratch the vehicle
- Unintuitive bike mounting process
Read More: 7 Best Trunk Mount Bike Racks
Best for Those on a Budget
Sometimes, it’s best to keep things simple. Or, in the case of the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack, inexpensive.
This is easily our most affordable recommendation. However, don’t let the cheap price fool you. This simple bike carrier is sturdy and fits most SUVs, as well as other types of vehicles.
It also doesn’t compromise the safety of your mounted bikes as it has 12-inch long carry arms. These can securely accommodate a wide range of bike types and styles.
In addition to this, this budget-oriented bike rack uses Allen Sport’s patented individual tie-down system. This is the same system used in Allen Sports’ more expensive offerings. Thus, you can expect the same high-quality security and protection on your bikes.
As a bonus, this budget-oriented bike rack utilizes a single configuration design. This design choice makes installation a breeze.
- Low asking price
- No assembly required
- Very light
- Takes up minimal space
- No security features whatsoever
Spare Tire Bike Rack
Best Spare Tire Back Rack
Thule has yet another solid offering with the Thule Spare Me Pro.
This two-bike SUV carrier utilizes a bolt system to make use of your SUV’s existing spare tire mount. After it’s affixed to your vehicle, you can mount your bikes to it.
This then keeps the bikes secure using a combination of anti-sway cages and stay-put cradles. But, if you’re no longer using it, you can either remove the rack or simply fold the arms down.
For added security, you can also lock the rack to the vehicle. This is especially handy if you don’t plan on removing the bike rack from your SUV anytime soon.
This bike rack has a total weight capacity of 75 pounds and is compatible with both regular-sized and over-sized spare tires.
A neat feature of this bike rack is that it still lets you make use of the trailer hitch of your SUV. This means that, in addition to your bike, you can still keep on towing cargo as well.
Also, the very secure rubber strap hold belies the fact that this bike rack is very easy to install and remove.
- Lets you use the trailer hitch
- Secure rubber straps
- Easy installation
- Fits on both regular- and over-sized tires
- Mounted bikes tend to scrape each other
- Straps are prone to premature wear
Best for Those on a Budget
The YAKIMA – SpareRide is a more wallet-friendly alternative to our top spare tire bike rack pick for SUV.
This all-steel bike rack can hold two bikes comfortably and it has a universal mounting plate with compatibility with most stock spare tire sizes.
You then secure your mounted bikes on the anti-sway cradles using the removable ZipStrips. Meanwhile, the TireTread pads help provide additional cushioning for your bikes to remain stable on the road.
As is the case with other YAKIMA bike racks, it has an integrated bottle opener. It also has a locking knob to deter anyone from trying to steal your bikes away from you.
While this bike rack is easy to assemble and install on your SUV, it’s not an outright recommendation. It’s still relatively expensive, all things considered. Not to mention, you can’t mount smaller bikes on it. You’ll also need to buy a separate adapter to mount certain bike types like mountain bikes.
As a more affordable alternative to our top spare tire bike rack though, you can do a whole lot worse than the SpareRide.
- Anti-theft locking knob
- Universal mounting plate
- Integrated bottle opener
- Still isn’t cheap
- Not a good choice for shorter individuals
Roof Bike Rack
Best Roof Bike Rack
It’s a simple and easy-to-use bike rack that doesn’t need tools for you to mount. It also locks bikes down through their front tires and it supports multiple tire sizes.
It even comes with an additional strap for the rear tire for some added security. This means that you can store and fit your bike just the way you want to ride it.
The firm and secure hold on the bikes applies to bike wheel sizes from 20” to 29”, as well as tire widths up to 3 inches.
Of course, being that this is a roof rack, there are some innate disadvantages. Like, for example, you have to go up and get the bike yourself from the roof of your SUV.
This isn’t exactly an easy one-man job. Plus, it can fold down flat when not in use, so, at the very least, you can minimize its effect on your vehicle’s gas efficiency.
If you plan on taking multiple bikes all over, the FrontLoader is a no-brainer choice for a roof bike rack.
- No need to remove the front wheels
- Easy installation
- Firm and secure hold
- Doesn’t come with locks
Best For Those on a Budget
The Swagman STANDARD Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Carrier is a true budget-oriented bike carrying option.
This roof bike rack is compatible with crossbars up to three inches wide. It also has a carrying capacity of 35 pounds, with a fork mount you can use to mount your bike’s front fork.
It also comes with high-quality adjustable wheel straps, along with a quick-release skewer. To top it all off, the tool-free installation makes for a convenient installation experience.
Unfortunately, as good as this bike rack might sound, its low price will inadvertently show.
The poorly written instructions and questionable build quality are two common issues of this bike rack.
- Fork mount
- Adjustable wheel straps
- Tool-free installation
- Build quality leaves a lot to be desired
- No locking mechanism
Bike Rack for SUV Buying Guide
Your SUV can pretty much go anywhere. Naturally, you want this to apply to your bike as well.
Unfortunately, you can only do that if you have the best bike rack for SUV installed.
Consider these tips if you want to make sure that you want to get your money’s worth for your SUV’s bike rack.
Bike Rack Type
Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Hitch-mounted bike racks usually hook up to 1.5- or 2-inch hitch receivers. The more versatile ones can hook up to both with little to no problem.
The biggest advantage of using hitch-mounted bike racks is they are very convenient to use. They also tend to be able to support and carry more bikes comfortably compared to other bike racks.
But, a huge downside is that you’ll have to sacrifice protection. Since they sit in the far back of your vehicle, hitch-mount bike racks are more prone to accidents.
Trunk Mount Bike Rack
Trunk-mounted bike racks fasten to the trunks of hatch of your vehicle. It uses a system of hooks and straps to stay in place, as well as secure the mounted bikes.
The support arms can carry anywhere between one to three bikes, depending on the model. They’re usually lightweight, so they are the more economical choice, and aren’t exactly hard to install or unload bikes from.
Unfortunately, because these mount to a trunk or the rear hatch, you’ll have limited rear access. Also, bikes tend to sway and rattle when mounted on these bike racks. Some will even bump into each other in transit.
Spare Tire Bike Rack
For vehicles with exterior spare tires, a spare tire bike rack can be mounted or bolted onto them.
The main downside to these bike racks is that they can’t support more than two mounted bikes. However, these bike racks are very lightweight, so there’s very little effect on your SUV’s gas efficiency.
Not to mention, compared to other bike racks, spare tire back racks are relatively affordable and easier to install too.
Roof Mount Bike Rack
If you want to transport your bikes on your SUV across long distances, roof-mounted bike racks are an excellent choice. They offer a lot of protection for your bike and leaves minimal damage to your SUV.
However, they have a huge impact on your SUV’s mpg and aren’t the easiest to use.
If you drive and ride alone, getting bikes up and down from a roof bike rack can get especially tiring.
A bike rack is only as useful as the number of bikes that it can carry. Or, to be more specific, if it can carry as many bikes as you’d like or prefer.
As a general rule of thumb, roof mount and spare tire back racks are limited to two bikes. Meanwhile, hitch racks can support up to four bikes. Trunk-mounted bike racks can also support 4 bikes too, depending on the model.
Do not even begin to attempt to carry more bikes than what your bike rack can support.
Weight Carrying Capacity
Never neglect the maximum weight capacity of the bike rack you plan on purchasing.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t max out your bike rack’s load capacity. If it’s too close too often, you might want to consider a bike rack with a higher weight capacity.
This is especially true if you carry heavier bikes like mountain bikes and cargo bikes all the time.
Installation and Unloading
Because you’ll most likely be installing the rack onto your SUV with little to no help, it pays to invest in something easy to install.
Depending on the model, the installation process can go smoothly or can take hours.
You should also put the same amount of thought when it comes to unloading the bike rack. It should also be just as easy to install and unload.
On the other hand, if you want to leave the bike rack on your SUV permanently, you’re free to do that as well.
The best bike rack for SUV doesn’t just keep your bikes stable and safe while on the road. The ideal bike rack will also make sure that your bike and your rack stays right where they are.
This can come in very handy when you have to leave your SUV and your bike for a few moments.
If safety is a concern, consider getting a bike rack with integrated security features like the Thule Spare Me Pro.
Bike racks improve in build quality and capacity at higher price ranges. The more you pay for your bike rack, the better the quality of the material used to manufacture and create the bike rack will be.
Drive your SUV and ride your bike to places you’ve never been to before by investing in the best bike rack for SUV.
However, while the latter is more lightweight and easier to handle because of its all-aluminum construction, it can’t exactly support heavier bikes.
The Saris Bones EX Trunk Bike Rack Carrier, Mount 3 Bikes, Black is also an excellent choice. It works well with multiple kinds of vehicles. The build quality is outstanding, and using the bike rack is akin to saying goodbye to all of your biking transportation worries.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what we recommend. The choice is still up to you.
We can’t exactly tell you what the best bike rack for SUV is. All we can do is to present you with options to choose from.
Hopefully, we’ve done enough to help you choose the best SUV bike rack that fits your tastes, needs, and budget.