Best Bike Racks for Your Vehicle

Planning to bring your bikes along for your next road trip? The New York Times says these bike racks won’t fail you.
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A car driving on a highway with a bike rack.
road trips
are more necessary than ever. With COVID making life more stressful and international travel more unpredictable, your car is the easiest way to escape life’s troubles for a few days and have some fun.
Once you reach your destination though, it’s nice to have bikes along to get around. That’s where a good bike rack comes in. But with so many options on the market, how do you find the right one?
Luckily, the
New York Times
tested over 220 bike racks over the years and shared a few recommendations we thought were worth pointing out. Whether you’re just traveling with two or you need to bring a bunch along, they’ve highlighted the best options.

The ultimate bike rack

Of all the bike racks the Times tested, their favorite was the Kuat Sherpa 2.0, a lightweight, stowable, two-bike rack that secures easily to your hitch. 
The Sherpa 2.0 is a tray rack, meaning it provides a tray for your bike’s wheels, with a bar that rises to secure the front wheel and a strap hold the back one to the tray. When loaded, it tilts your bikes out of away, giving you access to your trunk without having to uninstall the rack.
It’s on the pricey end of the market, coming in between $550-$650. But for its style and ease of use, it’s well worth the money.
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The best budget-friendly rack

For those looking for a more affordable model, the Times suggests the Kuat Beta. It doesn’t provide easy access to the back of your car when it’s in place, and its hanging style makes for a more difficult loading experience, but for less than half the price of the Sherpa (around $250), it’ll do the trick.

A bike rack for the whole family

Anyone needing a rack that holds three to four bikes should check out the Saris SuperClamp EX 4-Bike
The Times says The SuperClamp isn’t as easy to secure to the hitch as one of the Kuats and only works with two-inch hitch receivers, but it does allow for access to the vehicle’s rear while loaded. 
The extra racks will cost you though, as the SuperClamp comes in between $800 and $1,000.

Bike racks that free up the hitch

If you’re towing a trailer or a boat behind you, a bike rack that uses your hitch just won’t do. Luckily, there are a couple of other options—roof racks, trunk racks, and pickup bed bike carriers. 
The Times says the Yakima HighRoad is your best option for a roof rack. It only costs $230 and it allows you to lock your bikes and the rack to the vehicle, but it’s harder to load than a hitch or trunk rack, and it will impact your fuel efficiency, especially when loaded.
For a good trunk rack, the Times says the Saris Bones series works well and is popular among cyclists. Light yet sturdy, it comes in a two-bike or three-bike model and can fold away when not in use.
Lastly, for pickup drivers hoping to keep their hitch free for towing, Inno Velo Grippers offer a safe way to secure bikes to the side of your truck bed, keeping them out of the way of your rearview line of sight.
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