Best Bike Racks for SUVs Without Hitch – Overview
Planning to drive out for a weekend getaway or a camping trip? Packing all the gear you need to enjoy the wide, open spaces will most probably be foremost on your list of preparations. If you are planning to do some mountain biking on the trip, you will need to securely transport your bikes in the car or SUV.
A variety of bicycle racks are available for you to choose from. Your choice would depend upon a few factors like the type of car onto which the rack has to be fitted, your budget, and whether you would prefer a rack that is easy to install and onto which it is easy to mount your bike.
Types of Bike Racks
Bicycle racks come in three main varieties:
Roof-mounted racks, as the name suggests, are fixed on top of your automobile. The bike stands upright when mounted onto it. It can be used to haul other types of gear as well, like kayaks or skis.
Hitch-mounted racks are connected to a receiver hitch that is attached to the rear of your vehicle. The main purpose of a receiver hitch is to tow a vehicle. This type of rack can be used to transport multiple bikes.
Trunk-mounted racks are attached to the trunk or rear bumper of your vehicle with straps. The straps go around the lip of the trunk, hatch, or bumper and are secured.
The Pros and Cons of Trunk-mounted Bike Racks
– It is the most economical type of rack
– It can be fitted onto any type of vehicle
– It can carry one to three bikes
– Storage is easy as it is small and can be folded and put away
– It is the most lightweight option and easily portable
– Ease of use is one of its attractive points since it does not require extra fittings to accommodate it on the vehicle
– The bikes and their weight rest on the body of the car, which can damage the paint and the integrity of the sheet metal
– The security of the bikes during transport is completely dependent on the durability of the straps. The straps can degrade over time due to wear and tear and could snap while in use
– The location of the rack at the rear of the vehicle can cause the driver’s rear view to be obstructed by the bikes
– The bikes could also hide the rear license plate or taillights, which is illegal in several places
– Lack of a foolproof locking system leaves the bikes vulnerable to theft
– The trunk or hatch cannot be accessed when the rack is installed
– Bikes mounted on this type of rack are prone to banging into each other when the vehicle is moving
– since the rack and the bikes protrude from the rear of the vehicle, you need to exercise extra caution to avoid backing into an obstruction
The Best Bike Racks for SUVs Without Hitch
Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack
This low-cost model comes with a patented design and a couple of extra features that are an improvement on the basic design of a trunk-mounted rack.
– Additional side straps provide enhanced stability for the cargo and fix it more securely to the rack.
– Trunk-mounted racks can scratch the paint and buckle the metal of car body panels through continued use. This happens because the bicycles rest on the body. The Allen Deluxe model has padding on the lower frame, which protects the car by keeping the bikes away.
– Installation is quick and easy since it comes fully assembled.
– The frame length and width can accommodate a variety of bike styles and sizes.
– It is the most lightweight option at around seven and a half pounds, making it portable and easy to store.
– It can carry up to two bikes
– Its versatile design makes it possible to attach it to a range of vehicle styles and sizes. It is compatible with sedans, SUVs, minivans, and hatchbacks.
– Another general drawback of trunk-mounted racks is the fact that the straps and hooks can easily wear out. However, Allen provides a lifetime warranty that covers the durable and high-quality components of the rack.
– It does not keep the bikes completely removed from the car or away from each other during transport. So some damage to the car and cargo is possible.
Saris Bones Car Bike Rack
This is a high-end model that has a unique design to circumvent some general problems that are posed by trunk-mounted racks.
– One of the drawbacks of trunk-mounted racks is the fact that they can be difficult to install on trunks that have spoilers. But the Saris Bones model comes with a dog-leg design that makes it possible to easily fit around spoilers on sedans as well as the hatchback models of SUVs.
– It weighs eleven pounds, which makes it easy to store and transport.
– It has an arc-like design of the arm, which holds the bikes away from each other and the body of the car, avoiding damage to both.
– Rubber feet protect the body of the car at the points of attachment.
– The components are durable and made of rust-free materials.
– The entire rack is made from one hundred percent recyclable materials, making the product an eco-friendly option.
– The design of the rack makes it difficult to store as it cannot be folded away.
– The frame and the bikes that it carries will protrude significantly from the back of the car, elevating the risk of backing into an obstruction.
Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
This is the more high-end model among Allen trunk-mounted racks and comes in options that can accommodate a maximum of two, three, or four bikes.
– It comes fully assembled and snaps on in seconds, making it very easy to install.
– Its frames and straps can be folded away, making it easy to store.
– Strategically placed straps hold down and secure each frame, making the rack stable.
– The design distributes the weight of the cargo and protects the car body from strain and paint damage.
– Where the lower frame attaches to the car body, dual-compound feet protect the paint and body.
– The options for three and four bikes are priced fairly high, making it an expensive option for a trunk-mounted rack.
Tyger Auto Deluxe Black 2-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack
This is a high-end model with options to accommodate one, two, or three bikes.
– It comes fully assembled and can be snapped on and off in a few seconds. This makes it suitable for frequent use.
– Its design keeps the bikes away from the car and from each other.
– It is collapsible and can be folded away for easy storage.
– At the spots where it attaches to the car, padded attachments protect the paint.
– The components are coated with a rust-resistant material.
– Additional frames and straps provided enhanced stability and security.
– The design does not accommodate spoilers.
– It is priced high for a trunk-mounted rack.
Out of the four options above, the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack is the ideal choice for a few reasons:
– It can carry more than one bike
– It is portable and easy to store
– It comes fully assembles and is easy to install
– Its unique, patented design has additional straps and frames to provide all-round stability
– The most important reason is that it is the least expensive option, by far, compared to the other models and brands in the category, while possessing the same advantages as they do in terms of stability, durability, and protection.
If you are looking for a very basic trunk-mounted rack, you could consider the Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack. It is the least expensive option and is designed to carry only one bike, although it has a pricier option that can carry two bikes. With a minimal number of frames and straps, it can fold up into a small enough size to fit inside a backpack.