If you love to ride your bike all over the place or If you like to travel from one place to another place and participate in races or group bike rides, a good bike rack is a must. And you’ll need a good bike rack to keep your bicycle secure and safe while you are traveling.
You will be very happy to know that many bike racks come in different designs and are available in multiple sizes, so you can easily find one that is suitable for your car or van. We have written this bike rack guide to help you choose the excellent process of carrying your bikes, while there are plenty of different options available depending on your concerns.
So, if you’re looking for details on choosing one of the best quality bike racks, we recommend you to keep reading.
What to Look for in a Best Bike Roof Racks?
If you are trying to find an excellent bike rack, there are some important matters that you should consider, so that you can buy the best one in the end. This advice can help you to ensure that you are getting a bike rack that satisfies your needs:
Consider Which Style of Best Bike Roof Rack You Want?
There are mainly two types of bike racks available on the market. One of them is the tray type, which usually lies on the vehicle’s roof, and these racks can keep the bike in place while you are driving. The other one is the hanging type, which usually sits in hitch- or spare tire mounts, and this type of bike rack is normally easier to use when you need a bike rack to carry a mountain bike or road bike.
How Many Bikes to Accommodate?
You also have to consider how many bikes you need to carry with the bike rack because different bike racks come with different storage limits on the number of bikes they can manage.
For example, you will not want to use duct tape or a similar attachment tool to strengthen your bike rack just because your rack cannot carry more than one bike, but you need to carry multiple bikes. You can easily find bike racks that are specially made to accommodate many bikes.
Decide Whether or Not You Need a Lock
This choice is fully up to you. If you want to ensure the security of your bikes because you live in a terrible neighborhood or you spent a lot of money after them, then we recommend you choose a bike rack that can be locked with a lock and key system.
You can also buy lock cores aftermarket if you do not like the built-in lock core of the bike rack you want to buy.
Consider The Type of Bike and Vehicle You Have
Some bikes come with a frame design that makes it easier to sit on a tray-style rack, and you will also need to make sure that your vehicle is suitable for the type of bike roof rack that you are interested in buying.
So, everything has to be fit, so do some research before buying and make sure that they are suitable, including the rack, the vehicle, and any tools you might want to add to the collection.
Not all bike frames or carriers are the same, and there is no authentic standard size or design. This means that doing your due attention is necessary so that you can get a high-quality, long-lasting product that can keep your bike protected while you carry it about on the top of your car.
The Best Roof Bike Racks and Carriers for Bicycles:
When you are looking for a rack for your bicycle, you will obviously want to buy one that comes with great build quality and will last for a long time. Here are some of the top-rated bike carriers so that you can choose the best one for you.
1. Yakima Forklift Bike Rack
This roof rack from Yakima is so user-friendly. It comes with a very lightweight design, and it is very easy to install. Moreover, it weighs only 9.4 lbs, so anyone can easily lift this carrier up and put it on the back of a car or SUV. The ergonomic design of this carrier makes it easy and comfortable to secure your bike up to it.
The Yakima ForkLift Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Rack is made out of durable steel that permits it to fit bikes of different sizes, frames, and weights. It clamps on the bike’s front fork to keep them in place; this bike rack comes with great versatility, and it is easy to use.
This bike rack can be installed instantly and easily regardless of your car’s make or model, whether the design of your crossbars is round, square, or flat. It is also easy to install, and the installation process does not even need tools. You will need just a little elbow grease and help from the instructions to get this rack working. In actuality, you can put it on the top of your vehicle within just a few minutes. It also comes with a lock to ensure the security of your bikes.
The clamp for this Yakima ForkLift comes with three separate settings. Two of them are lower settings suitable for factory crossbars, and the other is the top setting, which works great with round and square bars.
It also has some T-bolts and hand-tightened knobs that will fit tight by only using your hand. Obviously, though the installation and uninstallation of this bike roof carrier are easy and quick, the manufacturer doesn’t suggest that you do this thing every day.
The ForkLift also comes with an adjustable length that works great for a broad range of bike lengths, and it can bear one bike that weighs up to 35 lbs. If you own brakes that have standard 100-mm x 9-mm quick-release front hubs, you can undoubtedly use this bike carrier and enjoy many of its benefits.
Moreover, because of the system, the carrier is fitted, it can accommodate your bikes with no connection with the frame, so you will never have to worry about the bike or the vehicle being scratched or getting damaged in whatever way. The actual size for this rack is 6″ x 6″ x 54″, which makes it small enough not to take up too much space despite being big and strong enough to get the job done.
Considering it can fit practically any vehicle and any type of bike, this universal bike rack is a great option to buy, especially since it can work great on sedans, minivans, SUVs, and many other vehicles. It is an excellent bike carrier that makes it very easy to take your bike with you on your next trip.
Because it can provide you with a great, long-lasting bike carrier that is intended to control the elements properly, this is a great product that you will never regret buying.
- Fits most disc brakes: Fits bikes that use standard 100 mm x 9 mm quick release front hubs; other hubs (such as thru-axles) require adapters
- Adjustable length: Sliding wheel tray is easy to adjust and allows for a wide range of bike lengths; Carries 1 bike up to 35 lbs.
- Roof rack required: Crossbar spread minimum of 16" and maximum of 42"; Fits YAKIMA round, square, factory and aerodynamic bars; Simple tool-free installation and removal
- No frame contact: ForkLift holds the bike by the front axle and the rear wheel; No frame contact means your bike's paint doesn't get scratched
- Protect your gear: Add SKS (Same Key System) locks (sold separately) to secure your bike to the rack and the rack to the vehicle
2. Swagman Standard Roof Rack
This is another roof rack that holds your bike by the fork of your bicycle, so you will have to remove the bike’s front tire and then attach it to the rack on your roof.
It is suitable for most disc brakes and even works great with many kinds of crossbars, including round, oval, or square. The carrier comes with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. That is easy to follow and provides you with a step-by-step process to make sure that it is attached perfectly to your car.
This bike roof carrier comes with everything you need to install and use; this also includes tie-down and quick-release straps. You can easily fit it on top of your car without using any tools, and the solid design of this bike rack helps to ensure the security of your bicycle so that you do not need to bother about the bike falling off of the rack while driving. It fits almost every make and model of the vehicle, and you can even get the rack working within minutes.
With this carrier, you can keep one bicycle that weighs up to 35 lbs, which means that it is suitable for most bikes.
It also comes with a strap with a cam buckle to make sure that the rear wheel of your bicycle is unharmed and safe during your trips.
Moreover, it weighs only one pound, which makes it easier to maneuver and install, and anyone can lift the bike rack up to the roof of your car and install it perfectly. Once it’s fitted, you can easily put your bike on it and are ready to go.
This bike rack is very easy to install and even more straightforward to use; this fork-mount rack for bicycles is also reasonable. You can buy it for around $50. So it is an affordable bike rack for almost everyone. Including a 9-mm skewer to install the front of the rack and a solidly constructed belt to acquire the back, you will never have to bother about the security of your bicycle. At the same time, you visit from one place to another.
The bike rack is even made to resist the parts so that you can leave them on your vehicle for a long time without worrying about corrosion or any damage to your car. Finding an excellent bike rack that lasts for a long time but isn’t expensive at all can be a challenge, but this roof bike carrier is both inexpensively priced and has top-notch build quality.
It is strongly made and affordable for almost everyone, so you can spend a low price and rely upon the bike rack for several years to come. Whatever this carrier doesn’t come with a lock, but you can easily buy a bike lock aftermarket if you want, and it is very versatile.
Whether you use a lock or not, this carrier is yet one of the most dependable and easy-to-use bike racks on the market, and that’s why it is a popular option for a lot of bicyclists.
You can also find it in more than a few places, and you can even order it from websites such as Amazon and several others. It also fits bikes of several different types as long as the bike’s weight doesn’t go above 35 lbs.
Even a road bike can be carried securely, including this type of carrier, and it is really helpful for the budget.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE: The STANDARD is easy to assemble with no tools required, sets up in just minutes following the instructions. Once assembled, simply load your bike and you are ready to go!
- CONVENIENT: The upright roof top carrier, easily transports 1 bike while attaching to your roof rack. Fits square, round and oval bars up to 3" wide
- WORRY FREE SECURITY: Bikes are secured on the fork mount blocks. These blocks include 9mm Quick Release skewers that anchor your bikes to the rack.
- VERSATILE: The solid & versatile design fits most vehicles types & sizes
3. Yakima FrontLoader Bike Rack
This high-quality bike rack needs a roof rack, including crossbars with a measure of between 16″ and 48″. It is compatible with round, square, factory, and even aerodynamic crossbars.
It is also very easy to assemble, and after getting it out of the box, it is almost ready to use. Moreover, you can quickly install it on your vehicle, and the installation process also does not require any tools. These features make this bike rack a very useful Product to install in your vehicle.
The Yakima FrontLoader bike roof carrier carries the bicycle in an upright position by holding both the front and back wheels of the bike, so you do not have to remove the front wheel to have the bike installed correctly.
It is an exceptionally great option if your bike is made out of carbon fiber or has custom paint jobs, so you will be very happy that you can carry your bicycle without the bike rack ever touching the frame of your bike. So there is less possibility of scratching or damaging your bike with this bike rack, and the bike’s safety is important to all bike owners.
This carrier is compatible with almost all kinds of bikes, including through axles, disc brakes, and full-suspension bikes. Moreover, it can accommodate bikes with 20″ to 29″ wheels and tires with a width of up to three inches. Besides, this roof bike carrier will cost you roughly $200, so you can say that it is not unreasonably priced; hence, almost everyone can buy this high-quality, long-lasting roof bike carrier.
If you want to increase the security of your bike even more, the bike carrier will let you attach two same key systems (SKS) locks to make it too easier to lock and unlock your bike. You can use this lock to secure your bike to the bike rack and secure the carrier to the bottom rack.
In summation, the Yakima FrontLoader bike roof carrier comes with an aerodynamic design that makes it look very beautiful and eye-catching, so it is like a product that you will be happy to show off to relatives and friends.
You should also remember that the eye-catchy look of this bike carrier isn’t its best feature because this is one bike rack is very good at assisting you in carrying your bike from one place to another every time. So just remember how much easier your trips will be if you purchase this type of bike carrier.
It can be installed easily, and it is compatible with many types of bikes, including mountain bikes and road bikes. It holds the whole bike together without requiring you to open the front wheel, so you never need to worry about where to keep the front wheel or about unintentionally to lose it.
The roof bike carrier also comes with a black mirror finish that makes it look great and matches many vehicles’ appearance. The vague color indicates that it will suit almost anything and the double-sided wheel strap means that the loading path is very easier and faster.
Once you understand all of the numerous advantages of this bike rack, you will surely want to buy it. Analyzing all of its many advantages is all but assured to be an investment that you never regret.
- Carry almost any type of bike to your next ride (including disc brakes, thru-axles and full suspension); Fits 20" to 27.5” wheels with tires up to 3” width and 29” wheels with tires up to 2.7” width
- Load your bike fully assembled with the front wheel on (some fenders may need to be removed); This upright mount holds your bike as your secure it for easy loading
- Requires a roof rack with a crossbar spread between 16" and 48"; Fits YAKIMA round, square, factory or aerodynamic crossbars; Fully assembled out of the box and easy, tool-free installation
- Holds your bike by the front and back wheel for zero frame contact; A great option for carbon fiber bikes and custom paint jobs; Aerodynamic design won’t hold you back
- Want more peace of mind? Add 2 SKS (Same Key System) locks (sold separately) to lock your bike and the mount to the base rack (not included)
4. CyclingDeal Bike Roof Rack with Lock
This bike rack is one of the most affordable bike racks available on the market. You will be able to get it for around $45. The CyclingDeal roof carrier comes with solid steel construction so that it can last for a long time and clamps easily onto bars that are up to 2″ thick and 3″ in width.
It also comes with a key that you can use to keep your bicycle locked at all times. And the most interesting feature is that this bike rack does not require you to remove the front wheel of your bike because the rack is made to hold both the front and the back wheels of your bicycle without any problem.
The rack comes with a steel powder coating. It means the rack has a surface that is almost impossible to damage, and it even comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer so that you can buy this rack without worrying about anything that all bike owners always want.
It even comes with tie-down straps to provide you with a lot more security, so there is nothing need to worry about your bike going off of the roof of your car while you are driving. After all, it is a bike roof carrier that comes with great reliability and works great with most of cars and roof racks or crossbars.
It also comes with a lightweight design. This carrier weighs only a little more than 7 lbs. Anyone can easily install it on top of their car. It holds the bicycle in an upright position so, the carrier gets excellent wind resistance and allows your bike to be steady and safe the complete time while you are driving. Moreover, when you are not carrying any bicycle with the rack, it becomes flat and keeps it out of the way, which provides you with a less ungainly arrangement.
If you do not have any particular choice between hitch or spare-wheel bike racks, then the CyclingDeal bike carrier can be the perfect choice for you. It is compatible with different kinds of bicycle types.
It is not a comparison to those carriers that will cost four or five times more, but it is really a high-quality, long-lasting rack that can easily provide you with several years of reliable service.
This type of carrier is compatible with both square and aero crossbars. So if you previously own any crossbars manufactured by Rhino, Thule, ProRack, or Rola, you will be able to use this bike rack carrier without any problem. Another advantage of this carrier is that it doesn’t require the bike rack to touch your bike’s frame, and it is extremely easy to set up and use; besides, it is so safe also because it does not permit your bicycle to get damaged with use.
Certainly, the most challenging part of the whole installation process is getting the rack installed first. Once this job is finished, the rest of the process is easy. Not only does the locking mechanism keep your bike safe from any kinds of thieves, but also it allows the bike itself to remain in place while you’re driving, which means that that it will not turn over or fall off while you are traveling from one place to another.
After considering all the advantages and disadvantages, the CyclingDeal bike rack is really a great product that you won’t regret buying.
- Great Car Bike Roof Rack
5. Thule SideArm Bike Rack
Thule manufactures this bike rack. It is a very famous company with great fame for manufacturing high-quality, long-lasting roof racks for all types of needs. This universal bike mount is compatible with almost all types of bicycles, and nearly each makes and vehicle model.
Both the front and the rear wheels are secured tightly. So, you will not have to remove the bike’s front tire to secure the bike in place. Moreover, the securing mechanism doesn’t come into any connection with the frame but only the wheel, so there is never any damage or injury of paint as happens with some of the other products.
The carrier comes with a double-wall aluminum tray. That’s why the carrier can provide you with sturdy and rigid construction, not even being too heavy. Interestingly, it weighs only around 13 lbs. That’s why it is very easy to install or handle for anyone. The Thule Side Arm Universal Bike Mount needs crossbars for the bike to be fitted correctly. Still, it is possible to install it quickly and easily without needing any difficult tools or other devices.
It is also very easy to separate the bike from the rack as well. So even if you go cycling in different locations every single day, loading and unloading your bike will never be a hassle or time-consuming. It comes with a ratcheting wheel strap that allows you to keep the rear tire securely in place. There is also an option for a one-key lock system that will keep your bicycle even more secured.
For those who travel to unfamiliar distances, this feature can provide you with peace of mind. Because no one wants to spend a large amount of money on a high-end bicycle and then have it snatched at the first-ever bike race event or competition.
This Thule bike roof rack is also made out of corrosion-resistant double-wall aluminum to provide you with extra sturdiness and longevity. It is compatible with most bikes that have wheels ranging from 20″ to 29″ in diameter and most tires that measure roughly 3″ in width.
If you already have round or factory-mounted roof racks installed on top of your car, this one could be a great bike carrier to choose from because it will fit the racks perfectly and make it easy to make sure that your bike will be secured the whole time you are driving.
The Thule Side Arm bike mount is suitable for all types of bikes, including most mountain and off-road bikes, and it is very easy to install and use. Even those people who are not very good with mechanical things can easily use it. The manufacturer provides an instruction guide that is very easy to understand and also explains each step of the process thoroughly, so you will know that you have the rack installed properly every single time.
However, another benefit of the Thule Side Arm is that it works great at any speed you are going and also in any weather conditions as you visit. It always keeps your bike safe and secure, even if you are driving at high speed or even if it is raining or snowing. This is a very strong and well-built bike rack that you can rely on for year after year service regardless of what you put it through.
The company that makes the product stands by all of their products, not just this one. This means that you can believe in their customer service to make sure that you are satisfied with this product every time.
- SecureHook holds the bike by grabbing the front wheel - no frame contact is made
- Ratcheting wheel strap quickly secures back wheel to tray
- Corrosion resistant double-wall aluminum tray provides maximum strength and rigidity
- One-Key lock cylinder (sold separately) locks the bike to carrier and carrier to rack
- Fits most 20 to 29 inch wheel diameter bicycles with tires up to 2.6 inches wide
6. Thule UpRide Bike Rack
The Thule UpRide is a roof-mounted bicycle rack. This rooftop bike rack comes with a complex design. This rack can carry your bikes without any contact with the frame of the fork. So there is nothing to fear about your expensive bike being scratched or damaged. It is very user-friendly also. The loading process of a bike in this rack is tedious. The UpRide can accommodate almost any type of bike available on the market.
Moreover, you do not have to remove the front wheel to carry your bike with this bike rack. This bike rack comes with great versatility. And it is quite easy to assemble. The installation and removal of this rack are also easy. In the case of being a rooftop bike rack, the UpRide will be better for hatchbacks and sedans with lower roof heights. If you want to spend a good amount of money on a bike rack, you can take this.
There are two counteracting arms available on The UpRide. These arms are used in securing the front wheel to the rack. One of these arms is with a hooked or curved end that holds the front wheel. And the other one is a secure cradle that secures the rear part of the front wheel. These two counteracting arms are so good at their job, and these will keep your bike in place by squeezing the front wheel.
The UpRide can feature you to adjust the arm to the specific wheel size of the bike you want to carry with it. You can accommodate wheels around 29″ – 27.5″ – 26″ and kid’s bike wheels also in this rack. First, to load your bike on this rack, you need to get the arm with the hook into the proper position on the front of the rack.
You have to pull the rear cradle upward until it clicks into place in a set position that uses the ratchet closure system to tighten down the cradle that squeezes the front wheel against the stationary hooked arm. At last, strap down the rear wheel with a ratchet system. After completing all of these steps now, you are ready to go.
The Thule UpRide is a unique, designed, durable roof-mounted bike rack. The loading and unloading of bikes look a little trickier. But the UpRide comes with an excellent level of security for your bike. This rack is an excellent option for smaller vehicles.
- Universal upright bike rack for 1 bike
- No frame contact for maximum protection
- Fits most 20-29" wheel bicycles with tires up to 3" wide
- Fits up to 5" tires with Thule UpRide Fat Bike Adapter (sold separately)
- Quick and easy mounting with ratcheting wheel strap and secure hook
If you are searching for a solution to transport your bike by using a roof rack, getting a bike roof rack is a very good way to do that. A good quality bike rack will help you to move your bike. It will also protect your car roof from an unsecured bike.
After security and safety, here comes the matter of ease of use. A good rack will be easy to use. And you will not face much hassle in loading and unloading your bike.
-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.
Last Update : 2023-06-10