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The 5 Best Bike Racks of 2020

Most mountain bikers have to drive to their local trails, and to do that, you need a good bike rack. Other types of riders need to transport their bikes, too, be it on vacation or just across town for a playdate. The last thing you want to do is put your expensive bike on a car rack that you don’t trust, and worse yet, one that might drop your bike on the road.

So, it’s important to choose the best bike rack for your car, but what makes one rack better than another? A good bike rack will hold your bike securely without causing any rubbing or wear, it won’t sway in wind or at high speeds, it's easy & convenient to use, and it will last for year after year. We’ve put together this list of our five best bike racks that we think are some of our favorite options on the market right now to help narrow down your search - because a bad rack might just leave your expensive mountain bike smashed on the freeway.

Thule T2 Pro XT

Thule has long been one of the leading names in bike racks, they have a solution for just about any bike and vehicle. What makes the T2 Pro XT one of the best bike racks is its versatility. The rack is available in versions for any hitch receiver size, and it can hold any wheel size securely, from kids bikes all the way up to 27.5x5” fat bike tires. That versatility makes it perfect for families, and anyone looking for an all-season rack that works for their fat bikes, and their road bikes without any adaptors.

The T2’s only contact points are with the tires of your bike, so there’s no frame rubbing or potential wear or damage. It also flips up and down easily so that you can get it out of the way to access the back of your car. In its stock configuration the T2 only fits two bikes, but those with 2” hitches can get an adaptor that fits two more bikes. It’s also got built in cable locks in each arm to help deter thieves. The T2 Pro XT is perfect for anyone who wants a simple, easy to use rack that’s really versatile.

Rack TypeWheel SizesCapacity Price
 Hitch - tray 20-29" up to 5" wide2 or 4 bikes $599

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Yakima Holdup Evo

Similar to the Thule T2, the Yakima Holdup Evo is a tray-style rack that’s designed to fit a wide range of bike and wheel sizes. The Holdup Evo won’t work with fat bike tires over 4.8” wide, but other than that, it’s compatible with just about everything. Like the T2 Pro, it’s easy to load and unload, and it folds out of the way easily.

The main distinction between the Holdup and T2 is materials. The T2 uses quite a bit of plastic, and while we haven’t had any durability issues with it, folks who are really hard on their gear may get along better with the Holdup which uses a lot more metal throughout the rack. Like the T2, Yakima makes an adaptor that adds the capacity for two more bikes, and the Holdup features built in cable locks. It’s really hard to go wrong with either the Holdup or the T2, so it’s worth weighing the benefits to you personally of the Thule’s slightly wider tire capacity, or the Yakima’s use of more metal.

Rack TypeWheel SizesCapacity Price
Hitch - tray20-29" up to 4.8" wide2 or 4 bikes $549

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EVOC Tailgate Pad

Sometimes the best bike rack is the most simple. This is the most affordable bike transportation solution on this list, but there’s a bit of a catch: you’ll need a truck to go with it. If you do have the right vehicle, and are looking for the best way to carry bikes in your truckbed, the Evoc Tailgate Pad is our top choice. The Tailgate Pad is designed to protect both your bikes, and your truck from any wear or rub, while being quick and easy to load and unload. Evoc makes two sizes of the Tailgate Pad that fit just about any truck.

The pad works with just about any style of bike or size of wheel, as long as you can lift it into your truck, it will work. It has straps to keep bikes from tipping over, and a flap to access the tailgate handle or backup camera. This pad offers the least hassle of any of the racks on this list, but also the least security. You’ll need to prived your own cable lock and lock your bikes to bed of the truck. It’s a great option for anyone that has a truck and wants something affordable and easy to use.

Rack TypeWheel SizesCapacity Price
 Truck PadAny6 bikes $174.95 - $194.95

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Thule ThruRide Bike Rack

If you don’t have any kind of hitch receiver on the back of your car, you’re going to need to look at roof racks. The Thule ThruRide is our pick for the best rooftop bike rack - it’s simple, easy to use, and very durable.

The ThruRide simply clamps onto any existing car rack, and then locks down the back wheel of your bike with a strap, and the front fork with an axle clamp which is compatible with both skewers and thru-axles. You’ll need to take your front tire off to use the ThruRide, but its secure clamp gently locks down any front axle, so it will work with just about any bike. Unfortunately, the rear strap only fits tires up to 2.6” wide though. The ThruRide isn’t as fancy as some of the tray-style racks, but it is affordable, and a perfect option for anyone who just wants to throw their bike on top of the car and get to the trails.

Rack TypeWheel SizeCapacity Price
RooftopUp to 2.6" wide tires1 bike $229.95

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Yakima HangOver 6 Bike Rack

If you want to shuttle rugged roads with all your friends, the Yakima HangOver is the perfect choice. The Hangover fits 2” hitches, and carries 6 bikes vertically. This means it only sticks out from the back of your car as far as a two bike tray rack. It’s overbuilt and sturdy, so it can handle heavy bikes and rough terrain without issues, and holds bikes very securely without any rubbing. It’s also adjustable both for height, and angle, so it works with a wide variety of vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, and vans.

However, you do have to lift your bike all the way up onto the rack, which can be harder for shorter people with heavy bikes, and it only works with bikes that have suspension forks, so you can’t haul road bikes. One bonus for the Hangover is that it works with just about any tire diameter, and bike size. The rack also can tilt down out of the way so that you can access the back door of your vehicle. The Yakima HangOver is our top choice for anyone who’s looking for the best mountain bike rack with maximum capacity with minimum hassle.

Rack TypeWheel SizeCapacity Price
Hitch - vertical hangingAny must have suspension fork6 bikes $799

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