Best Trunk Bike Racks of 2018: Worth the Money

Transporting a bicycle from one location to another used to be a big problem. It is not so easy to fit one adult bike into the trunk of a car, which means that bringing your bike with you when you travel could be a challenge.

With the invention and introduction of bike racks, transporting your bike has become simpler. Trunk-mounted bike racks, capable of carrying two bikes at a time, offer cyclists around the world more possibilities for biking new trails far from home.

The Best Trunk Bike Rack

If you are looking for a trunk bike rack, we have done a lot of research to come up with an in-depth review of the 7 best trunk bike racks of 2018. Of all the racks we reviewed, we found that the Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack stands above all others in its features and functionality. It is also built with recyclable materials that is ingenious in many ways.

Here are all the bike racks we looked at for this review. Read carefully to decide which one is best for you.

Editor Picks: Best Trunk Mount Bike Racks

Bike Name

Bike Capacity

Weight Bike Capacity

Price

Allen Sports DELUXE TRUNK MOUNTED BIKE RACK

2

70 pounds

Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack

2

70 pounds

Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

2

70 pounds

Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier

2-3

105 pounds

Yakima FullBack 2 Bike Carrier

2

60 pounds

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 -2 Bike Rack

2

80 pounds

Hollywood Racks F1B The Original 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

3

100 pounds

1. Allen Sports DELUXE TRUNK MOUNTED BIKE RACK

Allen Sports DELUXE TRUNK MOUNTED BIKE RACK

Since 1967, Allen Sports has been committed to producing the highest-quality trunk-mounted bike racks on the market. Designed to fit on a wide range of sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs, their highly-engineered rack keeps your bikes high and away from your vehicle and doesn’t obstruct your rear vision.

The rack’s patented tie-down system individually secures and protects bikes with precision. Its strap tie-downs remain fixed on the carry arm with the rotational motion to accommodate a wider range of bicycle frames, styles, and sizes. The bike rack’s single patented middle frame keeps both bikes away from your expensive vehicle surfaces and is easy to install.

This best trunk mount bike rack has 12-inch carry arms that easily secure two bikes with less vibration and stress on high-end derailing components. It is available in 2-, 3-, and 4-bike configurations, and remains one of the most affordable bike racks on the market. With more than three dozen patents, this is one of the bestselling racks.

Pros:

  • It has side straps for increased lateral stability.
  • It sets up and installs in minutes.
  • It is safe, versatile, and easy to use.
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    It is backed by a lifetime warranty.
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    It is shipped fully assembled.

Cons:

  • The space between the bikes is limited.
  • The pads on the lower arm needs to be thicker.
  • The straps do not hold over long-distance trips.

You will have to look far and wide to find a better made, more affordable trunk-mounted bike rack than the Allen Sports Deluxe. With a maximum carrying capacity of 70 pounds, this universal, lightweight, and portable bike rack continues to be one of the top-selling racks. For more information on rack, please refer to the following link:

2. Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack

Made from 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials, this two-bike rack features some of the most advanced technology on the market. It is designed to be both lightweight and extremely durable, and with its injection-molded arms and legs, this Saris Bones trunk-mounted bike rack is one of the strongest on the market.

The rack’s arch-based design allows for additional clearance on spoilers or raised areas, keeping bikes on different levels. It keeps bikes away from the delicate finishes of your vehicle and allows for easier installation with less adjustments.

Weighing only 9 pounds, this well-made trunk-mounted bike rack can fit in a wide range of vehicles including sedans, minivans, SUVs, and even hatchbacks. It is uniquely designed with an attractive appearance.

Pros:

  • Its heavy-duty construction stands up to wear and tear.
  • The cradle design accommodates most bicycle frame designs.
  • The ratcheting anti-sway straps for a secure, firm hold.
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    The articulated rubber feet protect expensive vehicle finishes.
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    It provides a lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • The plastic straps break easily.
  • It is not a good rack for adult bikes.
  • There is no side-to-side support for larger bikes.

It should be noted that this trunk-mounted bike rack is not recommended for recumbent bikes, and bikes with step-through designed frames require the purchase of an additional adapter to properly secure them to the rack. With a maximum weight capacity of 70 pounds, this bike rack will be the first and last bike rack you will ever have to buy.

Additional information on this Saris Bones bike rack can be found in this link:

3. Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

Hollywood Racks Over-The-Top Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

Going over the top with a unique mounting system, this two-bike trunk-mounted rack is designed for smaller SUVs with higher rear spoilers. Its adjustable “high rise” frame prevents strap contact with spoilers, keeping your vehicle looking like new.

This trunk-mounted bike rack is easy to install with several installation options including standard, roof rail, or hatch hooks and anchors. Removable hatch anchors and quick connect straps allow secure installation of the bike rack to hatches, trunks, roof racks, and raised roof racks. This bike rack indeed gives a new meaning to the word “adjustable.”

This rear-mounted rack is well-built and can be easily assembled. Complete with anti-sway capabilities, the bikes remain in the rack, secure regardless of road or weather conditions. It is perfect for the family hatchback and appears to have all possible installations covered to perfection.

Pros:

  • It has extra wide arms for carrying bikes with longer wheel base.
  • Its soft cradles protect bikes and vehicle.
  • It has quick-release adjustment hubs.
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    It is shipped completely assembled.
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    It has a limited lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Its sturdiness is questionable.
  • Its instruction/installation manual is confusing.
  • It does not work well on vehicles without a rear bumper.

This bike rack is a practical solution to those who seek a way to mount a bike rack on a variety of different vehicle models. Rather than purchasing additional racks for additional vehicles, the features of this rack offer you options for installation that covers all the bases. Well made and engineered, this bike rack may very well be over-the-top, indeed.

For more information pertaining to this uniquely mounted over-the-top bike rack, click the following link:

4. Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier

Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier

Founded in 1942, Thule is one of the most recognized and trusted names throughout the cycling industry. This beautifully designed entry-level bike rack carrier is easy to install. A perfect choice for family-oriented cyclists, this bike rack is capable of handling a larger range of bikes from adult to child with a superior secure fit to the rack frame.

The overall design and features of this trunk mounted bike rack are truly amazing. It can be used as either a 2- or 3-position bike rack, and its wing adjustment numerical position knob makes it easy to adjust the bike rack to lay flat against your vehicle when not in use. Once the ideal position is found, it is locked into place quickly.

The rack’s one-button connection feature for carrier arms allow for immediate installation, removal, and moving of arms to the side and down for better vision and parking when the rack is not in use. The narrow carrier arms also allow for transporting a wider range of bike frames including smaller children’s bikes.

Pros:

  • The soft rubber cradles protect the bike frame.
  • Its SoftCushion pads protect the trunk and hatch.
  • Its anti-sway feature prevents bike-to-bike contact during transit.
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    The 6-strap system properly secures bikes to rack with no movement.
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    It has a maximum weight capacity of 70 pounds.

Cons:

  • The straps tend to stretch out.
  • It is not fully assembled when shipped.
  • The support arms are too far apart.

Thule is a leading manufacturer of the most sophisticated bike accessories in the world. Although considered and listed as an entry level bike rack, the quality built into this trunk mount carrier is obvious. All things considered, this bike rack remains a popular choice on other websites. 

More information on this trunk bike rack is available by clicking the following link:

5. Yakima FullBack 2 Bike Carrier

Yakima FullBack 2 Bike Carrier

Simple in style and appearance, this two-bike rack has a modern design that go well with any vehicle type. It may be small but it is capable of carrying as much weight as the bigger racks.

Installed using clips with adjustable straps, the padding appears to be inadequate for the protection of rear window, trunk, and lower sections of vehicles. The mounting straps also give the appearance of being too long and made from lesser quality material. Of course, actual visual inspection of this rack may prove this description to be less accurate.

Supporting two full-sized bikes each weighing approximately 35 pounds could be an issue for this smaller-sized bike rack. The overall appearance gives the impression that the construction of this bike rack could not support a total weight of 70 pounds over long distances. This bike rack might be better suited for lighter children’s bikes.

Pros:

  • The removable zip strips secure bikes to the rack.
  • Its new four-strap design makes installation easy.
  • There is enhanced vehicle fit through external frame construction.
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    No tools are needed for installation.
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    Comes with an SKS bike locking system to deter theft.
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    The rack arms fold downward and are quickly detached when not in use.

Cons:

  • It requires an adapter for mounting women’s bikes (sold separately).
  • The rack is heavy.
  • It may damage vehicle surfaces due to lack of adequate padding.

This bike rack does come equipped with SKS locking package to deter theft. It locks the rack to the vehicle and the bikes to the rack. An additional security cable may also be a good idea. As is the case with all rear-mounted bike racks, the ability to use the trunk or hatch of any vehicle is greatly reduced when the rack is in use.

Check out the following link for more information on this Yakima 2-bike carrier:

6. Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 -2 Bike Rack

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 -2 Bike Rack

This two-bike rack from Kuat Racks is made of lightweight aluminum. It is user-friendly and durable, built to last a lifetime. Designed to fit active lifestyles, this industrial looking hitch-mounted bike rack will keep your bikes safe and secure even on long trips.

Available in three colors with gloss metallic powder covering, this rack not only looks impressive but remains one of the highest-rated bike racks. Security is not an issue as well due to the semi-integrated locking cable that locks not only your bikes but the rack as well. It is pretty easy to take off as it is to put on, so you can quickly access the rear storage area of your vehicle whenever you need to.

Pros:

  • It has a front tire ratchet design with an intuitive release.
  • Its folding front cradle adds space between bikes.
  • It has a tool-free installation with hand-tightening hitch cam system.
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    It has an attractive low-profile design.
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    It can carry up to 80 pounds.

Cons:

  • It is difficult to assemble.
  • It is expensive.
  • It was delivered with missing parts.

This seems to be one of the best bike racks on the market. The ability to fold this rack out of the way with foot activation and still have access to the rear cargo area of your vehicle is a brilliant feature.

However, affordability may become an issue when considering this bike rack. It is currently the most expensive trunk bike rack in this review. Although well-made and designed, the price of this two-bike rack needs to be lowered considerably to remain competitive in an already tight cycling market.

Check out the other features of the Kuat Sherpa at the following website:

7. Hollywood Racks F1B The Original 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

Hollywood Racks F1B The Original 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack

For over 40 years, Hollywood Bike Racks has been producing high-quality racks that cyclists worldwide appreciate. They continue their legacy with the F1B Original 3-Bike Trunk Mount Rack.

This bike rack’s classic design offers a versatile fit for sedans, vans, and SUVs. It uses integrated, adjustable tie-down straps, and bikes are easily and securely placed on the rack. It is quick to install or remove as needed and can accommodate three adult bikes.

The Hollywood Racks F1B uses multi-position hinges that lock into place eliminating side-to-side swaying or movement. Simple to install by a more than average user-friendly method, this bike rack offers a generous 14.5-inch spacing between bikes, preventing rubbing and other possible damages.

Pros:

  • It is shipped fully assembled.
  • It folds flat for easy storage.
  • It is easy to adjust as needed.
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    Its soft, thick roller bumpers prevent damage to vehicles.
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    It is affordable.

Cons:

  • The rack will not work on hatchbacks.
  • It will not hold three bikes as stated.
  • It is not the easiest bike rack to use.

This bike rack appears to be somewhat lacking in the capabilities to safely transport three adult bikes. Weighing over 100 total pounds, three bikes would put additional stress and strain on the hinges and pivoting points which could lead to accidents. This bike rack may be better suited for a maximum of two adult bikes.

For more information on this 3-bike carrier, please use the following link:

Best Trunk Bike Rack Buying Guide

Buying a good bike rack can be a long and confusing process. Bike enthusiasts have previously purchased bike racks based on some factors and had disappointing results. As you have already discovered, there is a never-ending selection of good bike racks available, and it can be hard to choose. If you need help deciding, ask yourself the following questions.

How many bikes will be transported?

Standard trunk bike racks typically have placement for two bikes. Other models are available that can carry three to four bikes with a corresponding increase in price. Consider how many bikes you are planning on transporting not only now but in the future as well. Planning ahead will save you money in the long run.

What vehicle will be used to install the trunk bike rack?

Not all bike racks fit on all vehicles, although references have been made to a “universal fit.” Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations for vehicle models before purchase. Many trunk bike rack manufacturers offer a complete “free” guide with a wide range of vehicle models to ensure the proper attachment to the rear of your vehicle.

How often are you planning on using your trunk bike rack?

Less expensive trunk mounted bike racks are a good fit for occasional use. For longer distances, a heavy-duty trunk bike rack is recommended. Capable of withstanding harsher road conditions, these racks may be more expensive but well worth the additional cost.

What is your budget for a trunk bike rack?

Currently, there are many trunk bike racks available that will fit into even the most restricted budgets. On the other hand, there are also bike racks that can cost hundreds of dollars or more. Getting an idea on the amount of money you want to spend on a bike rack is a good starting point. Decide on your budget and stick to that amount.

What about security?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of bikes are stolen in cities worldwide, so security for your bike or your bike rack should be one of the determining factors for your purchase. Certain models of trunk bike racks offer a means to lock your bike to the rack; however, these are effective only to a certain degree. Using a combination of locking bike racks and an additional integrated cable lock may be the best thing you can do to ensure your bike will not be stolen.

Bikes are expensive, regardless of the model. Protect your investment with the best trunk mount bike rack before it is too late.

How to Install a Trunk Bike Rack

Installing a trunk bike rack is not rocket science. Depending on the model, most rear mounted bike racks can be installed within a few minutes. The majority of rear bike racks purchased today come equipped with simple step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand and follow.

Without a doubt, the most important thing to remember when installing a rear mounted bike rack is that every rack is a little different. Perhaps the easiest of all trunk mount bike rack to install is one that requires no tools with the attachment of a few well-designed, adjustable straps. It should be noted that these are general guidelines and not to be taken as common installation procedures for all bike racks.

It is imperative that the upper bumper feet rest squarely and firmly on the trunk of your vehicle before proceeding. Lower bumper feet should rest just below your license plate. Holding the bike away from your car as far as possible while properly securing your bike(s) is the ultimate goal.

The most economical bike rack on the market comes with clips that are placed over the lip of your vehicle’s trunk. These curved clips have nylon-based straps that are adjustable once your bike rack has been centered on the trunk of your vehicle. Once all clips and bumpers have been placed in the appropriate locations, load one bike onto your new rack and tighten the straps one at a time. The tension may or may not have to be adjusted according to the size of your bike(s).

Common sense and a little patience are often the keys to correctly install a trunk bike rack. It is recommended that once your new rack has been installed and your bikes loaded, carefully check on the tension of the nylon straps periodically throughout your drive.

Conclusion

Trunk bike racks are a great way to bring along the cheapest mode of transportation on long trips across the country. Conserving space on the interior of your vehicle, bike racks are increasing in popularity due to its overall functionality and practicality.

From two bikes to three or more, trunk bike racks are designed for easy installation with a portability factor that makes these compact units unique and appealing. With features that add greater significance to the overall design, trunk bike racks are a common method of transporting your bikes at a moment’s notice.

Bringing your bikes along on vacations now make it possible to explore some of the most spectacular scenery from desert valleys to high mountain tops that otherwise take too long to explore by foot. With the invention of the best trunk bike racks, you can now take your bike with your everywhere, opening your world to more and more possibilities.

Robert Hallman
 

I’m a writer, blogger at Sportsly.NET. I am passionate about writing sports, sports-related equipment, accessories, tips & guide and more. I am originally from the Big Lake, Texas.

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