4 Types of Car Bike Racks (That You Need to Know!)

Bikes are prevalent nowadays. It keeps people the joy and the exercise that a person needs to stay physically fit. A lot of people are using bikes purely as a sport or as a sign of exercise. 

There are some people, though, that use a bike for transportation. And while bikes take us from one place to another, there are times where we need to transport our bikes to reach the place that we want to start our bike journey from. So with that, you will need to transport your bike using your car. 

A bike cannot fit inside your vehicle. And that is why you need bike racks for your car. There are about four main types of car bike racks. 

These are the trunk mount, roof mount, hitch mount, and spare tire mount. There can be a few types of car bike racks. Each of them has different styles in the way they carry your bike. 

With that, you need to know the best car bike rack for you. It would help if you also took note of how often you will use the car bike racks. It will help if you also think about the compatibility of the bike rack with your car and how many bikes you are planning to answer. 

You must also know how much money you are willing to spend on the bike rack. With these questions, it might be confusing and overwhelming for you. With that, we can help you by discussing each primary type of bike rack, so here we go.

Types of Car Bike Racks

1. Hitch-Mount Racks

This type of bike rack can be expensive. It is more expensive than the trunk-mounted racks that we will discuss later. The price can range from one hundred fifty (150) dollars to more than five hundred (500) dollars. 

But though this type of bike rack can be expensive, it is an excellent option for those who are transferring bikes often. This is also for those who are transferring around three or more three bikes. This type of bike rack is made to drag two to five bikes. 

In this type of bike rack, there are also two types that they can be. They can be a hanging cradle style or the platform style. These styles have pros and cons. 

So you have to weigh them both to pick the suitable one. The hanging cradle style is a style where your bike will hang from the rack. In terms of the advantages, this type of style can be cheaper than the platform style. 

They also have lighter weight and can offer more ground clearance. For the disadvantages, your bikes will not be held securely in place. When driving, your bikes might sometimes sway, and the bikes will touch each other. 

The contact can cause scratches. The platform style is where your bikes will sit on a platform. In terms of the advantages, this is easier, and it is also more secure. 

They keep the bikes in place so that there will be no scratches from the contact. With the disadvantages, this can be more expensive, and they can also be a bit heavy.  So if you will buy a high-pitched mounted rack, you have to make sure to check the tongue load capacity of your vehicle’s hitch.

It must be around ten percent of the towing capacity. Suppose there is too much weight; the hitch breaks or bends if it is not loaded correctly. Refer to your owner’s manual or the hitch. 

So if you choose this, it is simple to install, and it can be vital if you compare it with truck-mounted racks. If you always transport bikes, this might be for you.

2. Trunk-Mount Racks

This type of bike rack is very cheap. You can get this from around fifty dollars to two hundred dollars. These trunk-mount racks have a design where your bikes will rest on the back of your car trunk. 

They will be held securely in place. There will be cradles and arms that will support the bike and keep it in place. 

This bike rack is perfect for that recreational cyclist, and you can use it for multiple vehicles. The fit can be adjusted. However, they can only carry two to three bikes. Therefore, the trunk rack is limited.

3. Spare Tire Mount Racks

The spare tire mount racks are also the same as the trunk mount. If you choose this, it is quick to install and easy to install too. You also do not have to spend a lot of money since you can get it from fifty dollars to two hundred dollars. 

For the disadvantage, this can only hold for a maximum of two bikes. So this is not for those who will transport more than two bikes.

4. Roof Mount Racks

Some people do not want their bikes to be put at the top of their vehicles. However, if you do not mind this setup, you can try one. The style of this bike rack is putting the bikes on top of your vehicle. 

Many vehicles have rails, crossbars, or mounting racks to secure bike racks. If your vehicle already has a mounting rack, you are good to go, but you can build your own if you do not.


In summary, the bike is used for transportation. However, some people use a bike for leisure. And that is why they need to transport the bikes to a particular destination before riding them. 

With that, you will need a car bike rack. This bike rack will help you transport your vehicle to your desired destination.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more