With fuel prices skyrocketing, more people are ditching their cars and opting for pedal power. But how do you transport your trusty two-wheeled steed?
You need a sturdy, well-designed used Thule bike rack. Here’s what to consider when shopping for one, along with our top picks to fit any budget.
Racks range wildly in price, from budget-friendly models under $50 to heavy-duty ones over $500.
As with most things, you get what you pay for. Cheaper racks may seem like a steal but could fail to properly secure your bikes, leading to damages or worse – dangerous road incidents.
Investing in a quality rack protects your investment in bikes and provides peace of mind.
Back to Basics: Rack Types and Key Features
Racks come in two main types: hitch racks that mount on a trailer hitch, and trunk racks that attach to the rear of a vehicle.
Hitch racks are generally more stable and can carry more bikes. Trunk racks fit a wider variety of vehicles but may allow the bikes to sway.
Some key features to look for include:
- Strong, adjustable armsto securely grip different bike frames without scratching
- Paddingon contact points
- Integrated locksto deter theft
- Tilt mechanismsfor rear vehicle access
- Anti-wobble componentsfor driving stability
Budget: Under $150
Cheap racks like the Allen Sports Deluxe ($59) or Swagman XC2 ($129) are decent options for light use.
The trade-off is flimsier construction, less bike capacity, and a lack of convenience features. These work for those who just need a basic rack for occasional use.
The best balance of price and quality is found in the $150-350 range. Our top pick is the Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack at $174.
The adjustable rubber-coated hooks grab most bike frames securely while foam pads protect the finish.
The integrated anti-sway straps reduce wobble when driving. This sturdy yet lightweight rack is easy to install and remove.
For a budget-friendly hitch rack, we recommend the Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0 for $249.
It holds 2 bikes securely thanks to Kuat’s Trail Doc cradles. The arms pivot for rear access, and a foot lever tilts the rack down for loading.
A built-in cable lock secures bikes during stops.
Serious cyclists hauling multiple bikes should consider a high-end rack like the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack for $549.
The titanium core keeps it ultra-light while remaining extremely durable. It carries up to 2 bikes securely on a sway-free hitch clamp.
The bikes are protected during transport with Thule’s LockKnob technology and secured with the integrated lock.
Easy tilt-away access to the rear makes this one of the most convenient racks available.
Bike racks range from $50 to over $500 based on durability, capacity, features, and add-ons.
While it’s possible to get by cheaply, you often get what you pay for. Investing in a sturdy rack within the $150-$350 range provides the best value for most riders.
Premium racks over $350 are ideal for avid cyclists hauling multiple bikes. Consider your specific needs and budget, then choose quality construction for safety and security. Your bikes will thank you!