A bike rack comes in handy when planning a weekend road trip since your bikes may not fit in your jeep’s trunk. It can help you create more space in your jeep for packing other essentials.
We reviewed the 6 best bike racks for a jeep wrangler based on ease of installation, bike capacity, and security. These features determine how many bikes you’ll take on the trip, how safe they’ll be, and if you’ll experience problems mounting the rack on your Jeep. Based on these features, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks gets on top of the list. As discussed below, we have also put together a detailed guide on factors to consider before making a purchase.
More features: fits 2-inch receiver hitches; 2 keys included; padded spine shield; quick secure straps and dual compound cradle; rapid tilt away main mast; limited lifetime warranty
The Allen Sports Premier Locking 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2 in. Hitch was our editor’s choice since it has a padded spine shield that protects your bike during transportation. Additionally, the rack comes with quick set straps and dual compound tie-down cradles to ensure each of your bicycles is individually secured and protected. Beyond that, it also has an internal tilt-away release that makes it easy for you to lift the gate access. This feature also allows your rack to fold entirely flat, making it suitable for people with vehicles that have swing-out back tires. Moreover, the Premier Locking 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2 in. Hitch comes with an integrated locking loop.
One feature that we liked and sets this bike rack apart from the other models produced by Allen is that it can carry four bikes. You can easily transport all bikes for a small family or a party of friends.
More features: detachable anti-sway cages; fits both regular and oversized tires; foldable design; limited lifetime warranty
Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier was our best spare tire rack since it comes with Stay-Put Cradles for increased stability. It also comes with a second adapter that can accommodate large tires. Another feature that made this rack stand out is its detachable stay-away cage. We found that this cage prevents the bike from coming into contact with your vehicle. The rack also attaches to the spare tire, allowing you to continue using it even when you buy another vehicle with a bigger spare tire.
The Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier best serves people planning to camp outside since it comes with an integrated locking cable for increased security. As such, you don’t have to worry about bicycle or tire theft.
More features: SuperCush ZipStrip cradles; full SKS locking package included; TireTread pads; fits nearly any stock size spare tire; limited lifetime warranty
The YAKIMA SpareRide Bike Rack is our pick for the most secure since it comes with a single security knob that you can attach to the carrier. After securing the knob, you can lock it using the carrier’s key. The manufacturer also includes a locking cord and a tether spot to secure the cable. Furthermore, the unique SuperCush ZipStrip cradles that secure the bike enable you to load and unload your bikes easily. The rack also comes with an anti-sway feature that reduces the contact between your bikes reducing the likelihood of damage. Finally, its frames are made of steel, making the rack durable.
This bike rack is ideal for people who like to travel light, enjoy traveling a lot, and are on the hunt for versatility. First, the SKS locking package ensures your bikes are safe from theft. As such, you need not keep loading and unloading your bikes for storage. It also fits most size spare tires and has a universal mounting plate for most lug patterns.
More features: compatible with 1-1/4 and 2-inch hitch; sliding wheel platforms; foldable design
If you are looking for a bike rack that offers flexibility, we recommend the Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack. This rack comes with grip arms that can accommodate various frames. It also comes with a sliding wheel platform that offers a custom fit for 20–29-inch bicycle wheels. Moreover, the rack can fit class II and III hitches. There’s also a central arm that you can fold down to access the rear door without removing it from the hitch mount. Loading and unloading bikes on this rack are also easy due to the rack’s wheel-mount design.
We found the Retrospec Lenot Car Hitch to be best for people who often ride alone but might want to have a friend or family member tag along once in a while. This is because you can choose to put the extra wheel mount for the second bike or not.
More features: adjustable support arm; wobble-free design; fits spare tire up to 12.60″ wide and 34.65″ in diameter; built-in anti-theft lock
The FIERYRED 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack is the best rack to buy if you are on a tight budget. It is made from heavy-duty iron with powder coating making it strong. The rack also comes with strong rubber straps that can withstand wear and tear even when you use it daily. Additionally, the rack is designed to fit spare tires of any size. There is also the anti-theft feature that protects your spare tire and bike from theft when your car is parked. Moreover, it is lightweight, and you don’t have to be physically strong to install it.
Though the FIERYRED is affordable and of decent quality, it is for people who do not have their rear-view camera in the spare tire. We found that it can obstruct the camera. We also found that it is best for people who are willing to let their bikes take a little beating. The cradles are hard plastic and might scuff your bikes during transport.
More features: strap mounting; 12-inch max. spare tire width; foldable design
The Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Rack was our best value bike rack. This bike rack can comfortably accommodate two bicycles, each weighing 35lbs. The rack also comes fully assembled and is easy to install. Moreover, it has rubber bike cradles that help you protect your bike from scratches. It is also versatile as it can accommodate side mounted tires.
Perhaps, what sets this rack apart from previous models is that you can mount it off the center of your spare tire. Additionally, the manufacturer nowadays includes standard and long bolts in this rack model for wider tires meaning it can now accommodate 15-inch tires, unlike the previous model that could only handle 12-inch tires. So, you don’t have to buy a new rack when you buy a different vehicle with a wider spare tire.
Deciding the type of bike rack to buy can be overwhelming due to the several options in the market. Nevertheless, you can make this process easier by considering the factors discussed below.
Fist thing to look out for here is whether or not the rack is compatible with your Jeep Wrangler. The hitch and spare tire bike racks included on our list are versatile and fit a wide range of car makes. However, while most spare tire bike racks are versatile, some cannot support all types of bicycles. For instance, the Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Rack cannot be used with electric bikes. Therefore, you also need to know the type of bicycle a rack can accommodate before making a purchase.
Bike racks come in different sizes, meaning the number of bikes they can accommodate varies. Additionally, these racks have a weight limit. For this reason, you need to consider the number of bikes you need to carry and the weight of each bike. If you have a big family, consider the Allen Sports Premier. This rack is among the best 4-bike hitch racks that can carry four bikes comfortably and has a maximum weight limit of 140 pounds.
Some bike racks are made from cheap material, and you might be back in the market sooner rather than later. Regularly buying bike racks can be frustrating, and you may spend a lot of money in the long run. Therefore, ensure you know the material a bike rack is made of before buying it. If you want a bike rack that can serve you for a long time, consider a bike rack made from steel such as the Retrospec Lenox.
When buying a bike rack for your jeep, its weight and size are important considerations. It’s advisable to buy a rack with a compact design, such as Retrospec Lenox Car Hitch Mount Tray Bike Rack, which makes it easier for you to store when not in use. Also, a rack with a compact design allows you to easily access your car’s trunk. Other than the size, you should also consider the weight of the rack.
It is essential to buy a light rack since it is easy to install. Additionally, light racks don’t add extra weight to your jeep.
The security of your bike is a major concern when you go on a road trip. To secure your bike against theft, look for a rack with anti-theft features. One of the best spare-tire bike racks that can protect your bike against theft is the YAKIMA. Nevertheless, buying a rack with anti-theft features doesn’t mean that your bike is completely secure. The first step in protecting your bike against theft is installing it correctly. Therefore, you need to be thorough during the installation process. You can also consider the best inside-car bike racks to reduce the chances of your bikes being stolen.
Before buying a bike rack, look for one that you can easily install with simple tools. You should not jump through hoops to mount the bike rack. The good news is that bike racks such as the Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Rack come when they are fully assembled, and as such installation is a breeze. Also, you don’t have to remove the spare wheel from your jeep to install the rack, simplifying the process further.
All products have their flaws, and therefore a warranty is crucial. When it comes to a warranty, you need to understand the manufacturer’s terms. Be sure to know the warranty period and if you are required to pay any amount when you want to exchange the product. Also, ensure you understand the factors that may make your warranty invalid. For instance, most companies do not provide a warranty for any products purchased from a third party.
To be safe, consider buying your bike rack from reliable brands such as Yakima that guarantee you a lifetime warranty.
The cost of your bike rack is also an important consideration since it determines the type of rack you’ll buy. Therefore, ensure you know your budget before looking for a bike rack. Also, be sure to list down the features of the rack you need and the ones you can compromise for your budget. When it comes to price, you should not settle for a cheap rack. Most times, cheap racks are of poor quality. Nevertheless, high prices don’t always mean that the item is of good quality. If you are on a tight budget, consider the FIERYRED 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack. This rack offers the best features for its price.
Other factors to consider when buying a bicycle rack include:
According to our review, the Allen Sports Premier Locking 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2 in. Hitch, Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier, and YAKIMA SpareRide Bicycle Rack were our top 3 picks for the best bike racks for a Jeep Wrangler. The Allen Sports Premier Locking 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2 in. Hitch was the first since it has a simple design and has an anti-sway feature. The Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier came second since it comes with premium features such as the arm fold-down feature that allows you to fold the rack when not in use and open your vehicle’s back door easily. Finally, the YAKIMA SpareRide Bicycle Rack will suit you if you seek most security.