5 Best Bike Racks for an SUV Without a Hitch – Durable and Easy to Install! (Fall 2023)

We reviewed the market's best bike racks without a hitch that are well-fit for SUVs and ranked them accordingly in this write-up.
By
Gloria Bussey
Gloria Bussey
Product Research and Writer
Gloria is a talented writer based in Chattanooga, TN and enjoys kayaking and mountain biking. She graduated with a business degree in 2007 and is now working on a master's i read more
reviewed
Reviewed By
Steven Martin
Steven Martin
Vehicle Fit Expert and Consultant
Steven is a skilled car mechanic based in Denver, CO. He's a passionate hiker, devoted backcountry camper and his mechanic expertise allows him to maximize space in any vehi read more
Last updated: August 14, 2023
Rack Advisor is reader-supported. We earn commission on products purchased via the links on this page. Learn more

When looking for a bike rack for your SUV, the hitch rack might just be the first thing you think of. You can put them on and take them off in minutes and it all works very well. But, if you’re trying to avoid messing up the looks of your car by installing a hitch, here are the 5 best bike racks for an SUV with no hitch that do the job perfectly.

The bike racks we reviewed are durable, secure, easy to use, and able to hold from one to four bikes at once with no problems. Best of all, they keep your car’s tires and exterior nice and clean with no risk of damage. Read on to see if we have something you are looking for.

Quick Summary

  • Bike Racks for SUV Without a Hitch: Swagman UPRIGHT
    "This is a reliable and durable 1-bike rack that features a 35-pound capacity, weighs a mere 5 pounds and fits a variety of bike shapes."
  • "This sturdy 1-bike roof rack features a great 44-pound load capacity, secure mounting dial and soft claw pads that protect your car finish from damage."
  • Best Trunk Mount Bike Rack: Saris Bones Car Bike Rack
    "This trunk mount rack can easily carry 3-bikes weighing 35 lbs. each, provides a sufficient clearance between the bikes and works well for cars with spoilers."
  • Best Value: Allen 102DN
    "This affordable trunk mount rack carries up to 2 bikes weighing 35 lbs. each, features a unique tie down system that secures your bikes safely, and narrow set carry arms fit a variety bicycle styles and sizes."
  • "This is a 4-bike trunk mount rack that features individual dual compound tie down cradles and wide profile feet that protect your vehicle from damage."

Top 5 Bike Racks for an SUV Without a Hitch Review 2023

?
Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 9235 people in the past 30 days
9.9
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.8
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.8
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.8
9.9
1
Bike Racks for SUV Without a Hitch

Swagman UPRIGHT

Features
  • Style: roof rack
  • Load capacity: 35 lbs., 1 bike
  • Material: aluminum, plastic
  • Size: 3 x 8 x 34 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs.

Other features: installs in minutes, tie down straps for wheels, and locking feature

This bike rack is our top pick as it’s very stylish, reliable, budget-friendly, and installs in minutes. All you need to do is place it on the roof of your car, lift your bike onto the rack, and secure it using the straps or a small lock for security. The good-looking design fits any type of vehicle and it is incredibly easy to use. The best part about this bike rack is that it’s lightweight and very easy to assemble. It can be used with all types of cars because you can mount it on the roof or even inside your trunk.

The Swagman Upright is a cheaper model than most other Swagman mounts, including the Enforcer product that has even more durability than this. It is great for those looking for value for money, and for those who have thicker tires up to 3 inches in width, as the Swagman UPRIGHT can handle these thicker and chunkier tires and a weight of up to 35 lbs. However, if you plan on carrying a bit heavier bike, we recommend the option below because it has a higher weight capacity.

    What makes it stand out?
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy-to-assemble
  • Fits a variety of different bike shapes
  • Affordable price
    Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
  • The whole rack can easily be removed by hand
  • The clamp does not open easily
  • The clamp head is not well-fastened to the rack arm, so the bike rocks from side to side in the mount
?
Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 2456 people in the past 30 days
9.8
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.6
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.4
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.4
9.8
Features
  • Style: roof rack
  • Load capacity: 44 lbs., 1 bike
  • Material: aluminum
  • Size: 58 x 13.5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs.

Other features: quick and secure mounting dial, soft claw pads

Our Premium Pick, the Thule ProRide XT, is a sturdy and durable rack built to handle the weight of your bike and conveniently attaches to all Thule racks and many factory-installed bars. This is one of the best Thule roof racks on the market today. The quick-dial mounting system adjusts for a perfect fit and the bike is secured into place with soft rubber padded clamps which will not damage your frame. The Thule ProRide XT uses an anti-sway design to keep your bikes from rocking back and forth as you drive, minimizing any distractions or accidents. Best of all, this rack can be switched from one side of your vehicle to the other when needed.

This is an upgrade on the Thule TopRide system which is similar in its design, but not as well-reviewed, and it doesn’t quite havе the same high capacity for bike weight. This can hold bikes of up to 44 lbs, but remember that there is only room for one bike on the rack.

    Why did it make our list?
  • Safe mounting
  • Automatically adjusts and secures the bike
  • Tool-free installation
  • Large load capacity
    What is not ideal about it?
  • Locks are sold separately
  • Frame clamp could have more friction
Also Product Ranking:
?
Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 9847 people in the past 30 days
9.6
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.1
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.5
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.4
9.6
3
Best Trunk Mount Bike Rack

Saris Bones Car Bike Rack

Features
  • Style: trunk mount rack
  • Load capacity: 35 lbs. per bike, 3 bikes
  • Material: composite, plastic
  • Size: 22 x 9 x 20 inches
  • Weight: 12.23 lbs.

Other features: strap mounting, fits vehicles with spoilers, provides 6.5″ of space between bikes

The Saris Bones EX 3-Bike rack is our third choice for the best bike rack for an SUV without a hitch. The bike rack is easy to attach and can hold up to three bikes. Best of all, the trunk mount design fits perfectly on most SUVs and cars with spoilers. The premium bike hold downs ensure that your bicycles are securely attached to the rack, making it perfect for road trips. It is also made from 100% recyclable plastic and supports up to 35 lbs per bike. Best of all, the innovative arc-based design separates bikes on different levels, providing an astounding 6.5″ of space between bikes!

This is quite unusual when compared to other bike racks on the market as it has the largest vehicle compatibility of any trunk rack out there. You name it, and this will likely fit with no trouble at all. It’s also unusual as it is the best model for carrying three bikes. Most alternatives carry 2 or 4 bikes at once.

    What are its best features?
  • Fits a wide variety of vehicles
  • Decent build quality
  • Stable in use
  • Made from recyclable materials
  • Provides 6.5″ of space between bikes
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Tool-free installation
    What could be improved?
  • Tends to rub on car finish when used long-term
  • Mounting can feel a bit frustrating
  • Requires an adapter for mounting women’s and kid’s bikes
Also Product Ranking:
?
Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 9516 people in the past 30 days
9.4
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.3
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.0
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.0
9.4
4
Best Value

Allen 102DN

Features
  • Mount: trunk mount rack
  • Load capacity: 35 lbs. per bike, 2 bikes
  • Material: alloy steel
  • Size: 23.03 x 13.58 x 3.94 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs.

Other features: folding, single configuration design, patented individual tie down system, 12-inch-long carry arms, lifetime warranty

Weighing a mere 8.8 lbs., the Allen Sports Deluxe 102DN-R is one of the lightest trunk mount bike racks on the market with a carrying capacity of 35 lbs. per bike and up to two bikes per unit. It has carry arms that are 12 inches long, which provides enough space to transport even high-end mountain or touring bicycles. This bike carrier features a durable alloy steel construction and folds down for easy storage when not in use. You can rest assured knowing your bike rack has a lifetime warranty to protect it from any manufacturing defects. Even if there are any issues, the Allen Sports Deluxe will provide you with a free replacement or full refund of your original purchase price.

The Allen Sports Deluxe 102DN-R is an upgrade from their ultra-compact models and has the side straps to give you more of a lateral stability. It’s not quite up there with the ultra-professional Premier model which give your vehicle even more protection, but it does provide a great set of arms for carrying your bikes. If you need more space still, the Allen Sports range does have some even larger truck mount racks for bikes.

    What makes it special?
  • There are additional side straps included to give the luggage enhanced stability
  • With continual usage, it may scratch the paint and bend the metal of the car body panels
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Versatile design
    What cons did we find?
  • Straps and hooks can wear out fast
  • The clearance between the bikes and the car could be bigger
Also Product Ranking:
Read full review: allen 102dn
?
Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 5625 people in the past 30 days
9.1
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.6
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.8
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.0
9.1
Features
  • Mount: trunk mount rack
  • Load capacity: 140 lbs., 4 bikes
  • Material: alloy steel
  • Size: 36 x 18.4 x 4.8 inches
  • Weight: 12 lbs.

Other features: 21-inch-long-carry arms, strap mounting, foldable, extra-large car pads

The Allen Sports Premier S104 is another great bike rack that doesn’t require a hitch receiver for installation! This trunk-mount rack can easily carry 4 bikes and is perfect for people who don’t want to put holes in their car, but still need a sturdy bike rack. The patented quick set-up frame makes it easy and simple to put together and start using. The individual dual compound tie down cradles provide extra security and protection for your bikes. Not only this, but the wide profile feet help to protect your car by keeping them away from scratching up against it. We found it very convenient that this rack can also be folded down when not in use. It’s also made of alloy steel which is great for extra durability.

This is an upgraded model from the Allen Sports Premier S102, which has room for two bikes only, but the S104 has a huge 140 lbs. capacity and space for four bikes. Compared to many other racks on the list, this makes a great choice for families heading out on a trip who need to take four decent-sized bikes with them, and keep them secure the whole time. It’s also great for those who want a quick and easy setup.

    What are its best features?
  • Accommodates up to 4 bikes
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Easy-to-install
  • Stable
  • The paint and body are protected by dual-compound feet
    What could be improved?
  • A bit pricey
  • Straps tend to wear out fast
Also Product Ranking:

Things to Consider

A bike rack can be essential to anyone who enjoys biking but also enjoys camping. The only downside is that bike racks are attached to vehicles, which often have hitches. If you drive an SUV without a hitch, it’s important to buy the right type of bike rack. In this section, we’ll give you tips on how to choose the perfect one.

How to Pick the Best Bike Rack for SUV Without a Hitch

The best hitch-less bike rack will let you take your bikes with you without having them drag all over town or worse yet, get damaged during transport. Before you start shopping, there are a few things to consider.

Type

5 Best Bike Racks for an SUV Without a Hitch - Durable and Easy to Install! (Fall 2023)
If you do not want or have a hitch on your SUV, there are still two mount options available!

There are three main types of bike racks that you can choose from. Roof-mounted and trunk-mounted options do not require a hitch. Trunk-mounted racks are the most popular because they don’t occupy any space in the car’s interior or exterior.

Roof mounted bike racks can be ideal for SUVs but make sure your vehicle has a strong enough roof rack before buying one.

A trunk-style rack will most likely suit your needs if they’re fairly minimal. A roof rack is ideal if you need to transport more than one or two bikes, but they do take some getting used to. They are also more expensive than trunk or bumper styles.

Load Capacity

What exactly do you plan to carry with your bike rack? If you’re planning on carrying more than two bikes, make sure the rack has a high load capacity. Most types of racks will be able to carry four bikes comfortably unless they are specially made for small vehicles or single sports.

Installation Options

Most people who buy a rack for their vehicle choose between installing it permanently or using the removable option.

– Permanent Installations

This type of install will give you the best security and protection for your bikes, but it does come with disadvantages as well. Installing a bike rack is often more expensive than setting up a removable one, and can involve hiring a pro. If you’ve never installed a bike rack before, you can read our guide on how to install a bike rack on an SUV. We also recommend choosing the bike rack that comes with step-by-step instructions to save you time and frustration.

– Removable Options

5 Best Bike Racks for an SUV Without a Hitch - Durable and Easy to Install! (Fall 2023)
If you do not carry your bikes often, we recommend a removable rack that can be easily attached and detached from your vehicle.

If you don’t have the money or time to install your new rack permanently, choose a removable option instead. You may have concerns about security when you purchase this type of rack, but most have locks so you can secure the entire rack to your vehicle. Removable racks are also great if you don’t use your car every day and want the option of removing it when necessary.

Materials and Durability

Bike racks can be made from a variety of materials including aluminum, plastic and steel. Aluminum is the lightest material, but it’s also very expensive. Plastic is cheap but not as durable as aluminum or steel. Steel tends to protect your bikes better than other materials will and won’t chip easily.

If you choose a steel or aluminum rack, look for one that has a powder-coated finish Trusted Source What is Powder Coating? Powder coating is a dry finishing process that has become extremely popular since its introduction in North America over in the 1960s. Representing over 15% of the total industrial finishing market, powder is used on a wide array of products. www.powdercoating.org . This will increase the durability of the material and protect it from rust.

Stability

Don’t neglect the stability of the rack. The last thing you want is for your expensive new bike to come crashing down on all fours while driving around town – terrifying! Make sure that the rack is going to stay in place and not move or shake when transporting your bikes. You might have to pay a little more for a durable product, but it will be worth it by protecting your investment from damage during transport.

Stability may come at the price of lighter weight though so keep this in mind if you intend on taking off-road biking trips with your vehicle frequently.

Size and Weight

If you only plan on transporting bikes with small frames, you may only need a basic rack. However, if you ride any size other than that, then make the investment in a heavy-duty rack. When it comes to bike racks for SUVs without hitches, size definitely matters.

If you know that you’ll also need to transport other items along with your bike, then you’ll need to make sure the rack is large enough. That way, your gear won’t get damaged or dirty while you’re traveling. You’ll also want to make sure the racks are secure so that nothing will fall off during transport.

Security

5 Best Bike Racks for an SUV Without a Hitch - Durable and Easy to Install! (Fall 2023)
It is a good idea to invest in a rack with locks for extra security and stability.

Securing your bike is one of the most important factors when choosing a rack. However, it’s also something that most people tend to forget about until they’re driving down the road and their prized possession has fallen off somewhere.

Make sure you invest in a rack with locks so everything will stay in place during transportation. Also, check that the locks are easy to access so you can get them open in a pinch.

For extra security, consider a rack with a cable or chain so you can lock your bikes once they’re on the rack and while they’re still on your vehicle. This will protect both your bikes and any other luggage on your rack from theft.

Cost

How much money have you set aside for this purchase? Budget is always a factor when buying something, even if it’s something you really want. If you’re looking for a rack that attaches to the frame, expect to pay more than one that attaches directly to the trunk or roof of your vehicle. You might also pay more if you need a high load capacity, but most racks are reasonably priced unless they come with unique features.

FAQ

How fast can you travel with a roof-mount bike rack and bike mounted on it?

The speed depends on the product you’ve chosen. Some racks have higher load capacity than others, which could affect your travel speed. When in doubt, always check the instructions that come with your rack to see what’s allowed.

Is it difficult to install these products?

You should read the instructions carefully before attempting any type of installation for your rack. However, most racks attach at the trunk or roofline of your car with a little bit of assembly required. If you’re not familiar with this process, take it to your local hardware store and ask someone for help. They should be able to show you the best way to install the rack onto your frame.

Is it illegal to drive with a bike rack?

No, it’s not illegal to drive with a bike rack on your car as long as they’re installed correctly and do not obscure your license plate Trusted Source Calgarian stunned after receiving ticket for licence plate blocking bike rack | CTV News A Calgary man has found himself the recipient of a $155 ticket after a Calgary Police Service member determined the bike rack on the back of his SUV obscured the licence plate. calgary.ctvnews.ca . However, you may have issues if you travel through city limits or into remote areas where there is little vehicle traffic.

Our verdict

When we buy anything, we want it to be the best. The same is true with buying a bike rack for your SUV or truck that doesn’t have a hitch system.

You will be impressed with our Editor’s Choice, the Swagman UPRIGHT roof rack. It’s lightweight, easy to handle and it will hold your bike in place without risking damage to your car. It works with all tire sizes and has a nice mount design.

Our Premium Pick, the Thule ProRide XT is an aluminum roof rack with a large load capacity that has a secure quick-dial mounting system to fit almost any vehicle. The bike is positioned securely with a soft rubber pad and anti-sway cages design.

The Saris Bones EX 3-bike rack also deserves its place among the best bike racks for an SUV with no hitch. The trunk mount design fits perfectly vehicles with spoilers, making it perfect for road trips. It also provides 6.5 inches of space between bikes, which is by far the most in its class.

References

1.
What is Powder Coating?
Powder coating is a dry finishing process that has become extremely popular since its introduction in North America over in the 1960s. Representing over 15% of the total industrial finishing market, powder is used on a wide array of products.
2.
Calgarian stunned after receiving ticket for licence plate blocking bike rack | CTV News
A Calgary man has found himself the recipient of a $155 ticket after a Calgary Police Service member determined the bike rack on the back of his SUV obscured the licence plate.
9,9
Total Score
Swagman UPRIGHT - Bike Racks for SUV Without a Hitch
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *