Apart from the fact that Steven is a car mechanic, we value his experience as an avid camper. Steven knows for sure how to make the most out of any space in your vehicle.
Last updated: December 08, 2021
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Are you in need of a dependable bike rack to accompany you on your biking adventure? If you drive a Subaru Forester SUV, then you need the best bike rack for Subaru Forester.
If you often go places with biking in mind, a bike rack would come in handy. But, there is a wide range of Subaru Forester bike racks that you can choose from, which is why we have put together a detailed comparison review and buying guide to help your purchase. We considered the versatility, installation process, durability, value, and other factors before compiling the top five bike racks for your vehicle. Keep on reading our complete guide to know more.
The first on our list is the KAC Overdrive Sports K2, which focuses on offering more value for your money while protecting your bike. As one of the best hitch bike racks for Subaru Forester, it is fitted with different safety features and innovative fittings to make things easier.
The KAC Overdrive Sports K2 bike rack is a popular model and is pretty similar to the K4, its sister product. The bike racks are known for their three safety features to keep your bike secure. It has an anti-wobble system that prevents slack between the bike and the receiver. The safety trap will keep your bike sturdy and in place while you drive, while the rear reflector increases the visibility at night.
Why did it make our list?
One main advantage of using this bike rack is the Quick Release Smart Tilt, which gives you easy access to the rear area. It also has a space-saving, foldable design when not in use, making it easy to park your car in any garage. The durable bike rack can support up to two bikes simultaneously and offers a lifetime warranty. Most of the rack is pre-assembled, so it is easily installed and adjusted on your Subaru Forester.
What is not ideal about it?
On the downside, you might be discouraged by the quick rusting. Although it is sturdy, it is not rust-resistant. The rack is also incompatible with e-bikes and heavier bikes, so you have to be careful not to lose your bike while driving. But as long as you follow the steps to install the rack and properly secure your bike, you won't have to worry about losing it.
The next bike rack for Subaru Forester on our list is the Thule EasyFold XT 2. This bike rack impressed us with its unique design, which allows you to carry e-bikes and heavy mountain bikes as well as smaller bicycles. Regardless of your type of bike, this easy-to-use rack would come in handy.
If this is your first time owning a bike rack, the EasyFold XT 2 is highly recommended. It can be folded into a compact design and even a carry-on handle for storage and mobility. It is also easy to mount and secure your bikes on this rack, as it is to connect it to your Subaru Forester. The bike rack is compatible with both 2-inch and 1.25-inch receivers.
What stands out?
Bikers would be first impressed by the anti-theft design, which ensures that no one is removing your bikes while you're looking away. You can lock the bike to the rack and lock the rack to the receiver. It also offers easy trunk access while the bikes are mounted, so you don't have to remove it whenever you want to open the trunk. All of these features are combined into an ergonomic design for convenience.
What cons did we manage to find?
Keep in mind that the Thule EasyFold XT 2 is a bit tricky when mounting two heavy bikes on it. You should compare your bikes to the weight capacity before purchasing. It is also a bit heavy, which takes away from its portability, but makes up for this with the foldable, compact design.
Another best bike rack for Subaru Forester is the Yakima FrontLoader, which we love for its versatile design. The bike rack can be used with all kinds of bikes, including thru-axles, disc brakes, and full suspension bikes. You simply have to adjust the rack to match whichever bike you are using. You can easily get the hang of the mounting process and keep your bikes secure.
Unlike other Yakima bike racks, this upgraded model doesn’t touch the bike frame when installed. The FrontLoader would hold the bike by the front and back wheels, so you can carry out your custom paint jobs without worrying about the rack getting damaged. If your bike uses a carbon fiber fork, the rack does not clamp onto the fork, so it’s completely safe. It’s perfect for keeping your bike in shape.
Why did it make our list?
The main benefit of the FrontLoader is the easy and convenient use it has to offer, so even if it's your first time using a bike rack, you can easily get used to it. The rack is fully assembled out of the box and does not need any tools to install it on your Subaru Forester. It uses a wheel-on-mount design to hold your bike in place, and you can purchase safety keys separately if you're worried about your bike getting stolen.
What is not ideal about it?
The Yakima FrontLoader is pretty open to theft, except you have the safety keys. Unfortunately, they don't come with the rack and have to be purchased separately. You should also expect stiff parts in a few months, but this is easily fixed with lubrication.
Next on our list of the best bike rack for Subaru Forester is the Hollywood Racks Destination, boasting the highest capacity. It can take up to four bikes, 35 pounds each, but still manages to have a lightweight and convenient design. Although it can take up to four bikes, it features a locking hitch pin which would keep your bike and rack secure.
If you plan on going on a group biking adventure or bike-packing, this is an excellent rack to take with you. The bike rack makes storage and parking easier, which can’t be said for many others in the market. It folds up flat when not in use, so you don’t have to worry about it when driving. It is widely compatible with road and mountain bikes, kid bikes, hybrids, ladies frames, and more, so you and your friends or family can go on a biking adventure with your Subaru Forester.
Why are we impressed?
With the ratchet frame and wheel holders, your bikes are held firmly in place, so they don't wobble or shake while you drive. The hooks offer extra securing and prevent slipping or any form of movement, which is the main benefit that drivers and bikers would enjoy. The rack is well-built and easy to install as long as you follow the instructions to the latter. It is lightweight and sturdy, offering more value for your money.
What negatives must you be aware of?
While there's a lot to like with the Hollywood Racks Destination, the instructions manual isn't one of them. It's a bit complicated, but once you get the hang of it, you can easily mount and remove your bikes. It also doesn't support some of the newest bikes with long frames but works with some other types.
The Thule ProRide XT is definitely not the least bike rack on our list, as it surprised us with its quick mounting, ergonomic design, and convenient use. The bike rack is only mounted on the roof and accommodates only one bike at a time. But with the universal design, it doesn’t matter what type of bike you mount.
If you need a roof rack for yourself only, the ProRide XT is a fantastic choice. The roof rack is designed to keep your bike in place and prevent it from wobbling or falling down with straps and steel holders. Asides from safe mounting, its ergonomic design makes it easy to adjust. So whether there’s only one biker in your group or you’re going Overlanding alone, a single roof rack will come in handy.
Why did it make our list?
A major benefit of this bike rack is the safe mounting. Although it is a roof rack, the extended lower jaw of the claw prevents your bike from falling down. The wheel holders and straps would also keep your bike in place to secure the entire bike for the ride. The Thule ProRide XT has an ergonomic design that would automatically adjust and secure the bike as you try to mount it. You can easily mount the bike rack on the Subaru Forester and mount your bike on the rack with a tool-free interface.
What is not ideal about it?
As for the downsides, the rack seems to focus more on safe than easy mounting. It's a bit difficult to properly mount your bike on the roof rack and secure it, but you can get the hang of it with practice. The instructions manual is also exhausting to follow through with, so you might spend a little extra time on installation.
There are different bike racks in the market for Subaru Forester and other SUVs. With this extensive range available, it might be hard to those ones for you. Luckily, we’ve done most of the work by compiling the top 5 bike racks you can use. But the buying guide in this section would assist in making your decision even more.
Although you know the best hitch bike racks for Subaru Forester, you can’t just pick any one you want and go on your biking adventure. It’s essential to consider several factors and choose the bike rack that works best for you.
Continue reading below to know more.
How to Choose the Best Bike Rack for Subaru Forester
There are different reasons why you might need a bike rack for your vehicle. Whether you want to go bike-packing for the first time
Trusted SourceBikepacking: How to pack and plan a trip, according to experts | The Washington PostFrom packing to routes, here’s everything to consider in your first trip, according to experts.
, camping or Overlanding, having your trusty bike would make the adventure more fun.
When choosing the best bike rack for Subaru Forester, you should ensure that the standards of the product meet your needs. Thus, you need to consider the type of rack, capacity, installation process, versatility, durability, process, and the bikes they are compatible with.
Three common types of bike racks are a good fit for Subaru Forester: hitch carriers, roof racks, and truck mounts.
Choosing your bike rack for Subaru Forester starts with deciding the type of rack that is suitable for you. There are three main types of racks, including hitch carriers, roof racks, and truck mounts.
Hitch carriers like the KAC Overdrive Sports K2 are designed to be attached to the tow hitch of a car. They are usually easy to load and have a lightweight design. They are also known for being versatile.
As for roof racks, they are installed on the roof of your Subaru Forester, as the name implies. The Thule ProRide XT is a fantastic example, as they offer top flexibility and leave the trunk area free and accessible.
Then we have the trunk mounts, which are the least expensive options. They are usually attached to the lip of your trunk and are portable and convenient. The Thule EasyFold XT 2 is a reliable bike rack that gives you free trunk access even as it is mounted.
By capacity, we mean how many bikes you can mount on your rack. This is important because you don’t want a rack that is too big for your single bike or too small for your many bikes. If you get the latter, the bike rack won’t handle the pressure, which would lead to eventual collapse.
Asides from checking the number of bikes it can carry, you should also check the weight capacity. For instance, if the rack can only take 100 pounds but four bikes, each would have to be 25 pounds.
Every bike rack includes the number of bikes they can carry. If you need to carry a lot of bikes, the Hollywood Racks Destination can contain up to four bikes at a time. But if you’re taking only one bike, you can go for the Thule ProRide XT.
Ease of Installation
No one wants to spend a frustratingly long time trying to install the bike rack on the car and then the bike on the rack. You can prevent this by getting one that is pretty easy to install with straightforward instructions.
Keep in mind that the installation process depends on the type of rack you are using. A trunk-mount rack would be easier to install than a hitch carrier or roof rack.
The Yakima FrontLoader on our list is one of the easiest to install since it comes pre-assembled and requires no tools. Our editors choice, the KAC Overdrive Sports K2, is also easy to install and features safety fittings to keep your bike in place.
It’s important to choose a bike rack that is highly versatile to meet your needs, from securing your bike while you drive to preventing theft. Many bike racks come with impressive features that offer convenience. There are also safety keys that would prevent your bike from getting stolen.
The Yakima FrontLoader is one of the top choices in terms of versatility, with its unique design that doesn’t touch the frame, anti-theft safety keys, and the fact that it can be used with all types of bikes. Another example of a bike rack with versatile features is the KAC Overdrive Sports K2, especially in terms of safety.
Yakima FrontLoader is a universal roof rack fit, which means it is compatible with most cars, including Subaru Forester.
Another essential factor to consider when choosing a bike rack for Subaru Forester is compatibility. This simply means the type of bikes you can put on them seamlessly. While some models can be used with road and kids’ bikes, they fail when it comes to e-bikes and mountain bikes. Since unique models like e-bikes are becoming more popular
Trusted SourceE-bikes get up to speed in popularity, providing a workout easier on the heart | The Washington PostAfter mechanical engineer Ron Wensel suffered a heart attack, he knew his lifestyle needed to change. Wanting to find a way to stay active without overexerting himself, he traded in his street bicycle for a bike with electric assist. Doing so, Wensel said, “changed my life.”
today, it makes no sense if your rack can’t take it. If you have a wide array of bikes in your home and need them for your biking adventure, then it’s best to choose a rack that can accommodate all kinds of bikes.
The Yakima FrontLoader is very reliable as it can accommodate different kinds of bikes, including some that aren’t popularly used, like thru-axles, disc brakes, and full suspension bikes.
The Hollywood Racks Destination is another good choice, as you can mount road and mountain bikes, kid bikes, hybrids, ladies frames, and more on it. The Thule ProRide XT might have a one-bike capacity, but it has a universal design for all bike types.
It would be really disappointing to have a bike rack that gets damaged or collapses within a few weeks or months of using them. If your rack is not durable, this would also mean that your bike is in danger. So, it’s crucial to ensure that the brand is reliable and the rack is sturdy and durable.
The KAC Overdrive Sports K2 is highly durable and comes with a lifetime warranty, which assures you how long it will last as you use it. We also ensured that other bike racks on our list would stay by your side as long as possible.
The final factor, and definitely not the least important, is the value of the bike rack. Regardless of the many options out there and the ones you want to buy, your decision boils down to your budget and the price of the bike rack. This doesn’t mean that you should get a cheap and low-quality choice. Instead, look out for those that offer more value for your money, like the KAC Overdrive Sports K2.
Before making a purchase, compare the prices of our best bike racks for Subaru Forester with your budget, and choose one that you can purchase with ease.
Keep in mind that you might have to spend more on fuel depending on the type of bike rack you buy. Although it’s not in the initial cost, you don’t want to spend more money over time because of a bike rack. Roof racks distress the aerodynamics of your Subaru Forester so that you might spend up to 30% more on fuel than before. Since hitch carriers and trunk mounts are out of the way, they don’t consume a lot of fuel.
If the bike rack is not installed properly or your bike is poorly mounted, then your Subaru Forester can be affected adversely by the racks. Also, trunk mounts are close to the car, so they can damage the paint job and cause scratches on your car as you drive, and the rack and bike sways.
To prevent any damage to your car from the rack, you should ensure it’s installed and mounted properly before you start driving. You should also monitor the rack as you drive and cross-check it after mounting the bike.
Depending on what you need, you can use a roof rack, hitch carrier, or trunk mount on your Subaru Forester. The Subaru Forester is a versatile SUV and can be used with either one of the three, which is why we listed all types in our review.
If you’re not sure which one to choose, you can check the features of each one and see if they fit your needs. You can also check the cons and see if you can live with them and even prevent them. But generally, hitch carriers have fewer cons than the others. They are easy to install, offer trunk access, and don’t increase your fuel costs.
There are different ways to increase the bike security on your Subaru Forester. The bike racks on our list either come with safety locks and anti-theft locks, or you would have to buy them separately from the manufacturer.
If you’re still not convinced that your bike is safe, you can purchase locks separately. There are different bike locks for racks, like U-locks or even fingerprint locks which would deter any thieves from your property.
After reading this complete guide, we believe that you are clear about what type of bike rack you want for your Subaru Forester. The KAC Overdrive Sports K2 is an all-rounder and a good choice if you’re still unsure about making a decision. From the three safety features and pre-assembled design to the foldable and compact shape, it offers convenience and security for your bike.
You can also go for the Thule EasyFold XT 2 if you’re looking for a hitch carrier with seamless trunk access, ergonomic design, and anti-theft features. Another highly recommended option is the Yakima FrontLoader, which would impress you with its versatile design, wide bike compatibility, and safety features.
Finding the best bike rack for Subaru Forester has become way easier than you expected with this guide. Simply consider the different factors in our buying guide and use that to choose one that works best for you and your SUV.
Bikepacking: How to pack and plan a trip, according to experts | The Washington Post
From packing to routes, here’s everything to consider in your first trip, according to experts.
E-bikes get up to speed in popularity, providing a workout easier on the heart | The Washington Post
After mechanical engineer Ron Wensel suffered a heart attack, he knew his lifestyle needed to change. Wanting to find a way to stay active without overexerting himself, he traded in his street bicycle for a bike with electric assist. Doing so, Wensel said, “changed my life.”