Notably, the bike rack you pick could mean the difference between damaging the back of your BMW X3 and safely carrying your bikes to your destination. The best BMW X3 bike racks take the back profile of the car into consideration and are designed to fit it like a glove.
They’re also impressive in terms of the load capacity, weight, how they’re made, security features, foldability, their strap systems, and more. These features determine how easy or difficult it is to mount the rack onto your car, how many bikes it can carry, the security of these bikes, and many other components of your user experience. Ultimately, we used these features to review and judge compatible bike racks objectively and, as such, can fully recommend the options listed below for purchase.
Other features: strap mounting, 100% recyclable materials, fits vehicles with spoilers
The Saris Bones EX Bike Rack is designed to fit on the trunks of SUVs, sedans, and hatchbacks. As such, given that the BMW X3 is a compact luxury crossover SUV, it also fits into the list of compatible car models. The rack is made of 100% recyclable synthetic materials. These synthetics are also injection molded for some extra stability and durability. Additionally, since there aren’t many metal components, deterioration due to rust is something you never have to worry about. The straps are another impressive feature of the rack. They’re designed like zip ties meaning they don’t flail or flap around whether your bikes are attached to the rack or not.
The Saris Bones EX Bike Rack is for users looking to minimize their environmental impact by using recyclable equipment.
Other features: fits 1.25″ and 2″ receivers, smart foot pedal tilt
If you’re looking for a BMW X3 hitch rack, the Thule EasyFold XT 2 is for you. It features both aluminum and plastic construction and can carry two bikes. However, unlike most trunk-mounted racks that max out at 35 lbs per bike, this option allows 65 lbs per bike. Consequently, you could easily carry Ebikes or other heavy bike designs. The rack works with 1.25” or 2” receivers, and if yours is sized differently, you might have to replace it or look at alternative racks. Notably, you even get a smart foot pedal tilt that makes it possible to access your trunk without having to remove the rack.
The Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack is for users who prefer hitch racks and are willing to pay extra.
Other features: foldable, 6-strap tightening system, integrated anti-sway cradles
Given Thule’s stellar reputation, some of you may be looking for Thule BMW X3 bike racks without the hitch design. In that case, the Thule Gateway Pro Trunk Bike Rack makes perfect sense. It’s a foldable trunk rack with a 6-strap tightening system. Also, just like the EasyFold XT 2, it’s made using aluminum and plastic. The incorporated arms fold down when not in use. However, when in use, they provide 7” of clearance between bikes and even incorporate anti-sway cradles to keep the two-wheelers from damaging each other during transit. Lastly, there’s an integrated cable lock system as well.
The Thule Gateway Pro Trunk Bike Rack is for users who prefer trunk-mounted racks with the added advantage of security components.
Other features: 12-inch-long-carry arms, strap mounting, foldable, extra-large car pads
The Allen Sports Premier S102 Trunk Rack is a two-bike, 70 lbs-capacity rack that’s one of the easiest options to mount onto your bike rack. In addition to having a patent-pending overall design, it has patented straps as well. With this rack, you needn’t worry about the integrity of the rear windscreen or the car’s finish due to the extra-large car pads. These distribute the weight of the invention and mounted bikes more evenly. Additionally, the extra-long carry arms are easy to work with when you’re mounting your bikes.
The Allen Sports Premier S102 Trunk Rack is for users who want extra protection for their rear windscreen and car finish.
Other features: strap mounting, lifetime limited warranty, 100% assembled
The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe is in the same price range as the Allen Sports Premier S102 Trunk Rack. However, this option is only meant to carry one bike. That said, its weight capacity is 55 lbs making it suitable for Ebikes. It’s an excellent option for your BMW X3 only if the car doesn’t have a rear spoiler. Additionally, it comes fully assembled and ready to mount onto your car. Notably, while the rack is made from metal, it’s also E-coated for rust resistance. Other features include the padded lower frame with safety straps and a lifetime limited warranty.
This rack is great if you only have one bike to transport.
If you’re going to pick the best bike rack for BMW X3 out of hundreds of options, you’ll need to know how to narrow down your options. Often this requires an in-depth look into the rack’s features and, by extension, its benefits. We’ve broken down the features and made it easier to figure out what you’re looking for in this section of the write-up.
There are multiple types of bike racks in the market, and this influences things like their set-up, how much they cost, how difficult it’ll be to mount your bikes, and more. The most common is the trunk-mounted rack because these racks are affordable and they’re easy to mount. The Saris Bones EX Bike Rack is a classic example of a trunk-mounted rack.
Data by Consumer Reports Trusted Source Best Bike Racks for Your Car - Consumer Reports Consumer Reports tips for choosing the right bicycle rack for your car. www.consumerreports.org shows there are two other major categories of bike racks, including hitch mount and roof racks, whether BMW X3 compatible or not. The only example of a hitch rack on the list above is the Thule EasyFold XT 2. This would make the rack compatible with most vehicles in the market today, including the BMW X3, as long as they have a compatible hitch installed.
Unfortunately, there’s no roof rack listed above. Nevertheless, as implied by the name, they’re typically mounted on the roof of your car. Each of these rack types has its pros and cons, and as such, you can look into how you intend to use the rack before you make the purchase. After that, you’ll be in a much better position to decide on a rack.
The vehicle compatibility should also be on your mind as you’re making the purchase. All the models mentioned are compatible with the BMW X3. However, you may also have to consider other vehicle models, especially if you have multiple cars in your garage.
In the case of the Thule EasyFold XT 2, the rack is compatible with almost all car models. However, you’ll need to install either a 1.25” or 2” hitch receiver on all of your cars if you want the ability to switch between them liberally.
For trunk-mounted racks they’re designed to fit multiple car models but may not fit all of them.
In the case of the Thule Gateway Pro Trunk Bike Rack, you can’t mount it onto an SUV with a spoiler, and if your BMW has one, you might need to look elsewhere.
You’ll also notice that there’s no standard regarding the construction materials used to make the rack. More often than not, the racks are made from metal, but even the kind of metal used can vary. Some rack options you’ll encounter will have steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, plastic, and even synthetic construction.
These materials can influence things like how heavy or light the rack is, its potential for recycling, whether its prone to rust, and its durability. Metal construction is often more durable if it features a rust-resistant finish. Nevertheless, you’ll need to weigh all the pros and cons of each construction material before you can purchase a rack.
The load capacity refers to how many bikes the rack can carry and the maximum weight of these bikes. Notably, manufacturers give the load capacity for most racks as part of the rack’s description. For instance, the Allen Sports Premier S102 trunk rack’s capacity is 70 lbs, and it can hold two bikes.
This works since most bikes, including some heavy mountain bikes, weigh less than 30 lbs. Nevertheless, some bikes can be significantly heavier. One example is Ebikes, and this can be attributed to the construction since they have extra components. According to Explain That Stuff, Trusted Source How do electric bicycles work? - Explain that Stuff An easy-to-understand explanation of electric bicycles, powered by powerful hub motors and super-efficient rechargeable batteries. www.explainthatstuff.com these additional components include a battery and an electric motor.
Consequently, if you have an Ebike, you might be better suited by the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe, which can hold a 55 lbs bike. The Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack might also work since it has a 130 lbs weight limit for two bikes.
The dimensions of the bike rack are another area you can judge it on. This will tell you whether the purchase is bulky, if it can fit in the trunk of your car, how easily it fits into storage, and even how convenient it is to carry it around. Compact racks with the added advantage of foldability are easy to store or move, and sometimes that can also affect the weight of the device for the better.
In terms of security, most trunk-mounted racks aren’t very good. This is because they use straps as the connectors between the car and the device. These straps can easily be cut if your thief has a knife.
However, some thieves are thieves of opportunity, meaning they won’t steal a bike unless the owner is careless or there aren’t any security measures to keep the two-wheeler safe. As such, a cable lock like the one in the Thule Gateway Pro trunk bike rack may be enough of a deterrent.
Conversely, there are some determined thieves. They will actively target your bicycle, and if there’s any way to get it, they will. As such, you need a surer way of ensuring the bike doesn’t get stolen, and this is where products like the Thule EasyFold XT 2 hitch bike rack come in. This option has both a hitch and bike lock.
The rack’s weight may also come into play during use since you’ll have to lift it and move it quite often. Additionally, you’ll have to hold it up when setting it up on your BMW X3, meaning it should be as light as possible. However, sometimes being lightweight comes at the cost of some other features, so you might have to compromise.
You also need to buy a bike rack that fits your budget requirements. The prices vary, and it’s just as easy to find an affordable rack as it is to find an expensive one. That said, trunk-mounted racks seem to be the cheapest of the bunch, while hitch-mounted alternatives are generally more costly.
In your search for the ideal BMW X3 bike rack, you’ll encounter extra features as well. Examples include anti-sway cradles, the smart foot pedal tilt, and more. Since these add value to the device purchase, you should try to get as many as possible with your rack. However, you also need to consider the benefits they bring to your user experience; otherwise, they may be redundant.
As for hitch racks, you insert the bike rack into the hitch receiver, so the hole in the rack lines up perfectly with its counterpart in the receiver. After that, you insert the locking bolt through the holes, tighten it up, and sometimes even lock it in place.
There are some variations of these processes, but for the most part, it’s pretty straightforward to attach your bike rack.
If any straps come loose, you need to re-tighten them and even look for solutions to ensure they don’t come loose again. Hitch racks are often more secure, and you can wriggle the set-up to check for movement. There might be some minor movement due to spaces in the set-up, but it shouldn’t be much.
To summarize our top picks, the Saris Bones EX bike rack is quite the convenient pick for anyone looking for a bike rack for their BMW X3. It’s well constructed despite not having metal components, affordable, easy to set up, works whether your car has spoilers or not, and you can even recycle it at the end of its lifespan.
As for the Thule EasyFold XT 2 hitch bike rack, it’s another favorite from the list since it offers enhanced security both for the bikes and the rack. Additionally, it has a larger weight capacity than other options listed and even includes some convenience features.
The Thule Gateway Pro trunk bike rack is another one of the best BMW X3 bike racks in the market despite not being a hitch rack like the EasyFold XT 2. Designwise it’s a lot like the Saris Bones EX, and it even has the added advantage of a cable lock included with the purchase. Lastly, it has anti-sway cables that might come in handy to protect your bikes.