Best Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks – 2021 Reviews

Cory
| Last Updated: February 5, 2021

The Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate adventure vehicle, so it is no surprise that it draws the attention of many outdoor enthusiasts.

If you are one of the many Jeep owners that also enjoys mountain biking and road cycling, you probably need a bike rack. 

To help you find the perfect bike rack for your needs, we have reviewed five of the best Jeep Wrangler bike racks on the market in 2020.

Our Top Picks for Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks

  • Locking hitch insert
  • Convenient
  • Protects bicycles
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  • Spare tire mounted
  • Adjustable
  • Hand tightened knob
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  • Best Unlimited Rack
  • Easy to attach
  • Non-scratch channel
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Comparison of the Best Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Features quick-install locking hitch insert
  • Can be folded out of the way when not in use
  • Protects bicycles during transport
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  • Attaches to spare tire mounting bolts
  • Bike support arms are adjustable
  • Features a hand tightened knob
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  • Best Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Bike Rack
  • Can be attached to any spare tire
  • Features a non-scratch padded channel
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Can You Really Find a Quality Bike Rack That’s Affordable? 

More often than not, people dismiss affordable products because they assume the low-cost ties to a product with low quality. The reality is the price is not always a reflection of quality.

When searching for a bike rack, the price is worth noting, but you should also consider some other important factors. Take a look at build materials, the warranty, user reviews, and brand reputation. Taking a more comprehensive look at the features often reveals much more about its overall quality than only looking at the price tag. 

How to Choose a Bike Rack 

As mentioned, choosing a high-quality bike rack depends on taking a look at several factors. By considering the following factors, you will be able to find the perfect bike ride for your specific needs:

Bike Attachment

Bike racks come in a variety of styles, but you can usually put them into two categories – hanging racks and tray-style racks. A hanging rack holds the frame of the bike and mounts to the back of the vehicle. A tray-style rack attaches to the bike’s wheels, either on the roof or behind the vehicle.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch

Number of Bikes

How many bikes do you need to transport? Different racks hold different numbers of bikes, so make sure you are choosing an appropriate rack for your needs.

Locking Mechanism

Bikes can be expensive, which is why it is worth considering if the bike rack has a lock. Do you need to supply a lock, or is there a built-in locking mechanism? Choose the rack that best meets your preferences.

Build Quality and Material

As with any auto accessory, the quality will vary from one product to the next. Make sure you are choosing a rack constructed of durable materials that will protect your bikes and last for years to come.

Quick Take - Best Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks

Before you get too far, here's a quick take of the best Jeep Wrangler bike racks:

  1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch
  2. Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Bike Rack
  3. Surco BT300

Review of the Best Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks 

To help you choose the right bike rack for your Jeep Wrangler, we have reviewed five of our favorite bike racks:

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

PROS

  • Padded spine shield to protect bikes
  • Quick installation with hitch locking inserts
  • Can still access trunk while the bike rack is attached
  • Secure bike protection due to dual tie-down cradles
  • Easily positioned carrying arms snap into place and fold away when not in use

CONS

  • Locking mechanism secures the bikes to the rack, but not the rack to the Jeep
  • Bikes are held close together, requiring manual positioning of the pedals and handlebars to prevent scratching

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were happy with the tilt function, which is convenient for those that need access to their trunk while they have bikes attached to their rack.

They also enjoyed how securely it held their bikes in position; however, some felt that carrying a full rack of four bikes at one time was a little tricky. They note that you have to be careful not to let your bikes scratch one another.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason why this bike rack takes our top spot as the best Jeep Wrangler bike rack is because of its overall quality and simplicity. We liked that this bike rack is not overcomplicated and performs the task you would expect of it.

You get a convenient and straightforward way to carry bikes in a well-built, reliable product. The tilting function was also a highlight, as bike racks that block trunk access can quickly become frustrating.  

Bottom Line

This bike rack is a highly functional product, designed for simplicity and durability. It protects your bikes, and it is convenient to use. It is a great choice, especially for those that still want easy access to their Jeep’s trunk, even with a hitch-style bike rack in place.

Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack, Black, 2 Bike

PROS

  • Soft rubber cradles to protect bikes
  • Integrated safety strap for extra support
  • Includes locking mechanism to secure the rack to the Jeep
  • Includes three extension brackets to fit tires of varying sizes
  • Unique mounting style attaches to the spare tire with a universal mounting plate

CONS

  • Can be difficult to mount
  • Difficult to accommodate more than one bike

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were impressed with how well this bike rack fits on the Jeep Wrangler. They also enjoyed the discreet and unique design, which is much less noticeable than larger bike rack styles.

It is so discreet that some buyers leave the mount attached, even when they are not planning to transport a bike.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason this bike rack was our runner up is mostly down to its relatively small and discreet size. This bike rack is practically unnoticeable compared to some large hitch and roof-mounted bike racks.

If you only need to transport one or two bikes, this could be the perfect solution. Because it mounts to the rear tire, it does not get in the way when you want to access the trunk. We also like that it securely locks itself to the actual Jeep. 

Given that it is also relatively inexpensive, this is an excellent bike rack.

Bottom Line

Tire mounted bike racks are a practical design that works well with the unique design of the Jeep Wrangler. This product is a perfect bike rack for anyone searching for a bike rack to carry one or two bikes.

Best Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Bike Rack:
Surco BT300

Surco BT300 Spare Tire Rack

PROS

  • Made in the USA
  • Can transport up to three bikes at a time
  • Heavy-duty steel construction for added durability
  • Non-scratch padding protects bikes during transportation
  • Durable powder coat finish resists scratching and corrosion

CONS

  • Only comes with one key for the locking mechanism
  • Bike channels are close together, which can lead to scratching

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were impressed by how sturdy this bike rack is and how easy it mounts on the rear tire of their Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Given that this bike rack is cheaper than the Thule and Yakima options, it is nice to know that the structural quality and functionality are still comparable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The first thing we noticed about this bike rack was the fact that it had many of the same features as other spare tire bike racks but cost significantly less. While some of the other brands look a little nicer, this bike rack has everything you need to transport your bikes without damaging them.

While we are not sure that it could accommodate three bikes, as Surco claims, we do think it could easily carry two bikes without damaging them.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a rear tire bike rack for your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and want something that will last, this heavy-duty steel bike rack might be the perfect option for your needs.

Best Yakima Bike Rack For Jeep Wrangler:
Yakima SpareRide 8002599

YAKIMA - SpareRide, Bicycle Rack, Turns Your Rear Mounted Spare Tire Into A Rack, 2 Bike Capacity

PROS

  • Low price
  • Fits all types of rear tires
  • Installs easily without specialized tools
  • Treaded pads provide stability and protection for the bikes
  • Specialized cradles make sure bikes are secure and easily removable

CONS

  • Poorly made anti-theft cable
  • Does not work well with smaller framed bikes for children

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers enjoyed the straightforward installation and appreciated how easy it is to attach and remove bikes. While the low price is a huge draw, most buyers found they were surprised by the overall build quality of this bike rack. One common complaint was the poorly built anti-theft cable, which left most buyers disappointed. Luckily, you can overcome this issue by using a simple cable-style bike lock while the bikes are attached to the rack.

Why it Stands Out to Us

As you may suspect, the reason this bike stood out to us is its relatively low price. This bike rack is one of the most affordable we could find, yet the overall quality and functionality are still impressive.

This product is another bike rack that attaches to the Jeep’s rear tire, so it is also discreet and easy to install. While this bike rack might only be suitable for Jeep owners looking to transport one or two bikes at a time, it is still a great product.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an affordable way to add a bike rack to your Jeep Wrangler, the Yakima SpareRide bike rack could be the perfect solution. It is well made, and it is available at a very reasonable price.

Best Thule Bike Rack For Jeep Wrangler:
Thule 963PRO Spare Me

Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier, One Color, One Size

PROS

  • Compact folding design
  • Fits all types of rear tires
  • Impressive 75lb load capacity
  • Integrated locking cable and locking knob protect bikes while they are on the rack
  • Unique Stay-Put cradles that feature anti-sway cages hold bikes in place during all types of driving conditions

CONS

  • Fairly expensive
  • Holds bikes very close together, which can lead to scratching

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were impressed by how sturdy and well made this bike rack is. Given that Thule has a well-known reputation for offering high-quality products, it is no surprise that many buyers were impressed with how well this bike rack stood up to abuse. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The thing that stood out the most to us was the amount of ground clearance you get with this bike rack. It sits higher than most rear tire bike racks, which means you can still access your Jeep’s rear hitch, even when you load it with bikes. If you still want the ability to haul while carrying your bikes, a common need for campers and boaters, this is an essential feature.

While the rack is a little on the expensive side, especially for one that attaches to the rear tire, you get what you pay for with Thule.

Bottom Line

If you own an expensive bike and want to make sure it remains stable and protected during travel, it might be worth investing in this high-quality rear tire bike rack from Thule. While the price may seem a little high, the quality is certainly there.

Types of Bike Racks 

There are several types of bike racks out there. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, and you should always choose one that is appropriate for the particular type of vehicle you own.

Strap-On Trunk-Mounted Carriers

These are the least expensive of the bike rack options. They use straps to attach themselves to the frame of the vehicle. While they are affordable, they are not the most practical option for Wrangler owners because they do not fit with a rear-mounted spare tire. They also tend to damage the body of the vehicle and make it impossible to open the trunk.

Roof-Mounted Racks

Roof racks make use of a vehicle’s existing roof racks to provide a place for bikes to stand. While they can work great with certain types of vehicles, they do not work well with soft-topped Jeeps. Jeeps are also tall vehicles, which makes it difficult to attach and remove bikes that are attached to their roof.

Hitch-Mounted Racks

Hitch bike racks attach directly to the vehicles towing hitch and work by cradling bikes behind the vehicle. They are easy to install and work well with Jeep Wranglers.

Rear Tire Bike Racks

Rear tire bike racks attach to rear-facing spare tires. Given that most Jeep Wranglers have this feature, they are an excellent and affordable bike rack type for most Jeep owners.

Comparison Overview 

If you need some more help deciding, here are some direct comparisons to help you figure out which bike rack it the right one for you:

Thule vs Yakima Bike Rack

The two companies offer similarly designed bike racks. The main differences are price and load capacity. Where Yakima racks are less expensive, they cannot carry as heavy of a load as you can get away with using the Thule.

Platform vs Hanging Bike Rack

Platform racks support bikes from their tires, which makes them easier to load and unload; however, they are bigger and heavier than hanging bike racks. On the other hand, hanging bike racks are lighter and often more affordable than platform racks. They grip bikes by their frames and hold them during transport. Hanging bike racks are usually more discreet, and some people leave them on their car even when they are not planning to carry their bikes.

Fork Mount vs Upright Bike Rack

An upright mount works with any bike, as it holds the bike up by its tires during transportation. They are flexible and easy to use. On the other hand, fork mount bike racks require you to remove the bike’s front wheel so it can clip directly into the bike rack with its fork tabs.

While this is more secure, it is also more of a hassle, which is why you tend to see fork mount racks used by people that own expensive bikes rather than cheap bikes.

How to Install a Bike Rack

The way you install a bike rack will depend mostly on the type of bike rack you have purchased. If you choose a hitch-style bike rack, you would simply connect the bike rack directly to the towing hitch in the same way you would connect a trailer. 

If you purchased a rear tire mounted bike rack, you simply attach the mounting plate directly to the tire and affix it using the provided bolts. These are incredibly easy to mount, as they tend to be relatively light and usually attach at roughly arm height.

However, as with any auto accessory, you should always make sure you read the manufacturer’s instruction manual before you attempt the installation. Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of making sure all nuts and bolts are tight. The last thing you want is for your new bike rack to fall off as you are driving, especially if it has expensive bikes attached to it.

How to Put a Bike on a Bike Rack

For most types of bike racks, there is little you need to do to the bikes before you attach them. You simply need to lift the bike and position it onto the platform or into the cradle arm. For a cradle arm, position the bike so that the rack is holding the top tube of the bike’s frame.

After the bike is in position, make sure that the pedals and handlebars are not in a position to scratch any other bikes you have attached to the rack. It is also essential to secure the bikes using the bike rack’s locking mechanism. If you suspect the locking mechanism is not secure enough, or it lacks one altogether, you can use a cable bike lock to secure the bikes to one another and the vehicle itself.

Conclusion 

Now that you know a little more about bike racks for Jeeps, we hope you can find one that's right for you. We recommended some great products to get you started on your search.

People Also Ask

We know that you probably still have some questions about how to choose a bike rack. Here are some of the most common things people ask.

How Much is a Bike Rack?

Bike racks vary in price according to brand, style, and capacity; however, the range usually sits at anywhere from $70 for a cheap bike rack to $350 for a higher-end one.

How Long Do Bike Racks Last?

Bike racks can last for many years if they are looked after properly. One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of your bike rack is to remove it and store it in a dry place when it is not in use.

Cory

Cory epitomizes the 'function over form' debate. His XJ Cherokee has taken many a beating due to his lust for climbing the tallest ledges he can find and is armored to the max. Welded on sliders, tube fenders, and no bumpers allow him to achieve some pretty crazy approaches. We regularly tease him that there's more rust than paint on his rig, but that’s his style. Cory's favorite new mod is a larger winch he bought off a buddy after his Smitty cooked itself, trying to yank his buddy out of a ravine.