Bicycling predates the automobile by nearly at least half a century—longer if you count the earliest examples of hobby horses in the 19th century—but it never achieved the same level of ubiquity that motor vehicles have enjoyed. While cycling remains a popular alternative mode of transportation, it really shines as a recreational outdoor activity.
The humble bicycle is an excellent choice for low-impact aerobic exercise that is still fun for the whole family, from kids to older adults. Plus, there are tons of different ways to enjoy it, whether you’re the type of person who prefers a casual afternoon cruise or something a little more adventurous along the road less traveled.
If you’re the former, you may never need to leave your neighborhood. If you’re the latter, you still need to be able to get to the road less traveled. For those whose idea of biking is a gnarly singletrack trail or a full day of gravel grinding, it’s less about getting from point A to B and more about getting from point B to C.
This is where a good quality bike rack comes into play. Sure, you could throw your bike in the back of a pickup, assuming you enjoy scuffed paint and replacing components more often. We prefer something a little more secure.
Luckily, our friends at Summit Racing carry a ton of bike rack options for you to choose from. Here are a couple of our favorites.
Suitable for everything from road bikes to fat tire bikes, T2 Pro XT hitch-mount racks are designed with security and simplicity in mind. Two ratcheting arms attach your bikes without any frame contact, and built-in cable locks keep them from disappearing off the back of your ride. Plus, you can expand your bike carrying capacity with Thule’s line of rack extenders.
Is more capacity important to you? If so, you can’t go wrong with a CURT Premium hitch-mount bike rack. CURT offers options made from heavy-duty steel that are capable of handling up to five bikes. Each one also is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
For another take on the platform-style bike rack, check out the Apex Deluxe. It features three trays that that are adjustable from 50 to 76 inches to accommodate a wide range of bikes. For added convenience, the rack can fold up when not in use and fold down when loaded to provide easy tailgate or rear hatch access.
Of course, there’s no easier way to provide easy rear hatch access than by being nowhere near the rear hatch. The Thule UpRide provides many of the same secure, no-frame-contact benefits of its T2 Pro XT cousin while perched on the roof of your vehicle.
If you cycle and own a truck, chances are you’ve at least once considered yelling “yeet,” tossing your bike in the bed, and speeding off toward your next adventure…but for your bike’s sake we don’t advise it. Summit Racing tailgate pads offer a simple, cost-effective alternative to traditional bike racks. Featuring hook-and-loop straps to keep up to five bikes upright and securely fastened, these pads are waterproof and UV-resistant.
A higher value offering from Thule, the ProRide XT is a roof-style carrier engineered to support bikes weighing up to 44 lbs. The rack can mount to most factory roof bars, including round bars and all Thule rack systems.
CURT tray-style hitch-mount bike racks are available in carrying capacities of two bikes or four. Prepping your bike for transport is as simple as inserting the tires into the adjustable trays and lowering the locking ratcheting arms onto the center crossbar of the frame to lock it in place. Seriously, that’s it. It takes almost as long as it takes to read this paragraph.
Want to bring bikes on your next RV outing? Surco ladder-mount bike racks are the option for you. Designed to attach to the ladder of any van or RV, the rack is made from heavy-gauge aluminum designed to support up to two bikes. Plus, its pivoting arms allow you to mount it without losing access to your ladder. Cousin Eddie would be proud.
Thule’s Camber hitch-mount bike racks are an excellent way to transport bikes for the whole family, regardless of whether you’re rocking a 2-inch or 1.25-inch hitch receiver. The hitch is available in two-bike and four-bike carrying capacities, and both models are designed to to easily transfer between receiver sizes.