You’ve probably been hearing ad nauseam how riding a bike is good for you, and with good reason. Not only does it help you get in shape and/or stay fit, but it also allows you to catch a breath in this modernized, urban landscape. This rings especially true if you get away from the cities and seek for “trails less traveled”. Of course, to reach these trails, oftentimes you’ll have to drive to be able to ride, so it’s not like the modern world is without its merits, at least when cars are involved.
This is where bike racks come into play, as an efficient storage solution for transporting your bike to the desired location. Now, the problem arises when your car is too tall for you to be able to lift the bike onto the roof, or if your car doesn’t have crossbars, or you don’t want to install them. Alternatively, it’s too tall and doesn’t have a hitch, or you just don’t use a rack all that often. Solution? A trunk mounted bike rack.
Our Selection of the 10 Best Trunk Bike Racks:
Just so that you don’t have to bother with wading through the depths of the internet, we prepared a list of the 10 best trunk bike racks, with an added bonus at the end.
The Allen Sports 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack is pretty much what it promises on the can – a rack that can carry up to two bikes provided their combined weight doesn’t exceed 70 pounds, and that mounts on your car’s trunk. It should fit most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, as well as SUVs, though you should contact the manufacturer to ask around for the precise fit. There’s padding on the lower frame which
The rack comes in three distinct flavours – just as a trunk mount, with bungee cords, or with a crossbar adapter, each bundle being more expensive from the previous. Still, it’s more than affordable, and if you cut off your kids’ allowance, you’d save money in no time. On a more serious note, though, the trunk mount alone works great, and it doesn’t even require any assembly. All you have to do is install it on your trunk (takes mere seconds), and you’re and your two bikes are good to go.
Mounting the bikes (they mount horizontally) is just as easy –load them onto the carry arms so that the horizontal bar on the bike frame carries the weight, cinch the straps, and then tighten and cinch the side straps so that they’re more stable and don’t slide around on the rack. A good thing to do after you cinch them as tight as possible is to tie them in a knot to make sure they don’t slip. Otherwise, you might do well to get a pair of bungee cords (if you don’t have some lying around).
As the name might suggest, the rack can carry up to two bikes, provided the combined weight does not exceed 70 pounds. Speaking of pounds, the rack is quite lightweight, surprisingly so given its durability (about 10 pounds). There are three strapping points, two on the top tube, and one on the seat tube, so that you may be sure that the combined max weight of 80 pounds is not going anywhere.
However, the rack does suffer from the same drawback that almost all trunk bike racks do – metal parts that are prone to scratching your paint job. The bikes are safe in this regard, but the car… One solution would be using the extra strap that comes with your purchase to wrap around the metal clamps and secure it with rubber bands.
Just as the name would suggest, the Hollywood Racks Express Trunk Mounted Bike Rack installs in no time, and it’s simple enough that anyone could do it. Plus, it comes in two distinct flavors – 2-bike and 3-bike carry, with the usual weight limits applying (70 and). Another piece of good news is that the rack comes fully assembled, and all you have to do is install it, making sure the straps are nice and tight. Of course, you’ll have to re-tighten the straps after you mount the bikes, just so you’re sure nothing’s falling off. While we’re on the topic, you might feel that the straps will loosen on a long drive (think 50+ miles), but won’t be the case, provided you followed the instructions and fastened them using the A type tie (as per instructions).
The rack itself is well padded and should do a great job keeping your paint job from acquiring scratches, but there’s always the risk of having the pedal nullify all that. Still, the solution is quite simple –make sure you get a good angle so that the pedal is beneath the license plate and/or cover it with a piece of cloth (or even an old sock); it might not look pretty, but it’ll do the job.
As far as compatibility goes, the rack will fit most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs, but you will have to visit the manufacturer’s site to check for a specific model. One final thing – the rack folds flat for easy storage and will take barely any space in the trunk.
The Allen Sports Aluminum Folding 2-Bike Rack is pretty much what it reads on the tin –a fold-away bike rack, built from aluminum and able to carry up to two bikes. It’s very compact when folded, and takes less space than a shoe box. It even comes with a carry bag, so you can carry it with you or just leave it in the trunk or back seat without fear it’ll move around and scratch anything. The core of the rack is 6061 aluminum alloy, coming with an almost perfect balance between being lightweight and sturdy (it’s only about 3.5 pounds). Speaking of pounds, the maximum load is the standard 70 pounds, which is more than enough for two adult road bikes.
Another piece of good news is that there’s a fitting chart on Amazon to see if it’ll sit well on your car so that you don’t have to spend the extra time checking with the manufacturer (however short a time that may be). Of course, the safest course would still be to check with the manufacturer, although it should be noted that the rack will fit most sedans, minivans, hatchbacks, and SUVs.
The manufacturer did take some time to deal with the problem persistently plaguing all trunk bike racks – scratching. Thanks to the padded lower frame (the design is patent-pending), the bike frame and, in particular, the pedal will keep away from your car.
The Tyger Deluxe 1-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack pretty much lives up to its name–it’s definitely a quality product, with a price to match. Still, no one would go as far as calling it expensive. As the astute reader may have already guessed, the rack carries a single bike, and it does so without hassle. The whole structure is sturdy enough to pack more bikes (in fact, there’s a model from the same line designed to do just that), and it’s e-coated throughout so that it doesn’t scratch your paint job.
The rack should fit most sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs, but only as long as the vehicle does not come equipped with rear spoilers. It comes fully assembled, and all you have to do is install it, which is a matter of minutes. Just make sure you cinch the straps tight and tuck away the excess so that they don’t come loose and/or get in the way. When you’re done using it for the day, just de-install it, fold away the carrying arms and put it away for efficient storage.
Perhaps the most important piece of news is that the rack comes with Tyger no-hassle limited lifetime warranty, which should put many minds at ease.
The design of the deluxe version of the Allen Sports trunk bike rack is patented and very similar to the standard version. It is designed to fit hatchbacks, sedans and even an array of SUVs
Allen Sports has been operating since 1967 and has remained true to its original vision; making the best trunk bike rack for your individual needs.
This bike rack for car trunks weighs just 8.75 pounds and measures 23.4” x 13.6” x 4.3”. It is made from powder coated steel to ensure strength and can be fitted to your car in just a few minutes. It can accommodate 2 bikes up to 70 pounds. Make sure you check the weight of your bikes before you purchase this rack. It is possible to get a trunk bike rack which handles higher weight limits.
The design includes 12 inch long arms which will ensure your bikes are well supported and you have enough space to accommodate two large bikes. The bars themselves are 12.5 inches apart to accommodate most bike frames. This rack has foam padding on the contact points to ensure your vehicle doesn’t get damaged by this trunk bike rack. The arms are not just long; they are also narrow to ensure you can carry virtually any bike.
You’ll also be pleased to discover that the Allen deluxe 2 bike carrier has a lifetime warranty although this is not transferable between owners.
There are five adjustable straps to secure this trunk bike rack to your vehicle. Each of these has a hook secured at the end of it. Two of them go over the top of your boot while one goes under the bottom. This provides vertical torsion preventing the rack from moving. To ensure it can’t move from left to right there are also two straps that come out horizontally and hook over the side of your trunk.
To secure your bikes you’ll find there are two clamps on each bar. These are fixed in position on the bar but can spin. This should make it easy to move them according to the style of the frame on your bike; allowing you to secure both bikes virtually effortlessly. The clamps have rubber straps which clip into position to hold your bike securely.
You will need to add a strap or two to secure the bikes tightly against the rack. If you don’t the bikes will swing as your drive and may become damaged.
A pleasing feature is the ability to open the boot with the rack fixed in position. On some vehicles, you may find it necessary to remove a couple of the hooks but these can be quickly put back into position.
One point that should be noted is the clips may chip your paintwork. It is a good idea to coat them in electrical tape before you use them. You may also wish to cover your pedal in case it manages to contact your car. But these are just precautions for almost any bike rack.
This is the simplest version of the Allen trunk bike rack offerings but in some ways, it is the best rack for car trunk that you’ll find. The reason is simple; it is affordable, well made and incredibly easy to use.
The Allen 2 bike rack is designed for the trunk of your sedan but it can be mounted on a hatchback and even some SUV’s. The rack is made from tubular steel and powder coated black. This will help to ensure it lasts for years; a fact that is backed up by the lifetime warranty which comes with so many of the Allen Sports company products. This isn’t surprising considering the company has been in existence for 60 years!
This trunk bike rack is designed to hold two bikes with a maximum weight of 70 pounds. The arms are set at 11.5 inches apart to ensure that almost any style of frame can be slid over the arms and secured in position.
The arms themselves are 12 inches long, plenty enough to secure two bikes without the handlebars getting in the way of each of other. You won’t have any problem lifting this trunk bike rack into position as it weighs just 8 pounds and measures 23 inches by 15 inches by 4 inches.
To secure this rack to your trunk you simply clip the top two straps over the top edge of the lid of your trunk. It is a good idea to put a little electrical tape over the clips to ensure they don’t damage the paintwork.
You can then secure the lower two clips onto the bottom edge of your trunk and pull all the adjusters tight. This will lock your rack into position securely; ready for you to lift the bikes into position. You should even be able to open your trunk while the rack is on. However although possible, it is not always a good idea to open the trunk with the bikes fitted to the rack. The weight is likely to be too much for the trunk support struts.
With the rack on you simply lift your bike onto the bars and into the clamps. The strap comes over the top of the frame and secures the bike into position. It is worth adding a strap or bungee cord to ensure the bikes can’t move while you drive. They won’t come off the rack but they can rattle against your vehicle; causing damage. A strap will ensure they are held securely against the rack.
An additional and very useful feature of this trunk bike rack is that it can be partially folded. Simply fold the down section into the main arms and then slide it into your trunk. This is great for transporting it, storing it or if you are just worried about security while riding. The rack can be refitted in just a couple of minutes so won’t be an inconvenience.
It is also a good idea to be aware that female bikes with diagonal top bars will fit but they will sit at an angle; they will still be secure!
Here is yet another offering from Allen Sports who have been operating for 60 years and are producing some fantastic trunk bike racks for all types of vehicles. This rack is very similar to the other Allen Racks on this list and can be easily used on a variety of vehicles, including hatchbacks, SUV’s and even minivans. It is fair to say it is one of the best trunk bike racks you can currently get.
This is the deluxe offering and has a higher price tag. In return, you’ll get extra wide pads to cushion the force of the rack on the rear of your car. This helps to protect your vehicle and distribute the load of the bikes. An additional 80 pounds on the back of your vehicle is substantial.
The rack weighs 11 pounds and is made from powder-coated steel; just as the other offerings from this firm. The additional weight is due to the extra safety features and convenience built into this rack. It measures 4.9 inches by 13.7 inches by 24 inches.
It is possible to get this for 2 bikes, 3 bikes or even 4 bikes. The two bike trunk bike rack can handle a total weight of 70 pounds, the 3 bike one 100 pounds, and the 4 bike trunk bike rack can handle a total of 140 pounds. Again, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is happy with this extra weight!
The arms on the 2 bike rack are 12 inches long, on the 3 bike rack 16 inches long and on the 4 bike rack an impressive 21 inches long.
The rack clips on in the same patented styles as the other offerings from Allen Sports. Simply clips the two top straps over your trunk, the two bottom ones in position and the two side ones; 6 straps in total. The lower pads rest on the lip of your trunk/bumper while the top pads are near or on your rear windscreen. This spreads the load and ensures there is enough clearance for your bikes without the damaging your vehicle.
Pull the straps tight and you can rely on the patented sure strap system to ensure the straps don’t loosen in transit; it really does work.
No matter whether you pick the 2, 3 or 4 trunk bike rack you’ll have enough clips to lift your bikes into position and secure them properly. The clamps rotate to allow you to get the best possible position for your frame. You can then pull the rubber straps over the top of your frame and hook them onto the clip. These have various settings to accommodate almost any thickness of the frame.
As always it’s a good idea to add a bungee cord to ensure the bikes are clamped firmly against the rack; this will prevent the bikes swinging as you drive. Not only will this be annoying it could damage your vehicle.
This ultra-compact trunk bike rack is another offering from Allen Sports and it looks pretty fantastic! It is designed for carrying just one bike although there is a 2 bike option available.
Although incredibly small this trunk bike rack is made from steel and is incredibly rugged. Even more impressive is the fact that it can be folded; making it barely bigger than the palm of your hand! This is perfect for when you want to use the bike and keep your rack safe. You even get a carry bag with it to ensure you have it with you when you need it.
The ultra-compact trunk bike rack weighs just 6.5 pounds and measures 7.3 inches by 3.5 inches by 14 inches. It can handle a bike up to 35 pounds and will fit the trunk of virtually any vehicle; whether you have a mini or an SUV.
Its design also makes it very easy to lift your bike or even a child’s bike onto it and secure it in just a few moments. There are 3 padded legs that come into contact with your vehicle. Two will rest on the rear windscreen while the other is a double width one on your boot. These are well padded to ensure they don’t damage your vehicle. There are then two straps at the top which clip over your trunk lid and one at the bottom. With a quick pull of the locking buckles, you can tighten the rack into position and be ready to put your bike on.
The bike itself fits into the clamps on the two independent bars. These can be rotated but not slid along the bars, but this should be sufficient to ensure most styles and sizes of the bike can be securely fastened to your rack.
The red interlocking central structure also acts to keep your bike from touching your vehicle; of course, a bungee cord or strap will help to ensure the bike doesn’t swing while you’re driving.
This is a great looking trunk bike rack, exceptionally easy to carry with you and can be fitted in minutes. You’ll also benefit from a lifetime warranty although, as usual, this is not transferable between owners.
It is worth noting that the hooks used to secure this to your vehicle are coated with a resin; this should protect the paintwork on your vehicle but, if you’re in any doubt then you can add some electrical tape or even a small piece of foam. However, this shouldn’t be necessary.
You should also be aware that if you have a short trunk you may need to attach the lower strap under your vehicle to ensure you can adjust it correctly and get enough tension on your rack. If this is likely to be the case it’s a good idea to check under your vehicle first; there are plenty of vehicles which have shields underneath; preventing you from accessing connection points!
Technically this is a truck bike rack and not a trunk bike back but it is a great piece of kit for the rear of your vehicle if it fits. The Thule 501 Insta-gator bike rack weighs 9.9 pounds and measures 30 inches by 17.8 inches by 9.9 inches. It will handle just one bike providing the tires are no wider than 3 inches; providing the wheel diameter is between 20 and 29 inches. The maximum weight of the bike is 50 pounds.
You can mount 3 of these in your truck bed if needed; although you will need a tailgate of at least 51 inches in length. It is easy to install the bike rack without having to screw or drill into your truck bed. In fact, the bike rack will not even come into contact with your bike frame!
This offering from Thule uses the one key system; allowing you to lock the bike to the rack and the rack to your trunk with just one key for convenience.
Your bike will stay securely in position while driving thanks to the quick ratchet system used by Thule. Simply place the rubberized feet into the groove between your truck gate and the truck bed. Then allow the wheel support bars to sit on the truck bed and tighten the ratchet straps. By locking the trunk you’ll not only secure the rubberized feet you’ll prevent anyone from removing the rack. The only option is to cut the straps and this will render the trunk bike rack useless!
Your bike wheel then slides into the grooved slot and fastens into position. The raised bar wraps around the tire. It slides to allow easy install and then locks into position; securing your bike from damage in transit and from being stolen. It is important to note that the 501 insta-gator secures to the rear wheel of your bike; this means the front wheel will need to be turned depending on the length of your trunk. You may find it necessary to secure the front wheel to your truck bed; this will prevent it from spinning as you drive.
One point that is also worth noting is that you’ll find it easier to lift your bike into the trunk with the tailgate open. This means you need to lift the bike first and then put the Thule 501 Insta-gator into position.
It may not strictly be speaking be a trunk bike rack but it is a great option for the trunk of your truck.
A Guide To Choosing The Right Trunk Bike Rack
A well-chosen bike rack should last you for many years. This means you need to consider carefully before you purchase one; ensuring that you get the right one for your needs. To help with this you should consider the following before purchasing:
Number Of Bikes
The first step is obvious. How many bikes do you intend to carry? You may only take your bike at the moment but with a proper rack, you may suddenly find that a friend or family member is sharing with you. While the best trunk bike rack for one bike can look fantastic it may not be the right choice if you have friends you ride with or a growing family.
As mentioned, the trunk bike rack should last you for years; you want to future-proof your purchase by ensuring it has enough space for all the bikes you’ll need to carry.
Type Of Rack
The next decision is which type of rack you wish to use. This guide has focused on the best trunk bike rack but there are three different types of rack:
Strap On Trunk Bike Rack
This is the type described in the above best trunk bike rack guide. These racks strap to the rear of your car. They are generally the cheapest option but they can be the least secure. Having said that there are plenty that is excellent choices; particularly now that they are using hook system to secure the racks inside your vehicle.
This type of rack is also very easy to install and remove as and when you need to.
A good alternative but generally much more expensive is the hitch mounted rack. This clips onto your tow hitch and locks into position. These are generally heavier and can be swung out of the way to provide access to the trunk. However, if you choose this option you’ll need to consider whether you’ll be using the tow hitch at the same time or not. There are two different types of hitch bike rack; one will allow you to use the hitch while the other will not.
Roof Bike Rack
Perhaps the most versatile of options is the roof mounted system. This is almost certain to be the most expensive as you’ll need to purchase roof bars and clamps before you can get the bike rack. Your bike will be clamped securely in an upright position which may create additional drag when driving.
This system will allow you to carry several bikes on the roof or just one and a roof box. It is definitely the most flexible but you’ll need to be able to lift your bike onto the roof of your vehicle.
For most people, the trunk bike rack is the simplest and most effective option.
It is important to consider the number of funds you have available. In most cases, the strap on trunk bike rack is the cheapest option and will do the job very well. Of course, you can purchase a premium trunk bike rack such as the Thule. This is more expensive and could cost more than a basic hitch mounted rack.
The important consideration here is to know what funds you have available, set yourself a budget and purchase a bike rack within that budget. This will prevent you from regretting your purchase.
The type of rack you purchase will dictate the height your bike sits on your vehicle. This doesn’t just apply to the roof systems. Depending on the type of vehicle you have you may find that your bike support bars are at arm level or higher. If this is the case you’ll need to consider how easy it will be to fit the bikes and secure them in position.
Your decision should be based on your height and strength; there is little point in getting the best looking rack if it will be difficult to fasten your bikes to it.
It is always a good idea to check with your family and friends to see if they have any experience with a specific bike rack. Their advice can be used to help you make a decision;
Perhaps even better is the fact that a friend or family member will probably be prepared to lend you their bike rack so that you can test it out for yourself. This will certainly make it easier to decide if it is the right rack for you and your vehicle.
You should also consider the reputation of the company making the trunk bike rack. Thule are a well-known brand with high-quality products and generally process to match. This can lead you to be tempted by some of the cheapest offerings on the market. However, these may use inferior materials or not offer the support or longevity that other, slightly more expensive bike racks will give you.
This is why there are so many Allen Sports bike racks on this list; they offer a great balance between price and durability. They are also made by a company that has been making bike racks for a very long time.
If you’re not sure about a specific product then you can always take a look at the social media sites. You’ll find plenty of people who have purchased a specific bike rack and will give their honest opinion of how well it works. You can use this information to help ensure you choose the best one for your needs.
Ease Of Fitting
The majority of the trunk bike racks on this list are extremely easy to fit. They generally use hooks that clip around your trunk and then ratchet straps to secure them in place.
However, not all bike racks are this easy to fit. If you’re looking to purchase a trunk mounted bike rack then you’re probably going to be taking it on and off as and when you need to. This means you need to consider how easy it is to take it on and off. The last thing you want to do is take half an hour just to fit a bike rack; this won’t put you in the right frame of mind to do it again!
If you’re planning to take the rack off regularly then you also need to consider where you are going to store it when you’re not using it. Some of the best trunk bike rack options on this list actually fold up; making it exceptionally easy to find a storage space for them. This is true even if you don’t have a lot of space!
However, if they don’t fold you’ll need to find a pace in the corner of your garage or shed; perhaps even a spot to hang the rack.
Consider this before you spend your money!
The majority of trunk bike rack options don’t offer a huge amount in security. This means if you’re planning to leave the bikes secured to the bike rack you’re going to need to consider how safe they are.
The easiest solution is to lock the bikes to the rack; this will make it difficult for someone to take them unless they remove the rack. Fortunately, this is not an easy option when the rack clips inside your boot. However, it is still possible to cut the straps.
In this instance you may need to consider securing the chain around the bikes and round the vehicle; perhaps on a roof rail or under your vehicle.
If neither of these are possible and you need to leave the vehicle with the bikes attached you may need to consider an alternative type of rack. Both the hitch mount and the roof system usually have locks to secure the bike to the racks and the racks to your vehicle.
Do You Need To Access Your Trunk?
It is also important to consider if you need to get into your trunk once the bikes are on. It is not a good idea to open your trunk with the rack and the bikes in position. It will place too much strain on your vehicle and may even cause you an injury when the trunk swings back down; fast.
It is advisable to remove the bikes before you open the trunk; leaving the rack on shouldn’t pose a problem. However, if you have to do this regularly you’ll soon get fed up of your chosen bike rack. That’s why you need to consider this possibility before you buy; then you’ll choose the right trunk bike rack for your needs.
It is also worth considering if you have more than one vehicle whether you’ll want to use the rack on either of your vehicles. If this is the case you’ll need to ensure you choose a trunk bike rack that can fit both vehicles!
Don’t forget that a trunk bike rack can causes scratches on your car if you don’t ensure all the clamps and pads are in good condition and in the right place before you use it.
Are You Ready To Mount Your Trunk Bike Rack?
Providing you follow the guide to purchasing a trunk bike rack you should be able to find the best trunk bike rack for your needs. By taking the time to look at all the options available before you choose you are certain to choose a bike rack for a car trunk that satisfies your needs both now and in the future.
If you’ve done all of that then all that’s left to do is order the trunk bike rack on this list that fits all your criteria. Do it today and you’ll be hitting the trails in no time!