Best Bike Racks for Trucks and SUVs

Updated on Aug 30, 2023

Written by
 RealTruck Expert Team

There's no better option than a bike rack for an easy and secure way to transport your bicycle. RealTruck carries all of the top selections for your truck or SUV, including various mounting styles, such as truck bed, hitch, rooftop, and clamp-on. If you're struggling to select which style/model of bike rack to purchase, read on for our expert's top ten picks.

Types of Bike Racks

Before diving into the top ten picks, let's delve into the four primary styles of bike racks for your pickup or SUV.

Truck Bed

Your truck's bed is why most drivers opt for a pickup in the first place; instead of loading up cargo in a back seat, on a roof rack, or on top of folded-down rear seats, toss it in the bed! However, throwing your bike in the bed loosely without the proper fasteners and mounts can cause damage to both your bike and pickup, so what do you do? 

Pick yourself up a truck bed-mounted bike rack, of course! Truck bed bike racks come in several different shapes and sizes, mounting to the tailgate, to the bed floor, or the bed rails. However, they all follow the same basic idea: securely fasten your bike(s) in an upright position that maximizes cargo space.

Hitch

When you don't have the luxury of a truck bed but do have a tow package, why not employ it to load up your bikes? Hitch-mount bike racks are an excellent choice for nearly any driver, as long as your vehicle has a tow hitch.

These bike racks come in several configurations regarding how bikes are affixed; however, the same general idea applies. The rack system mounts to the rear of your vehicle using the receiver hitch and secures using a standard hitch pin.  

Hitch-mount bike racks are an excellent choice for SUVs, Crossovers, cars with tow hitches, and even pickups with a full bed or camper shell, preventing bed-mount bike racks.

Rooftop

The rooftop bike rack is ideal for SUVs, wagons, and cars; these bike racks secure to the crossbars of compatible roof rack systems, allowing you to mount a bicycle vertically atop your vehicle's roof.

While these mounts typically only hold a single bike, multiple can be installed parallel to one another, allowing most vehicles to carry between two and three bicycles easily. 

Rooftop bike mounts are a great choice if you regularly take the bikes on camping trips in which you tow a small trailer, freeing up the tow package for a hitch receiver while still allowing you to transport your bikes on the exterior of your vehicle.

Clamp-On

The final category on the list is the clamp-on bike rack, designed for use alongside hitch-mounted accessories and trailers. Unlike hitch-mounted bike racks, which hijack the receiver hitch for mounting, clamp-on bike racks affix to the outer diameter of 2-inch hitch receivers, freeing up the receiver.

The Best Truck and SUV Bike Racks

And now, in no particular order, our expert’s top ten bike racks!

Curt Clamp-On Bike Rack

The Curt Clamp-On Bike Rack is a master of versatility, holding up to three bikes with a max weight of 135 lbs. This product clamps to any 2" hitch receiver and features an easy-to-use release handle and safety latch for simple operation. Bikes are fixed using the included adjustable bike cradles, and each rack features integrated reflectors and a durable, powder-coat finish over the heavy-duty alloy construction. The Curt Clamp-On Bike Rack includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Curt Extendable Hitch-Mount Bike Rack

Need storage for up to four bikes? Consider the Curt Extendable Hitch-Mount Bike Rack. This product mounts into your vehicle's 1¼" or 2" hitch receiver and includes provisions for up to four bicycles and 180 lbs! With protective rubber cradles and an anti-wobble shank, this product provides quiet, rattle-free service. Thanks to the product's convenient tilt-away design, swing the rack downwards whenever you need to gain access to your vehicle's trunk or rear hatch. The Curt Extendable Hitch-Mount Bike Rack includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Curt Standard Hitch-Mount Bike Rack

As the little brother of Curt's Extendable Hitch-Mount Bike Rack, the Curt Standard Hitch-Mount Bike Rack is an excellent alternative if you only need space for two bicycles. This rack features the same carbon steel construction and black powder coat finish as the previous model and comes with the same anti-wobble shank and rubber cradles. With a tilt-away design for easy access and folding arms for simple storage, what's not to like? The Curt Standard Hitch-Mount Bike Rack includes a limited lifetime warranty.

ProRac Sport Bike Carrier

The USA-made ProRac Sport Bike Carrier is a handy addition to any ProRac roof rack, featuring a simple aluminum tray design and adjustable upright arm. When coupled with the included wheel straps, this bike carrier securely stores bikes in a convenient upright position above the roof. Each ProRac Sport Bike Carrier is finished in a rugged, abrasion-resistant, black powder coat finish for a sharp appearance and exceptional corrosion resistance. This product includes a 3-year warranty.

Rhino Rack Bike Roof Rack

Are you looking for convenient, upright rooftop storage? Then consider the Rhino Rack Bike Roof Rack. This product mounts to all Rhino-Rack crossbars and features a durable aluminum channel, quick-release/lockable fork skewer, and rear strap suitable for all wheel dimensions. With a weight limit of 35 lbs, this rack can easily carry just about any mountain, road, or hybrid bicycle. The Rhino-Rack Bike Roof Rack includes a five-year warranty.

Rhino Rack Hitch-Mount Bike Rack

Introducing the Rhino Rack Hitch-Mount Bike Rack: a convenient bicycle mounting system that installs into any 2" hitch receiver. This product features a durable steel construction, a corrosion-resistant powder coat finish, and storage space for up to two bicycles. With adjustable, padded cradles, this rack is ideal for use with various bike frames. And if you need access to your trunk or rear gate, utilize the built-in latch system to temporarily fold the rack out of the way. The Rhino Rack Hitch-Mount Bike Rack includes a three-year warranty.

Thule Apex XT Hitch Bike Rack

The Thule Apex XT Hitch Bike Rack is a heavy-duty, alloy-construction bike rack with space for up to five bicycles, totaling a weight of 150 lbs. This rack comes in various configurations, ranging from two bikes to five and fitting in either 1¼" or 2" hitch receivers. With an integrated lock cable, the Thule Apex XT ensures that your bikes are safe from thieves. This rack also includes an anti-sway design, minimizing load shift while driving. The Thule Apex XT Hitch Bike Rack features a limited lifetime warranty. 

Thule GateMate PRO Truck Bed Bike Carrier

Introducing the Thule GateMate PRO Truck Bed Bike Carrier: the culmination of years of research and development in the tailgate truck bed carrier market. Unlike most tailgate truck bed carriers, the GateMate features heavy-duty separators and anchor straps to hold bikes securely in place without excess movement or rattling. However, the GateMate retains all of the features you know and love about conventional tailgate bike mounts, including scratch-resistant vinyl construction and easy installation and removal. The Thule GateMate PRO Truck Bed Bike Carrier includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Thule Helium Pro 3 Three Bike Carrier

Another consideration in the hitch-mounted bike carrier market is the Thule Helium Pro 3 Three Bike Carrier. This product features corrosion-resistant and lightweight aluminum construction, a three-bike, 112.5 lb capacity, and an anti-sway design with seven inches of space between each bike, preventing bikes from bumping into one another while driving. The Thule Helium 3 mounts into any 1¼" or 2" hitch receiver without any tools, making for a quick and easy installation or removal. A limited lifetime warranty covers the Thule Helium Pro 3 Three Bike Carrier. 

Thule Insta-Gator Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack

The Thule Insta-Gator Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack takes a new approach to traditional tailgate mounting. Rather than dangling your bike(s) over the tailgate, the Insta-Gator mounts to your truck's tailgate without any cutting or drilling required. The product securely grips your bike's wheel without contacting the frame, preventing scuffs or scratches. The Insta-Gator is compatible with all Thule One-Key lock cylinders (sold separately) for extra security. The Thule Insta-Gator Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack includes a limited lifetime warranty.

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