You can bet that you are going to have a truly unforgettable summer vacation when you pack up your bags and take your friends and family, your jeep, and your bicycles on a tour. You can bet that it is going to be legen wait-for-it dary.
Having said that, it can also be the worst trip of your life if you end up losing all your precious bikes because your rack was not up to par. Not only that, but you may also end up damaging the back of your Jeep, your beloved Jeep that has been with you for so many years.
In order to prevent your worst nightmare from becoming a reality, may I suggest that you get one of the best bike racks for jeep wrangler. It will remove any doubt that you may have about the possibility of making long trips with bike racks full of bikes on your vehicle.
My goal is to make sure that you don’t lose your bike, like I nearly did once, by assembling everything you need in order to purchase the right rack for your Jeep Wrangler. Don’t worry, I’ve already done all the heavy lifting for you. Having read the review, now it is your turn to see which rack will fit your Jeep Wrangler the best.
Top 5 Reviews of Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler
It was my pleasure to provide you with a list of a five of my favorite racks for Jeep Wranglers down below. These have served me well since I have had cycling as a hobby and I make sure to include all the upsides and downsides of these racks. So, have a look and see if you can find anything that suits your needs.
1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks
As a result of the competition, we have a winner! The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks have won this prize. There was a fierce competition between the top two racks, but after spending hours going over their pros and cons, looking at their build and the price, I have finally come to the conclusion that this rack is a legitimate winner.
The majority of the time, I ask my friends to suggest a bike rack to me before I purchase one for my car, but this time I found out about it from a neighbor of mine. Now, it wasn’t all me. It turned out that he also owns a Jeep Wrangler, a 2014 Willys Wheeler JK.
After looking over the hitch rack, and hearing some good things about it from a friend of mine, I figured why not give it a shot? To be honest, I am glad I tried it out because it is one of a kind, plus it is quite inexpensive and does not really dent your wallet.
We are going to take a closer look at the rack. As you can already see, it is hitch-mounted. If your jeep doesn’t come with a hitch, then you should probably install one, but make sure it is a 2-inch receiver. I do not believe it costs much, but if your vehicle already comes with a receiver, then you may want to disregard everything I have said.
Besides having a locking knob, the unit also has a locking mechanism that allows you to keep the bike rack tightly attached to the Jeep Wrangler, thus eliminating the possibility of wobbling, which in turn keeps your bikes from falling or getting damaged.
There is, however, a downside to the locking mechanism. It does not seem to be very user-friendly or easy to install. What I am trying to say is that attaching the locking knob will take up quite a bit of your time and effort. I am referring to the fact that attaching the locking knob takes quite a bit of time and effort.
There is also the issue that after securing the rack to your jeep, you will need to check everything twice, and sometimes even three times before you are satisfied. This is a bit annoying.
Next we need to talk about the mounting system. The quick secure straps that come with the rack are quite durable, resistant to UV rays, and have rubber cradle beds that keep the bikes safe from scratches.
There is also a dual compound spine shield on the rack, which serves to keep your bicycles in the best condition while you are on the move.
In addition to that, you will also have the option to fold the carrying arms. You will only need to squeeze the two red release buttons on the side of the rack and voila, the arms will fold instantly. This will come in handy when you don’t need the rack, but don’t want to take it down completely.
In addition, the foldable arms of the rack can even be folded away with a single hand, meaning you won’t even have to use both hands to tilt the rack away from the wall.
The rear of your vehicle can now be accessed easily, which is useful for situations in which you need to put something in the back of your vehicle quickly without removing the rack, as it allows you to have easy access.
Obviously, the rack will be able to hold 4 bikes, but that is not always the case. There are four carrying arms on the rack. It should be able to carry four bicycles, but that is not always the case. You need to make sure the bicycles are not too heavy or too big. Whenever you plan to carry large bikes, you should carry two or three and never more than that. Keep in mind that the maximum weight capacity is 140 pounds. Do not exceed that weight limit.
It has some minor downsides (which can be easily avoided or dealt with) but other than that, it is a pretty nice rack for your Jeep Wrangler. The best thing about this rack is that it is not expensive and it does not compromise on quality, so you don’t have to sacrifice quality for affordability.
2. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack
It has to be said that I am not a big fan of tire-mounted racks as they are not the most effective when it comes to carrying multiple bicycles at the same time. However, I would be remiss if I did not include the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare tire rack for Jeep Wrangler in this list.
In this case, the reasons for choosing this rack were its reasonable price, its light weight, and the fact that it is capable of holding nearly 70 pounds of weight. There is usually not enough strength in spare tire racks for carrying more than one bike. However, this rack can hold two bikes and does the job quite well.
The installation of the rack is a piece of cake and you can do it within a few minutes, or if you are the kind of person, it will take only a few seconds. There is a unique design of the rack, which I did not notice at first, but after using it for a few days, I’ve realized it does tilt upwards a bit.
My first thought was that it was a manufacturing defect or perhaps I had installed it incorrectly, but after a while, I became aware that this is a special design that the rack uses to keep the bikes upward in order to maintain a safe distance from the exhaust pipe and the road.
As for weight capacity and limit, the rack comes with 15-inch-long arms and is capable of holding up to two bikes at once with a total weight of 70lbs. The rack did not have any problems carrying my Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 and my Specialized S-Works Aethos, both of which weigh 29 pounds and 13 pounds respectively. However, it was a very tight fit for both bicycles.
I would therefore suggest that you refrain from carrying two thick bicycles at the same time. You should make sure that at least one of your bicycles is thin or that both are thin.
The rack also comes with a number of tie-down cradles that keep the bikes securely locked in place, and the cradles can be rotated if you ever need to secure a bike that has a unique frame design, because there are tie-downs on every side of the rack.
As far as the quality of the rack goes, it has a semi-durable body that has a powder coat finish and will usually last for a long time, depending on how you use it. It is compatible with most spare tires regardless of the size or design.
As an added bonus, it comes with a wide profile bottom foot that helps the rack balance its entire weight on the rear tire itself rather than the rims. As a result, the lower foot does not block the view of the camera that is mounted on the spare tire’s center. Therefore, if you have a rear camera attached to your spare tire, you shouldn’t worry about it being blocked.
In spite of how secure the rack is with the built-in straps and all, you should take some precautions when setting it up. The rack comes with only two bottom straps, which did not seem very secure to me, so I used some extra lashing straps to secure it. So, before going out with your expensive bikes, it is very important to make sure you have a few extra straps handy.
If you are not planning to take heavy or thick beach bicycles, then the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack is definitely worth buying. If you are planning to take your mountain and road bicycles, then the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack is definitely worth purchasing.
3. KAC Overdrive Sports K2 Hitch Mounted Rack
The rack which I’m going to discuss now is a personal favorite. Among all the other racks, this is the rack that I prefer the most for my Jeep Wrangler. Despite the fact that it does cost a bit more than the other racks, the extra money is completely worth it. Therefore, let me introduce you to the KAC Overdrive Sports K2 2′′ Hitch Mounted Rack without further ado.
It is quite heavy, unlike the racks I mentioned previously. It weighs around 45 pounds, which is not just for show. The extra weight makes the rack durable and allows it to carry bikes that would otherwise be difficult for a normal man to lift with his body weight. As it has a weight capacity of 120 pounds (60 pounds for one bicycle), it is perfect for carrying almost any type of bike, even heavy or fat ones.
As for the installation process, it is as simple as it gets. You can complete it in just a few minutes without any help, and, if you do require assistance, the instructions are included for your convenience. Nearly all the parts are pre-assembled from the factory, making your job easier.
Apart from that, the rack also receives 2-inch hitches. You will be fine if you have a 2-inch hitch on your Jeep Wrangler, otherwise you will need a 2-inch adapter. The bottom trays can be adjusted to fit up to five-inch tires. Consequently, if you own an e-bike that has fat tires, you should not have to worry about the rack breaking.
Additionally, the rack comes with a safety strap included in the box. This is intended as an extra layer of safety in case of an accident. You can use the strap to secure both of your bikes together. In addition to the anti-wobble system, a locking hitch pin ensures the rack is securely attached to your vehicle during transportation. It comes with a rear reflector that makes the rack easier to see at night as well.
It is important to note that the carrier comes equipped with adjustable hooks that ensure the bikes stay in place and are secured so that they don’t get scratched during transportation. These hooks are padded to prevent scratches on the bicycle during transportation, and these hooks are adjustable, so you can adjust them to fit different bikes.
In spite of this, there is only one lock that can be used for both hooks, so it is not easy to secure two bikes of different sizes correctly. If both bikes are the same size, you shouldn’t have a problem, if they are different, then you will need to do some additional steps.
As well as these features, the rack is equipped with some other cool features as well. In addition to this, there is the Quick Release Smart Tilt, which allows you to tilt the rack for easy access to the trunk or rear of your vehicle. You can also fold up the rack to save space even when it is attached to your Jeep. If you would like to not have to remove the entire rack, but are not able to afford to have it at the back, this feature comes in handy.
There is one more thing that I totally forgot to mention about the unit, which is that it can be taken down and converted into a one-bike carrier. Now, I do not know if this will be of any use to you, but in my case, it was very beneficial. The majority of the time, I did not need to carry a second bike with me on my tours, so it was the best option to have a one-bike rack for those situations.
My opinion is that this KAC Overdrive Sports K2 hitch bike rack is one of the best hitch bike racks for Jeep Wranglers. It comes with a lot of pros that outweigh its cons significantly. I am not sure if this rack is the best for you but it was for me and my Jeep. Under these circumstances, I can say without a doubt that this rack is the best hitch bike rack for Jeep Wranglers.
4. Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Mount Tray Rack
Next in line is the Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Mount Tray. It is a bit more expensive than the other two, yet has a price that many people can afford. It is quite heavy compared to the other two, but the extra weight helps make the rack sturdier and more formidable.
Initially, I had found out about the rack from a friend of mine who is also involved in traveling, and has a family of four, which is why he chose it in the first place. However, as time went by, he grew fond of it more and more, and recommended that I try it out since I also go on trips with my family.
The rack comes with four bike slots, as you already know by now. It weighs around 41.5 pounds; therefore, it cannot be considered extremely heavy. The rack has a total weight capacity of 132lbs as far as I am aware. Each bike rest is able to hold a bicycle that weighs 33 pounds. In addition, you should avoid carrying electric bikes since they usually weigh around 50 pounds a piece.
Furthermore, the rack comes with adjustable padded arms that can be used for securing almost any type of bike. The arms also come with buckled straps to ensure a secure connection with your bike.
On the other hand, the wheel slots have soft pads, straps, and zamack buckles, which together with the arms will help to secure and hold your bicycle firmly in place even if you travel a long road filled with many bumps and turns. Furthermore, the arms can also be folded when not in use. In other words, if you do not wish to go through the hassle of removing the rack, you can just fold it all up.
When I took the rack and four bicycles (2 mountain bikes, one road bike, and one kid’s bike) on a 2-day road trip, I never looked back for fear that the rack or my bikes might be damaged. During the trip, there was no wobbling, swaying, or any other sort of shenanigans. Yes, I should mention that I did make sure to check both the hitch and the lock pin between my stops. If you intend to go on a long trip, you should also take note of this.
While the rack is certainly ideal in many ways, there are a few minor downsides to it. In my experience, I have found a few while using it. The first one I noticed was the time it takes to load up the bikes. It takes quite a while; however, if you have the time, it shouldn’t be a problem.
In addition to the rack not being safe on its own, one of the things I found a bit annoying about it was the straps. If you don’t take the time to loop the straps into the latch (when not in use), the straps might fall off and you may not be able to find them again.
There is one last thing I would like to mention before I leave this post. I advise you to not buy the recommended Master Lock because it will not fit the rack. It requires a threaded locking pin and the recommended lock does not have one. Therefore, make sure to purchase a threaded lock pin for the rack before you start installing it.
The Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Mount Tray is quite an attractive bike rack, and it performs really well with a Jeep Wrangler. However, it is not the most ideal option if you are going to be traveling solo or with a partner. In contrast to this, the rack can be a good choice for those who constantly travel with their families.
5. Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack
Last but not least, I have selected a spare tire rack for the Jeep Wrangler. It is none other than the Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack. Although I have put it at the bottom, it does not mean that it packs a lighter punch than the other racks. However, I feel that it does fall short compared to the other racks I have reviewed. We can now move on to the details of the project without further delay.
In the first place, it is important that you take note that the rack is not appropriate for all Jeep Wranglers; therefore, you should carefully review the list of vehicles that are compatible with the rack before making a purchase. For example, I have a 2017 Jeep Wrangler and I have found that the rack fits perfectly. In the event that you own an SUV or a Jeep Wrangler that has a metal flange at the back, you might want to consider finding another bike rack.
Despite this, the rack is the perfect solution to the mounting problem on most jeeps. It can be attached to the spare tire mounting bolts. The plate design of the rack is optimal for almost all bolt patterns, which means that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right bolt pattern.
Once the unit has been installed, you are able to undo or plug it into your jeep using the hand-tightened knob. The rack is easily attached and removed without any sort of inconvenience as it is easily tightened. Additionally, it comes with three extension brackets so that it can be used with tires as large as 12 inches.
It should be noted that the bicycle slots or arms come with heavy-duty straps to ensure that the bicycles remain safe within them and that they can also be adjusted according to your specific needs.
You can adjust the rack to fit your jeep if your jeep comes with a side-mounted tire, and if you don’t use the arms when you’re not using them, the arms can also be folded when they’re not in use.
In addition to that, each arm of this rack is rated at 35 pounds, so the rack can carry up to 70 pounds in total. If you are planning to load step-through bikes, then you will need an adapter for the top tube. If you are not planning to use the adaptor, then simply place the bike on the arms and attach the straps.
As far as the rack is concerned, there are only a few things that bothered me about it, one of them being that you need a bungee cord in order to keep the bikes stable on the rack. Therefore, you should always carry a bungee cord with you.
It would have been better if the arms were a little longer, as the arms are fairly short, causing the bicycles you load there to remain very close to each other. It is a tight fit and if the bikes are not secured properly, they may collide with each other.
In spite of this, I feel that the rack performs far better than most other racks in the same price range. Although I am not a huge fan of such types of racks, I would recommend this rack to anyone who is interested in getting a spare tire-mounted rack for their Jeep Wrangler.
What are the reasons that I prefer a hitch rack for my Jeep Wrangler over a spare tire rack?
It is important to understand that there are a few reasons why I prefer hitch racks over spare tire racks. You may disagree with me on this, but it is just what I believe and what I believe. It is not to say that you should never opt for spare tire racks. In certain cases, they may even prove to be more beneficial than hitch racks.
It is not my intention to criticize spare tire racks, but they are often not as durable and strong as hitch racks and have a lesser weight capacity, which is a major drawback if you are planning a big family outing or if you own some heavy biking equipment.
Compared to hitch racks, spare tire racks have the distinct advantage of providing you with easy access to the tailgate. Since spare tire racks are much easier to fold or remove entirely, you get better and faster access to the tailgate. However, many hitch racks come with foldable arms for the same purpose.
As a matter of fact, hitch mount racks are much safer than open mount racks since most of them come with adjustable arms as well as wheel slots that make it easier to secure your bicycles.
However, it is important to keep in mind that when you are looking for hitch mount racks, you should purchase those with a bit of a price tag on it. Cheap hitch racks tend to break or fall off very easily, whereas spare tire racks are inherently more affordable than hitch mount racks.
Regardless of what I decide to do, I prefer to use hitch racks for my Jeep Wrangler because I have the ability to carry more and heavier bikes with them. Furthermore, I don’t want to put the spare tire at any sort of risk because it is the only thing that will be able to save my back if a tire ever fails.
I kept the following things in mind while selecting a bike rack for my Jeep Wrangler
It’s a grave mistake if you think I just bought all the racks with no prior knowledge. There are some tips you can use to find the right bike rack for your jeep wrangler. If you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get the best bike rack for jeep wrangler without getting some scrap that will fall apart in a week.
It is important to choose the right mounting style
There are two main types of mounting styles in this article – 1) the hitch and 2) the spare tire. Roof-mounted racks are also available, but they are suitable for jeep wranglers, so if you are looking to buy a rack for your jeep, then you should stick with the two models that have been described in this article.
Hitch Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler
In my opinion, hitch racks are the best option when it comes to Jeep wranglers, since you can load up to four bikes onto the rack and not have to worry about anything going wrong during the ride.
As most Jeep Wranglers come with a 2-inch receiver, most hitch racks are compatible with it. But if your Jeep Wrangler doesn’t come with it, you can always attach one with minimal work and cost.
You will be able to fit almost any type of bike on this type of rack regardless of whether it has a thick or thin tire. Moreover, you will have enough space on the rack to accommodate all your bikes without compromising safety. These types of racks are safer and more secure.
Most often, the bikes are too close to each other on a rack, making them prone to scratches and dents as the vehicle travels over rough terrain. However, hitch racks reduce the likelihood of accidental scratches by providing plenty of room for all of the bicycles to travel on.
Spare Tire Racks for Jeep Wrangler
If you are looking for an economical way to travel with your bicycles as well as a means of storing your spare tires, then spare tire racks are a great option for you. They are relatively cheaper and more affordable when compared to other types of racks.
The problem is that they are not able to handle heavy weights, so you will only be able to carry a limited number of bikes and lightweight bikes.
If you don’t have a spare tire on the back of your jeep, you might not be able to mount such a rack on your jeep. If your jeep doesn’t come with a spare tire at the back, you should avoid this type of rack.
How well will it be able to handle the load that will be put on it?
If you have a number of bikes and bicycles that will weigh a bit heavier than usual, then it is important to check if the rack you are using comes with a decent weight capacity. It is obvious that you will be taking a number of bikes and bicycles that will weigh slightly more than usual. If this is the case, then you should always check the weight capacity of the rack.
It is important that you check the number and total weight of the bikes you have and make sure that you get a rack that is able to support all of them properly before buying a rack.
It is the right price at the right time
My recommendation would be to search for something affordable, but still comes with enough features to be able to support all your traveling needs, if you are not planning on spending your entire month’s salary on a bike rack.
When you purchase a Jeep Wrangler rack for the first time, you should try to avoid purchasing extremely expensive racks. Choosing a rack that is cheaper and then moving up the ladder is a better option. There are many bike racks that are available for a reasonable price, but offer almost the same level of performance as an expensive one.
The best thing you can do is keep an eye out for the ones that are within your means, rather than jumping right into the one that is going to break your bank account.
Having said that, it is all said and done
Choosing the right rack for your Jeep can be time-consuming and tedious at times. In the end, it took me weeks and months to determine which rack was the best for my 2017 Jeep Wrangler. It took me a long time to find the perfect rack. There were some that were too small and there were some that were too big, some that were just bad, and some that almost got me in trouble.
The fact of the matter is that I have finally found what I have been searching for, and that is KAC Overdrive Sports K2 2′′ Hitch Mounted Rack. For me, it is my personal favorite, but for you, everything will depend on your needs and model of jeep.
With the right bike rack for jeep wrangler, you will be able to travel long distances with your bicycles much more comfortably, more conveniently, and more effortlessly than ever before.
Get out your jeep, get that rack because the journey is calling to you. So, let’s go.