The best way to enjoy your summer vacation is to pack your bags, 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.
However, it can also be the worst trip of your life if you end up losing all your precious bikes because your rack wasn’t up to the mark. Not only that, it can end up destroying the back of your jeep, the jeep that you love and have loved for so many years.
So, before your worst nightmare becomes a reality, might I suggest you get the best bike rack for jeep wrangler. It can clear what little doubt you have left in your mind about long trips with a rack full of bikes.
To help you not lose a bike, like I almost had once, I have assembled everything you need to purchase the perfect rack for your jeep wrangler. Don’t worry I’ve done all the heavy lifting. Now, it is your time to scroll through the review and see which rack belongs with your jeep wrangler.
Best Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler – Comparison
|Allen Sports |
|KAC Platform |
|Hollywood Spare |
|IKURAM Bike Rack|
Top 5 Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler – Reviews
I’ve listed five of my favorite racks for jeeps wrangler down below. These have served well since I owned cycling as my hobby. I’ve made sure to include all the upsides and downsides of these racks. So, have a look and see if you can find anything interesting.
1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for Jeep Wrangler
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Hitch Receiver: 2″
- Item Weight: 2.30 lbs
- Bike Capacity: 4
- Load Capacity: 140 lbs
- Brand: Allen Sports
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! It is the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks. The competition was fierce between the number one and two; however, after hours of going through their pros and cons, checking out their build and price, I’ve finally concluded that this rack rightfully deserves to be on the number one spot.
Usually, I let my friends suggest a bike rack before I charge in to purchase one. But this one was all me. I found out about the rack from a neighbor of mine. Okay, so it was not all me. Apparently, he also owns a jeep wrangler, the 2014 Willys Wheeler JK.
The rack looked promising and I heard some good things about it from the guy. Hence, I thought why not give it a try. I’m glad that I tried it out because the hitch rack is one of a kind, plus it is quite affordable and doesn’t really dent your wallet.
So, let’s hop into the details. As you can already see the rack is hitch-mounted. If your jeep doesn’t come with a hitch, then you should probably install a receiver, make sure it is a 2-inch one. It doesn’t cost much but if your vehicle does come with a receiver, then forget anything I said.
The unit comes with a locking knob, which allows you to keep the bike rack tightened to jeep wrangler. It eliminates the possibility of wobbling, which in terms keeps your bikes safe from falling or getting damaged.
With that said, I should inform you about the con that comes with the locking mechanism. It is not at all easy to install or user-friendly. What I mean is attaching the locking knob will take up quite a bit of your time and effort.
Moreover, you’ll need to double and sometimes triple-check everything after securing the rack to your jeep. It is kinda annoying.
Next comes the strapping system. The quick secure straps of the rack are quite durable, resistant to UV rays, and come with rubber cradle beds to keep the bikes safe from scratches.
Furthermore, the rack has a dual compound spine shield, which does the job of protecting your bicycles while you are on the move.
Apart from that, the carrying arms can be folded. You will only need to squeeze the two red release buttons of the rack and voila, the arms will fold instantly. This comes in handy when you are not planning on using the rack, yet you don’t want to remove the entire thing.
Additionally, the foldable arms can be titled away with one hand only. You won’t even need to use both hands to tilt away from the entire rack.
This allows you to have easy access to your vehicle’s rear, which is useful in situations where you need to put something at the back quickly without removing the rack.
As you already know, the rack has 4 carrying arms. Naturally, it should be able to take 4 bikes; however, it is not always the case. You have to make sure the bicycles are not too heavy or not too big. If you are planning to carry big bikes, then you should carry 2 or 3 of them and not more than that. Remember the weight capacity is 140lbs. Never and I mean never exceed that.
Except for some minor downsides (which can be avoided or taken care of very easily) the rack is pretty neat for your jeep wrangler. The best thing about the rack is that it is affordable, yet it doesn’t compromise quality.
2. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack for Jeep Wrangler
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Dimensions: 26″ x 29″ x 6″
- Item Weight: 10 lbs
- Bike Capacity: 2
- Load Capacity: 70 lbs
- Brand: Allen Sports
I’m not the biggest fan of tire-mounted racks because they are not the best when it comes to carrying multiple bicycles. However, it would’ve been a shame if I didn’t include the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare tire rack for jeep wrangler.
Now, the reasons behind choosing the rack are its reasonable price, lightweight body, and ability to hold almost 70lbs of weight. Usually, spare tire racks lack the necessary strength to carry more than one bike. However, this one can hold two bikes and can do the job pretty comfortably.
Installing the unit was a piece of cake and it can be done within a few minutes or a few seconds if you are that good. The rack comes with a unique design, which I failed to notice in the beginning but after a few days of using it, I’ve seen that it is a little tilted upwards.
At first, I thought it was a manufacturing defect or maybe I installed the rack all wrong. After a while, I got to know that this is a special design that the rack uses to keep the bikes upwards to maintain a safe distance from the exhaust and the road.
As for weight capacity and limit, the rack comes with 15-inch-long arms and can take up to two bikes at once with a total weight of 70lbs. I remember taking my Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 and Specialized S-Works Aethos, both of which weigh 29lbs and 13lbs respectively. The rack didn’t have any issues carrying the bicycles; however, it was a super tight fit.
Hence, I would suggest you refrain from carrying two thick bicycles at once. Make sure both the bikes are thin or at least one of them is.
Other than that, the rack features individual tie-down cradles, which keep the bikes secured and locked in place. You also have the option to rotate the cradles if you ever need to secure a bike with a unique frame design.
The rack has a semi-durable body with a powder coat finish. It lasts for a long time but depends on how you are using it. It fits with most spare tires, regardless of their size and design.
Additionally, it comes with a wide profile bottom foot. What the feature does is, enables the rack to put its entire weight on the rear tire itself and not the rims. The lower foot doesn’t block the view of the camera placed at the center of the spare tire. Hence, if you have a rear camera set up on the spare tire, you shouldn’t worry.
As secure as the rack is with its built-in straps and all, you should take some precautions after setting it up. I used a few extra lashing straps because the rack comes with only two bottom straps, which didn’t seem so secure to me. So, make sure to use a few extra straps before heading out with your expensive bikes.
Overall, the rack is worth the purchase if you are not planning to carry heavy or thick beach bicycles. If your plan is to take your mountain and road bikes, then you are more than welcome to try out the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack.
3. KAC Overdrive Sports K2 Hitch Mounted Rack for Jeep Wrangler
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Hitch Receiver: 2″
- Item Weight: 44.8 lbs
- Bike Capacity: 2
- Load Capacity: 120 lbs
- Brand: KAC
The rack which I’m going to talk about now is a personal favorite. Among all the other racks, I prefer this one the most for jeep wrangler. Yes, it is not as cheap as the other ones but the extra money is totally worth it. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the KAC Overdrive Sports K2 2″ Hitch Mounted Rack.
The rack is quite heavy, unlike the ones I’ve mentioned previously. It weighs around 45 pounds but weight is not just for show. The extra pounds make the rack durable and allow it to carry bikes that are hard for an average guy to even lift. It has a huge weight capacity of 120lbs (60lbs for one bicycle); so, you can take almost any type of bike even if they are heavy and fat.
The installation process is as easy as it can get. You can do it in a few minutes without help, plus even if you need some assistance, there is always the included instruction manual. Almost all the parts come pre-assembled from the factory; hence, less work for you.
Apart from that, the rack receives 2-inch hitches. If your jeep wrangler comes with a 2-inch hitch, then you are good to go, or else you may have to use an adaptor. The bottom trays are adjustable and take up to 5-inch tires. Therefore, if you own e-bikes with fat tires, you shouldn’t worry.
On the other hand, the rack comes with an included safety strap. It is for extra protection against accidents. You can use the strap to secure both your bikes together. There is also the anti-wobble system to minimize wobbling during transportation and a locking hitch pin to firmly secure the rack to your vehicle. The unit also comes with a rear reflector for better visibility during nighttime.
In order to make sure the bikes stay in place and secured the carrier comes with adjustable hooks. These hooks are padded to ensure the bicycles don’t get scratched during transportation. These hooks are adjustable and you can adjust them to fit into different bike sizes.
However, there is only one lock for both hooks, which makes it a little difficult to secure two bikes of different sizes properly. If both the bikes you are using have the same size, then you shouldn’t worry about it, if not then you’ll need to do some extra work.
Besides these, there are some cool other features that come along with the rack. One of them is Quick Release Smart Tilt, which lets you 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 while it is attached to the jeep. This particular feature comes in handy when you don’t feel like removing the entire rack, yet can’t afford to have it at the back.
One more thing I totally forgot to mention is that you can take down the unit and make it into a 1 bike carrier. Now, I don’t know if this will be of any use to you, but in my case, it held major benefits. Most of the time, I didn’t need to carry a secondary bike for my tours and in those situations having a 1-bike rack was the best option.
As you can already see or notice, the pros outweigh the cons significantly. I don’t know if this is the perfect rack for you but it was for me and my wrangler. Hence, without a sliver of doubt, I can say that KAC Overdrive Sports K2 is the best hitch bike rack for jeep wrangler.
4. Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Mount Tray Rack for Jeep Wrangler
- Dimensions: 42″x14.5″x9″
- Hitch Receiver: 2″
- Item Weight: 41.3 lbs
- Bike Capacity: 4
- Load Capacity: 132 lbs
- Brand: Trimax
Next in line is the Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Mount Tray. It is not the cheapest, yet has a price that is affordable for many. It is quite heavy compared to the other ones I’ve mentioned so far but the extra weight makes the rack sturdier and more formidable.
I got to know about the rack from a friend of mine who is also into traveling. He has a family of four, which is why he went for the rack in the first place. However, as time went by, he grew fond of it and suggested I try it out as I also tend to go on trips with my family.
As you already know by now, the rack comes with four bike slots. It weighs around 41.5 pounds; so, it cannot be considered extremely heavy. The rack has a total weight capacity of 132lbs as per my knowledge. Each bike rest can take up to bicycles weighing 33lbs. Therefore, avoid carrying electric bikes as most of them weigh around 50lbs each.
Apart from that, the rack features adjustable padded arms, which you can use to secure almost any type of bike. The arms come with buckled straps to ensure a safer experience.
The wheel slots, on the other hand, have soft pads, straps, and zamack buckles. These along with the arms do a great job of keeping your bicycle safe and secured even when you travel a long road filled with many bumps and turns. The arms can also be folded when not in use. So, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of removing the rack just fold the entire thing.
I once took the rack along with 4 bicycles (2 mountain bikes, 1 road bike, and a kid’s bike) on a 2-day trip. Not once did I have to look back fearing what might happen to the rack or my bicycles. There was no wobbling, swaying, or any sort of shenanigans. Yes, I should mention that I made sure to check the hitch and the lock pin in between my stops. You should as well if you are going on a long trip.
Nevertheless, there are some minor downsides to the rack. I’ve found a few during my time with it. The first one I noticed is the time it takes to load up the bikes. It takes quite a while; however, if you have the time, it’s not much of a big deal.
The next thing I found a bit annoying about the rack is the straps not being safe on their own. What I mean is if you don’t loop the straps into the latch (when not in use), they may fall off and you’ll never see them again.
Before I finish this, I would like to warn you guys about one last thing. Don’t and I mean absolutely DO NOT buy the recommended Master Lock because it will not fit. The rack needs a threaded locking pin and the recommended lock is not threaded. So, make sure to buy a threaded lock pin for the rack.
With that said, the Trimax Road-MAX Hitch Mount Tray is a nice bike rack and performs impressively with jeep wrangler. It is not the most ideal when you are planning on traveling solo or with a partner. However, the rack can be a good choice, if you constantly need to go on trips with your family.
5. Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack for Jeep Wrangler
- Dimensions: 31″ x 5.5″ x 11″
- Item Weight: 25 lbs
- Bike Capacity: 2
- Load Capacity: 70 lbs
- Brand: Hollywood Racks
For the last one, I’ve chosen a spare tire rack for jeep wrangler. It is none other than the Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack. Although I have put this at the bottom doesn’t imply that it packs a lighter punch than the other racks. I feel it does fall a little short, but you can be the judge of that. So, without further delay let’s hop into the details.
Okay, first things first. The rack is not optimal for all jeep wranglers; therefore, make sure to check out the list of compatible vehicles before purchasing one. For instance, I have a 2017 jeep wrangler and the rack fits perfectly with it. If you own a 2018 jeep wrangler or a vehicle that has a metal flange at the back, you’ll probably want to look at some other bike rack.
Nevertheless, the rack is suitable for most jeeps. You can attach it to the mounting bolts of spare tires. The unique plate design of the rack is optimal for almost all the bolt patterns out there. Hence, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right pattern.
Afterward, the unit features a hand-tightened knob, which you can use to undo or plug it into your jeep. As it can be tightened, you can easily attach or remove the rack without any sort of inconvenience. It also has three extension brackets for the purpose of being compatible with tires up to 12-inch.
The bike slots or arms come with heavy-duty straps to ensure the bicycles remain safe there. You can also adjust the arms according to your need.
What I’m trying to say is, if your jeep comes with a side-mounted tire, you can adjust the rack to fit accordingly. You can also make the arms collapse when you’re not using them.
Apart from that, each arm has a weight capacity of 35lbs, which means the rack can carry up to 70lbs in total. If you are planning to load step-through bikes, then you’ll have to use a top-tube adaptor. If not, then simply place the bike on the arms and attach the straps.
There are a few things that bothered me about the rack and one of them is that you need a bungee cord to keep the bikes steady. Hence, make sure you’re carrying a bungee cord all the time.
As the arms are quite short, the bicycles you load there will remain very close to one another. It is a tight fit and the bikes may collide with each other if not secured properly. It would’ve been better if the arms were a little longer.
Nonetheless, the rack performs far better than most other racks in the same price range. Yes, I’m not the biggest of these types of racks, yet I would suggest this one to anyone who wants to go for a spare tire-mounted rack for jeep wrangler.
Why I Prefer A Hitch Rack More than Spare tire Rack for My Jeep Wrangler?
Now, there are a couple of reasons behind my preference for hitch racks. You may or may not agree with it, but it is just what I think and believe. It doesn’t have to mean that you should never opt for spare tire racks. In certain cases, they can be even better than hitch racks.
No offense to spare tire racks, but they often lack durability and strength when compared to hitch racks. They have a lesser weight capacity, which is a major drawback if you are planning for a family trip or you own some super heavy bikes.
Spare tire racks excel at giving you access to the tailgate. They are much easier to fold or remove entirely. Therefore, you get better and faster access to the tailgate. However, many hitch racks come with foldable arms for the same purpose.
Apart from that, hitch mount racks are much safer because most of them come with adjustable arms along with wheel slots for better security of your bicycles.
Nevertheless, when you are buying hitch mount racks, you should aim for the ones that are a bit expensive. Cheap hitch racks tend to break or fall off very easily. On the other hand, spare tire racks are inherently more affordable than the former.
In any case, I prefer hitch racks for my jeep wrangler because I can carry more and heavier bikes with them. Furthermore, I don’t like to put the spare tire at any sort of risk because it is the only thing that’ll save your back if one of the tires ever fails.
Things I Kept in Mind while Selecting Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler
If you think I bought all the racks without any prior knowledge then you are gravely mistaken my friend. There are some tips for finding the optimal bike rack for your jeep wrangler. These tips and tricks ensure that you end up with the best bike rack for jeep wrangler and not some scrap that’ll fall apart in a week.
Mounting Style Matters
I’ve talked about two types of mounting styles- 1) hitch and 2) spare tire. There are also roof-mounted racks, but they are suitable for jeep wranglers. If you are planning to buy a rack for your jeep, then you should stick to the two models I’ve mentioned in my review.
Hitch Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler
In my knowledge, hitch racks are the best when it comes to jeep wranglers. You can load up to four bikes and not worry the entire time for something to go wrong.
Hitch racks usually go perfectly with a 2-inch receiver and most jeeps come with it. If your jeep wrangler doesn’t come with it, you can always attach one with minimum cost and effort.
These types of racks are safer and more secure. They can take almost any type of bike whether it has a thick or thin tire. Moreover, you’ll have enough space to fit all your bikes on the rack without compromising safety.
Usually what happens is the bikes remain too close on a rack, making them susceptible to scratches and dents when traveling through bumpy roads. However, hitch racks reduce the chance of accidental scratches significantly by providing enough space for all the bicycles.
Spare Tire Racks for Jeep Wrangler
Spare tire racks are relatively cheaper and more affordable. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to travel with your bikes up at the back, then these types of racks can be a good option.
However, they are unable to withstand heavyweight. So, you’ll only be able to take a limited number of bikes and lightweight bikes.
Such racks require a spare tire at the back of your jeep. If your jeep doesn’t come with a rear spare tire, it is best to avoid these racks.
Will It be Able to Take the Load?
The next thing you need to check is if the rack you are using comes with a decent weight capacity. It is obvious that you’ll take multiple bikes and bicycles that weigh a little more than usual. If that is the case, then you should always check the weight capacity of the rack.
So, what you’ll have to do is check the number and total weight of your bikes and get a rack that can support all of them properly.
Also read: Honda Odyssey bike racks for next trip
Price is Right
If you don’t plan on spending your entire month’s salary on a bike rack, then I would suggest you look for something affordable, yet comes with enough features to support all your traveling needs.
For the first time, it’s better to avoid super expensive racks for your jeep wrangler. It’s better to start a little cheaper and then move your way up to the ladder. There are many bike racks that come at a reasonable price, yet offer almost the same performance similar to an expensive carrier.
It’s better to keep your eyes open and check out the ones that are within your means than jumping into the one that’ll break your bank.
All Said and Done
Looking for the perfect rack for your jeep can be tedious and not to mention time-consuming. It took me weeks and months to find the optimal rack for my 2017 jeep wrangler. Some were too small, while some were too big, others were just bad, and some almost brought me down the streets.
Nevertheless, I finally found the one I’ve been looking for and it is KAC Overdrive Sports K2 2″ Hitch Mounted Rack. It is my personal favorite, but for you, it can be different. Everything depends on your needs and the model of your jeep.
Once you find the best bike rack for jeep wrangler, traveling long distances with your bicycles would become much easier, comfortable, and more enjoyable.
So, bring out your jeep, get that rack because journey calls mate.
4 thoughts on “5 Best Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler – You Can Trust in 2023!”
Thanks Mattias. Your article provides some helpful considerations. I need a rack for hauling ebikes but I also need it to move clear my Wrangler tailgate so I can access the back without removing the rack. The KAC doesn’t appear to allow for full swing of the tailgate with bikes on or off. Is this the case?
You need a swing away rack but KAC is not a swing away bike rack.
Great presentation. Your video is excellent. I want to know is on the Quadratrack 4 bike hitch rack how much motion do the bicycles experience when driving? Do they ding and bang into each other? If the answer is yes, would be safer to use a 4 bike rack if just transporting 2 bicycles? I have a two bike tire mounted Thule rack presently but the reason I want to replace it is because of the damage caused by the bikes bumping into each other and pedals having to go through spokes to get the bikes to align properly. Would this be avoided transporting just 2 bikes on the quadratrack four bike hitch rack?
Thanks for your comment. Personally I don’t prefer 4-bikes rack to carry only 2 bikes.