Are you changing vehicles, have multiple vehicles, or are just trying to shop for the right bike rack for you? Well, you want to make sure you get a bicycle rack that works for all of your needs, instead of getting a bike rack for each vehicle. In this article we will talk about what bike racks fit all cars, and what types of vehicles each bike rack fits.
So do bike racks fit all cars? The only two types of bike racks that will fit all types of cars are roof racks, and hitch racks, however there are some exceptions with this as well. Make sure to know before you buy, if you will need to get a different rack for your car, or additional equipment to make sure your bike rack fits all of your vehicles.
Trunk Bicycle Racks
This style of bike rack essentially straps onto a trunk or hatch on either an SUV, or a sedan (coupes as well). Because these trunk racks have to attach to that component, it unfortunately doesn’t fit on pickup trucks (they don’t have a trunk).
I am personally not a huge fan of these types of bicycle racks anyways, as they can damage the paint on your vehicle due to that they sit on different body components of your vehicle.
Thankfully to make it fit on either a car or SUV, you do not need anything extra to make it happen and these are relatively inexpensive. Speaking of which, this is my favorite option!
Hitch Bike Racks
These hitch bicycle racks are some of the best options on the market! They are able to fit onto cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. They are also easy to install onto a vehicle in just a quick minute, and generally keep the bikes in a place that they are easily able to be placed onto, and removed from the vehicle.
As a couple notes on this, I highly recommend getting a hitch bike rack where the bike’s wheels sit on the rack like this one, rather than one where the bike hangs from the cross bars (these tend to hang the bikes too low to the ground).
Secondly, these types of bike racks only install onto vehicles that already have a hitch installed on the vehicle (be careful as they can wobble). Sedan’s regularly do not come with a hitch pre-installed. However they can be added at a cost! Thankfully most sedans and trucks already have them installed.
Truck Bed Bike Racks
Bike racks that install into the bed of a pickup truck are obviously only compatible with a pickup truck, because, well, pickup bed. Anyways, this style of rack is extremely helpful for pickup owners as they can install directly into the bed, you don’t have to remove any wheels off the bike, and they keep them extremely safe while driving.
Of course the main downside, is that you are not able to transfer it to any other vehicle that is not a pickup truck.
Roof Bike Racks
This final type of bike rack will actually work on every style of vehicle out there! This will fit on the roof of sedans, coupes, SUVs and even pickups. In fact, pickups can actually get cross bars that allow you to put this style of bike rack on the bed of the truck even.
Roof racks like this one right here are highly versatile and are easy to install on whatever vehicle you are driving today. They also allow for multiple bikes, are relatively inexpensive, and are just generally a great style of bike rack.
The major downside to this style of bike rack, is that it can be difficult to get your bikes up on the bike rack if they are a heavier style of bike.
You will also likely need to get yourself some roof rack cross bars if you don’t already have some installed on your vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way is to reference our chart at the top of this article, however another great way is to check the packaging of the bike rack you are getting. Manufacturers are more than happy to advertise all the different ways their bike rack can solve your problems.
I personally recommend a hitch bike rack for SUVs. While my favorite type of bike rack is the roof rack, SUVs can be rather tall, and be difficult to put your bike up there.
Generally speaking, most all trunk mounted bike racks will fit both SUVs and Sedans. They are able to adjust a bit to either fit a trunk, or the sloping angle of a hatch that is normally on an SUV.
There are so many different styles of bike racks on the market today, and making sure that the one you are buying fits all of your different vehicles! While the roof rack is one of the most versatile types out there it definitely does have its drawbacks as well. In the end, hitch mounted bike racks offer the best of all worlds, and if you have a hitch receiver on all of your vehicles, will work for all of them.
If you want to read more about bicycle racks, we go fully into the pros and cons of all of the different types of bike racks in this article here!
In the end, even if you have to buy two different styles of bike racks to make your transportation of your hobby easier, it isn’t the end of the world. Let’s be honest, you probably spent more on the pedals of your bike than you did on the last bike rack that you bought right?