If you’re on the hunt for a cycle carrier for your Traverse, then I can feel the pain and suffering that you’ll no doubt be experiencing.
There are, at the last count, approximately 26 Billion different bike racks available just for the Traverse. Not only that, but they are all apparently the best thing to grace the exterior of, not only a Traverse, but any kind of Chevy, SUV, or motorized vehicle.
Expect we know that that’s not the case, don’t we? We know that there are lots of bike racks out there that are (a) no good at all and anyway are (b) no good for our Chevy.
So, how do you find the perfect match for your Traverse?
Well, I’ve done some research for you to track down the bike racks that ARE right for your Chevy Traverse. I’ve written up my reviews of these below, categorized by how many bicycles you need to fit and where you want to put the rack on your car.
These are all bike carriers that get fantastic feedback from real buyers, so we know that they’re great racks.
Let’s dive in and take a look at them now.
Here are the full list of bike rack recommendations for a Chevy Traverse:
What are the location choices for bike racks?
If you’ve already started your search, then you’ll have seen that there are 4 places where you can realistically stash bicycles on or in a Traverse. Two of these are, in my own personal and very humble opinion, awful. The other two locations are superb.
The fab (and not so fab) four are:
- Just hurled into the trunk
- Gingerly placed on the roof
- Carefully stowed on the hitch
- Safely secured to the trunk lid
As you may have guessed from my wording there, I’m not the biggest fan of inside the trunk or (especially) up on top. Both of these probably needs a little more explanation.
Putting bikes inside the trunk itself can have two big issues. Firstly, you’ll take up most of the available luggage space in your Traverse. This will lead to complaints from family members who really, really have to take 20 pairs of shoes with them on vacation…
Secondly, bikes in trunks will inevitably lead to damage to bikes and trunks. Either that or you’ll need to dismantle the bikes to fit them in and end up leaving important bits back home.
Up on top:
Just not a fan of this option. Too much opportunity to drop the bikes on your car or your head as you’re loading and unloading them. Sure, they seem like a good idea in theory. But, in practice, they’re a quick trip to the Emergency Ward waiting to happen.
They’re also not good news for fuel-efficiency. Bikes on top will almost double the car’s ‘footprint’ as it heads into the wind. This will dramatically reduce its aerodynamicity (which may, or may not, be an actual word, but I like it). Adding to your gas bills. Contrast this with putting bikes on the rear, which has minimal impact on the aerodynamics.
So, these aren’t solutions that I’d recommend for your Chevy. I do, however, endorse the other two. These being, a trunk lid rack and a hitch rack. Let’s take a look at the details of each of these.
Recommended hitch racks for your Traverse
This rack from long-standing manufacturer, Kuat, is a great quality piece of kit that gets excellent reviews from users. It’s our recommended bike rack for your Chevrolet Traverse.
This hitch rack is good for 1 or 2 bikes and, if you have more bikes than that, there’s a useful extra you can get, the Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Hitch Rack Add-On, that will up the capacity of the rack allowing it to take 3 or 4 bikes on your Traverse. There are two racks options available to purchase – for either a 1.25″ or 2″ hitch receiver.
People often ask me how they can fit a bike that doesn’t have the standard straight (i.e. horizontal) crossbar onto a hanging rack like this. This applies to many bikes such as BMXs, some mountain bikes, low-step or step-through, as well as the traditional women’s bike. So, actually, a horizontal crossbar isn’t particularly ‘standard’!
Anyway, thankfully the answer to this one is straightforward. What you need is a crossbar adaptor. These take the place of the horizontal bar – locking on between the handlebar stem and seat post. They enable you to hook these ‘non-standard’ bikes on to racks just like regular bikes. These crossbar adaptors are simple to fit and easy to use.
We’ll have a quick look roof-mounted racks in a second – I’m not a fan! – but roof racks are also way more fuel-inefficient that hitch or trunk-mount racks. Fit a rack to the rear end of a car and it won’t affect the fuel-efficient too much – there’s not much difference to the shape of the car from the front end. But, fit a roof rack with a bunch of bikes, and suddenly your fuel gauge will plummet. Why? Well, those bikes on the roof just about double the size of the car from the front. And that doubling in size means that you create a lot more drag, forcing to push your foot down harder on the gas pedal. Bad for the environment and bad for your wallet.
The carrier takes one or two bikes (with a combined weight of up to 120 lbs) and they’re held securely at the wheel by locking arms (useful if you have bikes with carbon fiber frames). Couple other features that I really like with the Kuat are:
- The tilt feature
- Its low above-ground height
The foot-activated tilt mech is useful when you have both hands full carrying a bike and have to then lower the rack from its stowed position. Push the lever at the base of the rack with your foot and the rack arm lowers gently down into postion ready to load up your bicycle. The first time you try this you’ll realize how cool a feature it is.
Even better than this (in my humble opinion) is the low ground height of the rack. Heavy bikes are tough to lift up high onto roof racks and there’s a danger that you’ll drop them on your head or on the car before you’ve got them locked into positon. With a hitch rack this is a much simpler process and, if you need a little extra assistance, Kuat also produce an access bike ramp to help with loading and unloading your bikes.
Recommended no-hitch bike racks for the trunk lid of your Traverse
The Saris Ex Bones is stylish and looks rather like a giant alien insect trying to mate with your trunk lid. But, it’s under the hood (so to speak) where things get really interesting.
Based in Madison WI, Saris is a US company who manufactures a broad array of awesome bicycle carriers and other bike gear. When you don’t have a hitch receiver (and don’t want one) on your Chevy, then the Saris Ex Bones is my recommended rack for you.
Practical and good-looking, the Ex Bones secures easily on the trunk with web straps and sturdy metal hooks. Side note, I like to add an extra layer of protection between hooks and car with these useful scratch protectors. The rack will carry 1,2, or 3 bicycles (each of up to 35 lbs), and these are racked securely with a three-point ratchet system. No swaying. No wobbling.
Look at the top of the rack and you’ll notice they have a dogleg shape to them. What’s this for? Well, it’s there so that the rack will fit around the spoiler that you have on a Traverse.
Another, plus point is that the arm which holds the bikes is curved. This allows each bicycle to be set at a slightly higher or lower height to the one next to it. That’s great because it means that corresponding bits of bike (such as handlebar grips or pedals) won’t butt up to one another and cause damage.
Final word on bike racks for your Traverse
Hitch mount or no hitch mount, there are plenty of choices for carrying your bikes on your Traverse. Don’t run the risk of damaging you, your bikes, or your car by putting bikes in your trunk or on the roof. Instead, choose one of these great options above.
Have fun and enjoy the ride.