When you’re on the hunt for a new bike rack for your SUV it can feel as if the only type that are available are hitch-mount racks.
That’s all fine when you’ve got a hitch receiver on your vehicle. But, if you don’t have one, then it can be an extra unnecessary expense. Particularly if you’re only going to be using it now and again.
I think hitch-mount bike carriers are great, but they’re not the only solution for SUVs.
So, I’ve done some research on your behalf and tracked down a range of excellent bike carriers that don’t require a hitch receiver.
Shall we take a look?
Where can you carry bikes on a SUV?
Apart from the hitch, there are a total of three places where you can put bikes in/on SUVs. These are:
- Casually thrown in the trunk
- Precariously placed on the roof
- Carefully fitted to the trunk hatch
As you might guess from this list, I’m not really a fan of the first two. I do, however, love the third option.
Thrown in the trunk
In my youth, I thought I could save some money, not bother with any kind of bike rack, and put my bikes in the trunk. Trouble was, it never went well. I damaged various bikes, various cars, and never had enough room leftover in the trunk for any other luggage. In total, I reckon I’ve caused more dollars of damage to bikes and cars than a premium bike rack would have cost me.
My advice? Don’t be a cheapskate like me. Just buy a rack in the first place.
Stuck up on the roof
You’ll also see lots of SUVs with bikes on roof racks.
Whilst these look great when you see them zipping along the highway, there are two major issues with them:
They’re dangerous – imagine trying to lift a 35-pound bike way up over your head and onto the roof of your vehicle. Then hold it steady (with one hand) whilst you try and strap it into place with the other. What’re the chances of your arms getting a little fatigued and dropping the bike on your car or on your head? Yeah, high.
They’re a disaster for fuel economy – putting a bunch of bikes on the roof will dramatically impact the head-on shape of your vehicle, making it much larger. This will create much more drag and increase your fuel consumption. It might not be a consideration for short, infrequent trips. But, over the lifetime of your car, it will have quite a sizeable impact.
So, for me, there’s only one option: get a trunk-mount bike rack. Forget about the roof racks and throwing bikes in trunks.
Let’s have a look at the best trunk bike racks for SUVs.
Single bike trunk mount rack
I’ve got a total of four different trunk rack options for you today. These are all the same great quality and vary according to the number of bikes they’ll hold.
First up, we have a rack for one bike. This is perfect for those times when you’re going on a solo expedition with just you and your bike. Like all trunk-mount racks it attaches to your vehicle with a combination of webbing straps, metal hooks, and buckles to keep everything fitted firmly on.
The beauty of a trunk mount is that you don’t need to install any other equipment on your SUV in order to use one – no roof bars and no hitch. Also, because they don’t need any special fittings, they can easily be swapped between vehicles. So they’re more versatile than any other style of rack.
Want to watch a video showing how to install this rack and fit bikes on? Like a dramatic soundtrack to accompany your viewing? Excellent! Then watch this YouTube now!
Take a look at the Amazon page and you’ll see that the Tyger Auto rack actually comes in three different size options (for 1, 2, and 3 bikes). The 1-bike rack is secured to the trunk with 4 webbing straps (with 6 straps for the 2/3 bike racks). So, it’s firmly attached and won’t wobble.
Feedback from buyers is that the rack is easy to attach, great quality, and highly recommended.
2-bike trunk mount rack
I’ve long been a fan of Allen Sports products and this is a great 2-bike trunk rack from them that’s stuffed full of useful features.
Allen Sports have been designing and producing bike racks for over 50 years. Because of that, they’re pretty confident about their products and so back them up with a lifetime warranty, which is fantastic. Check out the T&Cs on the Amazon page below.
This carrier is good for two bikes to a total weight of 70 lbs. It’s worth pointing out that if you have bikes that haven’t got a ‘standard’ horizontal crossbar then you’ll need to get a crossbar adaptor to fit them onto hanging style racks. I say ‘standard’ crossbar, but actually there are one heck of a lot of bikes that don’t have one! Ladies’ bikes, low-step or step-through, kids’ bikes, full-suspension mountain bikes, and BMXs have all got either a slanting crossbar or no crossbar at all.
Don’t worry if you’re in that situation. Crossbar adaptors are easy to fit, simple to use, and cheap to buy.
Take a close look at the photos and you’ll see that the rack comes with 5 webbing straps. These attach it firmly to the trunk door, with top straps taking the weight and side and bottom straps keeping it held firmly without any swaying as you take your SUV around the twisty bends in the road.
Easy to assemble. Easy to use. Gets the job done great.
3-bike trunk mount rack
There are many trunk bike racks that are as good as the Saris Bones. But none of them look quite as stylish. This one checks both boxes and does it in a choice of Black, Blue Sparkle, or Red Sparkle. I love the Blue Sparkle in particular.
The rack (which is also available in a 2-bike option) will carry your 3 bikes in sophistication and comfort and will take bikes weighing 35 lbs each.
It has a mind-boggling 6 webbing straps (2 top, 2 bottom, and 2 at the sides) which give a super-firm hold for your bikes. Each of which is secured by 3 ratchet straps (1 more than most trunk-mount racks).
Take a look at the shape of the rack and you’ll see that it has a dogleg design to the top arm supports. Why? Well, this feature means the Saris will fit round rear spoilers – something that many trunk racks won’t do.
I’m a big fan of the Saris racks!
4-bike trunk mount rack
This is the Big Daddy of trunk mount racks and comes with space for a total of 4 bikes.
Six webbing straps hold the rack firmly to your vehicle with no sway and further webbing straps secure your bikes safely to the rack.
One thing common to all trunk-mount racks is that they’re super-easy to take off. That sets them apart from hitch mounts and roof racks. That’s great because you can take off them and store them in the garage where they’ll be ready and waiting for your next bike trip.
Do trunk bike racks work on SUVs?
Yes, they certainly do! Not only that but there are some great options available to buy depending on the number of bikes that you need to carry around with you.
When you haven’t got a hitch receiver on your SUV there’s no need to assume that carrying bikes isn’t an option. Grab yourself one of these excellent trunk racks, hook on your bikes, and away you go on your next adventure.
**Please note that our reviews are based on customer reviews, star ratings, and online complaints. Therefore, Bicycle Volt are in no way liable**