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Best Bike Racks for Mountain Bikes (2022)

When it comes to packing up your mountain bikes and hauling them to the trail, your number one priority is making sure your bikes arrive at your destination in the same condition they started in.Mountain bikes present their own unique challenges when it comes to finding the perfect bike rack to transport your gear. Common mountain bike features like full suspension and thru axles can limit rack options. Not to mention, mountain bikes are typically heavier than road bikes, their tires are beefier, and their handlebar spreads are often wider. It's even more challenging if you add in alternative bike frames or smaller kids' bikes.That's why we've put together this list of the best bike racks for mountain bikes —so you don't have to worry about getting to the trails and can simply enjoy the journey. Check out the list below!
Mountain Bikes and Bike Rack

What Type of Bike Rack Do I Need for My Mountain Bike?

The safest way to carry your mountain bike is with a hitch-mounted platform-style carrier. There are several reasons mountain bike enthusiasts prefer hitch-mounted platform-style racks over other types.Hitch-mounted platform racks:
  • Carry bikes by wheels with little or no frame contact
  • Don't allow bikes to sway behind vehicle (unlike hanging racks)
  • Don't require overhead clearance (unlike roof racks)
  • Generally accomodate common mountain bike features (29" wheels, suspension, etc.)
  • Are more aerodynamic and fuel efficient than roof racks
  • Can carry women's bikes without adapters
  • Often can carry kids' bikes without adapters
  • Are less likely to be destroyed by low garages
Check out our list of the top hitch-mounted platform racks below!

Top Bike Racks of 2022

Bike RackCapacityWhy Choose This Rack?
Thule T2 Pro XT2-4 BikesBest Overall (etrailer choice)
Kuat NV2-4 BikesMost Weather Resistant
Yakima HoldUp2-4 BikesHighest Weight Capacity (200 lbs)
Kuat Transfer1-3 bikesMost Popular Choice
Saris Freedom2-4 BikesBest Family Rack

Best Mountain Bike Racks of 2022

Thule T2 Pro XTProsThule has earned its respected reputation with high-quality products like the T2 Pro XT. This hitch-mounted, platform-style rack holds your bikes by the wheels, not the frame, so you don't have to worry about scratching your bike while you drive. The front-mounted HitchSwitch lever makes it easy for one person to tilt the rack and allow for rear cargo access. Locks are included to keep your expensive gear safe. Plus, the tool-free installation is a breeze.ConsThe rack is made of steel, which is susceptible to corrosion in moist environments if the finish wears off or is scratched. At 96 lbs for the 4-bike model, the T2 Pro XT rack isn't the easiest to lift alone. You may need a second set of hands.
Thule T2 Pro XT Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes (60 lbs per bike) or 4 bikes (60 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 2-bike add-on # TH9036XTS (silver) or # TH9036XT (black)Hitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesWheel Diameter: 20" - 29"Carrier Weight: 52 lbs (2 bike); 96 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: Yes (Bikes & Rack)Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5This is the most convenient and easy to use bike rack I've ever owned. Love everything about it. I've used it for one year now. I use it mainly for a 27.5 PLUS mountain bike, but I've used it for road bikes, non-PLUS mountain bikes and cruisers. I use it on 2013 Hyundai Sonata. My only issue I have is that the car rides low and sometimes the back of the rack scrapes on dips. But that isn't a rack issue--just a fact about having this rack on a car. Overall great purchase.
Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Rack
Watch Now: Thule T2 Pro XT Review
Kuat NVProsThe Kuat NV is the only rack on this list made of corrosion-resistant aluminum. This makes the rack a great choice for biking in moist or humid climates. The Kuat NV grips your bike by its front wheels via ratcheting hooks, so the rack never makes frame contact. The front-mounted foot lever lets a single person easily tilt the rack for rear cargo access. Keyed-alike locks are included for both your bikes and the rack, and the hand-tightening cam system means a tool-free installation in your hitch. Bonus: the Trail Doc bike maintenance stand attaches to the front of the NV, so you can repair and adjust your bike on the go.ConsThe rack, especially the 4-bike version, is quite heavy and may require more than one person to lift. This can be troublesome, since due to the size of the rack, you may not want to leave it on your car when it's not in use. The NV is also the only rack on this list that requires an adapter for kids' bikes under 25".
Kuat NV Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes (60 lbs per bike) or 4 bikes (40 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 2-bike add-on for 2-bike rackHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesWheel Diameter: 25" - 29"Carrier Weight: 52 lbs (2 bike); 82 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: Yes (Bikes & Rack)Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5You certainly get what you pay for with Kuat! The fit and finish are first rate and the rack's design, in my opinion, makes it the most intuitive, cleanest and best looking rack out there. I was considering the RockyMounts Split Rail 2+2 (similar design and athletics and a bit lighter) but I am so glad I went with Kuat. I mounted it on my 06 Pilot today in less than 5 minutes with my wife's help (though it can be accomplished solo), locked the pin and tightened the anti-rattle mechanism for a rock solid mount. All bikes fit on it like a dream (my 29er, wife's mountain bike and 2 kids mountain bikes...have not tried by road bike yet but I don't anticipate any issues). Very impressed with the rack and my etrailer experience.
Kuat NV Bike Rack
Watch Now: Kuat NV Review
Yakima HoldUpProsThe beefy Yakima HoldUp is everything you want in a hitch-mounted bike rack. It's easy to load, thanks to the pivoting rear wheel cradles and low height. Included Same Key System (SKS) lock cores secure your bikes to the rack and the rack to your vehicle. The ratcheting hooks avoid any frame contact. The side-to-side wheel tray optimizes handlebar clearance, which is ideal for large mountain bikes like 29ers. The rack even tilts away from the vehicle to allow for rear hatch access. Bonus: the available add-on # Y02446 turns this 2-bike rack into a 4-bike rack.ConsAlthough the HoldUp folds compactly against the vehicle, the folding lever is a bit difficult to access near the shank, particularly with bikes loaded. The rack is constructed of steel and may rust if the protective powder coat finish is scratched or worn off. The 4-bike model is quite heavy, weighing in at over 100 lbs, and will likely require assistance to install.
Yakima HoldUp Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes (60 lbs per bike) or 4 bikes (60 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 2-bike add-on for 2-bike rackHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesWheel Diameter: 20" - 29"Carrier Weight: 49 lbs (2 bike); 104 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: Yes (Bikes & Rack)Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5This carrier is everything they claim it is. It's very heavy duty, easy to mount and secure all types of bikes, whether they be BMX, mountain or road bikes, and, most importantly, rides so smoothly behind the vehicle (due to the well engineered arm that goes into the receiving hitch) that you forget it's there. I truly believe many a bike will wear out before this rack wears out. I would not hesitate to recommend this carrier to anyone who serious about quality and value.
Yakima HoldUp
Watch Now: Yakima HoldUp Review
Kuat TransferProsWith 1, 2, and 3-bike rack options available, the Kuat Transfer is great for flying solo or biking with a group. The ratcheting hooks hold your bikes by the wheels—no frame contact necessary. The rack tilts for cargo access by means of an easily accessed foot lever, and the Perfect Fit adjustment system ensures a secure ride for your bike. The adjustable front-wheel cradles can also be tilted to hold a children's bike with wheels as small as 20".ConsYou'll have to purchase locks separately. The Transfer is made of steel, so it is susceptible to rust/corrosion in moist environments if the protective powder coat is scratched or wears off.
Kuat Transfer Key Features
Capacity: 1 bike, 2 bikes, & 3 bikes (40 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 1-bike add-on for 1-bike platform # TSAOBHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesWheel Diameter: 20" - 29"Carrier Weight: 26.2 lbs (1 bike); 37 lbs (2 bikes); 52 lbs (3 bikes)Locks Included: NoWarranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5I am VERY happy with the rack. It fits perfectly on my faithful old Subaru Baja and accommodates nicely the car (truck?) tailgate operation. Our road bikes, cruiser, 27.5 mtb and fat bikes all ride smoothly and securely - even on our local, horribly rough cobble stone streets. . . . Whoever Kuat are, they've made a huge impression on me - the rack comes packaged like a Xmas present! The overall quality and design are awesome - even if I didn't own a bicycle, I would want the rack just because it improves the looks of my car so much! And finally, but don't tell anyone - it is compatible with my old screw-on, locking hitch pin! Thank you etrailer and thank you Kuat!
Kuat Transfer Bike Rack
Watch Now: Kuat Transfer Review
Saris FreedomProsThe Saris Freedom provides a great fit for the whole family due to its independently adjustable wheel trays—just adjust the trays as needed to fit most men's, women's, and children's bikes, even those smaller than 20"! The tilting design and front-mounted push lever also makes it easy to access your rear cargo area. Saris' patent-pending "Cuscinos" are designed to prevent any scuffing of your bike, so your gear makes it to your destination in the same condition in which it left. Plus, the lightweight rack frame is easy to install and remove.ConsLocks must be purchased separately. The Freedom is constructed of steel with a powder coat finish, so if the finish is scratched or worn off, the rack is susceptible to rust. The Freedom is the only rack on this list that makes frame contact with your bikes, although the contact is cushioned with specially designed, patent-pending rubber cradles.
Saris Freedom Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes (60 lbs per bike) or 4 Bikes (35 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: N/AHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesWheel Diameter: Up to 29"Carrier Weight: 22.5 lbs (2 bike); 53 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: NoWarranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5WOW WOW WOW That is what I just kept saying after installing this Saris bike rack . . . We are a family of 5 (3 kids and 2 grown-ups). I needed something that will help me load bikes fast, unload them and still be able to have access to the back of my Toyota Sequoia. Saris delivered in every way. Assemble of the item is straight forward. Instructions are clear and to the point. They even give you a yellow strip that helps you mark where the hitch needs to be in order to align hole openings for easier installation after you install it the first time ;) The back-up camera is still usable but not 100%. Tilting down the rack with the bikes on it is simple as 1-2-3. There is plenty of room left between the trunk door and the bike as you can see on the pictures. One HUGE benefit is that you do not need any extra parts for kids bikes. Not like with other brands. Saris delivers tremendously on this part too. No shaking, rattling, or anything that would make you notice that you have this amazing product on the back of your SUV/truck. I can't recommend it more. I am just surprised that this product has not been more advertised and represented compared to other products.
Saris Freedom Bike Rack
Watch Now: Saris Freedom Review
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Written by: Amber S.Updated on: 11/30/22


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