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Best Bike Racks for Women's Bikes (2022)

Although many subtle differences exist between traditional men's and women's bike frame designs, the most noticeable difference is the heavily slanted top frame tube on many women's bikes (also known as a step-through frame). This is a leftover from the days when women typically wore dresses while riding bikes. The lower tube was meant for easier mounting.The manufacturers of this traditional bike style couldn't have foreseen the issue that female bike enthusiasts (and others who prefer step-through frames) would one day face: the challenge of mounting their bike on a bike rack.The fact is that most bike racks are designed to carry traditional men's bikes by securing the horizontal top tube. There are no shortage of adapter bars available for women's and alternative bikes so that they may be properly loaded onto most bike racks. However, after dropping cash on a bike and rack, many people don't care to spend more on special bike adapters (this is particularly true if you have to purchase adapters for kids' bikes, as well).We've put together a list of our top favorite bike racks for women's and alternative bike frames below. No adapters required.
Top Bike Racks for Women's Bikes

What Type of Bike Rack Do I Need for My Women's (Step-Through) Bike Frame?

The safest, easiest way to carry your women's or alternative frame bike is with a hitch-mounted platform-style carrier. There are several reasons riders with alternative bike frames prefer hitch-mounted platform-style racks (particularly the wheel mount style) over other types.Hitch-mounted platform racks:
  • Carry bikes by wheels with little or no frame contact
  • Can accomodate step-through frames without adapters
  • Don't allow bikes to sway behind vehicle (unlike hanging racks)
  • Don't require overhead clearance (unlike roof racks)
  • Are more aerodynamic and fuel efficient than roof racks
  • Are less likely to be destroyed by low garages
Read more about our top 5 platform racks for women's bikes below!

Top Bike Racks of 2022 for Women's Bikes

Bike RackCapacityWhy Choose This Rack?
Thule T2 Pro XT2-4 BikesBest Overall
Thule EasyFold XT2 BikesEasiest to Load
Kuat NV2-4 BikesMost Weather Resistant
Yakima HoldUp2-4 BikesMost Popular
Saris Freedom 2-4 BikesBest Family Rack

Best Women's 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 there's no need for an adapter and no need to worry about scratching your bike. 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.ConsAt 96 lbs for the 4-bike model, the T2 Pro XT rack is quite heavy.
Thule T2 Pro XT Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes or 4 bikes (60 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 2-bike add-on # TH9036XTS (silver) or # TH9036XT (black)Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Carrier Weight: 52 lbs (2 bike); 96 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: Yes (Bikes & Rack)Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5Great product. Easy assembly. Sturdy construction. Looks great on vehicle. Easily carries my wife's and my bike with plenty of separation. Bikes load easily and securely. The wedge design that secures bike rack in receiver is awesome. Slide rack into receiver turn knob and wiggle rack as wedge tightens. Over great design. Thanks Thule you have done your home work.
Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Rack
Watch Now: Thule T2 Pro XT Review
Thule EasyFold XTProsThe Thule EasyFold can carry anything from your step-through road bike to your ladies' e-bike. The EasyFold's arms can be repositioned anywhere along the upright frame to hold your bikes by the downtubes or toptubes, so it's great for step-through frames and bikes with fenders. The rack also includes an aluminum ramp for easy bike loading—no lifting required. It folds for compact storage and can be easily transported with its built-in handles and wheels. With Road Dampening Technology to protect your bikes, a tilting function for rear cargo access, and a One-Key Lock System, the EasyFold comes equipped with all the features that you could want in a bike rack.ConsThule products are premium quality, and they're also premium price. The ramp extends up to 48", which may not be long enough to create a convenient angle on some taller vehicles.
Thule EasyFold XT Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes (65 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: N/AAllows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Carrier Weight: 45 lbsLocks Included: Yes (Bikes & Rack)Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5Finding a bike rack suitable for two ebikes having fenders and rear rack was a challenge. Add in that one bike was a traditional mens bike with a top tube and the other was a traditional women's frame (step through), it took us awhile to decide on the Thule EasyFold XT2 from etrailer who have been fantastic to deal with. The rack arrived on time, and in excellent condition. You can literally take it out of the box and mount it on your vehicle. It look a few minutes to figure out the best way to attach the frame support bars, but because those bars can be removed and repositioned it attaches solidly and there is no movement of the bikes once mounted. Positives: - the rack folds up on the vehicle into a small package when the bikes are not mounted; for storage purposes it is about the size of a suitcase; it is on rollers, when attached and bikes on it, it folds away from the vehicle in a big way and . . . There are no negatives - Love it!
Thule EasyFold XT
Watch Now: Thule EasyFold XT Review
Kuat NV ProsThe Kuat NV grips your bike by its front wheels via ratcheting hooks, so the rack never makes frame contact. Not only will the rack never scratch your bike, but its wheel-mount design also means it's incredibly easy to carry women's bikes. 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. The Kuat NV is the only rack on this list made of corrosion-resistant aluminum, which makes the rack a great choice for biking in moist or humid climates. 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. The NV also requires an adapter for kids' bikes under 25".
Kuat NV Key Features
Capacity: 2 bikes or 4 bikes (60 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 2-bike add-on for 2-bike rackAllows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Carrier Weight: 52 lbs (2 bike); 82 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: Yes (Bikes & Rack)Warranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5I purchased this rack after extensive research. My wife and I were transitioning back to a hitch rack after several years of only using roof racks; our prior hitch rack was another brand which had not aged well after a few years. I wanted to make sure that we did not run into the same aging issues this time around. After one year, I can report that all indications are good. The Kuat rack is much more solidly engineered and constructed than our prior hitch rack - everything has a much more solid feel. Everything behaves the same regardless of weather (temperature, precipitation, etc) and is very reassuring. It's also very quick to adjust if we take a trip with our road bikes instead of trail bikes or downhill bikes, which is nice. We are very happy with this rack, and believe that you will be too!
Kuat NV Bike Rack
Watch Now: Kuat NV Review
Yakima HoldUpProsThe beefy Yakima HoldUp is everything you want in a hitch-mounted bike rack. The wheel-mounted design means no frame contact, so it's great for women's step-through bikes, and it won't scratch your paint. 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 rack tilts away from the vehicle to allow for rear hatch access. It's also hardy enough to carry heftier bikes, like a mountain or e-bikes.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 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 or 4 bikes (60 lbs per bike)Mounting Style: Hitch Mount - PlatformAdd-Ons: 2-Bike Add-On # Y02446Allows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"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 Bike Rack
Watch Now: Yakima HoldUp Review
Saris Freedom ProsThe Saris Freedom provides a great fit for a variety of bike styles due to its independently adjustable cradles, which can secure your bike by the top downtubes. This is ideal for women's bikes, bikes with fenders, and even for kids' bikes in most cases. The tilting design and front-mounted push lever make it easy to access your rear cargo area. Saris' patent-pending "Cuscinos" are designed to prevent any scuffing of your bike, and the lightweight design makes it easy to install and remove.ConsLocks must be purchased separately. The Saris Freedom does make frame contact, although the cradles are cushioned with specially designed, patent-pending "Cuscinos." Bike space is tight, and if you switch between bikes often, adjustment can be time-consuming.
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/AAllows Trunk/Cargo Access: YesHitch Size: 1-1/4" or 2"Carrier Weight: 22.5 lbs (2 bike); 53 lbs (4 bike)Locks Included: NoWarranty: Limited Lifetime
Customer Review: 5/5I bought this bike rack to use on my girlfriend's Jeep Liberty. We chose this model because her hybrid bike has a sloped top tube and when placed on other style racks the front of the bike it very low and the back end is up in the air. With this style it does not matter what type bicycle you have !! We got it adjusted to each of our bicycles in a matter of minutes. It is very well made and such a pleasure to use. I would recommend this to anyone considering a hitch mounted rack.
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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