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The best roof-mounted bike racks

Whether you have a car or SUV, find out what the best roof-mounted bike racks are. Make sure you can lift your bike onto the roof.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

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1. Yakima FrontLoader Upright Bike Mount

Bike on a Yakima roof rack.
Photo courtesy of Yakima.

Yakima’s FrontLoader Upright Bike Mount is a versatile and aerodynamic option. The mount weighs 13 pounds, and it can hold one bike with a maximum weight of 40 pounds.

The rack doesn’t touch your bike’s frame, which means you don’t have to worry about scratches. The paint or carbon is protected.

It has strong and adjustable wheel trays that hold 20-inch to 27.5-inch wheels with tire widths up to 3 inches and 29-inch wheels with tires widths up to 2.7 inches.

You can also leave your front wheel on, which makes it more convenient. By mounting the bike on the rack with the wheel, it can also handle disc brakes, thru-axles, or full suspension.

The installation process is also straightforward. It doesn’t require any tools. You’ll clamp the rack to the crossbars, and you’ll be ready to go.

Another benefit of the FrontLoader mount is that you can register your rack to be protected by Yakima’s lifetime warranty.

Buy the Yakima FrontLoader Upright Bike Mount from Amazon for $209.

2. Thule UpRide Bike Rack

Bike on a Thule roof-mounted rack on an SUV.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

The UpRide by Thule is an excellent upright roof-mounted bike rack. You can quickly secure your bike to it, as it’s easy to use. It weighs 17 pounds and can handle one bike that weighs up to 44 pounds.

Thule created the rack to fit 20-inch to 29-inch wheels with tires up to 3 inches wide. If you have a fat tire bike, you can purchase the Thule UpRide Fatbike Adapter, which can fit tires up to 5 inches wide.

Related: The top 10 fat tire e-bikes

Since you mount the wheel to secure your bike, the rack works with non-traditional frame designs, rear suspension, and bottle cages. It’s a universal and versatile roof rack.

Another benefit of mounting the wheel is that the rack doesn’t touch the bike frame. It ensures that your bike doesn’t get scratched.

Thule also equipped the rack with a retractable cable at the end of the tray locks the bike to the bike rack. Since it only has the cable built-in, you’ll need to purchase the lock core separately.

Buy the Thule UpRide Bike Rack from Amazon for $249.95.

3. RockyMounts TomaHawk Upright Bike Rack

Bike attached to a RockyMounts roof rack on a car.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

The RockyMounts TomaHawk is one of the most versatile roof bike racks. It’s 16 pounds and can hold one bike up to 40 pounds on Thule or Yakima crossbars and 35 pounds on factory crossbars.

RockyMounts did an excellent job with the TomaHawk because it comes standard with the ability to fit 20-inch to 29-inch wheels and tires up to 5 inches wide. It’s compatible with fat bikes without an adapter.

It uses wheel straps to secure your bike, which makes the loading and unloading process much easier. By securing the front wheel, you don’t have to remove it. Plus, it won’t scratch your bike’s frame.

Buy the RockyMounts TomaHawk Upright Bike Rack from Amazon for $199.95.

4. Swagman Upright Roof Mount Bike Rack

Swagman bike roof-mounted rack.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

If you’ve budgeted less than $100 for a roof-mounted bike rack, Swagman has the perfect one for you. The Upright Roof Rack offers security and ease of use while being affordable.

It works with most crossbars, and you don’t have to remove your front wheel to attach your bike. The rack can hold one bike that weighs up to 35 pounds.

However, it attaches to your bike’s downtube. There are pads to protect your bike’s frame and wheel straps for extra security. It fits wheels up to 3 inches wide.

Buy the Swagman Upright Roof Mount Bike Rack from Amazon for $41.17.

5. SeaSucker Mini Bomber Two Bike Rack

Two bikes on a SeaSucker roof-mounted rack.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

With the Mini Bomber, SeaSucker created an excellent system to transport two bikes. While you need to remove the front wheel, the rack works well.

The SeaSucker Mini Bomber utilizes powerful suction cups that you connect to your car’s roof, trunk, or rear windshield. It works with metal, glass, or fiberglass surfaces. Being versatile, it’s also compatible with vehicles of all sizes.

It can secure two bikes that weigh up to 45 pounds each. For a total weight of 90 pounds, the four 6-inch suction cups are incredible. Each suction cup is pull-rated for 210 pounds.

The Mini Bomber also has 22-inch rear wheel straps that can accommodate most fat bike tires. It requires minimal assembly and is the best rack for carrying two bikes.

Buy the SeaSucker Mini Bomber Two Bike Rack from Amazon for $498.99.

Bottom line

As long as you can lift your bike onto the roof of your vehicle and you have the clearance to drive with it, roof-mounted rear racks are a great choice. Plus, they won’t block rear visibility or prevent you from opening the trunk.

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Featured image courtesy of Canva.

About the author: David Em is the founder of Hello E-Bikes, the destination for electric bike reviews, comparisons, gear, and tips.

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