A guide on how to choose the best bike rack to suit your car and bike.
If you want to venture further afield with your bike (and your friend's bikes) in tow, you're probably going to need a bike rack to get you there.
Everyone's needs are unique and there are a few key considerations to take into account.
Different bike styles and different vehicles require different bike rack solutions.
That’s why we have written this guide, to help you choose a bike carrier that fits your needs without compromise.
Towbar Mounted Bike Racks
Towbar Mounted Bike Racks are perfect for families or a group of friends - even with e-bikes. If you have an EV or smaller vehicle that can’t handle a lot of weight on the roof (or if you want a more aerodynamic solution to save on fuel consumption) a towbar bike rack is an excellent choice.
A towbar mounted bike rack is the most common style of bike carrier, and is a great option if you already have a towbar on your vehicle, or plan on installing one. Generally bike racks can carry between 1 and 4 bikes, are easy to fit, and limit heavy and high lifting thanks to their lower height. Some even have the ability to tilt with bikes loaded, for complete trunk access.
They are designed to make loading and unloading of bikes quick and easy, they can also accommodate to fit a variety of frame styles.
You should choose a towbar mounted bike rack if...
- You need to easily load and unload bikes
- You need to carry different bike frame styles
- You are transporting heavy bikes or e-bikes
- You want a super aerodynamic bike carrier solution
- You have an e-vehicle that can’t handle weight on the roof
Roof Rack Mounted bike racks:
Roof Rack Mounted Bike Racks have a stylish, sporty design and fit almost all bike dimensions. They can be fork-mounted, wheel-mounted and frame-mounted.
While these styles require that you have roof racks on your car, roof rack mounted bike racks are an excellent choice for sedans and smaller SUVs with a lower loading height, or car models that do not have a towbar installed.
Selecting a fork or wheel-mounted option (such as Thule FastRide / TopRide / UpRide) ensures that the rack will make absolutely zero contact with your precious carbon fiber frame.
For those not worried about frame contact, the ever popular ProRide is an excellent choice
You should choose a roof rack mounted bike rack if...
- You have roof racks on your vehicle
- Your vehicle has a lower roof height
- You need full access to the rear of the vehicle
- You want a sporty, classic look
- Your towbar is being used by something else (trailer, caravan etc)
Whatever your car or however many bikes you’re bringing, there is a bike rack for the job. Before you select your bike rack, take a look at the different options available to find the best model for your car and your needs.
All Thule bike racks are tested extensively both in real life and in the Thule Test Center, a state-of-the-art facility for testing Thule products to the extreme. That way you know our bike carriers will carry your bikes safely and securely, wherever you are going.