There’s a lot to consider when purchasing a bike rack of any kind, but especially when the rack needs to hold up to the active, adventurous lifestyle that owning a Jeep Wrangler is likely to involve. With so many racks on the market it can be quite daunting to decide which will work best for your needs.
Buying a bike rack is no small investment. You want to make sure that the one you buy is the right one. Whether you are venturing deep into the backwoods to enjoy some exciting mountain biking trails or going on a nice, leisurely ride on a paved city trail, you want a rack that will reliably serve you and meet its desired purpose.
Durability, functionality, and price are all things to consider before making the final purchase. So buckle-up, ladies and gentlemen, and with no further ado here are the five best bike racks for the Jeep Wrangler.
1. Allen 4-Bike Hitch Rack
Allen Sports is a very reputable brand for all manner of bicycle accessories. They’ve gained their reputation for a reason and this product is no exception. With thousands of satisfied customers this 4-Bike Hitch Rack from Allen Sports is a very popular choice.
This foldable alloy steel rack can fit up to four bikes weighing 35lbs (16kg) each, enough for your friends and family. There will be no need to carpool to the trail head with this carrying around your bikes. The sturdy, reliable tie-downs are designed to hold a wide variety of frames so you can transport your bikes worry-free.
Weighing in at 22lbs (10kg) it certainly is built solidly and can last up against the elements. Customers report getting over three years out of these racks with just a bit of wear-and-tear. While being tough, it is also easy to use and store. With its clever foldable design, you can just as easily store it as set it up for your next adventure.
- Cost effective
- Easy to set-up
- Long life span
- Fairly heavy
- Bike mounts are quite close together
- Tedious locking mechanism
2. Swagman XC2 Hitch Rack
For those of us looking for a bike rack with a bit more “top to bottom” stability, the Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack is a great choice. Finely crafted out of alloy steel and weighing about 28lbs (12.7kg), this rack will safely cradle your beloved bikes keeping them stable no matter how rough the road is.
Suited for a Class 2 or 3 hitch receiver setting it up can be a bit of a chore, but it’s very straight forward to use once the set-up is complete. Many customers like their bikes to be supported at the tire and on the frame for some added stability so if you are one of them then this might just be the rack for you. When not in use the tire tray arms fold up neatly towards the ratchet arm to free up space, also making storing this beast that much easier.
With a total carrying capacity of two bikes, up to 35lbs (16kg) each, you won’t likely push this bike rack beyond its limits. While it is large and takes some effort to install you can’t put a price on security. Swagman certainly delivers with this rack, giving you the peace of mind that we all need.
- Extremely stable design
- Well priced
- Fits a wide variety of bikes
- Somewhat complicated initial set-up
- Fairly heavy
- Locking hitch pin sold separately
3. FIERYRED 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack
Sometimes you stumble across a true hidden gem. While the FIERYRED 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack doesn’t have quite the same number of sales as some other brands’ bike racks, it is a very well-engineered and functional rack which will keep your two bikes nice and safe during the drive.
Made out of ultra-heavy duty power coated iron, with strong rubber straps, this bike rack works well and looks good doing it. To nullify the stress of bikes wobbling around too much during your travels on a bumpy road FIERYRED has removed that worry with an intelligently designed anti-sway system that can handle up to 75lbs (34kg).
Being a spare tire bike rack there is always a concern that if you have large, off-roading tires the rack may not fit properly, but this rack can fit a tire up to 12.6” wide by 34.65” in diameter. In addition, with your trailer hitch generously freed up you can bring your camper with you for an adventurous trip in the outdoors.
- Cost effective
- Frees up trailer hitch
- Keeps bikes from swaying too much
- Only fits two bikes
- Hard plastic bike frame cradles
- Blocks spare tire back-up camera
4. Allen Premier Locking 3-Bike Hitch Rack
With the quality and brand reputation that Allen Sports brings to the table, it’s not a surprise that one of their products appears on this list again. While fairly similar to the other Allen Sports rack on our list, this rack has a much higher level of adjustability to accommodate all different shapes and sizes.
Accommodating three bikes at a time this rack has the ability to adjust the height and angle as you see fit. While there are varying levels to this product, there aren’t many racks at this price that offer the same level customizability. With the heavy-rubber tie downs that can be individually tightened you can strap down your bike frame exactly how you want.
To make things even easier for you the entire unit also can tilt outwards, allowing you to remove your bikes with minimal effort. After a long car drive and before an exciting bike ride, anything that helps you preserve your energy is a bonus.
- High adjustable
- Long life span
- Ease of use
- Fairly high price point
- Can initially be overwhelming
- Some wobble on bumpy roads
5. Allen Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack
Sometimes the simple option gets the job done, and gets it done well. Here we are with another quality bike rack from Allen Sports to finish off our list. One of the lower priced options, this rack can carry two bikes at up to 30lbs (13.6kg) each.
With its patented design the bikes are cradled high up away from the road and the hot, potentially damaging, exhaust. Simply strap your bike frames in using a classic strap and buckle system and you are good to go. Weighing only 11.5lbs (5.5kg), the Allen Sports Premier 2-Bike Spare Tire Rack gets an awful lot of function out of an overall fairly minimal amount of material.
We all know the dreadful feeling of getting a scratch on your nice rims, so the wide profile bottom foot is cleverly engineered to rest on the tire so you don’t damage your rims at all. The two lower “Sure Straps” attach under the rear bumper near the hitch receiver for added stability. Allen Sports designed this rack with function in mind to make getting to your next big bicycle trip as leisurely as possible.
- Very cost effective
- Protects bikes from road debris
- Designed not to damage tire rim
- Not quite as heavy duty
- Obstructs rear visibility slightly more
- Strap mechanism allows movement
Frequently asked questions
Will the spare tire bike racks fit large tires?
The FIERYRED rack will fit a tire up to 12.6″ wide by 34.65″ in diameter which will cover the vast majority of tires. If your tire is bigger, than the Allen Sports spare tire rack should be able to accommodate it.
What is the long-term reliability of these products like?
All five of these items have many customer reports of reaching up to three years with few issues. However, the racks that utilize heavy duty rubber and plastic clamps can develop some wear if left out in the sun too often.
Can I install a spare tire bike when I have a spare tire mounted camera?
This depends on the design of the rack. The FIERYRED rack requires you to mount it through the middle of your tire, so it will not. The Allen Sports spare tire rack mounts over the top of the tire and straps under the rear bumper, allowing you to still use your tire mounted back-up camera though the view may be obstructed.
Will my back-up camera be obstructed by the bike rack?
Oftentimes a fully loaded rack will impede the back-up camera’s view. This is depending on how many bikes you have loaded up, along with the shape and size of those bikes.
Will my bikes sway during travel?
On racks that require you to hang the bikes via the frame there is often some sway. Customers will use bungie cords, cables, Velcro straps or rope to give the bikes some added stability. The racks that support the bike at the frame and at the tires do not have any sway.