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Bike rack series: Low cost bike racks

MTBR explores the best low-cost bikes racks on the market. 

What is it?

For most of us, riding our bike to and from the trails or where we’d like to ride is not feasible. Transporting your bicycle is just part of the deal, and for that, you need a bike rack, but you don’t have to dip into your travel fund to do so. Choosing the right low cost bike rack can be challenging, knowing what your car can accommodate and whether to go roof, hitch or trunk. We all have boxes that the perfect rack setup needs to tick – cost being first. Below is a list of the most affordable low-cost bike racks that will keep your bicycle baby safe and sound both to and from your adventures.

Trunk mount style racks

Trunk and rear mounted racks have come along way from the faded cracking sponge and bungee cords that held our bikes to cars in the past. Now trunk style racks offer a scuff-free design, excellent bicycle retention, and portability that no other rack style can offer. This style is the most cost-effective but also can be the best option if you like the ability to transfer your rack from car to car.

Saris Bones 2-3

The Saris Bones rack is a go-to for many riders and racers.

The Saris Bones rack is a cornerstone in the trunk rack world, a stand by that always delivers and fits many vehicle manufacturers. Easy to install with a unique look makes this rack very popular in all realms of cycling. Available in both two and three bike options with anti-sway bars, the Saris Bones is an excellent option for carrying many bikes without messing and chipping paint. Rubberized feet will protect the paint of your car, and coated straps protect your bikes. The unique shape and molding method is very resilient to the elements and will fade very little over the years. The mold injected arms are super strong and sturdy, and easy to adjust on the fly when moving from car to car. Made in the USA
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Thule Gateway

Your Gateway for travel – the Thule Gateway.

The Thule Gateway is literally that, a gateway by which to travel on your bike and shred on trails that are new and exciting. The design is simple, sturdy and easy to install on many car designs. Bicycle and car protection are high on the Gateway’s list, Thule’s Hold Fast Cradles hold bikes in place, while anti-sway cages cushion the bike – providing maximum retention. For those with step-through or full suspension frames, the Gateways Cinch Lever allows the bike arms to adjust independently to cradle the frame on different tubes. The Gateway folds flat for easy storage and portability or if you want to keep it in your trunk, rather than on it. No need to worry about your car’s finish as the Gateway has a very unique strap management system that keeps all the excess cords locked up and away from the paint.
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Yakima Fullback

A unique design that entirely locks to the car; the Yakima Fullback.

The Yakima Fullback is rugged, with an eye-catching design and packed with features of a much more expensive rack. Easy to install with an interlocking HUB that aligns key adjustment points for efficiency. SKS locks are standard, as well as a built-in bottle opener for the after-ride party. Yakima’s SuperCush ZipStrip cradles the bikes and is very easy to load and unload on the fly. Yakima uses cushy padding to protect your vehicle’s paint as well as deter bikes from shaking on the rack itself. A high gloss finish rounds out the Fullback as a unique and value-packed trunk mounted rack.
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Next type: Super sturdy/locking

Are you looking to take a cycling-centric trip or vacation and need a rack that can take the abuse but not blow the budget? We’ve searched and found the most bombproof and road worthy low-cost bike racks that the industry offers. Now you can cruise the highway with the peace of mind knowing that your bike is safe and you can hit the rest stops with confidence.

Saris Super Bones 3

The classic Bones rack turned up to the max!

Everything that you love about the Saris Bones bike rack is pumped up to the max. The Super Bones has all the same features that you love optimized, like interwoven steel straps that store neatly within the rack, conforming to a wide variety of trunk shapes. The classic Bones look is in the DNA but updated with sophisticated features that add to the already striking design. The Super Bones also has a dual locking system that securely locks the bike to rack and rack to the car, making theft a non-issue. Made in the USA
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Thule Raceway 2

Fully locking and infinitely adjustable, the Thule Raceway is an excellent option for long vacation traveling.

The Raceway is unassuming until you get close enough to appreciate the hidden technical features and ease of use. Similar to the Saris Bones in shape the Raceway can fit a variety of vehicles and manufactures. Thules Sure-Tight ratcheting cables secure the bikes to the bike rack and the bike rack to the car with key locks included. Specially coated rubber bumpers protect your car finish and absorb shock from the road, keeping your bike shake free on the rack. Numbered dials make it easy to transfer from car to car and reproduce fits for each car setup.
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Hollywood Racks – F2 Over the Top

Looking to fit a car with a hatch? Hollywood Rack F2 has you covered.

The Over-the-Top trunk bike rack from Hollywood Racks is explicitly designed to work on cars with spoilers and hatchbacks. Many manufacturers have a difficult time navigating around this design but not the Hollywood F2 Over the Top. The F2 features a “high rise” frame which prevents strap contact with the spoiler. The F2 also works on cars sans spoiler, and the rack includes removable hatch anchors and quick connect straps for secure attachment to hatches, trunks and what have you. The F2 has anti-sway locks to keep expensive bikes from hitting each other along with rubberized boots to keep your car free from scratches. If you have a hatch or a vehicle that is hard to fit a trunk rack on, give the F2 Over The Top a serious look.
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