The Best Bike Rack for Cars in Canada

Whether you’re going camping or driving to a bike excursion, being able to conveniently and safely take your bike with you can make or break your trip. Let’s face it, the process of transporting your bike, or even multiple bikes, is not a simple task without the proper setup. You’ll either need a huge trunk with a large backseat, high quality bungee cords, or an extra sturdy bike rack that will hold your bike(s) firmly in place without damaging your car.

With the numerous types of bike racks available in Canada, preliminary research is essential when it comes to finding the rack based on your specific requirements. To make the research task much easier for you, we’ve done it for you and listed some of the best bike carriers for cars that are available in Canada in 2021. Keep reading to find the perfect bike rack for your car!

What is a Bike Rack?

A bike rack is essentially a carrier that is set to your vehicle, with which you can mount and transport your bike to the destination of your choice. By assembling the bike rack to your car, the process of mounting your bike becomes a lot easier compared to the manual binding process. In order to make it easier for your type of vehicle or the number of bikes you’re transporting, bike racks are available in many different shapes and sizes. 

Most people are aware that transporting a bike without a rack can be a burden. With the help of a solid bike rack, you can make the moving process effortless. With this peace of mind, you can enjoy cycling wherever you want without hassle.

The Different Types of Bike Racks

There are many different types of bike racks available in the market to make the transportation of your bike as easy as possible. The most popular bike racks are available in hitch, carrier, or mounted varieties. Each of them has its own significance. You can basically choose the one that works best for your needs.

Hitch Mount Bike Racks

The most affordable and easy to assemble type of bike rack is the hitch bike rack. You can simply set them to the rear side of your car and fix your bike for a secured ride all the way. The hitch tube will allow you to rest the wheels of your bike well above the ground, so the stability is maintained without any disruption. Designed in a way to handle high amounts of stress, hitch bike racks are very stable.

In general, hitch bike racks can accommodate one or two bikes. However, the process of attaching them to the vehicle is super easy and can be done within minutes. Make sure to check the compatibility with your car before buying one.

Carrier Bike Racks

A carrier bike rack is an improved version of the hitch rack, and it can hold a higher number of bikes. This type of bike rack can be assembled to the trails and tow bars of your car. Being slightly elevated when compared to hitch bike racks, a carrier bike rack can generally hold up to four bikes.

Being one of the most popular designs on the market, most people opt for carrier bike racks as they offer more bike carrying space and are less trouble to the vehicle carrying the bike. Carrier bike racks are also quite affordable and are suitable for a wide range of cars in a highly versatile manner.

Roof Mount Bike Racks

A roof-mounted bike rack is fixed to the roof of your car. This type of bike carrier will be the best pick for you if your vehicle has crossbars on the roof. Otherwise, you would need to purchase these separately. The number of bikes that can be mounted in a time will largely depend on the size of your car. Some large vehicles can fit up to six bikes on roof-mounted bike racks. The mounted bike rack is the best choice when it comes to driving to group cycling events.

The advantage of roof-mounted bike racks is that your front and rearview remain undisturbed. The only thing you need to be cautious of when using a mounted bike rack is to make sure that nothing is overhanging. Also, be sure to check the weight limitation of your vehicle before mounting multiple bikes on your roof.

The Best Bike Rack For Cars in Canada in 2021

Below are some of the best bike racks for cars that are available in Canada in 2021.

Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack

Made of durable aluminum and plastic, the Thule EasyFold XT hitch bike rack is available in silver and black. The rack is capable of enduring a heavy load and is great for mountain bikes and electric bikes. 

The EasyFold XT’s major benefit is that it’s foldable and doesn’t require much room for storage. It also has a built-in carry handle with wheels to help with transportation. With wheel straps and torque knobs to secure your bikes in place, it can effortlessly fit two bikes. The rack also comes with a bike lock to make sure your bikes don’t get stolen when parked. In terms of capacity, the EasyFold is suitable for up to 130 pounds which is about 65 pounds per bike if you’re carrying two bikes.

  • Suitable for heavy mountain bikes as well as electric bikes
  • Versatile design
  • Can be folded for easy transportation
  • Quick and easy to install
  • It might not fit certain electric bikes with flat tires
  • The price

Thule 526 XT Circuit Fork Mounted Bike Rack

The Thule Circuit Fork Mounted Bike Rack is a simple yet highly effective bike rack that can be installed on the roof rack of your car.  Made from solid aluminum, the rack is sturdy enough to securely transport a 35 pound bike. With an adjustable fork mount, the rack can be adjusted to fit a wide range of bikes. The rack is easy to install, provided that your vehicle has a rack on its roof. Roof rack cross bars must be purchased separately so keep that in mind if you don’t already have some.

  • Very simple to assemble and install on any roof cross bars
  • The fork clamp makes it easy to adjust for size
  • Security locks are not included
  • Vehicle requires cross bars installed on the roof

Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Racks

Made of solid steel, the Allen Sports Hitch Bike Rack is highly sturdy and durable. With a weight capacity of 70 pounds, it can securely transport up to 2 lightweight bikes. To ensure that the bikes are tied securely, the rack has a dual compound tie-down cradle along with a set of straps. The rack has wobble-free bolts that protect the bikes from damage caused by movement. The rack also has a built-in locking loop for extra security.

  • Protects your bike with a protective padded shield
  • Easy to install in a few minutes
  • The folding mechanism is great
  • The rubber bands may need to be replaced after frequent use
  • Must unbolt the carrier every time you remove your bike(s)

Deluxe Trunk Mounted Bike Rack

If your vehicle doesn’t have a hitch, the Allen Sports Deluxe Trunk Bike Rack is an excellent option for up to 2 bikes. Whether you have an SUV, mini van, sedan, or a hatchback, this bike rack should be suitable. 

Made of steel alloy, the rack offers excellent durability and first-class support. To accommodate women’s bikes and BMX’s, the rack comes with a convenient adapter bar. It also has a separate tie-down that secures your bikes in a safer way. This rack is currently one of the most popular 2-bike racks in the market.

  • Versatile design can fit different types of cars
  • Doesn’t require a hitch
  • Very affordable and secure
  • Hooks can be damaging to the car

Swagman Traveler XC2 Hitch Bike Rack (RV approved)

Swagman’s hitch bike rack is highly versatile, durable, and convenient to set up. It can carry up to two bikes with a total weight capacity of 70 pounds. In addition to standard 2-inch hitches, the Swagman can also be installed on an RV bumper using the included steel adapter. This means you can install the rack on pretty much any type of vehicle. To make the rack corrosion resistant, it’s coated with a unique black powder coating.

  • Can be used on RVs, 5th wheels, trailers and most cars
  • Sturdy bike support with no wobbling
  • Made in Canada
  • Must purchase a security lock separately 
  • Maximum weight capacity is lower than Swagman’s other models

How to choose the best bike rack for your needs?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right bike rack for your vehicle or particular bike requirements. Since the process can be overwhelming, we’ve put together some points you should consider:

Number of bikes being transported

The first criteria you need to think about is the number of bikes you’ll need to fit onto the bike rack. The range of capacity differs with each of the bike racks available in the market. A mounted bike rack can often hold more than four bikes, while a hitch bike rack can only hold up to two bikes. For that reason, it’s mandatory for you to select a type of bike rack based on your vehicle’s requirements and on their capacity.

Weight limitations of the bike rack

Another important factor to consider is the weight limitation of the bike rack. Inform yourself of the maximum weight that the bike rack is capable of holding, and then you can be sure whether it can safely hold your bike (or multiple bikes). By choosing the right weight category, you can avoid significant damage to your vehicle or bikes while traveling. In general, carrier bike racks are your best pick for carrying heavy-weight bikes.

Compatibility with your bike(s)

Tire and wheel width differs based on your bike. Most electric bikes and mountain bikes have thick wheels in order to endure rocky terrain. For that reason, it’s important to make sure the bike rack you’re considering is suitable for your bike’s particular type of wheels. If you own a non-standard bike, pay extra attention to a bike racks’ compatibility criteria before buying it.

Weight or design limitations of your vehicle

Before installing any type of bike rack on your car, refer to your car’s manual to assess any potential weight limitations. Oftentimes, the weight criteria of your vehicle is lower than you expect. If you’re considering buying a hitch rack, you would need to check your vehicle’s towing limit and capacity. It’s also important to consider the design of your vehicle and which type of rack would make the most sense. For example, most cars will not come with a hitch.

Tips For Buying a Bike Rack

When it comes to buying a bike rack in person (versus online), we highly recommend taking the bike rack for a test drive when possible. Having the rack fitted to your car for a test run will help save you from potential problems down the road. You’ll be able to first-handedly figure out if the bike rack is suitable for your type of vehicle or if it’s simply incompatible with your bike. If ever the bike rack doesn’t fit as planned, there are often add-ons such as a tube adapter or a cork that can be added to the rack.

When attaching or mounting your bike to the bike rack, cautiously attach the bike’s tire to the hitch of the rack in a secure manner in order to avoid it loosening up on the highway. You can always use a bungee cord or a strap to help with this process. Be sure to purchase some additional straps or ropes to have handy in your car if ever you’re going on a road trip with your bike(s).

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