If you’re a bike rider with a Jeep Wrangler, it’s almost guaranteed you’ve wondered at some point, “What’s the best bike rack for a Jeep Wrangler?”
It’s understandable. With the iconic spare tire on the back, the Wrangler won’t allow for just any rack. So you have to consider more limited options.
I’ve taken a look at five popular bike rack models to see which one could truly be considered “the best.” Here’s what I found:
|Ranking||Product Name||Best For||Load Capacity||Bike Capacity||Review||Price|
|#1||Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Bike Rack||Buyers on a Budget||70lbs||2||Read Review||See Price on Amazon|
|#2||Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Rack 2-Bike Spare Tire Mount Rack||Bit of everything||70lbs||2||Read Review||See Price on Amazon|
|#3||Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Bike Carrier||Light and Ease of Installation||66lbs||2||Read Review||See Price on Amazon|
|#4||SportsRack Pathway Spare Tire Rack||Carrying three bikes||135lbs||3||Read Review||See Price on Amazon|
|#5||Thule Bicycle Spare Tire Mount Carrier – TSPRO963||Strongest, most secure||165lbs||2||Read Review||See Price on Amazon|
Our #1 Pick: Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Bike Rack
When it comes to transporting your bikes over high speeds, you’re not always concerned with purchasing a product with the lowest possible price. But when the reviews are absolutely stellar, that low price ceases to be scary. It becomes a lot more attractive.
That’s the exact case with the Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Spare Tire Bike Rack. It is the least expensive rack featured on this list per Amazon pricing.
While not exclusively built for a Jeep Wrangler, it nonetheless features the iconic Jeep in all its marketing depictions. Because, let’s face it: if you’re buying a bike rack that fits over a spare tire, it’s probably a Wrangler.
As its name would imply, the Allen is built for two bikes. It has 15” arms that extend well outwards to allow plenty of space for both bikes.
It’s also rated to carry 70 lbs. of weight. That is far more than any two bicycles would realistically weigh.
For people concerned about scuffing up the rim on their spare, fear not. The Allen carrier is propped up by its extra-wide base on the tire.
It is not propped up by the rim. That is both for security and to maintain the aesthetics of your spare wheel.
In fact, this is one of the main selling features of the Allen. It is designed for and marketed to people looking to take every precaution when it comes to preserving the finish of their vehicle and bike.
As far as weight, the Allen comes in at a modest 9.6 lbs. That makes for relatively easy installation.
In fact, coming in at under 10 lbs. makes the Allen the lightest bike carrier featured on this list. That is notable if weight is something you’re seeking to avoid.
It has patented tie-down cradles, which are effective at securing your bike even at higher speeds.
One notable feature of the Allen is how high its keeps your bikes propped. By their own description, this is to keep them away from the hot exhaust of the Jeep, which could damage your bicycle. This may have an effect on rear visibility when driving, however, so it’s something to consider before installation.
The Next Best: Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Rack 2-Bike Spare Tire Mount Rack
The Hollywood rack is a more robust bike transportation system, both in price and in weight. It is more than twice as expensive as The Allen on Amazon.
It is more of an investment than the light and strappy Allen. However, it promises sturdy support while in transit.
Again, the Hollywood is designed to accommodate most vehicles with a rear-mounted spare wheel. However, it is clearly targeted at Jeep Wrangler owners in their marketing material.
They designed it for a 12” tire, but you can purchase it with an additional kit. That will allow it to accommodate spares that are different sizes. That is a desirable feature for Wrangler owners who may remove the stock wheel in favor of a replacement specifically for off-roading or similar activities.
In spite of its robust construction, weighing in at a quite heavy 21.6 lbs., they built the Hollywood for 2 bikes. Each is no more than 35 lbs.
A “rugged strap and clamp system” secures each bike per the site description. That stabilizes bikes while in transit.
These cradles are ideal for minimizing movement while your Jeep is in motion. That limits the chance of any break.
The Hollywood is fully preassembled, which makes it quite unique on this list. This perk is essential for minimizing your effort, and promises a quick installation on your Wrangler. It sits relatively low on the spare tire, which brings it closer to exhaust and road grime, but offers better visibility than higher mounted racks.
In terms of storage, The Hollywood offers the desirable feature of foldable 14” arms. That way, you can easily tuck it away when not in use. It also reduces your vehicle profile when you park it.
These arms some with soft rubber clamps to protect your bike’s finish. It also comes with additional safety straps for extra travel security.
This rack is relatively no-frills. But it ticks all the boxes when it comes to secure travel, easy garage storage, and minimal assembly and installation effort.
Our Next Favorite: Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Bike Carrier
Another take on the “light and strappy” spare wheel bike carrier, they cleverly designed the Rhino-Rack to sit securely on top of the tire with a metal platform and fasten on both sides of it with nylon straps.
This minimizes assembly and installation. Its marketing materials praise it as being ideal for people that want to quickly take it on and off.
Of course, like most things quick and light, the Rhino-Rack isn’t particularly heavy-duty. Its instructions clearly state that you should avoid heavy off-roading. While that is probably a good idea for all bike racks, this carrier notes it right off the bat. And if you’re a Jeep Wrangler owner, you may have already done a bit of off-roading.
The Rhino-Rack is capable of taking up to two bikes at a time (no, this isn’t a 4-bike rack. However, it has the lowest overall weight capacity of any racks we mention in this article. It has a max capacity of only 66 lbs. This should be ample for most bikes, but is indicative of its general light-dutiness.
But that might be the point with the Rhino-Rack. It’s not supposed to be big and clunky, but light and lean.
Weighing only 12 lbs., and complete with easy-to-fold arms, the Rhino-Rack wants is clearly meant for Wrangler owners who don’t have the desire to fuss too much with assembly, installation and storage. It’s for those who want the ability to throw on the carrier, a couple of bikes and hit the trails.
This rack is predictably a rather low-frills affair, with few bells and whistles. Simple rubber straps secure the bikes.
You can adjust the Rhino-Rack itself to fit on centered or off-centered spare tires that are at the rear of any vehicle. It can accommodate any style of bike from racers to fat tires, so long as they don’t exceed its modest weight limits.
One desirable feature of the Rhino-Rack is its not-insignificant three year warranty. It may be strappy and light, but the manufacturer is confident it’s good to go for at least three seasons and probably far beyond that.
4. SportsRack Pathway Spare Tire Rack
Unlike the light and strappy style of bike racks I’ve written about thus far, SportsRack has created something a bit heavier duty for transporting bikes on your Jeep Wrangler.
Rather than affixing it over the tire, you actually mount it behind and through the spare. You screw it right into the frame of your Wrangler for maximum support.
The SportsRack is compatible with a large number of SUVs with spare tires that mount on the rear. It comes with a list.
Of course, the Wrangler features prominently in both its marketing images, and in the reviews and comments of owners. However, this versatility may have its downsides, as many reviews noted it didn’t seem to fit their particular wheel or model of Jeep, in spite of what this product promises.
That said, with the ability to support up to 135 lbs. of weight, if and when you get it attached, there’s no arguing the SportsRack isn’t a robust bicycle carrier. And it needs to be, more so than any other carrier on this list because of its most attractive feature: it can take up to three bikes at a time. If you plan on biking with more than one other person (or just can’t choose between your roadie, mountain and hybrid) SportsRack offers a solution.
The padded cradles rotate and extend to adjust for a variety of frame sizes, and also adjust forward and backwards to accommodate wider tires. They also have locking straps to keep the bikes in place during transit, and deter theft when parked.
At 17 lbs., the SportsRack is on the lighter side of the heavier racks, which is unsurprising given its three bike capacity. It requires extensive installation and assembly, involving the removal of the spare tire (a process that might require two people) and several tools.
This is among the top complaints of review writers, who grumble at the lengthy process and sometimes-difficult instructions. If you’re not shy around tools, this shouldn’t be much of a deterrent, but if you’re in a hurry to hit the road, it’s definitely something to consider.
That said, I’ll end this section with some neat features that separate the SportsRack from the rest of the herd. It has an attractive brushed metal finish, and reflectors to aid with visibility at night.
It also has additional stabilizer straps to minimize movement in transit, reducing wear and tear on the bikes, rack and Wrangler. Of course, this is all contingent on actually attaching it to your vehicle, which I’ll note again is a major headache for many purchasers of this product.
5. Thule Bicycle Spare Tire Mount Carrier – TSPRO963
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a bike carrier by the nearly-ubiquitous gear transport company Thule. Especially since they offer a bike rack built especially for the Jeep Wrangler (oh, and the Jeep Liberty between 2002-07). This is one of the only racks you can buy that doesn’t merely work for Wranglers, they specifically designed it for them.
Like the other racks on this list, the Thule is a spare wheel-mounted rack rather than a hitch-mounted bike rack, attached behind the wheel itself like the SportsRack. It ranges in price dramatically.
However, you can find it on Amazon for competitive prices when you compare it to other examples on this list. It receives generally positive user reviews, with many compliments directed at its build quality, brushed metal finish, and sturdy materials.
The Thule will support two bikes, like all racks previously listed. But get this: while most two bike racks can support around 70 lbs. of weight, the Thule bike rack can hold up to 165 lbs.
It’s unlikely any two bikes will weigh that much, but it’s encouraging to think Thule has created a rack robust enough to do so. There’s something reassuring in knowing it’s nearly impossible to approach the limits of the rack you’ve installed, especially when you’re transporting something as important as your bikes.
Of course, that sturdiness comes with a downside. The Thule requires some extensive installation and assembly, involving the removal the quite heavy spare wheel on the Jeep Wrangler. Its user manual provides detailed directions about how to do so.
However, you will need tools. A second pair of hands would probably also be useful for most people attempting installation.
That said, there are perks. The Thule has bike locks on it to prevent theft, and keep bikes secure in transit. It also comes with a frame adapter to allow for women’s bikes and even bikes without a cross bar, allowing it to take basically anything with two wheels and pedals. It would be frustrating to own a rack that won’t work with a bike you own, and that’s all but an impossibility with the Thule.
Weighing in at 18 lbs., the Thule is far from ultralight, but not the heaviest on the list, either. Its bike arms extend to account for a variety of tire sizes, and at 19” are ample even when you do not extend them. For the serious multi-bike owner, this rack has plenty of bells and whistles you might find useful.
If you’re looking for the best bike rack for a Jeep Wrangler, there are a few factors you need to consider. How much do your bikes weigh? How comfortable are you with installation? What’s your budget?
If you’re looking for strength and durability (and don’t mind spending the extra cash) it is tough to do better than the Thule Bicycle Spare Tire Mount Carrier. If you just want something quick, easy and functional, the Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Bike Carrier is the way to go.
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