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Best Bike Rack For Jeep Wrangler

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If you love exploring in a Jeep Wrangler as much as you love cycling, eventually you’ll want to combine the two. But you need a way to carry your bike.

In this article, we’ll review several great bike racks for a Jeep Wrangler, including the Kuat Transfer V2 Bike Rack at the top of our list. This is great for its strength, versatility, and superior compatibility with Wrangler backup cameras.

As well, we’ll be giving you some great advice on features to look out for in a Jeep Wrangler bike carrier. Find out what features to look for!

Top Picks:

Top 7 Best Bike Racks For Jeep Wrangler

Below, we review a selection of bike racks for the Jeep Wrangler.

1. Kuat Transfer V2 2-Bike Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack (best overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

  • Rack Type: Hitch-mount
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 44 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 60 lbs. per bike.

For its huge versatility and backup-camera-friendly design, the Kuat Transfer V2 2-Bike Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack wins our top spot on this list. Unlike most hitch racks with a central mast, this U-shaped rack leaves a clear view from a backup camera.

The only drawback with this rack is that you might need a hitch extender to clear the Jeep’s spare tire. This is probably not a problem you’ll face with the Hollywood Racks Trail Rider listed further down, but that rack is less compatible with backup cameras.

Another benefit of the U-shaped design on the Transfer V2 is that it makes the first bike easier to load. Normally with platform-style racks, you have to reach over the rack to put the innermost bike on. With this one, you can walk right up to the vehicle.

The generous capacity of 60 lbs. per bike is also significant since it means you can carry many models of e-bike on the rack. This platform-style rack accepts bike tires up to 3” wide. A separately available strap extender lets you carry fat bikes with 5” tires.

A tilting feature on this rack is operated by a foot pedal, leaving you two hands to move the rack away from the cargo area of your vehicle.

The Kuat Transfer also includes a semi-integrated cable lock that secures your bike to the rack. This in turn can be secured to the vehicle with an optional locking hitch pin.

What We Like

  • Capacity – big load capacity allows most bike types.
  • Backup – no central mast to obstruct backup cameras.
  • Tilt – foot-operated tilting mechanism.

What We Don’t Like

  • Extender – a real chance you may need a hitch extender for installation.

2. Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire 2-Bike Rack (best spare tire rack)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Spare-Tire Mount
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 35 lbs. per bike.

For its handy compatibility with Jeep Wrangler JL model backup cameras, we choose the sturdily constructed Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire 2-Bike Rack. This is a rack you can leave installed without blocking the camera’s view.

The Hollywood Racks SR1 is easy to install using robust straps and clamps. It doesn’t require the removal of the spare tire or camera before fitting. While it doesn’t have quite the load capacity of a hitch rack, it can still haul two 35 lbs. bikes.

Bike support arms spaced 13” apart hold the bikes, and there’s a 7” distance between the pairs of soft rubber bike cradles that rest on the arms.

One potential downside that applies to most trunk and spare-wheel racks is that you’ll probably need to buy a separate crossbar adapter for bikes with step-through frames (e.g., some women’s bikes and children’s bikes).

This rack installs over spare tires with a maximum 12” width. The arms fold neatly to each side when the rack is not in use.

What We Like

  • Clear view – does not impede a backup camera.
  • Easy – quick and easy to install.
  • Neat – arms fold neatly out of the way when unloaded.

What We Don’t Like

  • Crossbar – you’ll need a crossbar adapter for any step-through bike frame.

3. Allen Sports Premier 4-Bike Hitch Rack (best hanging-type hitch rack)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Hitch-mount
  • Bike Capacity: 4
  • Weight: 22 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 140 lbs. Total

Ideal for Jeep Wranglers without a backup camera, which it will otherwise partially obscure, is the Allen Sports Premier 4-Bike Hitch Rack for 2” hitch receivers.

A great thing about this sturdy rack is that it fits Wranglers without needing an extension, even with oversized spare tires.

You can also tilt the Allen Sports Premier rack flat when it’s unloaded, which makes it more useful than most in this regard for a Jeep Wrangler. Often, tilting actions don’t go far enough to open a side-swinging Jeep tailgate.

Another handy feature that you’ll only generally find on hitch racks is their security. You can lock bikes to the rack and the rack to the hitch to prevent casual theft.

Your bikes are protected during transport by the dual-compound cradles with quick-secure rubberized straps.

This rack is easy to install (provided you have the required hitch receiver) and use.

What We Like

  • Reach – no hitch extender needed to reach past the spare tire.
  • Tilt – tilts flat for access to side-opening tailgates.
  • Lockable – both the rack and your bikes are lockable.
  • Quality – solidly made product and good value.

What We Don’t Like

  • Camera – likely to obscure a backup camera at least partially.

4. Hollywood Racks Trail Rider 2-Bike Hitch Rack (best platform-type hitch rack)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Hitch-mount
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 45 lbs. per bike

The Hollywood Racks Trail Rider 2-Bike Hitch Rack makes our list for its Wrangler-friendly fit and bike versatility. This is a rack that clears the spare tire of most Jeep Wranglers without needing a hitch extender, and that’s a big bonus.

This is a rack that fits into either a1 ¼” or 2” hitch receiver and it’s great for carrying MTBs with tires up to 3” wide. The generous 45 lbs. capacity that this “platform style” hitch rack offers gives you potential to carry chunkier bikes if desired.

You get useful security with this rack, too, with lockable a lockable hitch pin and frame hooks, effectively meaning you can lock your bike(s) to the Jeep.

Thanks to the adjustable wheel holders, you can carry bikes of various lengths on the Trail Rider up to a maximum 60” wheelbase.

For access to your tailgate when the rack is loaded, it also conveniently tilts backward to a flat or near-flat position. (Note that you may still struggle to open a Wrangler tailgate even with the mast fully down.)

Another potential downside that’s hard to avoid on many hitch racks is that it may obscure a backup camera to some degree. It does fold up neatly when unloaded, but the mast rests in a central position as is normal.

What We Like

  • Spare-friendly – extends beyond most Wrangler spare tires.
  • Capacity – generous weight capacity.
  • Versatile – accepts a wide range of bikes.
  • Tidy – folds up neatly when not in use.

What We Don’t Like

  • Camera – may block a backup camera.
  • Tilt – may not allow enough clearance for all Wrangler tailgates.

5. Allen Sports Deluxe Spare Tire 2-Bike Rack (best budget)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Spare-Tire Mount
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 70 lbs. Total

A veritable bargain for anyone who owns a Jeep Wrangler JL and wants to carry a couple of bikes is the Allen Sports Deluxe Spare Tire 2-Bike Rack. Thanks to its wide-profile feet, this rack does not stand in the way of any backup camera.

The Allen Sports Deluxe also installs around the exterior bracket of 3rd brake lights on some Jeep Wrangler JL models.

An individual tie-down system lets you rotate the cinched cradles so you can attach different sizes and shapes of bikes from various angles. Bikes are carried high up to keep them away from the road and exhaust.

The carrying arms of this rack are narrowly set, which helps them to hold a wide variety of bikes. Nevertheless, you may still need to buy crossbar convertors before the rack will hold bikes with step-through frames. That’s true of most hanging-type bike racks.

This is a solidly made and well-designed rack for the money with features that suit Jeep Wranglers.

What We Like

  • Camera – wide profile does not block backup cameras when unloaded.
  • Leeway – bike cradles rotate for easier securement of bikes.
  • Third brake – installs around Wrangler JL 3rd brake light assembly.

What We Don’t Like

  • Crossbar – some bikes without tall top tubes may need a crossbar adapter.

6. MaxxHaul 50027 Hitch Mount Platform-Style 2-Bike Rack

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

  • Rack Type: Hitch-Mount
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 33 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 40 lbs. Per Bike

Finding a product that clears the spare tire of a Jeep Wrangler is one of the challenges if you want a platform-style hitch rack. That’s one of the pluses of the MaxxHaul 50027 2-Bike Hitch Rack, which can carry two 40 lbs. bikes beyond the tire.

With a few pounds of extra load capacity, you can put quite chunky bikes on a rack like this. The MaxxHaul 50027 is good for some e-bikes, for instance, which you can’t generally put on hanging-style racks.

This rack can accommodate tires of up to 2.5” wide (or fractionally wider). Despite the nominal 26” maximum tire diameter quoted in the marketing text, this rack can also hold 700c road bikes and hybrids or MTB 29ers.

Bikes are kept solid during transit on the MaxxHaul 50027, secured as they are by wheel straps and foam-covered hooks over the top tube of the frame.

The downside to this top-hook system is that you may struggle to secure some bikes with step-through frames. Bikes with wheels below 20” in diameter are also incompatible, which rules out smaller bikes for kids.

While we’re on the cons, backup cameras are likely to be obscured by this rack, too, so that’s a potential drawback for owners of new(ish) Jeep Wranglers.

A few pitfalls aside, this rack offers tremendous value for money.

What We Like

  • Stable – confidence-inspiring stability for your bikes.
  • Quality – a robustly made product.
  • Versatile – accepts most bikes except fat bikes and smaller kid’s bikes.
  • Value – competitive price.

What We Don’t Like

  • Backup – highly likely to partially block a backup camera.
  • Gap – you may need a crossbar converter to load a step-through bike.

7. Quadratec Spare-Tire Mount 2-Bike Rack

CHECK PRICE AT QUADRATEC

  • Rack Type: Spare-Tire Mount
  • Bike Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 22 lbs. (Approx.)
  • Weight Capacity: 70 lbs. Total

An alternative to Allen Sports spare-tire racks for Wranglers with a backup camera is the Quadratec Spare-Tire Mount 2-Bike Rack. This rack wraps around the tire, hence the view from the camera is perfect when the rack is unloaded.

The Quadratec fits around oversized tires of up to 37” x 12.50” in size. It has soft rubberized cradles to preserve the finish of your bike(s), with tie-down straps to hold them firmly in place. A nice touch is the red reflective caps on the ends of the arms.

Manufacturing is first-class in this rack. The frame is made of thick welded steel and has a powder-coated finish for its anti-abrasion and weatherproof properties.

If there’s a downside, perhaps it lies in the relatively high cost against rival products. You are getting a refined product for your money, so that’s a mitigating factor.

An alternative product for older Wranglers without a backup camera is the Quadratec Spare Wheel Mounting Bike Rack. This attaches to the center of the wheel where the camera resides on newer 2018+ vehicles.

(Note that one of the photos in the second link shows the wrong model.)

What We Like

  • Camera – wrap-around design leaves backup cameras clear.
  • Manufacturing – high construction quality with a durable finish.
  • Oversized – fits over large spare wheels.

What We Don’t Like

  • Cost – the price tag is on the high side, but this is a high-quality product.

How To Choose A Bicycle Rack For A Jeep Wrangler

Depending on which model of Jeep Wrangler you have, there are certain features you need to look out for in a bike rack. Then there are more general considerations that should also inform your buying choices.

Spare Tire

Jeep Wranglers typically have their spare tire installed on the rear center of the vehicle. This creates a problem of space when it comes to installing a bike rack.

The common “trunk-mounted” bike rack is a non-starter on a Jeep. Roof racks are possible, but they’re somewhat impractical owing to the height of the vehicle.

So, you’re left with hitch-mounted or spare-tire mounted bike racks. With the former, you have the immediate problem of needing the hitch to extend beyond the spare tire. There are times when this will be a tight fit.

In instances where a hitch-mounted rack does not reach far enough beyond the tire, you can add a hitch extender to make it work.

Ideally, you need to measure the width of the tire, so you know how much clearance you need for a hitch rack, particularly if you have a product in mind.

On modern vehicles, you also have the related problem of the backup camera, which we’ll get into next.

Backup Cameras

From 2018 onwards, Jeep Wranglers were fitted with a backup camera as standard. In the U.S., all new cars from May 2018 onwards have a backup camera by law.

Backup cameras in a Jeep Wrangler are installed smack in the center of the spare wheel, which is a problem if you want to attach a bike rack to the rear.

So, how do you overcome this? Ideally, you need a hitch-mount rack that does not have a center mast, or which doesn’t significantly block your view. Or you need a spare-tire mount that wraps around the wheel rather than installing into the center.

Most hitch-mounted racks do have a center mast. A minority have a wider design that’s more compatible with a backup camera.

Of course, once the bikes are loaded, all bets are off as to how much you can see through the backup camera. The assumption is that most of your driving is done with the rack unloaded.

3rd Brake Lights

Some Jeep Wrangler models have their 3rd brake lights fitted to an external bracket around the spare tire.

This is another thing to consider if you opt for a spare-tire rack, as you don’t want the frame of the rack to compete for the same space.

Hitch-mounted Racks vs. Spare-tire Mounted Racks

We’ve talked about issues relating specifically to a Jeep Wrangler, but what about a more general comparison? Should you buy a hitch rack or a spare-tire rack?

A benefit of all hitch-mounted bike racks is that they carry heavier bikes than any rack that attaches by straps, including spare-tire racks. The difference is usually at least 5 lbs. per bike, but it can be more.

One big benefit of a spare-tire mounted rack is you can access the side-opening tailgate of a Jeep Wrangler, which is often problematic with a hitch rack. Many racks do not tilt flat enough (unloaded) to let the tailgate clear. A small minority do swing sideways.

Consider A Platform-Style Hitch Rack

There are two main types of hitch racks: platform style and hanging style.

With the platform style, the bikes sit in wheel cradles with their frames also secured. The hanging style has a mast with two projecting arms and cradles, from which your bikes hang.

Platform-style racks are often more expensive, and they usually allow heavier bikes. There’s usually more space between bikes, too, with less opportunity for them to knock together. So, a platform-type hitch rack is probably the deluxe choice.

Video: Platform vs Hanging Bike Racks

Disadvantages of Hitch & Spare-Tire Racks

The downsides of any hitch rack include its inherent expense and the fact you need a hitch receiver installed on your vehicle. This might be costly if it isn’t there already. Most Jeep Wranglers are likely to have a hitch receiver.

A considerable downside of any hanging style of bike rack, where the bikes are suspended from arms, is they don’t work so well on bikes without top tubes (aka crossbars). “Women’s bikes”, children’s bikes, and cruisers are often problematic.

Any kind of step-through bike on a “hanging-style” rack is quite likely to need a crossbar adapter before it will work. The alternative is sometimes to suspend your bikes at all kinds of disconcerting angles, but adapters are not overly expensive.

What Type Of Rack Should I Choose if……

Here’s a quick guide to help with decision-making:

  • If you’re on a budget: spare-tire rack.
  • If your Wrangler has a backup camera: a spare-tire rack for a clear view.
  • If you want to carry heavy bikes: hitch rack.
  • If you have an oversized spare wheel: some tire racks, some hitch racks.
  • If you want to carry very expensive bikes: platform-style hitch rack.
  • If you want to lock bikes to your vehicle: hitch rack (look for this feature).

 Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks: FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Jeep Wranglers and bike racks:

Can You Fit A Bike Inside A Jeep?

Yes, you can fit a bike inside a jeep, though you’ll probably need to remove at least one wheel. A greater problem lies in keeping the inside of your Jeep clean on the return journey from a mountain bike ride, for instance.

Do You Need A Hitch Receiver For A Jeep Bike Rack?

Not necessarily. Many Jeep Wranglers will have a hitch receiver, but you can use a simple spare-tire rack and sidestep the problem altogether!

Are Bike Racks Easy To Fit Onto A Jeep Wrangler?

Generally, yes. Many racks are largely assembled upon delivery. There is scope for difficulty if the rack does not easily clear the spare tire. Measure the required space first where possible, including tire width, and study the dimensions of the product.

Final Words

It’s time for a quick recap on our reviewed bike racks for the Jeep Wrangler.

You’ll recall the Kuat Transfer V2 2-Bike Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack is in our top spot. This is a platform-type hitch rack that accepts heavy 60 lbs. bikes, which makes e-bikes possible. Its unique U-shaped design makes it compatible with a backup camera.

We have another camera-friendly product in second place with the Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire 2-Bike Rack. This is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a hitch receiver or who needs regular access to the tailgate without complication.

If you need to carry bikes for all the family, consider the Allen Sports Premier 4-Bike Hitch Rack. This one is likely to block a backup camera, but it’s a solidly built, lockable rack you can depend on. Allen Sports makes several Wrangler-friendly racks.

All of our bike racks were meticulously researched to ensure they at least fit most models of Jeep Wrangler. When you’re not carrying bikes, several of them give you an unobstructed view rearward through the backup camera.

One way or another, we hope this article helps you find your ideal bike rack!

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Glenn Harper
Glenn Harper
When I’m not contributing articles to Bike Push, I can often be found cycling on the rural roads around me. If I can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, I’ll consider it a win.

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