The Best Bike Rack For Jeep Wrangler (The Ultimate Buyers Guide)

Jeep Wranglers are known for their versatility and ability to go wherever life takes you. This is all true until you are packing your bikes, bags, dog, and more into the bed of your car, we’ve all been there!

The best fix?:

A bike rack.

So, we took a look at the different types of bike racks to find the best bike rack for Jeep Wrangler.

If you’re looking to bring your bikes on a trip, but not have them cramped in your Wrangler, this is for you!

Let’s get started with a quick introduction to the best option, the Thule 963 Pro Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here

One of my favorite features is that this rack is built to last the life of a Jeep Wrangler. It will be able to handle almost anything your Wrangler can handle. Did I mention it can do this with two bikes attached?

To learn more about this rack and other options, continue on…

Comparison Table

Product Name
Product Image
Top Benefit
Thule 963PRO Spare Tire CarrierFits all bike frames including women and child bikes!
Yakima Spare Tire Bike RackThe locking knob secures the rack to your tire for added security!
Hollywood SR1 Spare Tire RackEasy to install and and easy to remove because of the strap system!
Allen Sports Deluxe Spare Tire Mounted RackFits over some of the largest spare tires including the Wrangler JL!
Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Bike CarrierRust proof and can withstand harsh weather!
Kuat Transfer 2 Bike RackSecures bike cause no damage to your frame because it has holds your bike in place with no contact!

The 6 Best Bike Rack for Jeep Wrangler

I’m glad we are all on the same page now and know what we are looking for! So, what even are the best bike racks for Jeep Wranglers?

These are the 6 best bike racks!

Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier

My very first instinct with the Spare Me Pro is trust. If this article isn’t your first time hearing about any sort of bike rack, you have most likely heard of Thule.

They are an industry leader and their experience shows with the 963Pro. Yes, this rack is higher priced than most. Even though, the benefits can be much greater than the shortcomings!

Pros

  • Can hold 2 bikes and comes with a universal adapter for different tire sizes
  • Compatible with regular and oversized spare tires
  • Anti-sway and “Stay-Put” cradles prevent bikes from hitting each other
  • Includes top of the industry locking system, locking bikes to rack and rack to car
  • When not in use, you can fold the arms down for a sleek look
  • Thule provides a Limited Lifetime warranty
  • Easy Installation

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • The straps that strap down bike rack could wear over time

Yakima Spare Tire Bike Rack

Another huge name in the outdoor industry is Yakima. I highly recommend the Yakima Spare Tire Bike Rack if you looking for a sturdy rack. Head over to Amazon by clicking here.

They have entered this space with a great bike rack for your Jeep Wrangler.

The Yakima Spare Tire Bike Rack has a design that allows for a simple installation, without the use of tools.

Along with that, Yakima has a good line of accessories that can enhance your experience. Oh, did I mention it has a built-in bottle opener?

Pros

  • SuperCush ZipStrip provides secure bike storage while preventing bike sway
  • Includes locking system
  • Hold up to 2 bikes
  • Easy installation
  • As usual, Yakima has included a bottle opener on this model

Cons

  • Does not fit all spare tire sizes, only most stock size spares
  • Very expensive

Hollywood SR1 Spare Tire Rack

This rack is one of the more inconspicuous in design.

Hollywood Racks’ hit it out of the park with the SR1 Spare Tire Rack, with both bolt and strap mounting systems.

You can easily drive through town or off-road knowing your bikes will still be there upon arrival.

The fact that this rack has a mid-range price point sets it apart from its competition.

Pros

  • Fits up to 2 35lb bikes
  • Quick and easy installation, comes fully assembled
  • Arms adjust for side mounted tires
  • Foldable arms when not in use

Cons

  • Does not come with an integrated locking system
  • Can be difficult to fit on larger tires and does not fit all tire sizes
  • Potentially harmful to spare tire

Allen Sports Deluxe Two Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack

As a result of its strap on, patented carrying design, the Allen Sports Deluxe Spare Tire Rack fits onto nearly all tire sizes.

This versatility cannot be found elsewhere in the market. This is great for someone with a variety of vehicles.

Along with that, this rack is the least expensive on our list and one of the best racks you can get at any price point.

Pros

  • Patented carrying design holds bikes high above the spare tire
  • The wide bottom supports distribute weight evenly through the tire, not the rim
  • The durable design meant to last for years of use
  • Assembly time of just seconds, unrivaled by the competition

Cons

  • Arms do not collapse
  • Pressure on the tire can damage some older spare tire
  • Will need to provide own locking systems

Rhino-Rack Spare Wheel Bike Carrier

Rhino-Rack claims to be giving you more trail-time than other bike racks with their strap on tech.

One of the only racks that has the ability to be adjusted for a spare wheel on the left, right, or center of your car.

Do keep in mind, Rhino-Rack does not recommend heavy off-road use. This is because strap-on technology tends to be less secure than bolting the rack secure.

Pros

  • Strap-on technology allows for quick and easy installation
  • Allows for 2 bikes to be carried
  • Ability to fold down if it is not being used
  • Has a rust-proof coating
  • Adjustable to maintain balance weight with any spare wheel placement
  • Mid-range price point

Cons

  • Cannot be trusted with heavy off-road usage
  • Rhino-Rack is a smaller manufacturer compared to others
  • You will be responsible for finding a way to lock up your bikes

Kuat Transfer 2 Bike Rack

The final bike rack we are looking at today is a bit different than the rest. The Kuat Transfer 2 Bike Rack is the best hitch bike rack for Jeep Wranglers.

This allows the Kuat to give you a 3 bike option which cannot be done with the spare tire attachments.

Pros

  • Can hold up to 3 bikesDesign holds bikes by wheels, preventing any damage to frames
  • Can hold any style of bike frameFoot pedal to fold when not in use
  • Attachments available through Kuat for hitch pin locks and an integrated cable lock
  • Low to the ground allowing easy loadingHigh max weight allowance at 40 lbs per bike

Cons

  • The most expensive option
  • Locking systems come at extra cost
  • Because of the length added to the back of the vehicle, not recommended for extensive off-road use

Because of the design of the rack, there is no contact with the frame of your bikes, keeping your gear in the best condition.

What Sets a Bike Rack Apart?

There are many factors that go into picking the best bike rack for your Jeep Wrangler. Of course, not everyone has the same preferences and needs. So, it is important to understand your needs and what makes a good bike rack.

So, what should you think about before purchasing a rack?

Consumer Reports did a test and found that bike racks can decrease your mileage per gallon. You should weigh the convenience of having a bike on the outside of your car rather than inside against the extra gas costs.

For a cross-country trip with one bicycle, it might be best to take off the wheels and stick it in the back-seat.

Best Bike Rack Mounting Styles for Jeep Wrangler

One thing that is important is to know the 4 industry standards for bike racks in general. Although most of these can be attached to your Wrangler, that does not mean they are the best.

Each will have its benefits and disadvantages, but some have more than others. When it comes down to a purchasing decision, you will need to decide based on your individual situation, desires, usage, and needs.

Once you are familiar, we can look at your options for a Jeep Wrangler bike rack.

Spare Tire Mounted Racks

First, let’s look at the spare tire mount. This style of bike rack makes up the majority of the best bike racks for Jeep Wrangler.

Within this category, you will find racks that bolt into your spare tire, racks that strap onto your spare tire, and racks that do a combination of both.

These allow you to access the bed of your Jeep Wrangler without having to take off the rack. Along with that, most of these racks are very quick and easy to install and they are moderately priced.

Spare tire mounted racks do come with their shortcomings though. For example, because of the design of mounting bikes to the spare tire, you will only find racks that fit up to two bikes.

Along with that, many of these racks will hold your bikes from a hanging position. This is not always bad, but it can be an inconvenience in many ways.

First of all, hanging your bikes can cause damage to the bike frames. Along with that, hanging racks tend to have a harder time fitting all types of bike frames. So, if you have a versatile bike collection, hanging racks may not be your best bet.

Hitch Mount Bike Racks

The only other style of bike rack featured in our list of the best bike racks for Jeep Wranglers is a hitch mount. Hitch mounts are the only other bike rack that lets your Wrangler be a Wrangler while you haul your bikes around.

For a family or someone who likes to ride many bikes, this is the way to go. Hitch mount racks give you the ability to take more than two bikes which cannot be found by spare tire bike racks.

Along with that, hitch mount racks are super simple to install and are very sturdy.

Because of their sturdiness and good design, hitch racks can get very expensive. If you are wanting to carry three bikes, a hitch rack can easily cost a lot of money.

Also, hitch racks add a lot of length and weight which can be funky when driving off-road. If you find yourself on the back roads a lot, a hitch rack may not be for you.

If you’re headed on a family vacation though, this is a great way to bring each member of your family’s bikes.

Conclusion

Now, it is clear that spending a little extra for a bike rack will get you the best option. So, the Thule 963 Pro Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier takes the cake.

The fact that this rack almost has no problems on where you can go and what you can do with your Jeep Wrangler sets it apart. That, along with that peace of mind that comes with having the locking systems makes for a pleasant bike rack experience.

The Yakima rack came in a close second, but the lower versatility and higher price really knocked it down a bit. Thule knows how to keep their prices low while still delivering a product that will work with almost all who need it.

Along with that, having the bolted mount rather than a strap-on mount provides so much security for your bikes. It’s well worth it to pay the extra money on a bike rack that will securely hold your precious bike rather than risk ruining your bike.

In the end, no matter what you are doing with your Jeep Wrangler, the Thule will deliver. This allows for versatility in the activities that you can do with your friends and family that is unprecedented in the industry.

So, maybe you are headed to the beach to cruise.

Or, you may be venturing into the mountains for a camping trip. No matter what, the Thule will get your bikes wherever your Jeep Wrangler takes you. This is exactly why I chose it as the best bike rack for a Jeep Wrangler.

Additional Reading

If you want to learn more about storing your bike for the offseason I got you covered. Click here to read the best ways to store your bike in your garage.

If you are worried about messing up the paint job on your Jeep Wrangler then check out my article on how to prevent damaging your car with a bike rack.

Your comments are welcome!

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