The Toyota Prius is a revolutionary vehicle. Those of us who are Eco-minded and desire a sleek designed machine to meet our environmental efforts often find a perfect home in the Prius.
As I’m sure you know by now, one of the unfortunate obstacles for sedan owners can be the lack of storage space. Being an avid cyclist, the need to bring bikes for yourself and your riding partners is very important.
A bike rack is a very easy solution to your problem. If you crave the awe-inspiring escape of forested trails, I’m sure you know what I mean.
But what to do with the endless varieties of bike rack you can find with a quick search?
The sheer volume of options can be mind-bending. For my battery-powered cohorts, I took the liberty of doing research to find the best bike rack for the Prius.
Toyota Prius Bike Rack Buyer’s Guide:
Bike Rack Right For You?
If you ride a lot, you’ve raised your hand already!
I’ll be honest…
If you needed to meet someone at the trailhead with your bike, you could always pop the wheels off. Then you could stuff it in the back seat.
It’s not the greatest solution. But, sometimes you have to get creative to avoid dropping some extra money. It comes down to more than your own riding habits.
Do any of your friends ride?
Have you ever gotten a distressed phone call from someone stranded with a flat tire?
The bottom line is that a bike rack can be a useful tool.
So, do you need a bike rack?
You need to think about what you like to do as a cyclist. Do you enjoy spending time thrashing around tight corners on a desolate mountain range?
Or do you tend to stick with local trails more immediate to your home?
If you enjoy exploration, the next destination might need more than a light ride down the street.
Choosing the Best Bike Rack
Finding the right bike rack can be an overwhelming task. The enormous amount of options MUST have something to offer for you.
But which one is going to be a good fit for you?
If you’re looking for a more sensible way to get your bike to Point B, it’s important to factor in your habits. As a commuter and a cyclist, you want to make sure that the rack you buy is up to the challenge.
Let’s take a look at some of the main things you should consider.
Does the Type of Rack Matter for the Prius?
As the owner of a Prius, you’re limited in this category. The trunk-mounted variety is the easiest one to install.
But, if you have a hitch installed or plan to get one you can get a hitch-mounted rack.
Check out the video below for an easy hitch installation for the Prius.
Trunk-mounted racks are easy to install and user-friendly.
Will Your Frame Fit?
Riders who favor the fat tubes of mountain bikes and beach cruisers should worry about the cradles where a bike rests in a rack. Most racks shouldn’t give you trouble.
But it’s not unheard of to find one that’s intended only for road bikes and other slim frames. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind to avoid ending up with equipment you’ll end up having to return.
How Many Bikes Do You Need To Carry?
Do you tend to go on rides alone?
Do most of your riding partners already have racks of their own?
Or is a bike-oriented trip with the family more your style?
There are many great single bike racks on the market, and you can find a lot that can four bikes. If you carpool, you’re going to want the extra space!
How Heavy Are Your Bikes?
Not all racks are equal on this front.
Most of the products you see have a weight limit of 35 pounds per bike, which should hold you over fine. But, some of the racks that emphasize basic design and easy storage aren’t always up for heavy lifting.
If you like bulkier bikes, be sure to check out the rack’s weight limit.
Added Benefits of a Bike Rack
At the end of the day, a bike rack is more than a way to make room in your car.
Have you ever tried to throw your bike in the back seat?
Not only is it annoying to remove the tires, but the whole situation is a pile of problems. You can throw your gears out of whack. The handlebars or seat could get twisted out of place.
And I’ve definitely seen some upset over grease stains.
And none of this has to happen!
You’ve already invested in a nice car and bikes. It only makes sense to treat them right, and a bike rack is a great way to do that.
Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier
The Thule Passage is a great choice for road and mountain cyclists who yearn to take their bikes out for a road trip check out Amazon for more reviews. The Thule Passage is a functional rack that can fit up to three bikes.
Some trunk-mounted racks have a problem with sitting too close to your car. That will force you to leave an empty for extra room. Thule designed this rack to use all three spots without harming your trunk.
This rack also features a folding mechanism that allows you to put the arms up when you’re not using it. Solid-state racks have you installing and uninstalling the rack every time you use them.
What a pain!
You won’t have to worry about that with the Thule Passage. It’s also very dependable for long trips on horrible roads.
Pro Tip: One downfall of this rack is that it won’t carry every type of bike you need it to. Some irregular frames, like those of women’s and children’s bikes, may need an adapter to fit this one.
The added price of the adapter can be a frustration if you want your rack to be perfect out of the box.
Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B
This bike rack is one of the most appealing base models. It comes completely assembled and has a simple installation process. If you’re like me and are often eager to start pedaling the moment a ride crosses your mind, a rack that doesn’t call for tools fits the bill!
Another great thing about this rack is that thick padding covers the metal components. It can save both your Prius and your bike from getting roughed-up while you drive. The padding IS a feature that you’ll find with most bike racks.
But, it’s often too thin to protect your equipment. That’s not the case with this Tyger rack.
Something else that caught my eye:
The Tyger Auto comes with a lifetime warranty. Finding the bike rack that suits you best can be a process of trial and error. A warranty can take away some of the stress of investing in a new product while you get your feet wet.
The biggest drawbacks of this rack are it only holds a single bike. If you see yourself taking solo trips, this shouldn’t be an issue. But, if you carpool, it’s best to look for a rack with many slots.
This is a sturdy, reasonably-priced bike rack and a solid option for any cyclist who doesn’t need to carry many bikes. Click here to learn more about why this bike rack is so amazing on Amazon.
Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack
This affordable bike rack is a good way to take advantage of a simple, effective construction while not breaking your bank account.
My favorite thing about this rack is that it’s crafted to fold up for easier storage. It folds down small enough to fit in a backpack. Which is awesome if you want something that won’t take too much room in your trunk.
The minimalist design of the Allen Sports Ultra Compact might raise some concern around its reliability. Some users have taken it across the country with no issues.
Unfortunately, the metal hooks where this rack contacts your car might not be the best. The hooks coated with a hard resin, instead of the padding seen on some racks. If you aren’t careful you could scratch your paint.
I got you covered because I wrote an in-depth article about avoiding damaging your car from bike racks.
This rack isn’t ideal for heavier bikes. If you’ve got a thing for mountain bikes and beach cruisers, I’d look for something more rugged.
All in all, this rack is a strong consideration for frequent travelers on a budget. I highly recommend you check out more reviews on Amazon by clicking here.
Prorack 4-Bike Hitch Carrier
With a capacity to carry four bikes, this hitch-mounted rack is a great way to add more members to your bike crew.
The neat thing about the Prorack 4 is its unique hitch adapter. The rack fits 1-1/4” hitches. It comes with an adapter that allows it to be compatible with 2” hitches. Many hitch-mounted racks are one size.
Those that do have an adapter often offer it only as a separate buy. As cool as it is that the Prorack 4 comes with an adapter, unfortunately, it is the main flaw. The adapter is plastic and doesn’t hold up well.
This can allow the rack to sway while you drive. Pressure cracks can develop under heavyweights. If you have a 2” hitch, I’d keep this in mind if you tend towards heftier bikes.
The Prorack also features a tilt-away mast to make sure your trunk is always accessible.
The Prorack 4 is an exceptional accessory. I’d recommend it for people who like to hit the streets with a group and think they’d prefer a hitch-style rack. Check this rack out on Amazon!
Saris Bones 801 3-Bike Trunk-Mounted Bike Rack
Made from 100% recyclable materials the Saris Bones 801 is for the environmentally conscious cyclist I highly recommend you check it out on Amazon. Its plastic construction also means you won’t have to worry about rust.
The versatile utility of the Saris Bones also allows it to fit a wider range of vehicles. It’ll even work with cars that have a spoiler.
If you end up needing to use it for a day on a sedan other than your Prius, you shouldn’t face any limitations.
A real standout feature of this rack is its arc shape, which separates your bikes at different heights. Most racks hold bikes in a horizontal line. This can have them rubbing up against each other.
It could cause minor damage and the arc of this rack is a nifty way of avoiding that.
The description of the rack is a little bit misleading. It boasts the fact that it’s manufactured with injection molding. They claim that the process suggests a product with higher integrity.
Injection molding is a means of turning out a high volume of parts in a short amount of time. The process doesn’t make the rack stronger!
All things considered, the Saris Bones is an adaptable bike rack that is a good choice for the environment. It’s a great choice if you are going to use it for many bikes.
My First Choice
These racks all have a lot to offer with their own unique qualities. Portability, convenience, affordability, simplicity, innovation, robust construction are a few qualities all these racks share. Whatever your lifestyle may be, there’s an option to fit your bike-hauling needs.
Of the five racks I reviewed, the Thule Passage Trunk Mount Carrier stands a notch above the others. With its three-bike carrying capacity, convenient folding mechanism, and reputation for sturdiness, it’s the most dependable bike rack all around.
Even though it could be a small problem having to drop a bit of extra cash on an adapter, the positive qualities of this rack are too much to turn down. See you on the trails!