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Lately, my budget has been kind of tight. I have really been wanting to buy a bike rack for a long time but there are so many expensive options.
I decided to limit my budget and try to find the best one. So, with only 200 dollars I searched the internet high and low for the best deals possible.
I put together this list to help you find the best bike rack under 200 dollars. The Swagman XTC2 Bike Rack is hands down going to give you the best bang for your buck.
Continue reading to find out why and see the other bike racks to make my list!
Table of Contents
- 1 Swagman XTC2 Sturdy Hitch Bike Rack
- 2 Bell Rightup 350 Bike Rack
- 3 Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack
- 4 Allen Sports 2-Bike EZ Load
- 5 Allen Sports Premier Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
- 6 Swagman Upright Roof Mount Bike Rack
- 7 Buyers Guide
- 8 Conclusion
The Swagman XTC is one of my favorite bike racks on my list.
Have you ever driven down the road and seen a bike rack with bikes way to close to the car?
I really like how the Swagman XTC keeps the bikes away from the vehicle. It’s a relief because it protects your bikes from damages and saves you money on a new paint job.
Unlike other systems, the Swagman doesn’t use the conventional vertical system to mount bikes. Instead, it uses hoops to secure the wheels with rubber straps.
This guarantees more stability, and it ensures the bike sits on the rack. In addition to this, It gives you access to the hatch of your vehicle even with a bike in place.
The Swagman XTC2 has an added advantage of being extra durable. It is built from sturdy steel, which provides extra strength.
This makes it strong enough to carry bikes that weigh up to 35lbs. It is also coated with a powder premium finish, which prevents corrosion while preserving its beauty.
The Bell right up 350 bike rack is a super high-quality bike rack that compares to the Kuat NV 2.0 but at half the price.
It’s a pain to have to remove your bike rack every time you aren’t going to use it. The Bell right up 350 can fold up when there are no bikes on it which is very convenient.
Platform bike racks block access to your trunk. but not this one! This bike rack swings away to give you access to your trunk when you remove your bikes.
I personally like this bike rack because it does a great job of making sure your bikes don’t smash into each other and get damaged while you’re driving.
There is some assembly that is required once you get the bike rack but all the instructions are included in the box.
When the rack is fully put together it is a little on the heavier side weighing 22 lbs. But this is also a good thing because that means is not made of cheap material.
You can fit three full size bikes on this rack with wheels as big as 29 in. and as small as 16 in. 105 lb is the total weight that the Bell Rightup 350 can handle.
The Bell Rightup is a hitch bike rack And installs in either a 1- 1/4 or 2 in receiver.
One downside is that every time you load your bikes You have to readjust the wheel tray and velcros to fit around your tires. This is more annoying than anything but, not a huge issue.
The Allen Sports 4 bike hitch rack is an upright hitch rack with six different options and all of them won’t break the bank.
Personally, I like the premier locking version because of the peace of mind I get that no one can easily steal the rack.
Many users have said they love the simple design and how easy it is to use.
One concern you might have is that you won’t have access to your trunk. The great thing about this bike rack is that it swings down and lays completely flat. This will still have access to your trunk when there are no bikes on the rack
Padded cradles are used to hold your bike on the rack. The cradles will protect your bikes for many scratching or damage.
The best part about the cradles is that they swivel 360 degrees which helps fit weirdly shaped bike frames. That means you won’t have to spend extra money on an adapter for child bikes or women bikes.
When you’re driving the rack may swing and sway a bit especially during acceleration and braking. a quick pro-tip is to use bungee cord and that will stop this from happening.
A few points of concern that the bikes are close together when you mount them. So it’s kind of like solving a puzzle when you add more bikes to make sure the pedals and handlebars fit.
Also, the wheels and handlebars will move in the wind because they aren’t secured on the bike rack. the best solution is to use a bungee cord to tie them together so they don’t spin around and hit your other bikes.
Installing this bike rack to your car is super simple. Some users have complained that the bike rack wiggles around while you’re driving.
Don’t worry because I’m about to solve this problem….
Make sure while you’re installing the rack that the bolt is tightened all the way down. You might have to use a little bit of extra elbow grease but the rack will be secure.
You will still get a wobble especially when you drive at high speeds but there’s nothing you can do about that. Just know your bikes are safe.
You can fit 2 bikes on this rack weighing a total of 70 lb.
It’s a real pain to have to take off your bike rack every time you aren’t going to use it. But, the EZ Load folds up against your car.
This gives you the option to keep it on your car. If you do decided to take it off your car, you can store in your garage and it won’t take up a lot of space
The EZ Load securely holds your bike at two points. The first point is on the upper bike frame and the second is to the wheel.
The padded Upper frame connector works on a ton of different tube sizes and shapes. If fully wraps around your frame and uses TPR housing to protect your frame.
The wheel trays are adjustable. They can hold up to a 3-inch wide tire. And can adjust do you hold a bike that’s 35 to 40 in From wheel to wheel.
The Allen sport S-102 Premier bike carrier is a great option for quick trips. I particularly like it because it is made to install and uninstall quickly. This explains why it isn’t made to be a permanent fixture.
It is light by weight and it folds into a compact shape. This allows you to move it without breaking a sweat. You can stash it away subtly when you’re out on your bike.
You can also carry up to two bikes at a time with little effort or expenses.
It gets extra support from its wide snap feet. But how well it functions depends on the model of your vehicle.
The rack attaches easily to the edges of your trunk lid or other similar vehicle body features.
It provides extreme stability, by distributing the load across a large surface area on your vehicle.
The rack also protects the car by padding the areas that come in contact with your vehicle.
Your bike is also firmly held in place by with though UV-resistant rubber cradle straps.
I must say, the first time I saw the name, I was expecting a rack that would blow my roof off. You can imagine my surprise when I noticed a simple design.
The Swagman’s rack sits firmly on the roof of almost every roof type.
It is an easy way to clamp and secure your bike on the roof of your vehicle before hitting the road. It secures the bike by clamping its down tube and then further securing it with the lock knob on the clamp arm.
Another feature that drew my attention is its fork mount model. This means you wouldn’t need to remove the front wheel of your bike before mounting it on the rack.
It is firmly secured with a 9mm skewer that attaches it to the fork. More tie-down straps for the front and back wheels are also included for better stability.
Mounting a bike on this bike rack is also a walk in the park. In most cases, you only need to assemble the wheel tray using the two bolts, nuts, or washers.
You will also need to secure the plastic end protectors and brackets that support the bike.
Before making up your mind on which rack you should go for, consider the following:
1. How to Choose the Best Bike Rack?
Diversity: A good bike rack should be able to carry different kinds and sizes of bikes.
The number of bikes it can carry: A good bike rack should be able to take as much as two bikes.
Stability: A good bike rack should sit firmly on the vehicle and keep your bike in place
2. Do bike racks prevent your bike from being stolen?
Many racks do come with locking mechanisms to keep thieves away. However, a large number of racks do not. You can buy a locking kit, straps or use regular locks to secure your rack and bike.
3. What type of rack is best?
There are three main types of bike mounts based on where they are installed.
Hitch mount: these keep the bike away from the body of the car. They are easy to use and need a hitch.
Truck mount: these are very affordable and effective and they go on the trunk of your car.
Roof mount: this is one of the most popular bike racks. They go on the roof of the vehicle and still leave room for the hatch.
If I’m to pick my favorite from the list above, I’m going with the Swagman XTC2 Sturdy Hitch Bike Rack. Compared to other bike racks, this provides a complete set of benefits.
Not only is it of top quality, but it also incorporates the benefits of other racks all in itself. In the end, you realize that this rack provides you all the benefits you will need.
Hence it helps you get your bikes across country in style and comfort. Also, you get a lifetime warranty on your bike rack. In my opinion, this makes it the best rack you can get for less than 200.
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