Jeeps have been reliable for exploring rugged terrain since WWII, so getting a bike rack that can do the same will enhance your love for exploring. To find the best bike rack for your Jeep Wrangler, you need to evaluate how you like to jeep and bike. Then you’ll want to know your bike rack options and how they work with a Wrangler.
We’ll cover how to determine the best bike rack for Jeep Wranglers and your biking needs. And hopefully by the end of this article you’ll understand why a VelociRAX vertical hitch bike rack is the best option for your Jeep Wrangler. When both your rack and your rig are constructed with high-strength steel, adventure is closer than you think.
Can a Bike Rack Fit On a Jeep Wrangler?
Yes. There are several bike racks that can fit on a Jeep Wrangler. We’ll cover the different types of bike racks that will work with a Jeep and compare their pros and cons. Ultimately, a hitch-mounted bike rack is the best bike rack option for Jeep Wranglers. Traveling with bikes is great, but being able to travel with your Jeep Wrangler and bikes is hitting the jackpot.Related Link: How to Find the Best Tow Hitch Bike Rack for SUVs
Best Types of Bike Racks for a Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, or SUV
While there are several types of bike racks on the market, Quadratec recommends these three types of bike racks for Jeep Wranglers and other SUVs:
Hitch Bike Racks for Jeeps
A hitch mount bike rack attaches to your Jeep’s hitch receiver and holds bicycles securely during transportation. It is the best option for a Jeep Wrangler because it offers easy access, installation, and can accommodate the most bikes. It also provides the most stable and safe way to transport bikes, especially on rough terrain. Hitch bike racks can hold the bikes by vertical hanging, platform/tray, or frame hanging.Advantages
A Jeep hitch bike rack has significant advantages over the other types of bike racks:
- Easy installation into your Jeep’s tow hitch, making it super convenient for spontaneous bike trips.
- Loading and unloading bikes is comfortable and fast.
- Can accommodate different sizes and styles of bikes.
- Has a higher maximum weight capacity for carrying more bikes, allowing up to seven bikes on a vertical hitch bike rack.
- The rack is easier to drive with because it sits behind the car and doesn’t add height.
- It can carry more bikes securely than roof and spare tire racks.
- Doesn’t add extra strain to the tailgate, tire mount, or swing gate.
- Stronger, more secure, and more durable than other rack options.
- Can be used year-round.
- Won’t damage your swing gate or tire mount.
- Can fit around your spare tire.
- Can limit the rear camera visibility.
- Can limit swing gate or trunk access when bikes are loaded.
- May limit clearance and decrease exit angles for jeeping on hard terrain.
Want a 5-bike hitch bike rack that will work with your Jeep? Shop our best-selling VelociRAX 5.
Spare Tire Bike Racks for Jeeps
Spare tire-mounted bike racks have an over-the-tire design. These are unique to Jeep spare tires, so they are not transferable between other vehicles. These bike racks strap or bolt into your spare tire mounted on your swing gate. Spare tire mounts generally only hold about one or two bikes.Advantages
Spare tire bike racks made specifically for Jeeps have a few advantages you should consider:
- Does not impact vehicle clearance
- More affordable than other bike rack options
- Easy to load but often requires some heavy lifting
- Allows trunk access
- Can be used year-round
Spare tire bike racks have some notable disadvantages you need to know:
- Has weight carrying limitations.
- Can only hold one to two bikes, requiring you to prioritize the number of bikes and the terrain grade.
- Bike security is often limited to frame-mounted mechanisms, so wheels freely spin while driving, leading to bike interference and damage.
- Made with plastic parts and nylon straps to secure bikes to the rack, which stretch out and break over time—not ideal for long-term and strenuous usage.
- Can put strain on your spare tire mount and swing gate, which may damage your mount or gate over time.
- Can limit the rear camera visibility.
Roof Bike Racks for Jeeps
These bike racks attach to the top of your Jeep and you will need to check specifications because some racks are made for hardtop or soft top only. The bikes are up and out of the way, making it easier to clear tough terrain. Roof racks can generally only hold one to four bikes.Advantages
The benefits of a roof bike rack are:
- Clearance for jeeping
- Doesn’t block trunk or swing gate access
Unfortunately, the disadvantages of a roof bike rack on your Jeep are pretty significant:
- Very challenging to load and access your bike. Prepare for heavy awkward lifting.
- Installation can require additional modifications to your Jeep and very specific requirements to ensure the rack is secure.
- Increases your vehicle’s overall height which can be problematic with drive-throughs, parking lots, and low limb trees when off road that can jack your bike.
- May not be able to carry heavier bikes like e-bikes.
- Creates drag for your Jeep when driving on freeways which can decrease your already low gas mileage.
- May be seasonal depending on if it is a hard or soft top rack.
The Bottom Line: Comparing Roof-Mount vs. Spare Tire-Mount vs. Hitch-Mount Bike Racks
A hitch mount bike rack is your best option for a Jeep Wrangler, Ford Bronco, or other SUV. It offers the best access, security, durability, and easy installation. Plus, it can transport more bikes securely, which is ideal when biking with friends or family. Check out our full-line of vertical hitch bike racks that are ideal for Jeep Wranglers.
If you are doing crazy bouldering or very technical jeeping trails with your bikes and are concerned about clearance, then you may want to consider spare-tire or roof bike racks. Just know these bike racks have other significant limitations that could jeopardize your bikes.
Platform Hitch Bike Rack vs. Hanging Hitch Bike Rack: Which is Better for a Jeep Wrangler?
The main differences between a platform hitch bike rack and a hanging hitch bike rack are:
Hanging Hitch Bike Rack:
- Holds the bike by the frame, wheel, or top tube
- Can be lighter and less expensive than platform hitch bike racks
- Easy installation and durability
- May require additional support or straps to prevent bikes from swinging or bumping into each other
Platform Hitch Bike Rack:
- Holds the bike by the wheels
- Provides more stability and security for the bike during transportation
- Allows easier loading and unloading of bikes
- Can accommodate a wide range of bike sizes and styles
- Can be heavier and more expensive than hanging hitch bike racks
Why VelociRAX is the Best Vertical Hitch Bike Rack
The VelociRAX vertical hanging hitch rack is better than all hanging hitch bike racks for Jeeps because:
- Holds the bike by the wheel to minimize damage to the bike and provide the most security
- Competitively priced, making it more affordable than most hanging or platform hitch racks
- Roll-in roll-out loading with VelociRAX hitch racks requires little to no lifting, so even kids can load their bikes!
- Accommodates wide range of bike sizes, styles, and weights including fat tire, e-bike, and 20-in kid bikes
- Customizable to customer needs with a variety of accessories for year-round use
- Patented design for better trunk and bike access
A vertical hitch mount bike rack is a way better option than a platform hitch bike rack for a Jeep because it allows for greater ground clearance that’s essential for off-road driving. It also provides easier access to the rear of the vehicle, which is useful for loading and unloading gear.
Plus the vertical orientation of the bikes allows you to carry more bikes than a platform bike rack and it can reduce wind resistance to improve gas mileage. Make your next Jeep adventure a party.Related Link: How To Choose the Right Hitch Mount Bike Rack the Stress-Free Way
Frequently Asked Questions about Jeep Wrangler Bike Racks
We get calls all the time about whether our VelociRAX hitch bike racks will work for Jeep Wranglers, Ford Broncos, and other SUVs. And the short answer is yes. We make one of the best Jeep Wrangler bike racks. But here are some answers that our Jeep customers frequently ask:
Is it Hard to Drive Your Jeep with a Bike Rack?
No. Driving a Jeep with a bike rack is totally fine. It may take some getting used to, but it is not necessarily hard. The added weight and wind resistance from the rack and bikes can affect the handling and performance of the vehicle, especially at higher speeds.
So just give yourself more time for starting and stopping. Drive at moderate speeds and be aware of the increased length, height, or width of the vehicle with the bike rack attached.
The biggest factor is making sure your bike rack is properly installed and the bikes are secure to minimize wobble. This will reduce the impact of the bike rack on the Jeep's driving dynamics. After driving around a bit, you’ll find driving a Jeep with a bike rack is completely safe.
Can You Rock Crawl with a Jeep Wrangler Hitch Bike Rack?
While you can rock crawl with a Jeep Wrangler hitch bike rack, we recommend using good judgment. Rock crawling involves driving over extreme terrain, which can cause damage to the bike rack and bikes, and increase the risk of accidents if you’re not careful.
VelociRAX are built extra tough with high strength steel and solid straps. We know all good trails don’t start on asphalt, so we also recommend strapping bikes tight, using the included rubber bands to lock out your brakes and using good judgment with all your driving.
The added weight and length of the bike rack may affect the Jeep's clearance, balance, and maneuverability, making it more challenging to navigate obstacles safely. So be smart, go slow, and use a spotter when in doubt. Happy jeeping.
How Do You Carry Bikes on a Jeep Wrangler?
Hitch-mounted racks are the way to go since they are heavy-duty and don’t put extra weight on the tailgate. Vertical hitch bike racks fit jeep wranglers like a glove. When driving a heavy-duty car, you need a heavy-duty bike rack that is up for the challenge.
Although Jeeps don't come standard with hitch receivers, installing one is a great investment for bike racks, overlanding gear, and towing.
Do Bike Racks Damage Your Jeep?
Jeep Wranglers can handle an impressive load. They are made for the dirt and can bear the brunt of what rugged "roads" entail. It's no wonder one of Jeep's core values is freedom.
VelociRAX vertical hitch bike racks aren't complicated, which makes for a great addition to a tricked-out rig. Like Jeep, we keep things simple and stick to what is important to us: tough build, easy use, and reliability.
Using a rack that does not interact with the exterior of your Jeep is key. Spare tire-mounted racks and frame-mounted bike racks have the potential to dent or chip the tailgate. These styles of bicycle racks for Jeep Wranglers are often unpredictable when driving over rough roads, which can also damage your jeep.
Is a Skid Plate Necessary for a Bike Rack for Jeep Wranglers?
No. A skid plate is not necessary for a bike rack on a Jeep Wrangler. That said, a skid plate can provide additional protection. A skid plate is a protective panel that covers the underside of the vehicle and may prevent damage to the rack and bikes from rocks, debris, and rough terrain.
While the Jeep Wrangler is a capable off-road vehicle, it is still vulnerable to damage from obstacles on the trail. A skid plate can help protect the bike rack and bikes from scrapes, scratches, and dents, which can prolong the life of both the rack and bikes. If you like to jeep rough terrain, you may want to consider getting a skid plate.
Can I Open My Swing Gate with a Hitch Bike Rack on My Jeep?
When your bikes are loaded on your hitch bike rack, it is gonna be tough to open your swing gate. You will have some access, but it is limited by the rack. Some racks don’t offer any solution to this, but at VelociRAX we get the need for trunk access. Our solution is camp mode.Using camp mode on your VelociRAX hitch bike rack, you can also fully access gear in the back with 100% opening of the swing gate. Watch it in action below:
Jeep Wrangler Clearance With Vertical Hitch Bike Rack
Clearance is a common concern for Jeepers researching the best bike rack for Jeep Wranglers. There is no getting around it: hitch-mounted bike racks decrease your exit angles. When using a VelociRAX, bikes are always secure, even if the rack contacts the ground. Our bike racks can withstand a hit, which is a much better solution than putting your bikes at risk.
Although exit angles decrease when using a hitch-mount bike rack, keeping bikes safe is the highest priority for us. Vertical hitch bike racks are the best for preserving your bikes and vehicle, with tire only contact for the bikes and no additional weight being placed on your spare mount.
Generally speaking, when headed to the trailhead to ride your bikes you aren't looking to do serious wheeling simultaneously. So for most jeeping bikers, this isn’t an issue.
Will A Tow Hitch Bike Rack Work with a Rear Mounted Spare Tire on a Jeep Wrangler?
Yes. Let us show you how:
Still wondering if a VelociRAX vertical hitch bike rack will work with your vehicle? Use our Rack Finder to determine if our bike rack will work for you.
Do I Need a Hitch Adapter for My Jeep Wrangler Bike Rack?
If you have a rear-mount spare tire on the back of your Jeep, you will likely need a hitch adapter if you use tires beyond stock. Stock tires should clear the rack without a hitch adapter, but 35-inch tires and up sit too close to the center post.
Unfortunately, a large spare tire will interfere with the rack when lowering to the load position.
Our hitch adapters extend the rack back four inches and drops it 3 inches, giving the spare tire plenty of clearance from the center post and allowing full hinging of the rack down into the loading position. Our hitch adapter works for Broncos and other SUVs as well.
Like our hitch racks, an integrated anti-rattle mechanism is standard with our hitch adapters. Once the anti-rattle wedge is engaged, there will be no excess space in the hitch, which diminishes rack play and unnecessary movement.Using adapters from other brands for a VelociRAX hitch rack may result in unwanted rack movement since securing methods vary between brands. Our anti-rattle mechanism is helpful when driving long distances, but becomes very important for Jeep Wranglers driving off-road. Skipping out on a good quality hitch adapter can be detrimental to your bikes.
The Best Bicycle Rack for Jeep Wranglers: VelociRAX
If you want the best bike carrier for Jeep Wranglers, you’ll want a vertical hitch-mounted bike rack! VelociRAX hitch racks are ideal for preserving your Jeep and bikes, keeping bikes safe throughout the whole adventure, and will stand the test of time. VelociRAX bike racks are up for the challenge and are the perfect fit for Jeep Wranglers.
There is no issue getting your Jeep Wrangler to the trailhead, so there shouldn’t be issues getting bikes there too. Push your vehicle to the limits to do the things you love.
Bring 'Em All.
Want the best hitch mount Jeep Wrangler Bike Rack? Shop our best-selling VelociRAX 6 that can carry up to six bikes safely over rugged terrain.
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