What to Consider When Choosing the Best Roof Bike Rack for Your Car?

There are some car accessories which you don’t want to try with. One of these is bike racks. The main reason you would want to purchase a bike rack is to prevent your expensive bike from falling off while you’re driving down the road.

So, when you purchase a rack, you need complete security, not only to keep your bike in place but also to provide you peace and comfort while driving. In short, the best roof bike rack is your must-have car accessory.

There are different types of bike racks. Choose the right style depends on your preference, just like the kind of car you will drive. There are many benefits to having the best roof bike rack. For beginners, it should not alter the length of your car. This means you can still fit into parking spaces and don’t need to worry when you’re backing up.

The best roof bike rack should not get in the way of any of your doors, whereas most hitch-based racks keep you from using your truck. Lastly, the best roof bike rack spreads out their weight across your car’s car’s roof, rather than providing weight that pulls from behind.

Do you think the best roof bike rack is right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

The 7 Best Roof Bike Racks

1. Yakima HighRoller Rooftop Bike Rack

When it comes to the most trusted names in-vehicle storage racks, Yakima is one that you can count. It’sIt’s no surprise why it is on our list. The Highroller rack is pretty impressive, and it will meet your expectations.

The most incredible thing about this is that it can accommodate virtually any bike. Whether it’s a kid’s bike or extra-sized off-road tires, the HighRoller can hold it firmly and securely. Moreover, you don’t need to remove any wheels to store your bike on the rack. That’s how amazing it is when it comes to carrying a bike.

Because of that, we can say that the HighRoller is one of the easiest and best roof bike racks to use. We can get the bikes on still and secured.

With Yakima, you can expect it to have a highly-detailed design. This is very true with HighRoller. This can hold the bike in place. It can also accommodate disc brakes through axels or full suspensions.

However, the HighRooler needs to be attached to round and square roof crossbars. The problem is most non-Yakima crossbars don’t fit. But, if you have Yakima crossbars or other bars that fit the HighRooler, the installation is easy and not a problem.

Also, the HighRoller comes with an integrated lock system and warranty. To sum it all up, you have the best roof bike rack that’s nearly perfect.

Pros:

  • Accommodates almost any bike
  • No need to touch or to put stress on the frame

Cons:

  • Fits a limited range of bar

2. Thule ThruRide Fork Mount Carrier

With the Thule ThruRide Fork Mount Carrier, practicality is the name of the game. This model is made to be easy, diverse, secure, and trustworthy. The installation of the ThruRide is easy, just like with any model. You don’t need any tools. It fits through any 12-20mm axels. It also has a precision dial on the clamp to ensure your bike is secured as possible.

The Thule ThruRide is designed to be aerodynamic; hence, it only weighs 6 pounds. With this, you won’t have any problem with your driving.

The ThruRide easily fits all Thule rack system. The good thing is it can also work with most T-track and around-the-bar factory racks. However, there is no lock cylinder included with this model. You have to purchase it separately.

But even so, you should not miss the ThruRide. You would be impressed with its lack of wobble or the way the mount holds a bike in place without causing any damage. This is the best roof bike rack for you if security and practicality are what you’re going for.

Pros:

  • Effortless installation
  • Very light

Cons:

  • Lock cylinder not included

3. CyclingDeal Roof Carrier Rack

If you’re looking for a great deal on a rooftop bike rack, look no further than the CyclingDeal Roof Carrier Rack. This is incredibly affordable, while still being a stellar model.

If you’re looking for a great deal on a rooftop bike rack, look no further than the CyclingDeal Roof Carrier Rack. This is incredibly affordable, while still being a stellar model.

At under $50, it’s tempting to think the Roof Carrier Rack would be poorly made, so we were happily shocked when we realized that wasn’t the case at all.

The CyclingDeal model – which doesn’t require you to remove your front wheel – fits any size of bicycle, and is remarkably easy to attach. Bikes are locked firmly in place, with added security from tie-down straps. The steel powder coating makes for an aesthetically pleasing rooftop bike rack, and on the whole, the model feels very durable.

That said, the CyclingDeal rack is on the cheaper side for a few reasons. While we were very impressed with this rack, there was a fair amount of wobble, especially with road bikes. And the one-year warranty is a bit less enticing than with most models.

Still and all, you can’t really go wrong with the CyclingDeal Roof Carrier Rack. The price can’t be beaten, and the quality is imposing. It’s the perfect rooftop bike rack for anyone on a budget.

Pros:

  • Exceptional price
  • Stylish

Cons:

  • Decent amount of wobble
  • Short warranty

4. RockyMounts JetLine

Being aesthetically appealing isn’t the first that most people will think of with bike racks, yet the RockMounts Jetline is accurately that. The rack is cool, sleek, and slick. Unlike other roof bike racks, it’s available in different colors. You can find the option that best matches your bike and vehicle.

However, don’t let the good looks fool you. JetLine is one of the best roof bike racks on the market. It’sIt’s very easy to use and you can count on how secured it is on keeping the bikes. It can hold the tire size up to 2.8 inches. It’sIt’s compatible with both standard brake systems so you can use this with almost any bike.

Other than that, RockyMount has an innovative lockable quick release system. This helps in loading or unloading a bike quicker than ever.

On top of its good looks and ease of use, the JetLine can easily be installed and works with different bars: Thule square bars, Yakima round bars, and other crossbars. Trusty locks are available, both to lock your bike to the rack and your rack to the car, though they’re sold separately.

But above all else, the JetLine is exceptionally sturdy, so you can put your bike on, hit the road, and not look in the rearview mirror every five seconds to see if your bike is flying off. We completely trust this product and think you’ll love it. And if for some reason, you have a problem with the JetLine, they have a lifetime warranty to make sure that you’re always happy with the product.

Pros:

  • Great style
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy installation

Cons:

  • Not the sturdiest material

5. Thule Sidearm Universal Bike Mount

The Sidearm Universal Bike Mount may be the cream of the crop when it comes to rooftop bike racks. The sidearm technology allows the bike to be held with extra security, by clamping on to the top of the front wheel. The back wheel, meanwhile, is held in place by a top-quality ratcheting strap.

No contact is made with the frame, yet the security is not simply from the bottom up. This creates an incredibly secure bike rack with virtually no wobbles; honestly, we don’t have a single complaint about this rack.

The Sidearm is compatible with most bicycles, as it can hold tires as wide as 2.6 inches, and fits wheel diameters from 20 to 29 inches. The One-Key lock cylinder is quite possibly the best rooftop bike rack lock (it locks both the bike to the rack and the rack to the car), though it has to be purchased separately.

The security of this Thule model is not just in the bike, but also in the rack itself. The rack is made out of a double-walled aluminum tray and is corrosion resistant, so it’s built to last. You can purchase this Thule product today, and chances are you’ll still be using it in 20 years.

Installing the Sidearm Universal Bike Mount isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not too difficult. Once it’s installed, securing the bike on the rack is incredibly easy (though we found it a bit more difficult to remove the bike). This Thule rooftop bike rack is about as perfect as they come.

Pros:

  • State-of-the-art ratcheting strap
  • Zero wobble
  • Built to last

Cons:

  • Difficult to install
  • Difficult to remove the bike

6. Yakima ForkLift Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Rack

The ForkLift is Yakima’sYakima’s first-ever fork style rooftop bike rack, and they couldn’t have done a better job. Without touching any painted surface on the vehicle, the ForkLift provides exceptional security and sturdiness for bikes of almost any size, including most bikes with disc brakes.

No matter what bike we tried, it felt like it was glued to the bike rack, with no noticeable wobbles whatsoever.

The ForkLift is also incredibly versatile, as it fits round, square, and the majority of factory crossbars. But our favorite thing about this Yakima product is how easy it is to use.

The adjustable sliding wheel tray makes it incredibly easy to alter the bike rack to fit whatever bike you’re putting on top of your car. The integrated, adjustable lock knob is amazingly easy to use, even with a single hand, though you have to order the locks separately.

Long story short: the ForkLift offers just about everything you could ask for in a rooftop bike rack, and we completely adore this product. Plus, Yakima’sYakima’s excellent limited lifetime guarantee doesn’t hurt!

Pros:

  • Innovative technology
  • Easy installation and removal
  • Easily adjustable

Cons:

  • Locks ordered separately

7. Kuat Trio Rack

The Kuat Trio is one of the more creative, and yet simple bike racks on the market, and one that really impressed us. The fork mount system is adjustable to three settings to fit 9, 15, and 20mm forks. The lock and cable are fully integrated, This means that unlike almost all other rooftop bike racks, you can lock both the frame and the back wheel of your bike without any additional purchases.

The rack can easily and effortlessly be attached to all aftermarket crossbars (and most factory ones). The adapter kit is available to accommodate fat bikes, and you have a rooftop rack that is ideal for almost any bike lover.

We especially liked how durable the Trio felt, which gave us confidence that it would be able to take proper care of a bike for many years to come. The low profile also dramatically reduced wind noise, which is a huge plus if you plan on taking this rack on long road trips.

Ultimately, Kuat went with a minimalist approach for the Trio, and they absolutely hit it out of the park.

Pros:

  • Integrated lock system
  • Easy attachment

Cons:

  • Can damage the roof if not careful

What Do You Need to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Roof Bike Rack?

We loved all of the roof bike racks on this list. They’ll make your life easier when it comes to picking one of your own. However, every person’s situation is different. This means there are a lot of factors to consider before landing on any of the best roof bike racks here

First and foremost, it’s important to decide whether you want a roof bike rack, or whether a trunk-mounted one would be a better fit for you.

Once you’ve decided that a rooftop rack is the right choice for you, it’s important to think about what you’ll use the rack for.

Are you planning on going on long adventures, off-roading, and driving for hours and hours from one exciting outdoor destination to the next? Or do you need a rack to get you a few miles to the park each week? Is ease of installation and mounting your top priority, or is the security of your bike for long distances or high speeds? What kind of bike do you have? And finally, what is your budget?

Summary

No matter what you’re looking for in the best roof bike rack, you can find it on this list. Regardless of your size and style of bike, your biking habits, and your budget, you can find the best roof bike rack that takes care of you and your bike’s needs.

Just remember to always think twice before purchasing the best roof bike rack to make sure you get the dream one for you.

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