More and more of us are enjoying the simple pleasures of a bike these days. Some use them for commuting in congested cities, while others love nothing more than strapping them to the top of their cars and driving somewhere more scenic for a pleasant bike ride.
Selecting the right bike rack can be a bit of a challenge so we've done all the research for you. We've found the best roof racks on the market so you can find the perfect one. And remember that most bike racks require a roof rack to work. Thankfully, we've made a handy guide to roof racks you can read to get clued up.
The best roof bike racks
Best dual bike rack
Thule has a reputation for making excellent bike racks and this twin set is an ideal choice for
- Great quality
- Adjustable for different sizes
- You may need a roof rack adapter
Best bike rack for adjustability
A very adjustable bike rack, this option from Yakima is a great option if you own a collection of
- Very adjustable for different bike sizes
- Easy to use
- Requires a roof rack
Best budget suction bike rack
Suction cups as a roof rack? It may sound a bit dodgy but it's actually a great solution if you
- No need for a roof rack
- Multi-bike support
- You need to clean your roof every time you want to attach this bike rack
Best budget bike rack
If you're on a tight budget, this model from Halfords is a safe bet. The Halfords brand name
- Good value
- Good quality
- Not the most stylish
- Only supports up to 15kg
Best premium bike rake
Another clever option from Thule, the ProRide 598 will automatically position your bike when you
- Very easy to install and use
- Great quality
- You may need to buy adaptors to fit your car's roof rack
Best for bike rack for sports cars
A very expensive but top-quality option from Sea Sucker, this suction bike rack is a very clever
- A very stylish and effective model
- No need for roof racks
- Even the smallest cars can support this bike rack
- You'll need to remove your bike's front wheel
The best roof bike rack accessories
A bike rack essential
Ratchet straps are the go-to accessory for securing loads and this twin-pack from RIO Direct is a
Protect your carbon fibre bike
Own a fancy carbon fibre bike? Keep the expensive finish immaculate in transport with this
Ideal for pillarless car doors
Designed for use where traditional ratchet straps simply don't work, this hatch hugger will hold
Single wheel storage
Some bike racks require you to remove the front wheel in order to secure your bike to the rack.
Essentials to keep in your car
Another invaluable thing to have with you if you're carrying anything is a set of quality bungee
What you need to know about bike racks:
Will it support my bike?
Bike racks will generally support a range of bike sizes and shapes but be warned, for some bikes, you'll have to buy adapters. If you own a fat bike, for example, you'll need to buy a set of adapters for the exceptionally thick tyres. The same will be the case if you're incredibly tall and need a specialised bike frame. The best thing to do is to check with the manufacturer before buying.
What features should I look for?
The most obvious deciding factor in choosing a bike rack is whether you have a roof rack. If you do, you'll have an impressive selection of bike racks to choose from and a range of adapters to ensure that it works with your roof rack. If you own a car where a roof rack isn't a possibility or you don't want one, then you'll be looking for a suction-cup bike rack which limits your selection.
Bike racks that don't require you to remove the front wheel of your bike will be a blessed relief after a long bike ride. Also, remember that your front wheel still needs to be stored somewhere and can take up valuable storage space in your car.
What else should I consider?
Remember to check your car's overall height with the bike rack attached. Not only is this a good way of ensuring you've attached everything properly, but it'll avoid an embarrassing incident if you pop through a low drive-through on your way home.
Also, consider investing in some additional security if you're planning on leaving your car unattended with your bike on top. Many bike racks come with some security but additional options are available too.