Best Bike Racks For Minivan – 2021 Picks

| Last Updated: June 27, 2021

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The minivan is the ultimate mode of transportation for family road trips. They are reliable vehicles that have seating for the whole family.

However, minivans can suffer from limited cargo space when all of the seats are occupied. If you and your family would like the ability to take your bikes on family road and camping trips, you should invest in a high-quality bike rack.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Can carry 2 bicycles
  • Features a ratcheting cradle strap
  • Ideal for a variety of bike sizes
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  • Has a 40 pound capacity
  • Features increased spacing between bikes
  • Holds wheelbases up to 47 inches
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  • Best for the Money
  • Uses suction cups to remain secure
  • Very easy to use
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  • Best Bike Rack For Minivan No Hitch
  • Can be used with any vehicle
  • Has a capacity of more than 200 pounds
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  • Best 5 Bike Rack For Minivan
  • Can carry up to 5 bikes
  • Features 28 inch long arms
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  • Best 4 Bike Rack For Minivan
  • Made from good quality steel
  • Can carry two bikes at a time
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What Makes a Bike Rack Great for a Minivan? 

There are plenty of bike racks out there, but only certain types that work well with minivans. To find the perfect bike rack for your particular vehicle, consider the following factors:

Bike Capacity

It is important to choose a bike rack capable of carrying the correct number of bikes for your needs. If you use your van to transport the whole family, you need a bike rack with a high bike-carrying capacity.

Photo Credit: RackMaven.com

Compatibility

Not all bike racks are made for a universal fit. Most bike racks will only work with certain types of vehicles, so you must choose one compatible with your particular make and model of a minivan.

Stability

If you are looking for a bike rack for long road trips that involve plenty of highway driving, you will want to make sure you choose one that will remain stable at all times. Remember, a stable bike rack is a safe bike rack. The last thing you want is for your new bike rack to sway and vibrate as you drive, which can cause damage to your minivan and bikes

Review of the Best Bike Racks for Minivans

To help you find the perfect bike rack for your minivan, we have reviewed six of the best minivan bike racks on the market.

Best Overall:
Thule Apex XT

Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack

PROS

  • Integrated cable lock for security 
  • Features anti-sway cradles for stability
  • Rack tilts down for easier trunk access
  • Available in 2, 4, and 5 bike configurations 
  • Quickly attaches to the vehicle and uses a locking knob for a safe and secure hold

CONS

  • Fairly expensive 
  • Bike straps are somewhat inflexible, which makes it difficult to attach bikes with wide frames

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers appreciated the easy, tool-free installation and removal. They also liked that the bikes are protected with an integrated cable lock and the rack itself is secured to the hitch with a keyed locking mechanism. They found it offered a firm hold on their bikes and worked exactly how they wanted.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Thule is one of those brands we have come to have high expectations for, and this bike rack lives up to that reputation. We like the lengths Thule went to for anti-theft protection. The integrated cable lock is easy to use and discreetly hides away inside the rack when it is not in use. The key-protected hitch lock ensures your rack cannot be removed by anyone but a key holder.

We liked how easy it is to install and remove this rack and found it offers a superior hold, which can be relied on in all driving conditions.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a well-built bike rack that is perfect for use with a minivan. It has some excellent added features, like the HitchSwitch tilting lever and built-in locking mechanisms, which justify its higher than average cost.

Runner-up:
Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0

Kuat Racks Sherpa 2.0-1.25' - 2-Bike Rack - Black Metallic, Black Metallic/Gray Anodize

PROS

  • Holds a wide variety of bike types and sizes
  • All aluminum construction for reduced weight
  • 14 inches between bikes helps prevent scratching
  • Folding tire cradles for a smaller profile when not in use
  • Foot pedal activated pivot lever for convenient trunk access

CONS

  • Fairly expensive
  • Hitch locking pin can rattle and create noticeable noise

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers like how lightweight this hitch rack is. This lightweight aluminum bike rack is easy to install and remove while ensuring that it is durable enough to rely on in all driving conditions. They also liked that Kuat offers the rack in three unique colors and features a convenient foot pedal to control the tilting function.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The thing that stood out to us the most about this bike rack is how little it weighs. Hitch mounted bike racks tend to be extremely heavy, which makes them difficult to install and remove. Kuat reduced the overall weight of their rack without sacrificing durability by constructing it out of industrial-grade aluminum. 

We also liked that this rack grips the bikes by the tires, which means there is no chance of frame damage.

Bottom Line

While it is a little on the expensive side, this lightweight bike rack is the perfect choice for those that plan on adding and removing the rack regularly. It is very light, solid, and built to a very high standard.

Best for the Money:
ROCKBROS Suction Cup Bike Rack

ROCKBROS Suction Cup Bike Rack for Car Roof Top Sucker Bike Rack Quick Release Aluminium Alloy Bike Carrier with Sucker for 1 Bike

PROS

  • Fits all types and sizes of bikes
  • Can be mounted and removed in minutes
  • Universal mounting style will fit all types of minivans
  • Aluminum alloy body gives it a sturdy and reliable hold
  • Compact size means it can be stored in the trunk when not in use

CONS

  • Does not fit newer, 15mm mountain bike axles
  • Hold can become less secure with major temperature fluctuations 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were impressed with how securely this suction cup mounted bike rack holds their vehicles. They found that it was easy to install and remove the bike rack. While most found it easy to load and unload their bikes, those with 15mm x 115mm thru-axle mountain bikes found the rack could not accommodate their bikes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What we like most about this bike rack is that it works with almost every type of vehicle. The suction cup design means that you can find the exact location on your minivan’s roof that works best for you, rather than needing to align it with existing roof rails.

We also liked that it is available at a very competitive price. Compared to some of the hitch bike racks out there, this suction cup roof rack is significantly cheaper.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an affordable and reliable way to transport your bikes, this unique bike rack from Rock Bros is an excellent option.

Best Bike Rack For Minivan No Hitch:
SeaSucker Mini Bomber

SeaSucker Mini Bomber Two Bike Rack for Cars USA Made Racks SUV, Sedan, Hatchback, RV, BMW, Honda, Tesla, Mazda and Every Other Car No Hitch Mount, Full Safety, Zero Damage, Travel Friendly Carrier

PROS

  • Hand made in the USA
  • Pull rated to hold 210lbs without failing
  • Used by professional cyclists at the Tour de France
  • Designed for extremely fast installation and removal
  • Made from durable 316 stainless steel and UV-resistant rubber to prevent corrosion and fading

CONS

  • Lacks security features to protect bikes
  • Fork mounts do not work with all types of bikes

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were impressed with the unique design of this bike rack. They thought it offered an incredible level of flexibility when it comes to installation. Users can choose where they want to mount the rack and even have the ability to lend it to others, even when they own completely different vehicles. Users also found that the rack held their bikes securely, but would have preferred if it came with some sort of built-in locking mechanism.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main thing we liked about this bike rack is how easy it is to install. We also really like that your minivan does not need to have roof rails or a towing hitch to use it. The rack will work with just about any minivan, regardless of make, model, or year.

We also liked that it is small enough to be stored in the trunk when it is not in use. Those that plan on transporting bikes with their minivan regularly will love how easily this bike rack installs and how the compact design makes storage a breeze.

Bottom Line

This bike rack is trusted by professional cyclists at some of the most prestigious races in the world. While it is reliable enough for professionals, it is so easy to use that it works just as well for everyone else.

Best 5 Bike Rack For Minivan:
Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack

Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch

PROS

  • Tilts forward for easier trunk accesslement
  • Carrying arms fold down when not in use
  • The entire rack can be installed in less than five minutes
  • Uses a patented tie-down system that individually secures each bike
  • Constructed from durable steel and features a corrosion-resistant powder coat finish

CONS

  • Only works with a 2-inch hitch
  • Bikes sit close to the vehicle, which can lead to scratching issues

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers found that this bike rack offered great value and an impressive level of durability. They found that the secure mounting system and convenient tilting feature ensured that this rack was both sturdy and easy to use. While some found that the first bike sits a little too close to the trunk, this was to be expected from a five bike hitch rack.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Part of the reason this bike rack stood out to us is the fold-up design. It offers users a slim profile for when they do not have bikes attached to the rack. Given that this is a five bike rack, it is helpful that you can fold it into a smaller size.

We also liked the tilt away feature, which helps users access their liftgate minivan trunk. The individual tie-down straps are another highlight since you can rotate them for a secure fit on a wide range of bike frames.

Bottom Line

This five bike rack is an excellent choice that works perfectly with any minivan. It is an affordable option that performs just as well as the bike racks offered by the more expensive brands.

Best 4 Bike Rack For Minivan:
Saris Freedom Bike Rack

Saris Freedom Bike Hitch Car Rack, 2-Bicycle Carrier, Black

PROS

  • Fits both 1 ¼ and 2-inch hitches
  • Rack adjusts to fit all bike frame sizes
  • Available in 2 and 4 bike configurations
  • Made in the USA and backed by a lifetime warranty
  • Option to add wheel holders to accommodate fat bike tires

CONS

  • Fairly expensive 
  • Somewhat difficult to load and unload bikes

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were satisfied that this rack could accommodate all sizes and types of bikes. They found that it was somewhat difficult to figure out at first, but after they had used it a few times, the installation became straightforward. Most buyers were also extremely impressed with the customer service Saris provides.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There were a few reasons why this bike rack stood out to us. The main one is the lifetime warranty. Given that Saris also is known for offering exceptional customer service and building all of its products in the USA, this is a brand you can feel confident buying.

In terms of performance, we found both the two and four-bike models did a great job, even holding bikes of all types stably and securely.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a reliable bike rack for your minivan, you cannot go wrong with the Freedom rack from Saris. While it is somewhat expensive, it is designed to last and backed by a lifetime warranty, so you will be able to get plenty of use out of it for years to come.

Why Did These Bike Racks Make Our List?

As mentioned above, there are plenty of different bike racks on the market today. To narrow down our list of the best minivan bike racks, we considered the following features:

Durability and Build Quality

Any bike rack that we recommend must be built to stand the test of time. Every bike rack that made our list uses durable materials rather than cheap plastics. They are built to the highest standards, so they will stand up to regular use.

Performance

We also make sure that the bike racks we recommend are easy to use and perform as well as advertised, which means that they hold bikes stably and securely, without damaging the bikes themselves or your minivan.

Ease of Installation

Given that minivan bike racks are often used specifically for weekend road trips, we wanted to ensure that all of the bike racks we recommend are easy to install and remove. Nobody wants to deal with a bike rack that is frustrating and time-consuming to attach.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

Before you purchase a new bike rack for your minivan, you must make note of the following considerations:

Accurate Bike Capacity

Some bike racks will have somewhat exaggerated carrying capacity limits. While they may technically hold a high number of bikes, carrying the maximum load could damage the bikes and your vehicle. This is why it is so important that the advertised bike capacity is an accurate reflection of what the bike can safely hold.

Photo Credit: ByGears.com

Additional Parts Required

Make sure you are choosing a bike rack that comes equipped with all of the necessary parts required to mount it on your minivan. The last thing you want is to unbox your new bike rack only to discover that you need to purchase an additional adapter to secure it to your particular vehicle.

Types of Bikes the Rack Can Carry

Some bike racks can only accommodate certain types of bikes. While some bike rack manufacturers try to hide the fact their racks only work with certain types and sizes of bikes, others have more universal compatibility.

Types of Bike Racks Compatible With a Minivan

Before you purchase a bike rack, you should know which types of bike racks work best with minivans. The following bike racks are compatible with most minivans:

Roof Mounted Bike Racks

Minivans are fairly large vehicles, which means they work well with roof-mounted bike racks. If your minivan has factory-installed roof rails, you can choose one of the many rail-mounted roof racks. If your van does not have roof rails, you can choose one of the suction cup based racks to carry bikes on the roof of your vehicle.

Trunk Bike Racks

Trunk mounted bike racks work by creating tension against the surface of the vehicle’s trunk. They use padding and support straps to cling to the rear of the minivan. While they can be an affordable option, they do prevent you from accessing the trunk of your van.

Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks

As long as your minivan has a trailer hitch, you can choose from one of the many hitch mounted bike racks. These racks are some of the easiest to load and unload, and they are usually capable of carrying more bikes at a time than other types of racks.

How to Install a Bike Rack on a Minivan

The way you install a bike rack on your minivan will depend on the particular type of bike rack you have chosen. However, to demonstrate how easy it can be, we have broken down the steps required to install a hitch-mounted bike rack on a minivan. 

  1. Slide the bike rack arm into the hitch mount. Make sure you have properly lined up the hole in the receiver with the hole in the hitch mount.

  2. Connect the hitch bolt. Remember to use a lock washer to make sure the bolt is held securely.

  3. Screw the bolt all the way in and then tighten it with a wrench to prevent sway and vibration.

  4. Insert the pin into the bolt and lock the bike rack into place.

While the installation process will vary for each type of bike lock, you can usually find detailed assembly and installation instructions packaged with your new bike rack. Always carefully read through the instructions before you install your bike rack the first time.

Photo Credit: OutdoorGearLab.com

Conclusion

As long as you choose a bike rack that is compatible with your minivan and capable of carrying your desired number of bikes, you will be satisfied with your purchase. Any of the racks reviewed above are worth taking into consideration.

People Also Ask

We know you probably still have questions about choosing the right bike rack for your minivan. To help, here are some of the most common things that people ask.

Can You Put a Bike Rack on a Minivan?

Yes, there are several types of bike racks that work perfectly well with minivans. Just make sure you choose one that is compatible with your particular vehicle.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Bike Rack on a Minivan?

You can install most bike racks at home within a matter of minutes, so you should not have to pay any sort of installation fee. Just follow the instructions provided and you should be able to safely mount your new bike rack in less than 15 minutes.

How Many Bikes Can You Carry on a Minivan?

The number of bikes you can carry will depend on the type of bike rack you purchase. While most carry less, it is possible to purchase a minivan bike rack that will carry six bikes at a time.

Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack

Can You Use a Roof Mounted Rack on a Minivan?

Yes, you can use a roof-mounted bike rack on a minivan. If your minivan has roof rails, you can choose a rail-mounted rack. If your minivan does not have roof rails, you can choose one of the suction cup style racks.

Will I Be Able to Open The Back of Minivan With a Rack Attached?

Whether you can open your minivan's trunk with a bike rack attached depends on the particular bike rack you have purchased. Many of the bike racks we featured on our list have convenient tilt-away features, which allow you to move the bike rack away from the trunk without uninstalling it.

Can You Put a Bike Mount Inside a Minivan?

Most minivans will not have room for you to put a bike mount inside the vehicle; however, many bike racks are small enough to be stored inside your van when they are not in use.

I used to work in construction and landscaping, so I've seen my fair share of ratchet straps, winches, and similar rigging gear. I started Winch Central because I've seen some nasty accidents due to crappy rigging or poor practice. I wanted to be able to recommend good equipment that's SAFE and also provide resources for how its used. I handle the research side of things here as well as product selection for gear reviews.