Best Spare Tire Bike Racks – 2021 Round-up

Isaac
| Last Updated: February 14, 2021

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Are you a biking fanatic? If you’re not already doing so, you’ll likely need to transport your bicycle soon.

A spare tire bike rack lets you safely take your bike with you wherever you go. For that reason, we compiled this review of the best spare tire bike racks this 2020.

Our Top Picks for Best Spare Tire Bike Racks

  • Adjustable arms
  • Various bike types
  • Versatile rack
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  • Holds 2 bikes
  • Quick loading
  • Long warranty
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  • Best for the Money
  • Holds tight
  • Lasts very long
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Comparison of the Best Spare Tire Bike Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Support arms are adjustable for different mounting options
  • Will hold many different types of bikes
  • Can be used on most Jeep Wrangler models
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  • Easily holds up to 2 bikes at a time
  • Quick and easy loading of bike on rack
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty included
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  • Best for the Money
  • Secured with a heavy-duty mounting plate
  • Durable black powder coating finish to resist corrosion
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  • Best Yakima Spare Tire Bike Rack
  • Very easy to attach to vehicle
  • Easily holds up to 2 bikes at a time
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  • Best RV Spare Tire Bike Rack
  • Attach to most continuous welded steel bumpers
  • Everything included for a complete installation
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  • Best 3 Bike Spare Tire Rack
  • Long carry arms to carry up to 3 bikes
  • Keeps bikes securely in place with easy straps
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Characteristics of Our Favorite Spare Tire Bike Racks

When choosing a spare tire bike rack, there are several things you should look out for, including these main features that make it stand out from the rest:

Ease of Installation:

Determine how easy installation is by determining if the rack is pre-assembled, how many parts it comes with, and which tools you need to install it. The directions should be straightforward to make it stand out. We tried to provide products that would make installation simple. 

Capacity

How many bikes and bike styles the product can accommodate. A heavier capacity is ideal for families. Our review features products with a range of bike capacities for your convenience.

Durability and Longevity

Nobody wants to replace their bike rack every year or two. A reliable product should last, so you get your money's worth. Customers who used the products on our list found them to be of good quality. 

Ability to Lock

Whether or not you can lock the bike rack to your vehicle for extra security and theft prevention. Some of the models on our list come with locks, some do not. Find one that fits your needs.

Brand Reliability

Find a company that puts its products through rigorous testing. The bike rack should withstand everything from snow to long road trips to 4X4ing on bumpy roads. The brands we feature are known for reliability and innovation. 

Quick Take  - Best Spare Tire Bike Racks

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best spare tire bike racks:

  1. Hollywood Racks Bolt-On
  2. Saris Freedom Bike Rack
  3. Surco BT300

Review of the Best Spare Tire Bike Racks

Let’s have a look at some of the best spare tire bike racks of 2020. Whether you are looking for the highest quality or are on a budget, there’s a suitable option for everyone.

Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack

PROS

  • Suitable for side-mounted tires as well
  • Affordable pricing at the highest quality
  • Heavy-duty and well-built rack, designed to last
  • This product is universal, fitting almost any spare tire bolts
  • Enjoy a hand-tightened knob instead of needing extra tools to install

CONS

  • Will not fit the 2018 Jeep Wrangler
  • Children's and women’s bikes may require a top tube adapter

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report this product only needs a few minutes to assemble. They also mention how sturdy the rack is, even on uneven roads and high speeds. One customer even reported the bike rack is still going strong after five years, with nothing but a couple of cosmetic marks.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Hollywood Racks Bolt-On is an excellent product because of its sheer durability and sturdiness, which is incredibly important when looking for a long-lasting spare tire rack. We also love how universal this particular model is since it’s compatible with most vehicles and bolt sizes. Pair that with such easy installation, and it’s no wonder this product made the top of the list. We see it as well worth the investment for the protection you get for both your bike and vehicle. It’s the best all-around product we’ve seen this year.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a rock-solid spare tire rack, then the Hollywood Racks Bolt-On may be the one for you. Being able to withstand the test of time and nonideal conditions has earned it the position of best overall.

Saris Freedom Bike Hitch Car Rack, 2-Bicycle Carrier

PROS

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Ratchet straps provide extra security for your bicycle
  • Can carry up to two bikes at one time, at up to 60 lbs each
  • Rack adjusts to fit all bike frame sizes, including street bikes and mountain bikes
  • Comes with a universal hitch, making it suitable for 1¼-inch and 2-inch hitches

CONS

  • Not as budget-friendly
  • If your bike has a long wheelbase, you need the longer wheelbase bar

What Recent Buyers Report

The most common thing buyers report is how easy this rack is to install. You can get your bikes secured away within a matter of minutes. It seems to be a very sturdy, reliable product as well. We have only seen a couple of complaints saying that this product is advertised for E-bikes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Saris Freedom bike rack stands out because of the low frame height, making it easy for cyclists of all sizes to mount their bikes. Installation is also smooth, with the rack only weighing 21 lbs. You don’t need multiple people to get it set up. The anti-sway ratchet straps are also a great addition to this product and give users peace of mind when traveling long distances in a variety of weather and road conditions. Stability, sturdiness, and reliability have given this model the title of runner up.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a spare tire rack that will be around for years to come, this might be a good option for you. Although on the pricier end, you know you’re getting a high-quality product that you can trust.

Best for the Money:
Surco BT300

Surco BT300 Spare Tire Rack

PROS

  • Easily removed when not in use
  • 90-day warranty for peace of mind
  • Can transport up to three bikes at one time
  • Steel bike rack with less vibration and rattling on the road
  • Equipped with anti-scratch plates to protect your bike and vehicle

CONS

  • Does not work on a 2006 or newer RAV4
  • May obstruct rear taillights, license plate, etc

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers love the rear swing gate of this spare tire rack. They also report how easy installation is. Another common review is how safe consumers felt when they were transporting their bikes on the highway. There were only a couple of complaints about the locking mechanism used, such as the key sticking.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Surco BT300 stands out because of the quality you get at an unbeatable price. Buyers who want added security and stability in their rack will enjoy it the most. It’s also great because the bike rack can be removed at any time while allowing the mounting gear to remain in place, great for cyclists who don't use their bike rack regularly. The easy setup and take-down is a plus for many customers.

Bottom Line

For an extremely secure bike rack at an affordable price, the Surco BT300 is an excellent choice. If a rear swing gate is important to you, you may like this product even more. The anti-scratch plates were just the icing on the cake of an already well-made product.

Best Yakima Spare Tire Bike Rack:
Yakima SpareRide

YAKIMA - SpareRide, Bicycle Rack, Turns Your Rear Mounted Spare Tire Into A Rack, 2 Bike Capacity

PROS

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Strong and durable construction
  • Has the ability to hold up to two bikes at a time
  • Easy installation, mounting, and unloading processes
  • Universal mounting plate fits most bracket sizes and vehicles

CONS

  • Not safe for bicycles over 35 lbs
  • Not great for full-suspension bikes

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report what a trustworthy product the Yakima spare tire bike rack is. There are a ton of positive reviews on the quality of this product. What seems to be the main complaint is customers receiving packages with missing products occasionally. Also, the fact that it’s not compatible with all vehicles.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us because of how easy it is to install right from the start. With only a few moments to load and unload, it simplifies the process of transporting your bike. Yakima even throws in a signature bottle opener, which we thought was a nice touch. This rack fits virtually any bike tires, making it a suitable option for a variety of cyclists. Being able to accommodate two bicycles at one time is a bonus for some as well.

Bottom Line

If you want a reliable product, the Yamika SpareRide is a great option. Just be sure to double-check the parts as that seemed to be a common complaint with several buyers. 

Best RV Spare Tire Bike Rack:
Swagman 80501

Swagman RV Approved Around the Spare Deluxe Bike Rack

PROS

  • Ease of assembly and installation
  • Tool-free and all hardware included
  • Works for mounting to most spare tires
  • Anti-sway features prevent scratching and other damage
  • Can carry up to two bikes at one time on the back of your RV

CONS

  • Rig extends farther back from the bumper
  • Not suitable for multiple heavy mountain bikes

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report having traveled far distances with this spare tire bike rack while not having any issues with security or quality. Some customers mention that this product isn’t great for mountain bikers. Heavier bikes tend to be less secure, and you are prone to losing them. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love that the Swagman 80501 doesn’t sway or bounce, a big deal on those longer hauls in your RV and a result of the added security of the included rubber straps. The limited lifetime warranty lets you know that this bike rack is a quality product. Bike-to-bike contact is limited as well, preventing damage when carrying two at one time. Installation is easy, too, and you can remove the top half of the rack for easy access to the spare tire if needed. 

Bottom Line

If you want a reliable spare tire rack for your RV, the Swagman 80501 made the top of the list. While some conventional hitch racks do not work, you can install this product easily. Just be sure that you’re not carrying two heavy mountain bikes.

Best 3 Bike Spare Tire Rack:
Allen Sports Premier S303

Allen Sports Premier 3-Bike Spare Tire Rack, Model S303

PROS

  • Arms can fold down when not in use
  • Is compatible with most externally-mounted spare tires
  • No setup required, this product arrives fully assembled
  • Can transport three bikes or hold up to 100 lbs. at one time
  • Padding on the lower frame prevents damage to the bike and vehicle

CONS

  • May not fit every vehicle make
  • Some users report straps breaking

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report this product fitting well with both regular and oversized tires, as Allen Sports mentioned. While some consumers rave about the added security, there are mixed reviews on the reliability of the straps. Be sure to double check the rack is attached properly to avoid any incidents down the line.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What another bike rack comes fully assembled at this price point? This bike rack does, and it has to be one of the biggest benefits of purchasing the Allen Sports Premier S303 since other products can be difficult to set up. Since it can hold up to 100 pounds at one time, this is an excellent choice if you like to ride with friends or family. A limited lifetime warranty also gives you an added sense of security. If something goes wrong, you are covered. As far as we’re concerned, you really can’t go wrong with the wobble-free features either.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable spare tire rack that requires no assembly, then you’re in luck. It easily accommodates up to three bicycles, too, which is also a win in our books.

Best Thule Spare Tire Bike Rack:
Thule 963PRO Spare Me

Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier, One Color, One Size

PROS

  • Can carry up to two bikes 
  • Arms down when not in use
  • Fits both regular and oversized spare tires
  • Added security with built-in locking knob system
  • Anti-sway features protect your vehicle and bicycle from coming into contact with one another

CONS

  • May rattle a bit at high speeds
  • Some complaints on the quality of the locking system

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the reviews are positive in terms of the security and stability this rack provides. However, some buyers report scraping when carrying two larger bikes at one time, perhaps making it a better option for solo cyclists (just to be safe!). 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The 963PRO Spare Me stands out because of its ability to fit most tire sizes. We also like that this rack can be folded down with ease when not in use. It’s one of the most secure bike racks we have seen in terms of the locking system. The carrier can be left on over the spare tire, preventing tire theft, which is great news for cyclists and vehicle owners alike. Another reason we love this product is the incredible amount of testing Thule products undergo. With everything from extreme temperatures to long-distance drives, these racks are surely dependable.

Bottom Line

If security against theft is important to you, this product does a great job at protecting your tires. This bike rack is hands down one of our favorite Thule spare tire rack models ever made for its safety and versatility.

What is a Spare Tire Bike Rack? 

A spare tire bike rack is a product that attaches to the back of your vehicle for storing and transporting bicycles. Generally, they can transport one to four bikes at a time, depending on the product. The rack installs on top of the spare tire, located on the back door of many SUVs and Jeeps.

This style of rack is ideal because the tire prevents both your vehicle and bike from receiving any scratches or damage. They also still allow you to have access to your trunk with ease.

How Does a Spare Tire Bike Rack Work? 

The spare tire bike rack is a popular option because of how easy it is to transport your bike. Since it attaches to the back of your vehicle, you don’t have to hoist heavy bicycles onto the roof of your car. Easily mount and remove your equipment on the go. 

This style of bike rack is also very durable and can function well in extreme weather conditions. You don’t have to worry about your bike rattling around on the roof of your vehicle as it's secure in position behind your car at even the fastest highway speeds.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Spare Tire Bike Rack

The truth is, investing in a quality spare tire bike rack is crucial in avoiding extra costs down the line. By purchasing one of these products right from the start, you avoid the cost of replacing yours soon. These products have been investigated and reviewed in terms of security, safety, and durability. Just like you don’t keep buying cheap cell phones that you need to replace, you shouldn't buy a sub-par bike rack that needs to be replaced frequently.

Not to mention that purchasing a low-quality spare tire rack could end with you losing your bike. Be sure to keep the bikes secured at the back of your vehicle every time you transport them. 

When you buy low-quality bike racks, you could even potentially endanger the lives of others if the product detaches from your vehicle. Safety for yourself and other drivers should be the number one priority when it comes to moving your bicycles.

Hollywood Racks Bolt-On

How Do Spare Tire Bike Racks Compare?

Spare Tire vs Roof Bike Rack

Similarities

  • Both have options to transport your bikes safely.

Differences

  • Spare tire racks are easy to use since you don't lift your bicycle over your head at any time.

  • Roof racks are the most versatile.

  • Spare tire racks are generally lighter and easier to install.

Thule vs Yakima Spare Tire Bike Rack

Similarities

  • Both come equipped with locks for security purposes.

  • Both companies are diverse and adaptable.

Differences

  • Yakima can fit larger spare tires of up to 12.5 inches wide, whereas Thule can only fit tires 10 inches wide.

  • Yakima comes with a bottle opener at the end of the cradle arms.

Tow Hitch vs Spare Tire Bike Rack

Similarities

  • Spare tire racks are generally very easy to install.

  • Spare tire racks all you to still receive tailgate access.

Difference

  • Tow hitch can generally carry more weight, especially on vehicles with larger spare tires.

  • You can still tow your hitch while transporting bikes on your spare tire.

How to Mount a Bike Rack to a Spare Tire

Here are some of the tips and tricks you should be aware of when installing the Yakima SpareRide.

  1. First, be sure to have your lug wrench handy so you can remove your spare tire before getting started.

  2. Put the mounting plate on the tire holder to start. 

  3. Slide the rack onto the tongue with the lock loop. Tighten the knob and lock it. When you turn the knob, it should spin freely without getting stuck. 

  4. Next, pull the lever to extend the arms. Now you can load the bike onto the rack. The chain should be facing away from the vehicle. 

  5. Move the stabilizers up against the biker frame to make sure it’s secure. Add the zip strips to lock down the bike, followed by the included cable.

  6. One word of warning: never put the arms down on your bike rack while your bicycle is in place. Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of how to mount a spare tire bike rack. 

Conclusion  

Whether you’re looking for the most reliable or the most budget-friendly, this review should have a suitable spare tire rack for you. Safety is essential when transporting bikes. That’s why we included most of these products in this guide. We love how secure and reliable they are.

People Also Ask

Did this article answer all of your questions when it comes to spare tire bike racks? Here are a couple more of the most commonly asked questions and their answers.

Are Spare Tire Bicycle Racks Easy to Install?

Spare tire racks are generally easier to install than roof racks because you don't hoist anything above your head onto the top of your car. Some of these products even come pre-assembled, which seems to be rarer for roof racks.

Can a Spare Tire Bike Rack Accommodate Any Type of Bicycle?

There are usually options for every type of bicycle. Mountain bikers should always opt for a strong, durable rack to ensure the safety of their bicycle and those on the road. Carbon bikes are much lighter and can be transported on most models with ease.

How Many Bikes Can Go On a Spare Tire Bike Rack?

The number varies from product to product. So far, we’ve seen spare tire bike racks that can transport up to three or four bikes at one time. Always pay attention to the weight capacity and how much your particular bikes weigh. Mountain bikes are always much heavier than carbon frames.

Isaac

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.