Updated May 2017
Cycling weather is here, so we updated this review as of May 2017 to include any product changes and updates, adding helpful pros and cons about each model reviewed to make your comparison easier. In 2017, our Editors' Choice winner received a product update and a new name, the Thule T2 Pro XT. We looked at the current market to ensure that the T2 Pro XT is still the Grand Poobah.
Best Overall Bike Rack
Thule T2 Pro XT
The Thule T2 Pro XT
was the unequivocal winner of our review, and as of February 2017, Thule has updated it with a focus on ease-of-use and efficiency. The 2016 version was the best all-around rack, scoring high in nearly every testing category. The 2017 version ups the ante, introducing increased tray spacing and lateral tray adjustment, as well as a new colorway. Our experts found the T2 to have above-average ergonomics, with the lowest loading height of any rack reviewed. Its design is well thought out and fine-tuned down to the extra wide wheel trays and ratcheting arms, giving fat bike enthusiasts a viable hitch mount option. This rack is truly a game-changer, offering you what you didn't even know you needed. A hitch mount's ability to tilt down is crucial, but the T2 moves the control for the feature, which upgrades the entire experience, making rear vehicle access easier than ever. All of this combined with tool-free attachment is the recipe for a winner. From the 2016 version, the price increases $30, but we think it's worth it.
Read full review: Thule T2 Pro XT
Best Bang for the Buck
Not compatible with through-axel front forks without purchasing adaptors
The RockyMounts JetLine
is the winner of our Best Buy award. At $130, it is not the cheapest rack tested, but you get a lot for your money. The JetLine is a roof top, fork mount rack. It will fit both Thule, Yakima, Aero, and many factory crossbars with the included hardware. The quick release lever is easily manipulated and will clamp any bicycle fork with 9mm dropouts. With the addition of the Drive Shaft (through axle) adapter ($69.95) from RockyMounts, the rack can hold bikes equipped with 15mm and 20mm through axles. The tray has a cutout to accommodate disk brake calipers and a sliding, ratcheting strap to secure the rear wheel. If you wish to lock it, the JetLine requires two lock cores ($19.95, not included), one to secure the rack to the vehicle and one to lock the quick release lever securing the bike. The JetLine is a great buy and offers security and versatility, along with add-on parts you can purchase as funds permit. For 2017, RockyMounts has updated the available colors, so you can tailor your rack to accessorize your vehicle.
Read full review: RockyMounts JetLine
Top Pick for a Roof Rack
Easy to use
Middle of the road price
Could be easier to assemble
Kuat has improved upon the tried-and-true design of the Kuat Trio
fork mount rack. Gone are the days of needing an additional adaptor to hold your mountain bike with a through axle. Kuat has an innovative solution that can hold bikes with any axle standard at the fork. It comes ready to handle your 9mm, 15mm, and 20mm forks. An additional adaptor can be purchased to accommodate the wider fork spacing of fat bikes and plus bikes. The Trio mounts to almost any cross bars, using a U-bolt style clamp. It also has a handy cutaway for clearance of disc brake calipers. Top it all off with a cable lock that extends from the back of the rack and you have the most versatile, secure, and easy-to-load rook rack on the market.
Read full review: Kuat Trio
Top Pick for a Trunk Rack
Thule Raceway Pro 9001
Easy to use
Limits access to vehicle
The Thule Raceway Pro 9001
is our Top Pick trunk mounted bike rack. It is the only trunk mount rack tested that uses rubber coated steel cables for mounting rather than nylon straps. The steel cables increase durability and are easily adjusted to length and tightened with built-in, user-friendly knobs. Setup is easy, using the Thule Fit Guide that has a number designated for each compatible vehicle. The Fit Dial on the rack is then turned to the corresponding number and the optimum support arm angle for your vehicle is set; no guesswork. The support arms are adjustable in both angle and lateral spread, which increases the ability to carry a variety of frame types and sizes. The Raceway Pro is also the only trunk mount in the test group that comes with a retractable cable lock.
Read full review: Thule Raceway Pro 9001