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Cover Image: The Best Bike Racks for Jeep Wranglers

If you’ve ever tried to hook your bike up to your car’s roof rack or even cram it in the trunk, you know that a sturdy bike rack is an essential. Bungee cords and a little bit of luck can only get you so far. If you have a sleek yet reliable Jeep bike rack, you can easily stash your bike no matter where the road takes you.

The easier it is to prep your bike for a day of riding, the more likely you are to get out there. Bike riding is one of life’s simple pleasures. While technology has changed the world around us, bikes have remained largely the same. Learning to ride our bikes is a rite of passage as a child, and it’s one we shouldn’t abandon as adults.

Your bike is an investment. It’s a vehicle you want to enjoy for years to come. A quality bike rack will keep your bike in good condition so you can ride like the wind.

What to Look for in a Jeep Wrangler Bike Rack

  • Security: Just like you have a lock for your bike, you need one for your bike rack, too. Many of these racks come with a lock that you can open with a key. That’s one less thing to stress about, especially if you plan on spending all day riding.
  • Ease of use: Assembly shouldn’t cause a major headache. Once you have your bike rack installed, it should be simple to hook your bike up. After you’re done riding for the day, you should have no issues retrieving your bike from the rack. Bike racks with adjustable features allow for best ease of use.
  • Style: Jeep bike racks should be placed on the back of the vehicle beneath where the spare tire is kept in most instances. That frees up your roof. Many of these racks are made of steel or another type of metal and are slim so they don’t take up too much space.
  • Bike weight limit: If you don’t plan on traveling alone, your bike rack should be able to easily accommodate the weight of two bicycles. That’s roughly 70 pounds. Carry arms or pegs should allow for a secure fit for both bikes.

Here are the best bike racks for Jeep Wranglers that are made to work with the vehicle’s unique spare tire setup in the back.

  1. Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier
  2. Allen Sports Deluxe Two-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack
  3. Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Two-Bike Mount Rack
  4. Yakima Sparetime Bike Rack
  5. Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack

Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier

Thule 963PRO Spare Me 2 Spare Tire Carrier

If you use a bolt system to carry spare tires, you need the 963PRO Spare Me 2 Bike Spare Tire Bike Carrier from Thule. This is not your average bike rack. It’s not meant for towed vehicles or trailers and again, will only fit on vehicles with a rear bolt system.

Compact and complex in looks, the carrying arms compress to make this even more ideally sizeable. Of course, with such a cool appearance, the 963PRO comes with a locking knob and integrated locking cable to keep it safe when not in use.

Unlike some other bike racks, you’re supposed to install the Thule rack to the tire, not below it. However, with its adjustable features, it can fit on tires of almost all sizes. As you drive to your destination, don’t worry about the bikes slamming into each other, as this rack has both anti-sway cages and stay-put cradles. These keep the bikes in place.

Since 1942, Thule, headquartered in Malmo, Sweden, has produced backpacks and luggage, bike seats and accessories, water sports racks, cargo carriers, and roof racks. It all started when a fisherman asked founder Erik Thulin to create some equipment. Today, the company even manufactures camera cases and bags, smartphone cases, and tablet and laptop cases.

Thule is known for its quality products, and users generally agree. Many of them, including Jeep Cherokee and Honda CR-V owners, applaud the 963PRO for its stability, careful design, ease of use, and durability. Some users have reported issues with loose screws on the metal plate. However, these can be screwed back in more tightly if an issue arises.


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Allen Sports Deluxe Two-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack

Allen Sports Deluxe Two-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack

When making long treks with your bike, you don’t want to have to worry about it getting ruined by exhaust from other vehicles. You also don’t want to think about the potential for the bike slipping and scraping against the asphalt. Allen Sports had the same thoughts in mind when designing the Deluxe Two-Bike Spare Tire Mounted Rack, which is angled up and out.

Another consideration for your bike’s looks is the rack’s wide bottom foot. This allows you to position your bike so its rim doesn’t meet the rack. Instead, the bottom tire fits against the foot.

Dick Allen, the founder of the company, came by the idea of bike racks honestly, making his own homemade bike carriers back in 1967. Eventually, his business grew from Lincoln, Nebraska to gain nationwide exposure. Today, the company deals in all things bicycles, including trunk and hitch parts, trailers, folding bikes, roofs, and carriers.

Load up a single bike or two bikes (with a weight limit of 70 pounds) on the lengthy carrying arms, which measure 15 inches each. Unlike some of the other bike racks, these arms don’t collapse when not in use, so be careful of that. However, for that disadvantage, many types of bikes can fit on these arms.

With quick assembly (Allen Sports says it takes only seconds), this is one rack you’ll always want to keep on the back of your Jeep Wrangler. It doesn’t have a size limit on spare tires, which is one major perk. Many reviews laud this bike rack for fitting on SUVs and other large vehicles.


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Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Two-Bike Mount Rack

Hollywood Racks SR1 Spare Tire Two-Bike Mount Rack

Yet another fantastic bike rack from Hollywood Racks is the SR1 Spare Tire Two-Bike Mount Rack. The biggest difference between this and the Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack is how this model is made specifically for multiple bikes.

With 13 inches between the bike support arms and seven inches between the bike cradles, the two bikes are less likely to rattle or bump up against one another while you drive. The max bike weight supported by this rack is 35 pounds each, so 70 pounds in total.

The same features you know and love from Hollywood Racks are included in the SR1. The support arms can collapse, there are tie-down straps for secure bike transport, the bike cradles are made of rubber to avoid scratching the bike, and the rack comes pre-assembled. You only have to attach the clamp and strap system and you’re good to go.

Just like the other Hollywood Racks bike rack, the SR1 is also versatile. Users have reported it fitting on their Toyota FJ Cruiser and Toyota RAV4. Many are impressed with how naturally it mounts on their Jeep Wranglers, looking almost like another part of the car.

Do be aware though that the SR1 does not include any type of security features. To keep your bike rack safe whenever you travel, you may want to consider investing in a bike rack lock that will fit on the SR1.


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Yakima Sparetime Bike Rack

Yakima Sparetime Bike Rack

If you often ride in tandem, the Yakima Sparetime Bike Rack will keep both bikes secure no matter how bumpy the road ahead. The locking cable that encloses both bikes is 60 inches long, which means no matter the size of either bicycle, both can be secured for a long ride. With an anti-sway cradle, bikes never collide, keeping both in great condition. Some users have even found that their BMX bikes fit snugly in the cradle.

Much like the rack from Hollywood Racks, the Sparetime has collapsible arms. You have the option to mount the rack off-centered or centered on the universal adapter plate beneath the spare tire. The max tire width is 12.5 inches, so even if you have a hefty Jeep, you can still rely on this rack.

Covered with a powder-coated paint, the Sparetime is known for its unique looks. Its same key system or SKS lock is a Yakima exclusive. Do you own other Yakima products? You can use the same key to lock or unlock all of them.

Fancy a cold one after a long day of riding? This bike rack actually doubles as a bottle opener. Yes, seriously. Two bottle openers are included so you and your friend don’t have to fret about post-ride refreshments.

These features are just part of the Yakima legacy. The brand has always encouraged their customers to get out in nature with family and friends, so it’s no wonder so many of the Sparetime’s features are social. Yakima also makes storage solutions for kayaking, hiking, snowboarding, skiing, and camping.


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Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack

Hollywood Racks Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack

If you’ve never bought a bike rack before, the Bolt-On Spare Tire Rack from Hollywood Racks is an ideal pick for first-timers. This black metal and rubber rack comes pre-assembled, saving you stress.

With an included universal adapter plate, the rack fits securely on the mounting bolts under the Jeep’s spare tire. It’s adjustable so you can make any positioning changes as needed. The rack can fit on 12-inch spare tires and smaller.

With safety straps and rubber bike cradles, you can stow up to two bikes. Bike support arms keep bicycles in place as you drive. When you arrive to your destination, you can compress those arms and access your supplies in the trunk.

Hollywood Racks manufactures racks for bike parking, spare tires, trunks, and hitches. Based in Los Angeles, California (which is their namesake), the company was founded in 1973. Since their start, they’ve become a reliable producer of pre-assembled racks that last. The company even allows customers to make their own customized racks.

One of the best parts of this bike rack is how it can be used on other vehicles besides the Jeep Wrangler. Users have reported it fits just as well on some Volkswagen Fox models and some Honda CRV-LXs. That universal adapter plate indeed does live up to its name.

Of course, being made of metal, the Hollywood Racks bike rack may be susceptible to wear and tear. However, some users have noted how this rack holds up with little rusting, even after years of use in humid weather.


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Tips for Avoiding Bike Rack Theft

  1. Remember to lock your bike rack: Although it seems like common sense, in the excitement of hitting a new trail, you may completely forget to lock your bike rack. Whether you have to set a reminder on your phone or ask a buddy to tell you, make it a habit to always lock the rack before you start off on your ride.
  2. Compress your bike rack as much as possible: Many bike racks have collapsible arms. Others are compact in size. The smaller your bike rack can become (or already is), the less chance of it catching the eye of a thief. If your bike rack is big and shiny, a thief may gravitate towards it more.
  3. Hide the key where only you can find it: If your bike rack opens via a key, don’t stash it somewhere obvious. Avoid keeping it on your person (if you’re wearing a spandex bike outfit, you might not have pockets) so it doesn’t slip out while you’re riding. The glove compartment is a decent choice, but if you can put the key somewhere more creative, like tucked under the visor or in a backseat cup holder, you should.
  4. Consider doubling up on locks: Some bike rack locks are more secure than others. If you feel iffy about your lock, why not get another? It never hurts to be doubly protected. However, if you do get a second lock, make sure you stash both keys in the same place so you can open both locks when you need to.

Sources & Further Reading

  1. Hollywood Racks
  2. Yakima
  3. Allen Sports
  4. Thule
  5. The Street Trust (once known as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance)