While it is quite tedious and time-consuming to fit a bike inside a jeep, bike racks are a great option to carry bikes. Bike racks offer convenience to transport bikes or bicycles on your rig without affecting any space inside the jeep.
If you are a cycling enthusiast, I highly recommend you get a bike rack to transport your bikes.
The installation of a bike rack to a Jeep Wrangler or any car is quite simple. But before I explain the installation process, let me tell you why bike racks are a better option than trying to fit the bike inside a car.
Why is it better to use bike racks than fitting a bike inside a car?
Although fitting a bike inside a car is a very cheap method to carry a bike, it does have various disadvantages. That’s where bike racks turn out to be a great choice.
Bike racks are easy to mount on a car and the bikes can be adjusted comfortably. It solves the tiresome processes and issues that come along with fitting a bike inside a car such as detachment of bike’s wheels, removal of seats of the car, space shortage inside the car, and possible interior damage as well as damages to your bike.
Bike racks also enable you to carry more than one bike. Some bike racks can easily carry up to four bikes.
Furthermore, you can load and unload the bikes effortlessly in no time while using a bike rack.
These reasons make a bike rack an ideal tool to transport bikes on a car.
How to install a bike rack to a Jeep Wrangler?
Jeep Wranglers are the top vehicles when it comes to off road driving. If you are mostly looking for biking on mountain trails or some other off road trails, a Jeep Wrangler can be a great carrier for your bikes. For this purpose, the bike rack serves excellently.
So how do you attach a bike rack to a Jeep Wrangler?
Well, it’s not rocket science. It just requires a few simple procedures. The procedures vary depending upon the type of bike racks you are going to use.
Usually, you can buy three types of bike racks for a Jeep and other SUVs. Those types are:
- Hitch bike rack
- Spare tire bike rack
- Rooftop bike rack
These bike racks offer different features and have their own pros and cons, however, the bottom line is, they all serve to transport bikes comfortably.
If you haven’t decided which type of bike rack you want to buy, or are seeking to learn the features and comparisons of the different types of bike racks, we have got a helpful guide for you.
The guide also describes other alternative ways to transport bikes using a Jeep Wrangler.
The link to the guide is below:
Now, let’s discuss the installation process of different types of bike racks to a Jeep Wrangler.
The process, overall, is very similar to that of other SUVs too. However, this guide will mostly be on Jeep Wrangler.
How to attach a Hitch Bike Rack to a Jeep Wrangler?
Hitch bike racks are one of the most convenient styles of bike racks. It’s easy to use and can carry up to 4 bikes.
The installation process of a hitch bike rack is quite simple, but prior to the installation make sure you have a hitch on the back of your Jeep’s back.
Some aftermarket bumpers have a hitch on them but not all the Jeeps have this feature. So, firstly you should install a hitch if you haven’t got one on your car.
Once the hitch is there, it’s very simple. Insert the pole of the rack into the opening of the hitch and twist the knob on the rack to secure it.
Usually, hitch bike racks also offer folding features. The bike carrying arm and the vertical support arm of the rack can be folded and unfolded.
This feature allows you to get access to the trunk area of your Jeep. Furthermore, you can fold the bike carrying arm down when you are not carrying a bike.
To carry a bike on the rack, extend the bike carrying arm and lock it with the help of pins.
Now, you can load your bike on the rack.
Place the crossbar of the bike over the lock and strap it firmly. Like I have already mentioned, you can add up to 4 bikes on a hitch rack.
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 in. Hitch
Some hitch bike racks may differ slightly from others. So, it is better to follow the user manual if you are trying to adjust the rack for the first time.
How to attach a Spare Tire Bike Rack to a Jeep Wrangler?
Spare tire bike racks are my favorite type of bike rack. If you are not intending to carry more than two bikes on your Jeep, this type of bike rack might be your top pick too.
Moreover, spare tire bike racks are one of the most popular bike rack options and you can buy them at a reasonable budget.
Spare tire bike rack mounts on your SUVs’ spare tire. You might have known it already by its name. And its installation procedure is quite easy and simple.
Let’s discuss the procedure.
Firstly, you will need to remove the spare tire. After it, adjust the mounting plate on the tire holder. The mounting plate has a tongue to hold the rack. Some rack models may provide a few tongue options varying in length. Choose the tongue as per your need.
After the mounting plate is well adjusted, you can put back the spare tire.
Slide the rack onto the tongue and tighten them with the help of a knob. The knob usually has a locking feature to secure the attachment.
Spare tire bike racks may have foldable arms that carry bikes. You can unfold them with the help of a lever on the top of the bike rack. But when you aren’t carrying any bikes, it’s best you fold them.
You can load the bike on the arms and use the zip strips to secure the bike.
But if your Jeep has a backup camera mounted on the center of the spare tire, the above-discussed bike rack style cannot be useful.
For Jeeps, such as Jeep Wrangler JL, which has a spare tire-mounted backup camera, you will need a spare tire back rack that can be mounted over the tire.
Over the tire-style bike rack can also be installed easily. You don’t even need to remove the tire. All you need to do is place the bike rack on the top of your spare tire and strap the bike rack to the tire firmly.
This type of bike rack usually does not have a folding arm feature.
How to attach a Rooftop Bike Rack on a Jeep Wrangler?
It is not the best option for a Jeep Wrangler user considering the fact that Wranglers are usually tall making it tiresome to load and unload bikes.
However, it can carry up to 4 bikes easily and can also be used to transport other heavy things such as kayaks.
Rooftop style bike racks are mostly suitable for Jeeps with a hardtop. However, you can also get a rooftop rack designed for a soft top.
Now, to fit a roof-style bike rack, you should first mount cross rails on the roof of your Jeep. You can get some cross rails that exactly fit in the rain gutters. In this case, you don’t need to worry about any modifications to your Jeep’s roof.
But if you have older models of Jeep Wrangler, you will need to drill through the hardtop to mount the cross rails or crossbars. This is a permanent modification to your Jeep.
After you have cross rails on the rooftop, you can mount the bike rack on it. After that, you can load your bike on the rack. Make sure you are using the bike holding frame and straps well to adjust the bike solidly.
Bike racks are very useful equipment to transport bikes and they can be installed quickly and easily. But before you install one, try to know your needs and learn some features that different types of bike racks offer. Also, you should know the vehicle model for which you are trying to get a bike rack.
If you haven’t figured out your choice yet, I suggest you read our previous article which covers the features of different styles of bike racks.
Lastly, I highly recommend you read the instructions in the user manual of a bike rack before you begin the installation. Since several brands are manufacturing the racks, the installation process and rack feature may vary to some extent.
Are bike racks stable and reliable?
Yes, they are. The bike racks feature different mounting systems and locking features. These features offer significant stability to carry the bikes on the bike racks.
Who is the inventor of a bike rack?
David Dennis is regarded to have first invented a bike rack in the mid-‘80s.
Which type of bike rack is easiest to use?
Spare tire bike rack and hitch style bike rack are very easy to use as you can easily load and unload your bikes. Spare tire bike racks even allow you access to the cargo area of the car. But a roof style rack presents a challenge in terms of height when it comes to fitting the bikes on it.
Can you use roof style bike rack for old models of Jeep Wrangler JK and TJ?
Yes, it is possible but the older models of JK and TJ usually require some modification on their rooftop such as drilling the crossbars. Perhaps a hitch-style rack might serve you better.
What are the best bike rack brands for a Jeep?
Allen Sports, Quadratec, and Hollywood bike racks are very popular for Jeeps. Besides it, Yakima and Thule bike racks are also some top options in the market.