Best Roof Mounted Bike Rack

Showers to the person who hatched the idea of a car bike carrier for lugging bikes on a long road trip. Hitch-mounted and roof-mounted bike racks are two basic types of car-bike carriers, but avid cyclists often get intimidated to choose between the two.

After tossing, if the head goes for roof-mounted carrier style, then this write-up is going to aid you in finding the best roof mounted bike rack for you.

A roof-mounted bike rack is a better resort if your car doesn’t have a hitch receiver or it is small. Also, a rooftop-mounted bike carrier is much more adaptable for carrying your bikes, kayaks, and sports gear. Moreover, if your vehicle already has crossbars, then roof-mounted style is good to go for.

The greatest advantage of preferring a roof rack is it takes a hit on the gas mileage of your vehicle on long-distance highway travel. However, you may need to be wary when driving your car through a low tunnel or garage to prevent your bicycle from smashing.

Whatever your concerns are behind purchasing the best roof bike rack, we have got you covered.

Following are some big deals on roof-mounted bike racks for buying in 2021.

Let’s divulge into it:

1. Thule ProRide 591 Bicycle Carrier Roof-Mounted

If you want to flaunt your love and care for your bike, then Thule bike carriers are the best bet. All of Thule’s bike racks bear the stamp of the company’s high-end engineering behind manufacturing all of its products. This being, Thule has become a leading and trusted name in the industry of bike carriers. Thule 532 also shares this reputation with the company and has become our top pick as the best roof-mounted bike rack.

It is no1 choice of cyclists who want to transport their bikes with the wheels on. The unusual frame design of the Thule ProRide 591, with a curvy base rail, makes it easy to see by other drivers. While it may resemble one of those cutting-edge, aerodynamic vehicle designs, this feature serves a real practical purpose rather than just looking cool. When you lift the clamping arm and position the bike’s wheels in the rail, the forward motion caused by the curve helps to keep the bike pressed against the clamp. Looks excellent and performs admirably – very nice work!

Whether you want to haul mountain bikes or a fat tire bike, this one is for you. Not only it’s easier to put together but is fairly simple to use, too. Instead of requiring two people to mount this bike rack on the roof of your vehicle, you can carry/remove bikes from the roof all by yourself. But if you’re a short man, we think that you may need a lending hand for installing/removing this carrier.

Proride 591 has remained one of the best choices of cyclists until the launch of its sister 598 model. Both share many similarities as far as the basic wheel-on design is concerned. However, Thule has upgraded the design of the Proride roof mounted bike carrier in its newer 598 models.


  • Holds one bike with wheels on
  • Compatible with all-wheel dimensions
  • Quick-release wheel straps
  • The maximum load capacity is 20 kg

2. Swagman Standard Roof Rack

At no 2 as the best fork mount bike rack, we have reviewed this versatile bike carrier from Swagman.

Roof-mounted bike racks are often looked down upon because of their massive price tag. Some of the roof bike carriers are as much expensive as your bikes are. Luckily, the Standard by swagman impressively bears a cheaper price tag and delivers a performance match to a bike carrier from a higher-end brand.

With the lower price, we feel apprehensive about the quality of the product. Shudder your fears, this bike carrier is solid and well-built. You can simply carry any bike of any size and style on this rack as its body is built with high-grade aluminum. Claiming to withstand the maximum load of 35 lbs., this is the right choice for transporting your roadie. This too, without breaking your funds.

Being a fork mount rooftop bike carrier, its 9mm skewer holds the front fork firmly to the rack, and a cam buckle strap secures your rear wheel to the bike tray. This secured adjustment and fitting of the bike on the rack minimize the chances of falling off a bike from the rack to a zero level.

The provided instructions to install the unit seem gibberish. Nevertheless, if you’re familiar with installing a bike carrier, putting up this bad boy is a cinch. That’s not all! The system is fairly simple and is compatible with any car with crossbar configurations.

One word for its security feature: well, if you’re expecting a first-class security system on this roof rack, then your hopes might come to delusion. Although there’s a lock on the hook, the rack is too easy to remove from the vehicle with the bike on. nonetheless, for the lower price, the product I worth the money.


  • Transports one bike with wheels on
  • Fork mounted bike carrier
  • 9 mm quick-release skewers
  • The maximum load capacity is 35 lbs.

3. Thule Proride Upright XT Bike rack

Thule Proride Upright XT Bike rack

We don’t want to sound biased but Thule remains our hardcore favorite company when it comes to buying bike carriers. For this reason, we have again ranked Thule’s bike rack for the third position on this list.

What if a bike rack is not just convenient to use but is premium from every aspect; be it is about its design, performance, and ergonomics. Upright XT has scored well in all these aspects and has become the best Thule roof bike rack to date.

As we have mentioned before that buyers rely on roof-mounted bike racks since they never cause a bad impact on the gas mileage of a vehicle. Thule has kept this in mind while designing this carrier. The 11 pounds bike carrier doesn’t add much weight to the overall footprint of the vehicle.

Along with this, this bike rack is built with aluminum which is a sturdy material and can withstand one bike with a maximum weight of 44 lbs. being this, you can certainly carry any bike with a different style and size.

Modern bikes come with different axle standards are difficult to mount on a bike rack. But the intuitive design of this bike rack never fails to impress us. The unique wheel tray and frame grips the bike firmly. Added to this, the torque limiter dial ensures that the bike frame remains secure whatsoever happens.

To prevent the frame from damaging, Thule has introduced soft claw pads. And to enhance the efficiency of this bike carrier, there are wheel holders that keep your bikes’ wheel stable throughout the transportation phase.

Significantly, this is the best roof-mounted bike rack but it also offers some limitations. It doesn’t have a lock system to keep the bike and rack 100% secure from preventing theft. Also, when loaded with a bike, this rack brings height clearance issues.

Yet from an investment viewpoint, this option remains nearly an unbeatable choice.


  • Transports one bike
  • Quick-release straps
  • Soft claw pads to prevent damage to the vehicle
  • The maximum load capacity is 44 lbs.

4. Yakima FrontLoader Rooftop Bike Rack

Yakima FrontLoader Rooftop Bike Rack

Yakima is another brand that has won the trust of its customers by introducing mid-range bike carriers of different styles. But since we have narrowed down our search to the best roof-mounted bike rack, Yakima frontloader has become our fourth pick.

This is fork mounted rooftop bike rack that offers you to keep the height of your vehicle somewhat lower to increase the room for clearance. Nevertheless, this specific style of roof bike rack provides a firmer grip on your bike by keeping its front frame more secure. This style has a certain glitch, i.e., every time you want to take the bike, you have to remove its front wheel. This practice is a time-wasting thing, but for the health of your bike, this style is well praised and like by avid cyclists.

There are three different settings for adjusting the clamp of the rack. The first and second positions are ideal for using the stock crossbars. The highest setting, on the other hand, is utilized for square and circular bars.

 T-bolts with hand-tightened knobs are also included on the bike rack. Using your hand, tighten these knobs through the rack. To find the ideal clamp position for your factory crossbars, you may have to experiment a little. Implying to this, it’s an adaptable rack that can be used with virtually any vehicle that has flat, round or square crossbars.

Speaking of its installation, we are impressed that it doesn’t offer any complications in this regard. Within minutes, it gets installed and likewise, you can put it off the rack whenever you want. yet we recommend not to do this practice so often if you’re an enthusiastic cyclist.


  • Holds one bike
  • 9mm quick-release front hubs
  • Locking skewer at the front axle
  • The maximum load capacity is 35 lbs.

5. RockyMounts Tomahawk Upright Mount

RockyMounts Tomahawk Upright Mount

If you’re conscious of spending your hard-earned money on a stellar performing product, RockyMounts steps forward to solve your problem. Assuming that you’re looking for the best car roof bike rack, we think Tomahawk will devalue your worries.

The first noticeable feature of this rooftop bike carrier is its versatility which is the most sought-after feature that many buyers look for. It mounts to all styles of crossbars, holds wheel diameters 20-29″, widths up to 5″, and delivers quality. it is an exceptional choice for cyclists who loves super secure and ultra-easy installation in a roof-mounted bike rack.

Unlike a fork mount roof rack in which you have to take off the front wheel of your bike for mounting, this roof-mounted rack allows you the same convenience that you would expect from a hitch-mounted bike rack. You don’t have to remove the front wheel at all since it allows you to mount the bike with two wheels on. And this is the real key to make this bike carrier a favorable choice for many cyclists.

The simplicity of design and better ergonomics also gives a sense of confidence to the users while loading/unloading bike. The loud ratcheting clicking sound ensures that the bike is in place and no damage would occur during driving on highways at harsh speeds.

Loading mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires is a point of concern that many cyclists face when using a bike carrier. But RockyMounts has kept a keen eye on such details and provides extra-long straps for securing fat bikes. Unloading the bike is also an instant breeze.

With a lifetime warranty, the product is backed up and offers reliability. However, a nitpick is the rack creates rattle when not in use. So for silent drivers, this might be a slight issue.

For this price range, the TomaHawk outlasts its competitors and has become a stylish bike rack for the top of the car.


  • Transports one bike
  • Driver side and passenger side installation
  • Easy-load wheel straps
  • Lifetime warranty


What is a bike rack used for?

A bike rack or bike carrier is a device that is attached to a car, bus, SUV for transporting bikes from location A to location B.

What are the main types of bike carriers?

The basic types of a bike rack are:


These types of bike racks are installed on the roof of your vehicle. This type of bike rack is versatile and moderately priced. This kind of rack is typically installed on your vehicle’s stock rails. You have to lift bikes for loading or unloading on this type of rack.


These are more popular because they are easy to install. However, they work with vehicles that have hitch-receivers for installation. The tray-style and hanging-style are two subcategories of this type of bike carrier.

Trunk mounted:

This type of bike rack is cheaper but they prevent access to the trunk of your vehicle. However, they are portable and lightweight as compared to the other two kinds of bike carriers.

What are the subcategories of a roof-mounted bike rack?

There are three forms of a roof-mounted bike carrier:


This is a classic style of rooftop bike rack that makes sure that there isn’t any contact between the frame of your bike and vehicle. for secure transportation of your mountain or fat bikes, this option works the best.


Front bike racks can be attached to the front fork’s sides using simple tools.

Tire mount:

The rack does not touch the frame, so it’s perfect for carrying a carbon fiber bike. The wheel-mount design makes it possible to transport bikes of practically any size or frame style.

Is it safe to leave a roof bike carrier on the roof of my car?

No. we don’t suggest leaving your bike on a bike rack for an extended period since there’s a potential danger of theft. No matter how much your rack and bike are secured on your vehicle, it would just take some minutes to take the bike and rack off from your car. So be careful and play your cards accordingly.

Are bike racks illegal?

Yes, in some states, bike racks are illegal because they may hide your license plate. Also, you need to have RTO permission to carry your cycles on a rack attached to your car. Else get ready to pay fines.


Bike racks are the lifesavers for those cyclists who want to haul their sports cycles on long road trips. for carrying one expensive bike on a rather long road trip, we think a roof-mounted bike carrier would ace the job nicely. Since it would not hide the rearview of your vehicle. neither does it prevent you from accessing the trunk of your car.

So if you have decided to go on a long road trip while enjoying your cycling hobby, get the best roof-mounted bike rack from our above-mentioned list.

We know you will find your best bet.

Happy Cycling!

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