When you’re looking to take your bike with you, there are many different possibilities for a bike rack for minivan trips. Bike racks come in many shapes and sizes to fit however many bikes you need to bring along in many configurations. Whether on top or behind, bike racks can help you add all of the two-wheeled fun to your minivan adventures. Here are some of the best bike racks for minivans this year.
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The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Premier is our all-around pick for best bike rack for minivan families because it’s incredibly easy to install and use with your 2″ hitch receiver. The bike tie-downs individually secure and protect each bike so you don’t have to worry about them, or the annoying wobble, from the road. Plus, you’ll never have to sacrifice access to your rear hatch when you’re not loaded up. See the full review below for additional details.
Bike Rack for Mini Van Buyers Guide
There are tons of ways to get your bike(s) to where you’re going. If you’re not carrying much other than yourselves, it’s easy to fold down the rear seats and throw a bicycle or two in the trunk. However, most minivan owners value all of the available space inside—it’s why they’ve chosen such a spacious and flexible vehicle in the first place!
Types of Bike Racks
When mounting one or more bikes on the exterior of your minivan, there are a few things to consider when picking between different types of bike racks. Do you already have a hitch and what size is it? Hitch racks are often very secure and keep the bikes from bumping into and damaging your vehicle or paint-job by attaching to trailer hitch receivers. A hitch rack keeps the bikes directly behind your car, reducing any needless drag or loss of aerodynamics.
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Roof Mounted bike racks generally work with the racks and crossbar system installed on your minivan’s roof. Putting bicycles up here keeps them out of the way of accessing your valuable trunk space, but it does add considerable extra height to your vehicle. It’s important to remember that the bikes are up there before driving under low bridges, underpasses, or anything else whose clearance may no longer allow you to fit. If you’re on a family road-trip, roof-mounted bicycle racks may not be drive-thru friendly! Having your bicycles on the roof may also cause some additional wind resistance and lower your average miles-per-gallon in the car. Additionally, it can be hard to reach them on the roof to put them up or take them down. You may need to add a step stool to make this process easier if you’re not tall enough to do it on your own. If you own a Toyota, see our guide on which is a good bike rack for a Prius.
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Trunk mounted bicycle carriers just attach to the rear hatch of your car and hold the bicycles as far out and away as they can. This group of bike racks are often much easier to take on and take off so they don’t need to be a permanent fixture on your minivan. It’s great that the rack is so easy to remove, as you’ll need to do so every time you want to access the rear hatch of your minivan. These are often the lightest models and often the least expensive in addition to being able to fit your minivan and your other vehicles as well. We did a full review of the best trunk bike rack to buy and check out the best truck bed bike rack if you have time. We also have a review of the best bike racks for SUVs and the best spare tire bike racks. If you need a bike rack for your Subaru Outback, we also have a review here.
Lastly, a fairly new idea in the world of transporting your bikes, are the vacuum mounts. These mounts use very strong vacuum cups to attach a lightweight and minimalistic carrier to your car and can hold 1-3 bikes. These are small and extremely portable if you want to throw them in a bag and they fit the largest variety of different kinds of vehicles. You can sport a vacuum bicycle mount on the rear hatch or the roof of your minivan.
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Best Bike Rack for Minivan Reviews
1. Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Premier – Best Overall
The 4-Bike Hitch Premier is an excellent choice for an all-around bike rack to bring along the whole family’s bikes. This bike rack fits easily onto 2 inch receiver hitches and sets up very easily right out of the box. You’ll only need three bolts to get this entire bike rack assembled, onto your minivan, and ready for adventure.
This solidly constructed bike rack can stay on your minivan year-round without hindering access to the rear hatch due to an excellent tilting mechanism. It also won’t block your rearview camera. Some versions of this bike rack come with a locking mechanism to lock the hitch rack directly to the vehicle.
The bolts are designed to ensure that there is no wobble once it is secured in the hitch. The dual compound tie-down cradles and straps in bikes individually to ensure the bikes are safely fastened on.
- Anti-Wobble bolts keep the hitch rack securely in place within the trailer hitch.
- When there are no bikes attached, the rack tilts away from the vehicle allowing full access to the rear hatch of the vehicle.
- Fast and easy assembly straight from the box
- Sometimes the included straps can scratch your bike, but a little extra padding or bungee cords can prevent this damage. cords can ensure that bikes don’t bump into each other and cause damage in transit.
- The tilt feature can only be used when there aren’t any bikes on the rack.
2. Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack – Biggest Bikes Capacity
Best for the some of the biggest families, the Thule Apex TX bike rack has room to fit up to 5 bikes! No matter what number of bikes you’re carrying, the 5.5” of spacing between each bike for safe, secure transport and an anti-sway cradle that prevents bike-to-bike contact on the frames, this bike rack will make sure everyone and their bicycles are ready to adventure. Even with all of this space, the dual folding arms make this bicycle rack very compact when not in use. There is also a tilting feature to allow access to the rear of the minivan when bikes are not loaded.
This bike rack fits 1.25” and 2” hitches with minimal swaying. Fully loaded, this rack is built to handle 187.5lbs or up to 37.5 pounds per bike.
- Extremely easy to use; No tools required for installation
- Excellent bike stability, even when fully loaded
- Integrated cable lock locks bikes on the vehicle and stores inside the hitch rack when not in use.
- Complicated strapping system takes longer to load the bicycles but gets easier with practice.
- You will need a bike adapter for bicycles with a Y-frame or women’s style bikes.
3. BV 2-Bike Tray Style Smart Tilt – Easiest to Load
The BV 2-Bike Tray Style bike rack is an amazing choice for smaller people as this rack is the easiest to put bicycles onto. When not in use, this rack folds up and out of the way so you can keep it on your minivan for the duration of cycling season. When in use, padded arms hold the bike firmly in place and protect your bike from scratches. Most notably about this rack is that the arm safely tilts away from the rear hatch access even while bikes are attached, so you always can grab what you need without the hassle of unloading and then reloading all of the bikes.
This heavy duty hitch bike rack can be easily assembled and will work with a 1.25” or 2” hitch receiver with included adapter. It holds up to two bicycles weighing under 35 pounds each. Because the bikes sit on the tray, you can easily take many different types of bike for all types of people.
- Smart tilting system allows for rear access with bikes still on the rack.
- Very secure – no worrying about if the bikes or the rack system itself will be in contact with your vehicle, potentially causing damage.
- Easy assembly and easy to install.
- Some report wobbling in the hitch receiver. Try tightening the bolt more and using a 1/4″ master lock to secure it fully.
4. Swagman Upright Roof Mounted Bike Rack – Best Roof-Mounted
A roof-mounted bike rack keeps your bicycles firmly out of the way of accessing anything you have stored in the back of your minivan, especially on a long journey. With a weight capacity of 35 pounds per bike, these bike racks come individually for you to add just the right number to your crossbar racks. No need to take off any bike wheels to attach to your minivan. The included keyed lock keeps your bicycle locked to the rack itself when you are away.
- Fits your existing round, square, and oval crossbars up to 3” wide
- Folds flat on the roof when not in use
- Keep your wheels attached to quickly mount your bike to the roof rack without losing any ability to access your vehicle.
- While this bike rack comes with a convenient built-in locking system, the entire bike rack can be removed from the roof without tools.
5. SeaSucker Talon – Best Vacuum-Mount
This bike rack is sure to turn heads safely secured to your minivan as it is so unlike a traditional bike rack. You can attach your SeaSucker Talon to almost any vehicle, any place, and any time. At about 3X more lightweight than traditional bike racks, you can take this with you in a bag or make sure it always ready to go in the cargo area of your minivan. With vacuum pull mounts rated to over 210 pounds, you can drive easy knowing your bike is secured against high speeds and fast crosswinds. If you have a heavier than average bike, this rack is also an excellent choice as it can hold a bike weighing up to 45 pounds. Attach to your hatchback or roof, this versatile rack offers flexibility, and portability with unparalleled style.
- Can be installed in seconds with a push button pump and released even quicker with the quick-release flap on the cup.
- Install it wherever is most convenient for your particular trip and needs. It can be a roof rack or a trunk rack depending on which way you want to bring your bikes along.
- Vacuum cups don’t damage most vehicles and the full rack system weighs in at only 6 pounds but has a weight capacity of 45 pounds.
- There’s no way to attach the bike or the lock itself to your car.
- You can’t leave this rack on your minivan when not in use, but it’s so compact that you won’t need to.
- You will need to take off the front wheel to attach to the fork mount.
6. Saris Bones 3-Bike Carrier – Best Trunk-Mounted
The Saris Bones line of bike racks are built to last a very long time. Made of 100% recyclable materials, this rack is solid and strong without ever threatening to rust. The integrated strap management means you’ll never have to worry about flapping straps while driving and gives the whole trunk mounted bike rack a clean, slick look. This bike rack is easy to put on your minivan and easy to take off, folding flat for storage when not in use. The three points in contact with your vehicle are made of a nice plastic rather than metal to ensure you don’t get scratches on your trunk or bumper. Plus, an additional anti-sway rung keeps your bikes from shifting while you drive.
- This bike rack fits many different vehicles, from your minivan to other types of smaller cars.
- Made in the USA, this bike rack has been a leader in providing solid, stable transport for up to 3 bikes whenever you need to travel.
- The screws that hold the arms in place are made of plastic and sometimes strip easily. Contact Saris or visit a certified Saris dealer for replacements
- Some mountain bikes or bikes with a women’s frame may need a top-tube adapter to have them sit properly on the rack.
7. Allen Sports Deluxe 2-Bike Trunk Mount Rack – Best Bang for Your Buck
The Deluxe 2-Bike trunk mount rack is a safe, versatile, and easy to use type of rack that fits your minivan but also likely your other car as well. It sets up quickly and its narrow arms make it easy to load and unload your bikes. It is a great choice for your minivan bike trip. With the patented tie-down system, you can be sure that your bikes will be secure and protected no matter how far you’re traveling. And the lifetime warranty grants even more peace of mind when choosing a bike rack to suit your needs at such low prices. This trunk mounted bike rack has a maximum 70 pound weight limit and will easily hold two bikes for adults or two children’s bikes.
- Fully assembled right out of the box — no tools needed to install this bike rack!
- A lifetime warranty to replace any parts that wear out due to weather or use.
- The metal hooks that attach the rack to your minivan may damage the paint. Add a little extra padding to prevent this damage.
- Bike tires may swing causing a little damage to your vehicle or the bikes themselves. Use additional bungee cords to secure the bikes fully.
Whether you’re heading out for a long trip or just looking for a local trail, there is a bike rack for minivan excursions to fit every need. Bike racks can be permanent fixtures or some types of racks can be used only when needed and otherwise removed. The Allen Sports 4-Bike hitch premier is our choice for the best all-around bike rack this year because of its ease of use and fast assembly. You don’t lose access to what’s stored in the rear and there is enough room to bring bikes for the whole family. Whether you use your trailer hitch to attach or a roof rack or something else, you can be sure that your bikes will stay securely attached to your Kia Sedona or other minivan. Also, we have listed some of the best pop up camper bike racks on our recent post. And maybe you are planning to head out to the beach, you can check our post about the best surfboard racks for your bike.
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