Best Spare Tire Bike Rack of 2022
Do you want a bike rack for your jeep or SUV with a spare tire installed in the back? Spare tire bike racks are one way to travel with your bikes without extra expenses on buying a hitch or roof rails. These racks can be installed and used conveniently like most trunk bike racks.
This type of hitchless bike rack is economical as compared to hitch bike racks. Moreover, you would not have to lift the bikes to place them on the roof in case of roof mount racks. We have done extensive research on spare tire racks and compared them to other types as well. For more information look below for their pros and cons and see our best picks for spare tire mount racks below.
List of the best Spare Tire Bike Racks
1. Thule Spare Me Pro – Premium Spare Tire Rack for Bikes
This Thule spare bike rack has it all. The looks enhance the aesthetics of your jeep or any other vehicle, compactness, durability, and other features such as the rack and bike locks. We have read reviews from customers who have been using it for more than a decade and are completely satisfied with the product. It fits a regular or oversized tire and has a maximum carrying capacity of 34 kg.
Pros Quality, Brand, Aesthetics, Rack lock, Bike lock
Cons Price, Maximum 2 bikes only
Rating 4.2 out of 5
Price Around $400
2. Hollywood Spare Tire Mount Rack – Unique Style
The unique selling point of Hollywood’s spare bike rack is that it comes fully assembled. Fast installation and removal when not in use. This works in a similar fashion to that of the Thule spare bike rack as well but would differ in it how it looks from the outside and its durability as well. The rack’s arms fold to the sides when not in use and do not obstruct the rear camera view.
Pros Value for money locks to the spare vehicle tire
Cons Kids’ bikes require an adapter, Maximum 2 bikes only
Rating 4.3 out of 5
Price Around $200
3. Allen Sports Premier – Budget Pick
The budget choice, Allen’s spare bike rack offers you great value in carrying a maximum of two bikes behind your vehicle. Very similar to their trunk bike rack which fits on the trunk of the vehicle this fits nicely into the spare tire of your vehicle. In the variety of their spare tire bike racks, this model offers the most features such as dual compound bike cradles, quick secure straps, and fold design as well.
Pros Value for money
Cons Maximum 2 bikes only
Rating 4.6 out of 5
Price Around $100
How to install a spare tire mount bike rack
Different racks require different steps. Specifically for Thule, there is a plate that mounts behind the spare wheel and it is bolted on with the strength of the lug nuts. A metal bar that comes out from the center of the wheel attaches to the sleeve of the bike rack. A lockable turn handle is then used to lock the parts together. The rest of the bike rack is the same as a hanging bike rack (frame mounted). On a hanging bike, the top tube of the bike is placed on the rack arm and different straps are used to lock it into the position
The objective of the rack lock is simple it locks the rack to the vehicle. The lock on the lockable turn handle is operated with a key and once you have locked it nobody should be able to loosen the system and take it off. We would still not recommend leaving the vehicle with the rack unattended for very long periods of time.
A locking cable extends from the rack and can be wrapped around the bike frame before looking it back in. We recommend using it when you have to leave the vehicle unattended for short periods like running into a utility store, for a quick lunch, etc. Not recommended for leaving it outside overnight.
Pros and Cons
- Unlike roof bike racks on a jeep or a relatively tall vehicle, the spare tire bike rack is very easy to load the bike on. Especially with a jeep wrangler, you would probably need stairs to load and offload the bike from a roof bike rack.
- It does not elongate the vehicle as much as the hitch bike rack would do. Usually while reversing you need to be careful with a hitch bike rack which is not the case for a spare tire rack. Also, it does not block the rearview camera that much.
- The arms on the rack fold to make the system compact while it is not in use. We find it aesthetically pleasing as well when we compare it to a hitch or roof bike rack.
- Most of the racks would not get in the way of opening the jeep back door
- Most spare tire mount bike racks are capable of carrying one or two bikes only
- The front tire would sway unless you use a strap to hold it in place
How to make a spare tire bike rack
You can make a DIY spare tire mount rack using large L-shaped hangers, use spare holes and bolt them in. Connect a couple of pipe wrenches and bend them up so the bike top tube can settle on it. But we would certainly not recommend doing a DIY when you can get a very affordable rack from amazon for under 100 dollars.
How to install Thule spare tire bike rack?
Installing the Thule spare tire bike is a fairly simple process and usually should not require any sort of drilling or technician help.
You can install the Thule spare tire by initially taking off the spare tire. Once it is off, you can bolt the provided plate to the strength of the lug nuts. Then use the metal bar which comes out from the center to attach with the rest of the bike rack. A lockable turn handle is then used to lock the parts together.
Once the lockable turn handle is tightly locked you can check for any sort of play in the rack and adjust accordingly. After the assurance, the rack should be ready to take on your bike.
Who makes the best spare tire bike rack?
Thule is a well-known brand that creates a wide variety of bike racks and has racks specifically designed for spare tire placement. You can get the Thule Spare Me Pro 2-Bike.
Apart from that Yakima is also offering a premium rack in the category. Both racks fall in our top 3 bike racks for spare tires.
How to free the stuck Yakima spare tire bike rack?
You can free a stuck Yakima spare tire rack by initially ensuring that it’s not in the locked position. Turn the key to lock the carrier and verify that the red knob spins freely.
If turning the lock key does not work, try using WD40. Leave the spray on for some time and try again. Do this multiple times and even try with a lubricant. If the method fails as well might need to order some spare parts before drilling out the lock and replacing it.