When it comes to mounting a bike rack to a Jeep Wrangler, you do have a few options, hitch mount bike racks and spare tire mounted bike racks.
So what is the best bike rack for a Jeep?
On Wranglers, the best option is usually to go with a spare tire bike rack.
Spare tire bicycle racks allow you to still open the tailgate when needed without having to remove the bike rack first. Picture trying to open the Jeep’s tailgate with a hitch mount rack mounted. With most of them, you can’t. Even on the swing away hitch models, you still need to swing the rack then open the tailgate. It’s a hassle.
If that is not enough reason, another may be cost. To successfully use a hitch mount rack on a vehicle with a spare tire, you may find yourself having to purchase a hitch extender so that the upright portion of the rack extends far enough out to clear the spare tire. Just avoid all the trouble and consider a tire mount rack.
So what is the best spare tire mount bike rack for a Jeep?
Our top pick for the best spare tire mount bike rack is the Yakima Sparetime Bike Rack.
You may be wondering what makes the Yakima better than its competitors? Well, when it comes to spare tire mounted bike racks, there are two main varieties, ones that clamp onto the tire itself and hug it tightly and others that make use of the spare tire mounting bracket on the car that the spare bolts to. A bike rack that bolts on to the vehicle, like the Yakima, will be more secure than one hugging the tire.
The Yakima Sidekick bike rack is VERY EASY to install!
So you simply remove the spare tire, the bike rack mounting bracket slides on the lugs the tire was on, the tire goes right back on and then tighten the knob. Total installation time usually takes only about 20 minutes tops. Plus you already have the tool needed in your Jeep, a tire iron to remove the lug nuts.
It comes with 3 different sized mounting brackets. This is important as it helps ensure that the mount will be the perfect length to make it through the center of your spare tire and connect to the rack snugly up against the sidewall of the tire. This is important if you are running with bigger tires.
This rack also has some neat features that make it stand out from the crowd. First is that it comes with 2 locks with that match a single key. One lock secures the bike rack to the vehicle while the other is a 60-inch locking cable to lock your bikes to the rack. So you can feel confident that when you walk away from your vehicle and come back that your bike rack and bikes will still be there. Most bike racks do not have these locks and you risk having your bikes and rack stolen while unattended.
This rack also works on nearly most vehicles with a rear mounted spare tire and most find that it does not block the rear view and that bikes do not contact the vehicle when the tailgate is opened.
On vehicles that have an off-center rear tire, the rack mounting can adjust left or right so that the bikes do not hang out too far past the side of the vehicle. When not in use, the rack arms fold down and gives the jeep a cleaner look.
Plus its Quickly Removed.
When you’re not planning on using the bike rack for a while, like during the winter months, removal is quick and simple. Unscrewed the red center bolt knob to remove the exterior portion of the rack (leaving the center mount in place) and replace your tire cover. Literally takes just a minute. Not only will it keep it from exposure to elements, but can shed weight from the vehicle.
Well-built bike racks are usually heavy, with this one not being the exception at over 28 pounds.