Most friends that I know own hatchback vehicles, but they usually have a problem transporting their bikes. Here’s what they often ask me, ‘can you put a bike rack on a hatchback?’
You can easily install a bike rack on your hatchback car’s trunk, hitch receiver, or rooftop. It’s essential, however, that the installation is secure to drive the bike rack safely.
The process usually is DIY, and I’ll share with you a quick guide that I typically use. But before that, you should determine where exactly to fit the rack.
And like I mentioned, you can do it on the roof, trunk, or hitch.
I’ll explain all the mounting options in this post.
In a rush? Then find your ideal hatchback bike rack on the hotlist below.
Best Bike Racks For Hatchback
- Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe : Best Hatchback Trunk Rack
- Allen Sports 5-Bike Rack: Best Hatchback Hanging Hitch Rack
- KAC Overdrive Sports K4: Best Hatchback Platform Hitch Rack
- CyclingDeal Alloy Roof Bike Rack: Best Hatchback Rooftop Rack
Can You Put A Bike Rack On A Hatchback?
First thing first, let’s understand what a hatchback is.
A hatchback refers to a car’s body style whose rear door swings upwards to give you access to the car’s cargo area.
Popular car brands with hatchbacks include ‘some’ Honda, Chevrolet, Mazda, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and Toyota.
Note that I’ve used the term ‘some’ as not all models under these car brands feature hatchbacks.
Now back to our question, Yes, you can put a bike rack on a hatchback, and it’s widely advisable because of a hatchback’s strength and capacity.
Generally, hatchbacks can carry two or more bikes, depending on the size and the type of bike rack you choose.
The other advantage of a hatchback is that it’s safer, especially if you secure the bike rack and bike.
Overall, you can mount a bike rack on a hatchback car’s rooftop, hitch receiver, or trunk. All these options have their pros and cons that’ll discuss below.
Best Bike Rack Types for Hatchback
1. Trunk Bike Rack for Hatchback
Trunk bike racks are usually the least expensive option and the easiest to install. The bicycle rack rests on the hatchback car’s trunk primarily by the use of straps.
They, however, feature foam pads at their contact points to avoid scratching your trunk. It’s only when the foam pads are worn out or when the straps fail that the rack can damage your car.
It’s essential, however, that the contact points are dirt-free as dirt can scratch the paint. Other than that, the other concern is that the installation restricts trunk access.
While there are so many trunk racks that I could recommend for a hatchback, the Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe Trunk Rack tops the list.
Though this rack only weighs 3 pounds, it can hold up to 3 bikes. Such a capacity is rear for trunk bikes as most carry 1-2 cycles.
Overall, this rack can support up to 99 pounds.
It enjoys foldable arms that can easily collapse when not in use. So, you don’t necessarily have to dismount it when not using it.
Its installation is DIY and seamless, and it comes with secure straps for safe bike transportation.
2. Hitch Bike Rack for Hatchback
The major setback with trunk racks for hatchbacks is their smaller capacity, and that’s where hitch racks have an advantage.
They are as easy to install as trunk racks, and they also allow you to mount and offload your bike quickly. But unlike trunk carriers, hitch mounts can hold more bikes.
Moreover, hitch racks don’t damage your car’s painting as there is no direct contact between them. The only connection they share is the hitch.
And if your hatchback doesn’t have a hitch, you need to first install one before installing the rack.
The only serious issue with these trunks is that they restrict trunk access just like trunk mounts. However, unlike trunk mounts, they are costlier. Primarily, that’s owing to their vast carry capacity.
Essentially, hitch racks come in two styles:
a) Hanging or Mast Hitch Racks
Hanging hitch racks feature strong arms that suspend the bikes. Most of them come with tilt-able and collapsible arms to allow you to fold them when not in use.
Overall, these racks are less expensive than their tray siblings, though not as stable as them.
One fantastic choice is the Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack.
The rack can hold up to 5 bikes without wobbling.
b) Platform or Tray Hitch Racks
Platform hitch racks don’t suspend bikes like hanging hitch racks. Instead, they support them from their base, thus more stable.
Most platform racks have anti-sway systems to reduce tilting. That’s the case with the KAC Overdrive Sports K4 Hitch Rack.
Thanks to its anti-wobble system, the bike rack keeps your bike sturdy when driving. In general, this bicycle rack can hold up to 4 bikes, weighing up to 60 pounds each.
3. Rooftop Bike Rack for Hatchback
One advantage that rooftop racks have over the other bike racks is that they allow easy trunk access.
And like the other two racks, rooftop racks are easy to install and uninstall. They also don’t damage your vehicle’s finish since they are up on the roof.
However, prepare to do some heavy lifting as you’ve to get the bike to the roof and take it down. You’ll also need first to install crossbars, which means additional costs.
And when it comes to the rack’s holding capacity, you cannot load more than two bikes. Most rooftop racks only allow you to load just one bike apart from a handful that allows up to 2.
One of them is the CyclingDeal Alloy Car Roof Bike Rack.
The rooftop rack allows you to transport two bikes that are up to 60 pounds heavy. It’s pretty solid and secure and doesn’t require any tool for its installation.
How To Put A Bike Rack On A Hatchback
Now that you know what bike rack suits your hatchback, here’s the general process for installing it.
Step 1 – Open up the rack
First, open up your hatchback rack to assume an arc shape.
Step 2 – Install clips
Then put on the clips onto the trunk. Don’t force them not to break them.
Step 3 – Secure the straps
Now, tighten the rack straps to hold the rack onto the car’s hatchback securely.
Step 4 – Test it
Once you secure the rack onto the hatchback car, try pulling it to test its strength and firmness. You can also try shaking it sideways.
Once you are sure about its firmness, proceed to the next step.
Step 5 – Mount the bike
Now, go ahead and mount the bike onto the rack. Ensure you place it onto the rack’s arms.
Step 6 – Clamp down the bike
Lastly, clamp down the rack’s arms to hold the bike securely before driving away.
1. Can A Bike Rack Go On A Hatchback?
Rooftop, hitch, and trunk racks can quickly go on a hatchback. The installation is DIY, and so you can do it seamlessly without expert help.
2. What Is The Best Bike Rack For A Hatchback?
The best bike racks for hatchback cars include:
- Tyger Auto TG-RK3B203S Deluxe Trunk Rack: Best Hatchback Trunk Rack
- Allen Sports 5-Bike Hitch Rack: Best Hatchback Hanging Hitch Rack
- KAC Overdrive Sports K4 Hitch Rack: Best Hatchback Platform Hitch Rack
- CyclingDeal Alloy Car Roof Bike Rack: Best Hatchback Rooftop Rack
Bike racks only scratch your car when they come into direct contact with the car’s body and rub against it.
That usually happens when the bicycle rack is loose, improperly installed, or just contaminated with dirt and dust.
4. Can You Use A Trunk Bike Rack On A Hatchback?
You can easily fit a trunk bike rack on a hatchback and use it to haul your bike. Trunk bike racks are cheaper and a good option for all kinds of hatchback cars.
5. Can You Put A Bike Rack On The Front Of A Car?
Though some people mount bike racks on the front of their car, it’s not advisable to do so. You could be pulled over for obstructing your vision or number plate, or both.
Depending on the rack type, load capacity, and road condition, you can clock 55-75 or up to 80mph on a bike rack.
For example, you can do 55mph when driving with a trunk-mounted bicycle rack and about 75-80mph with a roof-mount bike rack.
7. How Many Bikes Can You Carry On A Bike Rack?
Most bike racks only carry 1-3 bicycles. A few others like the Allen Sports Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack can carry up to 5 bikes.
It’s essential, however, that you don’t exceed the rack’s load capacity even if you are allowed to carry more bikes.
In summary, can you put a bike rack on a hatchback?
As shared, you can comfortably mount a rooftop, trunk-mount, or hitch bike rack on a hatchback. Nevertheless, you have to ensure you do it securely to haul your bike safely.