You’ve got adventure knocking on your doorstep. With two wheels in tow, your eyes are set on the prize!
But how are you going to transport that lovely bike of yours? Or your family’s?
With a proper bike rack! And we have a choice for every situation.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best bike racks for Ford Explorers:
1. Allen Sports Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Allen Sports is a well-known brand in the bike accessory industry. They’ve been around for over 50 years, perfecting the tension mount bike rack.
And the results speak for themselves. When it comes to this style of rack, they have multiple best sellers.
This particular design is suited for an SUV, like your Ford Escape.
It comes in a 1 and 2 bike capacity version. With padding to keep your frame intact and several points to evenly distribute weight. The great part about tension mounts, is that they aren’t permanent additions to your vehicle.
So if you’re a less frequent biker, you can just fold this up into your trunk after your done. Another thing that makes Allen Sports so great is that they have a lifetime warranty on their gear.
But this warranty means something. You’ll see many fly-by-night companies offering something similar, and then disappearing overnight. As we mentioned before, you don’t have to worry about this company going away.
For those reasons and its affordable price, this is one of our favorite picks!
2. Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B Deluxe Black 1-Bike Trunk Mount Bicycle Carrier Rack. (Fits Most Sedans/Hatchbacks/Minivans and SUVs.)
Tyger is another company that sells well-made tension mounted racks.
Although it’s not pictured here in the preview, their 1-person bike rack has a very attractive design we really love.
So for those of you who are riding solo and want a tension mount, this would be our pick.
It’s made with thicker pieces of materials than other brands. All the way from the straps to the brackets, so we think it’s justified in costing slightly more. Just like Allen Sports(who set the standard), Tyger also offers a lifetime warranty on this product.
Sometimes customers have a bit of hesitation of putting one of these on their vehicle, but if it is properly installed you’ll have nothing to worry about. This rack does come assembled.
3. Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack
Our next two listing feature hitch racks.
Thule has been around for a long time. They’re mainly known for making aftermarket products that have an exceptional build quality.
They do consistently cost more, but it’s visibly clear the difference in materials that they go above and beyond to make solid products.
The Thule Apex XT hitch rack comes in a 2 bike option, or up to a 4 bike option. It does fit hitches of 1 1/4 inches and 2 inches. You will still have rear access after installation, because this has a tilt feature.
Both arms do fold up as well when not in use. It can hold some pretty heavy bikes, at up to 37.5 lbs a piece. This has all the bells and whistles, with a cable lock built into the design.
If you’re wanting something extremely sturdy and willing to flesh out more cash, the XT is a nice piece of equipment.
4. BV 2-Bike Bicycle Hitch Mount Rack Carrier for Car Truck SUV - Tray Style Smart Tilting Design (2-Bike Carrier)
Do you like hitch racks but want to spend a bit less than most of the prices you’re seeing?
BV has you covered, while including many of the features that the more expensive options have.
This rack can tilt, fold up, and provides 3 points of contact to keep your bike secure during the journey.
They’ve incorporated an anti-wobble design as well. Which isn’t an exact science, but will reduce some of the noise from those bumpy roads. When it comes to hitch racks, this is a great middle ground between fancy and affordable.
5. YAKIMA - FrontLoader Wheel-On Mount Upright Bike Carrier for Roof Racks, 1 Bike Capacity
Last but not least comes the roof mounted bike racks!
You will need a roof rack installed prior to using this or any other roof rack bike carriers.
They typically use u-bolts to secure onto your pre-existing roof rack. Yakima, like Thule, are known for their build quality.
We would describe their company as a bit more aesthetic though. Their products tend to be sleek, aerodynamic, and made very well. The FrontLoader hits those check boxes.
This folds down when not in use, and has three points of contact so you don’t get a scare when you’re on the road. The knock on this is it is a bit pricey, as roof bike racks tend to be. But there are cheaper alternatives out there.
What are the pros/cons of each type of bike rack?
There are three main types of racks as we’ve mentioned previously. They are the hitch mount, roof mounted bike rack, and the tension mount.
When it comes to the hitch mount, the main con is that you need a hitch! If you don’t have one installed, you’ll have to shell out a decent amount of cash to get one. The good news is that once you do, you can use it for many purposes outside of hauling bikes.
This option is also the sturdiest as it is attached to your frame. Uhaul will install a hitch on your vehicle if you decide on this option.
Second, we will take a look at the roof mounted bike racks. These are great because you have no obstruction in your rearview mirror or when it comes to parking. But, where they falter is that they can be a bit difficult to get down and if you drive through places with low clearances you’ll have to be extra mindful.
And finally, the tension mount. They’re extremely popular because you don’t need additional hardware like the other options. Just buy your mount and you’re good to go. They’re also easy to store in your trunk when not in use. As for cons, you have to be sure that you’ve installed yours correctly and test the weight on it.
Besides that, some people have a psychological uneasiness when it comes to just using straps to attach things.
I have a family, should I get a hitch rack?
If you’re planning to haul three or more bikes with any of them having considerable weight, then yes. We suggest a hitch bike rack. This will be the most expensive option(usually), but the peace of mind will be worth it.
We hope this guide gave you a snapshot of the options and bike racks that best suit your situation. There are several different types and price ranges, but all of these choices have very positive feedback.
Usually, this is the section where we would recommend our top pick. But because of family size and preferences, this list can’t have an all in one favorite!
Whatever you end up choosing, let us know how it worked out for. We appreciate our readers and thanks for stopping by.
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.