Skip to Content

How Many Bikes Can a Bike Rack Hold? (Complete Guide)

Bike racks are very useful when traveling or going on tours. You’ll need a bike rack if you’re going to your country home and want to bring your bike with you. And if you’re traveling with a family, you’ll need racks that can hold multiple bikes.

How many bikes can a bike rack hold?

The bike rack market offers a variety of models. According to the specifications, these models have different numbers of arms. The number of bikes a bike rack can hold is determined by the number of arms or the weight capacity. Depending on the model, a bike rack can hold up to 1-6 bikes.

A bike rack’s capacity typically ranges from 40 lbs to 200 lbs (18 kg to 90 kg), depending on the model, manufacturer, and type. Bicycles, on the other hand, range in weight from 17 lbs to 60 lbs (8 kg to 27 kg), depending on the model.

Road bikes are on the lighter end of the spectrum, while mountain bikes are on the heavier end. After doing the math, it is safe to assume that a bike rack can carry one to six bikes..

However, it is necessary to know the specifics if you want to know which bike rack is best for you.

Trunk Racks:

These are lightweight and sturdy bike racks attached to the boot or trunk of your car and have a capacity of up to a hundred pounds.

Therefore, they can carry about two to three or even four bikes on average, making them perfect for family bike rides or when you have little storage at home.

Roof Racks:

As the name suggests, these racks are installed at the roof of a car, making them very conveniently placed. But this convenience comes at a price as roof racks can carry 3-4 bikes on average despite being relatively pricey.

Some roof racks may carry up to three to four bikes though those come with additional costs.

Hitch Racks:

These racks are tailored to meet the requirements of the more regular cyclists as they are very durable.

They have an average capacity of around a hundred pounds and so, they usually can carry between two to four bikes. They are pretty sturdy and can withstand bumpy roads.

How to put multiple bikes on a bike rack?

You can use bike racks for more than one bike. Its installation is easy. The number of bikes to be carried depends on the number of arms on the rack or the arrangement.

Also, it is easy to load the bikes on the bike rack. Loading the bikes can be done with ease following some easy and simple steps.

Open up the rack

You need to open up the rack. Opening the rack is the first and foremost step. The shape that the rack will make after opening varies from bike to bike. If you face any trouble, look at the clamps. Make them face upward.

If they do face upward, the rest will automatically fall in place. You can also look up the manual.

Find the clips and attach

Then you will see some clips. There is a place where the trunk separates from the body of the car. Be sure to hook the clips in those spaces. Do not force them in.

Forcing them in might damage your car. Do not miss out on attaching them. These clips will provide support to your car.

Tighten the straps

Straps are attached to the clips. Pull the excess piece to tighten them. The straps will help to put the rack in its perfect position.

After tightening them, if you see that the rack is not in the proper place, do not use it. If the rack falls off in the middle of driving, it may cause an accident.

Check rack strength

The user should check the strength of the rack. The car is going to take turns and accelerate. If the strength of the rack is not tested, it might fall off the car and cause accidents. So, you should check the strength by shaking the racks.

Place the bikes according to order

Next, you have to place the bikes. Place the bikes in this order. The biggest bike should be loaded first, followed by the second largest. In this way, you have the smallest bike in the last. You have to pill up the bike arms and then load them.

Clamp the arms

You have to clamp the arms onto the bikes. Maintain extra caution while doing this. You have to take care so that you do not damage any of your vehicles.

Check is everything locked or not

Then you have to check to see if everything is locked up properly. This is the final step. In this way, you can load your bikes to the racks.

Can I put 3 bikes on a 2 bike rack?

You cannot put three bikes on a 2-bike rack. The reasons are evident.  A 2-bike rack has the pads, hooks, and holders for only two bikes. If you want to add one more bike to the bike racks, you will jeopardize the function ability of the bike rack.

A bike might fall out of the rack. And your bike might get damaged. Adding a bike to a 2-bike rack will add extra weight to the bike rack too. The manufacturer didn’t make the bike for this weight.

For the sake of the proper maintenance of your bikes, you have to get a 3-bike rack. Invest your miney wisely and get a good rack.

Can you fit 5 bikes on a 4-bike rack?

Putting five bikes on a 4-bike rack is not a smart thing to do. First of all, there will not be enough arms to fit all five of the bikes. A bike will be stranded out.

Also, a bike can fall out of the rack at any moment if you forcibly try to fit an extra bike into the bike rack. The weight of the extra bike is to be taken into consideration. The bike rack just might get broken.

A bike rack is pretty expensive. So, if you forcibly try to load 5 bikes in a 4-bike rack, you can damage them.

You have to take proper care of it. You should not try to load on an extra bike. But if the bike is for children of 1-5 years old, there might be some exceptions. You have to check the manual first.

Be sure before trying anything and permanently damaging your bike rack.

Can you put 4 bikes on a roof rack?

Roof-mounted bike carriers are very useful.  These bike racks can easily carry about four bikes on the roof.  But a good roof rack must be installed.

The quality of the roof rack must be good.  Roof racks are different from the boot racks that are seen in the back of the car. They also have a very different structure compared to trunk and hitch racks.

The roof racks are usually fitted to a bar-like structure on the top of the roof to which bikes are attached.  In theory, all vehicles can carry four bikes on the roof. But if you want any guarantee, you should look into the manual of the given bike.

Also, you require a different roof rack according to the roof of your vehicle. The roof rack for a bare roof vehicle will not be the same as other vehicles. Different online guides will help you choose the suitable roof rack for your car.

Can you get a car bike rack for 5 bikes? 

You can get a bike rack for five bikes. But all car models will not be able to withstand the weight of 5 bikes. It can cause a decrease in mileage.

Some models are available in the market. But 5-bike racks are on the expensive side.

Although they are available in the market, they are not widely accessible. Thule has discontinued many models. A few models in Yakima are available. 

There is a wide variety of options available in the market. You can choose according to your needs.

How many bikes can a Thule roof rack hold?

Thule roof racks are a good option for us. It can hold from 1 to 4 bikes. Thule provides a wide range of bikes to choose from.

Thule roof racks provide easy options for loading and unloading. They also provide designs and accessories to increase the loading options.

Also, you can easily choose from a variety of fork, frame, and wheel mountings. Thule roof racks provide you with better options. Thule roof racks are very dependable.

How to fit two bikes in an SUV?

You can easily fit two bikes in the back of an SUV. For this, you have to do a few things to your bikes. You need to have some technical knowledge about your bike.

You need to know how to remove the wheels. And also, you need to know how to attach them. You require the necessary tools.

The first step is to open the back. Then you have to remove the back wheel or the front wheel of the bike. It is better to remove the front wheel.

Then you got to the bodies of the bikes together. You have to put a towel between them so that they are not damaged by friction. In this way, you can easily fit two bikes in your SUV.

Bike racks are a necessity to some of us. Investment in a good bike rack can help prevent future expenses. You can also rent the bike racks if you do not want to invest in them.  But do not get a smaller capacity when you need a larger capacity. So, choose wisely.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Are Bike Racks So Expensive?

Why Does My Bike Rack Wobble?

Is it Bad to Hang a Bike By its Wheels?

Are Bike Racks Easy to Steal?

Are Bike Racks Safe to Use?