Hitch vs. Trunk Bike Rack

If you are a biking enthusiast, then you are presented with several options for transporting your bikes for your outdoor trips. As you can imagine, it is necessary to ensure that your bikes are securely mounted before you start moving.

To do that, you will need the help of a bike rack, but which one would be the best seeing as there are several types in the market?

Let us compare hitch and trunk bike racks because they are the most common options.

Hitch vs. Trunk Bike Rack

What is the Difference?

Just as the name suggests, hitch bike racks mount on the trailer hitches of vehicles. These racks spread out over the length of a car and limit access to the rear. That said, some models could be tilted down.

On the other hand, trunk bike racks are mounted to the trunks of vehicles using straps. You may also want to note that they are the most economic choice for transporting bikes.

Before Buy Any Bike Rack You Should Think

Before you purchase a bike rack, you want to ask yourself several questions that will determine which type of rack will suit you best. Some of these questions include:

What is the make and model of your car? You may be driving a pickup truck, SUV, or even sedan but what you need to keep in mind is that there are guides that can help you pick the rack that will fit your vehicle.

Does your car feature a trailer hitch or roof crossbars? These make it easier to mount your bike for transportation. If your car doesn’t have either, you may want to have one of them installed.

Do you do any other activities? Perhaps your bike is not the only thing you need to carry. If you carry other things like paddleboards and snowboards, it would be wise to consider getting a flexible system.

Hitch Carriers

These come in mast and tray-style mounts. They are designed to attach to the tow hitch of a vehicle and are therefore ideal for bike owners who need a rack that is easy and quick to load. With first-rate, features like built-in locks and lightweight build, these types of carriers are the most versatile.

You will also appreciate that they come with a secure lock mechanism that prevents stealing. Besides, they come with hinged load sections that facilitate access to your car’s trunk without having to unload the mounted bike.

Nevertheless, these bike racks tend to be expensive but that is a small price to pay for the reliability and security you get.


  • Easy to set up
  • Ideal for regular bike hauling
  • Adequate level of security
  • Fuel-efficient seeing as they are always mounted at the back of a car


  • Quite costly
  • Some models block access to the trunk

You may like to read about Top 8 Best Motorcycle Lock to Lower Insurance and Is driving a motorcycle hard? – Everything you need to know

Trunk Mounts

These are designed to mount to the back of a vehicle using straps that emerge from your car’s trunk. They offer a great option if you are on a limited budget because they are cheaper compared to hitch racks.

Another great thing about these mounts is that they are user-friendly and easy to install. Right out of the box, you will find that setting these up is extremely easy to use. That makes them ideal for first-time users.

However, these types of bike racks are not the most secure. Granted, they are adjustable and will fit the rear of practically any car, but they tend to sway especially when driving on rough terrain. Another thing about trunk mounts is that they require quite a bit of effort to attach meaning that you may need an extra pair of hands to set them up.

These mounts can be brutal on your car’s paint job and can even cause chipping when mounting.


  • Ideal for those on a budget because they are inexpensive
  • They are portable and convenient for infrequent use
  • Easy to store
  • Allow easy access and easy loading of bikes


  • Not as secure making it easy for bikes to be stolen
  • Not for moving bikes for long distances
  • Not suitable for regular use

Popular Manufacturers of Bike Rack in the USA

  1. Thule
  2. Rocky Mounts
  3. Yakima
  4. 1UP USA
  5. Saris
  6. Kuat

Final Thoughts

Moving your bike can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right bike rack, you can easily transport your bike from one place to another. The problem arises when it comes to picking the right kind seeing, as there are several options in the market.

If you are considering between a hitch and trunk bike rack, then you need to weigh the pros and the cons of each before making your choice. Hitch racks are ideal for regular use and offer great security while trunk mounts are cheaper and portable.

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