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8 Best Bike Racks for Subaru Outback & Crosstrek (Aug, 2020)

Subaru Outback and Crosstrek are both great cars for travelling and trekking. Both Wagon type vehicles are very similar to each other. These cars offer super elastic suspension which proves their off-road travelling capabilities and both are great fuel-efficient vehicles.

If you are an avid cyclist who has a similar type of vehicle and likes to go out for off-road cycling frequently, then you definitely need some good bike racks so that your expensive bikes remain protected and secure during the whole tour. There can be a lot of confusion for choosing the perfect bike rack that suits your Outback or Crosstrek or same kind of vehicles, for the lack of proper information and guidelines. So in this article, we like to discuss the best bike racks that will work accurately when you are using a similar type of vehicles like the Subaru Outback or Crosstrek.

Among all the bike racks, we want to make the Yakima Highroad as our editor’s pick. The rest of the bike racks are chosen very precisely and carefully through relentless research and study, depending on their features, their advantages and disadvantages. So don’t just scan the post with your eye-balls, rather take some time and read the whole post carefully so that you can get better ideas for choosing the rack of your personal preference.

YAKIMA Highroad

The Yakima Highroad roof-mount bike rack can fit 26” – 29” wheels and 23mm – 4” tires without any issue.TailWhip cable along with SKS locking system (2 locks) will adjust your bike safe and steady all the time, without allowing bike rack theft. Also, convert this rack to fit T-Slot crossbars with SmarT-Slot kit. Hassle-free quick mounting with its TorqueRight knob. Able to fit any type of roof without using any kind of tools for universal mounting design.

Dimensions: 56 x 9.50 x 4.50 inches and Bike weight Capacity: 45 lbs

 

A quick review of our selected bike racks that are really good for your Subaru Outback & Crosstrek cars:

Bike RackBike Rack StyleBuy
Yakima HighroadRooft-Top Mount (Wheel-On)Check Today's Price
Swagman XTC2Hitch Mount (Tray)Check Today's Price
Thule T2 Pro XTHitch Mount (Tray)Check Today's Price
Yakima FullSwingHitch Mount (Hanging)Check Today's Price
Curt 18065Hitch Mount (Hanging)Check Today's Price
Thule SOA567B020Rooft-Top Mount (Wheel-On)Check Today's Price
Rhino-Rack RBC035Rooft-Top Mount (Fork-Mount)Check Today's Price
Thule Archway XTRear Hatch/Trunk MountCheck Today's Price

8 Best bike racks you can buy today for Subaru Outback & Crosstrek

You are short on time? Doesn’t have much time to spare? Then check-out our short comparison table to get an overall basic idea. But we highly recommend you to read the whole post. Trust me, it will be worth your time.

RacksPreviewBike CapacityLoad CapacityStyleDimensions (inch)Weight (lbs.)Folding CapabilityTilting FeatureLock Feature
Yakima HighroadYAKIMA - Highroad Wheel-On Mount Upright Bike Carrier for Roof Racks, 1 Bike Capacity145 lbs.Rooft-Top Mount (Wheel-On)56 x 9.50 x 4.5018NoNoYes
Swagman XTC2Swagman XTC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack270 lbs.Hitch Mount (Tray)42 x 26 x 10 (When Folded)29.7YesNoYes
Thule T2 Pro XTThule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack2120 lbs.Hitch Mount (Tray)54 x 15 x 4352YesYesYes
Yakima FullSwingYAKIMA - FullSwing Hitch Mount Bike Rack, 4 Bike Capacity4160 lbs.Hitch Mount (Hanging)43.5 x 26 x 17.556YesYesYes
Curt 18065CURT 18065 Premium Trailer Hitch Bike Rack Mount, Fits 2-Inch Receiver, 5 Bicycles5225 lbs.Hitch Mount (Hanging)40 x 9 x 1843YesYesNo
Thule SOA567B020Genuine Subaru SOA567B020 Thule Bike Carrier - Roof, 1 Pack135 lbs.Rooft-Top Mount (Wheel-On)56.8 x 11.9 x 3.91NoNoYes
Rhino-Rack RBC035Rhino-Rack USA RBC035 MountainTrail Bike Carrier Front Fork Mount Quick Release For Use w/All Cross Bars MountainTrail Bike Carrier133 lbs.Rooft-Top Mount (Fork-Mount)55 x 7 x 36NoNoYes
Thule Archway XTThule Archway 2-Bike Carrier, One Color, One Size2 / 370 / 105 lbs.Rear Hatch/Trunk Mount23.5 x 18 x 2114.4 / 15.4YesNoYes

1. Yakima Highroad: The Ultimate Bike Protection

YAKIMA Highroad

  • Type: Roof-Top Mount (Wheel-On)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 1
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 18
  • Dimensions (inch): 56 x 9.50 x 4.50
  • Weight Capacity: 45 lbs

Features & Considerations:

  • Wheel hoop is capable to fit 26” – 29” wheels and 23mm – 4” tires easily.
  • For quicker and easier fixture, this rack has integrated TorqueRight knob.
  • You can include 2 SKS additional locks with TailWhip cable for a steady and stable mounting of your bike reinforcing security.
  • For adjustment, it does not require to remove wheels from the bike.
  • Features SmarT-Slot Kit so that you can convert it to fit with T-Slot crossbars.
  • Keeps the bike frame damage-free as it does not make any contact with the bike frame.
  • Limits hatch interference with a sleek and low profile.
  • Universal mounting hardware will fit any roof racks without using any tool.
  • Integrated lock loop supports the addition of your own bike lock which doubles the security.
  • A smart looking rack that will look great on your vehicle.
  • Yakima’s lifetime warranty.

Some Weaknesses:

  • Chances that your bicycle may hit tree branches are higher while traveling.
  • One rack can carry only one bike at a time.
  • Maximum crossbar spread is 36”, so might not fit 38” crossbars i.e. Hyundai Tucson (2016).
  • Not good for securing your bicycle’s front tire bars.
  • May scratch your roof while installation, so be careful.

 

Despite having some negative impacts I would still say, the Yakima Highroad roof mount bike rack does a great job for secure transportation of your cycle. Especially when you are using a Subaru Outback or a Subaru Crosstrek, you won’t find any rack that can provide the facilities compared to this rack. The speciality for not contacting the bike frame makes it ideal for carrying carbon fibre bikes and custom paint bikes.

Although it is able to carry just one bike, apart from that part this rack just scores the top in all qualities. It is very easy to install and does not require any kind of tools. Before buying this rack make sure that your car’s crossbar spread is between 18” to 35”. Double the safety of your bike by adding 2 SKS locks (same key system) with the TailWhip cable. You just need to buy these locks separately, they don’t come with the rack itself.

When you are driving a car like Subaru Outback or Crosstrek trust me, it is better to go for roof mount racks. The main problem is that most of them can carry only one bike. This rack can also carry only one bike where the maximum weight of the bike should be 45 lbs. But you can add another roof mount rack on your car if you experience the necessity, easy right?

2. Swagman XTC2: Ensures Ultimate Stability

Swagman XTC2

  • Type: Hitch Mount (Tray)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 2
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 29.7
  • Dimensions (inch): 42 x 26 x 10 (When Folded)
  • Weight Capacity: 35 + 35 = 70 lbs

Features & Considerations:

  • Being compatible for fitting 12” to 29” tires, this rack it suitable to fit bike frames of different sizes and shapes.
  • Supports 1” – ¼” and 2” hitch receivers.
  • Remains very versatile while carrying your bikes.
  • You can fold the rack when it is not needed and you can store it on your trunk, this saves your storage space.
  • With its soft rubber straps, it holds your bikes safe and steady.
  • This rack allows flawless loading and unloading your bikes.
  • Very easy installation- assuming within a few minutes, your assemble should be complete.
  • Adjustable wheel hoops to fit your bike length at each end.
  • Equipped with an anti-wobble hitch device to minimize the jerkiness.
  • Steel rack with powder coated premium finish.
  • The company promises a lifetime warranty.

Some Weaknesses:

  • The holding mechanism gets jammed up which makes it difficult to release the bikes.
  • The bars that secure the wheel rest, tend to get rusty over time.
  • Does not tilt which makes it difficult for the hatch to open.

 

The Swagman XTC2 is an amazing rack when you are planning to go out for an off-road tour with your partner. This tray mount bike rack holds your bikes from below not contacting the bike frame. Once you have installed this rack, the first thing you should do is – start cruising towards your destination because now there is peace in your mind knowing that your bikes are completely safe. ‘SWAGMAN’ was one of the first companies in the world to design and produce hitch style bike racks by successfully accomplishing the philosophy of Jim and Jan Morris, the founder of the company.

While this rack is being attached to your car’s hitch, it does not wobble for its built-in anti-wobble device. The maximum load capacity of this rack is 70 lbs. So if your and your partner’s bike weighs close to 35 lbs, then all you have to do is set the bikes on this rack and enjoy the trip.

This hitch mount rack is guaranteed to remain sturdy after extensive usage. Even having all these wonderful features, this bike rack is also reasonable in price. It is determined to cover all your demands when you are riding alone or as a couple. If you have decided to go for this rack then be more generous and buy the locking hitch pin, 10 mm security cable and fat bike tire trays that are sold separately.

Check this video from Swagman’s officials for installing the bike rack step by step –

3. Thule T2 Pro XT: Hassle Free Installation without Any Tool

Thule T2 Pro XT

  • Type: Hitch Mount (Tray)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 2
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 52
  • Dimensions (inch): 54 x 15 x 43 & 54.7 x 22.5 x 33.8 (When Folded)
  • Weight Capacity: 60 + 60 = 120 lbs.

Features & Considerations:

  • Features frame-free ratcheting arms that secures the frame without getting in contact.
  • Avoids interfering bikes by creating enough space between the mounts where the bikes remain side by side.
  • Fits 20” – 29” wheels and up to 5” tires.
  • Promotes complete locking utility – lock the bike to the rack with integrated cable and lock the rack to the receiver with a lock knob.
  • Enables folding facility when it is not being used.
  • Also tilts away to give your vehicle flexible rear access with accessible HitchSwitch lever.
  • With its AutoAttach system, you can easily make a tool-free installation and removal of the rack.
  • Allows the capacity up to 4 bikes by using an additional component.
  • Lifetime warranty will be provided by Thule.

Some Weaknesses:

  • Only for rear fenders, didn’t build for front fenders.
  • Not compatible for the trailer or other types of towed vehicles.
  • After using for a couple of months, the straps may rip off.
  • Comes with a high price. The lock which is included is not very supportive.

 

The Thule T2 Pro XT is a remarkable choice for Carbon-frame bikes, Mountain bikes, Ebikes, Downhill and Fat-tire bikes. It is a premium hitch bike rack with excellent platforms with a
maximum load capacity of 120 lbs, so 60 lbs. is maximum for each bike.

The genesis of such a reputed company began by fulfilling the request of a fisherman by the company’s founder Erik Thulin. He was asked by the fisherman to build him some equipment (pike fishing trap). He began to sell them to the Scandinavian fishermen. Gradually the company started producing various accessories mostly for bikes back in 1942. The company’s headquarters is located in Malmo, Sweden.

By proving its versatility, its security and its carry capabilities, this rack has proved to be a production of fine materials and workmanship. If you have a large group to haul around and you are willing to increase the bike storing capacity as you don’t want to switch to other racks, then buy the Thule T2 Pro XT Add-on which will give access to carry 4 bikes at a time. This rack also comes in two different colours – Silver and Black.

4. Yakima FullSwing: Heavy Duty Hitch Rack

Yakima FullSwing

  • Type: Hitch Mount (Hanging)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 4
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 56
  • Dimensions (inch): 43.5 x 26 x 17.5
  • Weight Capacity: 40 + 40 + 40 + 40 = 160 lbs

Features & Considerations:

  • Supports all types of bikes where the frames hold the traditional geometry.
  • Quick and easy locking for its SpeedKnob locking feature.
  • Keeps the rack secured to the hitch and receiver by automatically positioning the AutoPin.
  • Quickly tighten your bikes with Zero-hassle ZipStrips.
  • Like most Yakima racks, this rack features SKS locking mechanism which can lock both your racks and bikes.
  • Not just only secures your bikes but also keep them very comfortable with its full padded arms for the whole ride.
  • Swing-away feature: for easy access of the rear hatch, this rack swings away while fully loaded with bikes.
  • This rack comes in very handy if you to load something on your car’s rooftop.
  • Foldable arms in case you are not using them.
  • Official Yakima’s lifetime warranty.

Some Weaknesses:

  • Very difficult to load a woman’s hardtail bike, kid’s bike, training bike or other types of bikes which are not narrow.
  • Not so beneficial for loading 4 bikes at a time, there is not much room.
  • Poor quality material might get rusty when it gets in touch with water and starts dripping rust.
  • The SpeedKnob works in an inconvenient way.
  • Price is higher than the quality.

The only major problem of the Yakima FullSwing is that – it is unable to perfectly hold 4 bikes at a time since that’s what the majority of people say. Besides that this bike rack is really good and guarantees the security and safety of your bikes for transporting from one place to another.
The term ‘FullSwing’ really goes with the character of this rack for its seamless swing away feature and the design is really eye-catching, the solid black and red combined color hitch mount bike rack will look great on your vehicle. Its bike mounting ability and the way it locks the bikes is just perfect.

Although it is built to carry 4 bikes, but rather than blindly believing this phrase you can give a trial first while fully loaded with 4 bikes with this rack before buying. For carrying bikes which are not usual in shapes such as women’s bikes, Ebikes, training bikes you need to buy an additional TubeTop adapter which is sold separately. For each bike of maximum 40 lbs weights, this rack is able to handle 160 lbs of total weight utmost.

5. Curt 18065: Best Choice For Crosstrek

Curt 18065

  • Type: Hitch Mount (Hanging)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 5
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 43
  • Dimensions (inch): 40 x 9 x 18
  • Weight Capacity: 45 + 45 + 45 + 45 + 45 = 225 lbs

Features & Considerations:

  • This rack is popular for this carrying capability, it can hold up to 5 bikes securely.
  • This rack has tapered arms for accommodating bikes of different sizes along with kid’s bikes.
  • Fits hitch receivers with its 2” tube opening.
  • Maintain a scratch-free frame with its adjustable rubber cradles.
  • Provides convenient rear access by tilting away.
  • Convert it into a compact shape for sufficient storage and also when you don’t have to use it.
  • Threaded Anti-wobble shank: prevents your bikes from oscillating while travelling.
  • Reinforced safety during the night with its built-in reflectors on the arms.
  • Impervious to Corrosion: The body is quite versatile and furnished with durable powder coat finish for not getting rusty over time.
  • Ease of Use: features fast and easy usage whenever needed.
  • Offers one-year finish and one-year parts warranty.

Some Weaknesses:

  • Loading 5 bikes and riding on an uneven road with frequent jolts simultaneously, may lead the rack to break.
  • Although it is built for mounting 5 bikes but loading all 5 bikes isn’t easy and it’s like breaking a puzzle.
  • The space between each mount is narrow and the pads that hold the bikes are large triangular in shape, which is not convenient.
  • The rubber straps have a tendency to tear up.
  • Not suitable for trailers or other types of towed vehicles.

 

The CURT bike rack is different than other bike racks for its tapered arm design. These arms are very useful for accommodating multiple bikes with different frame sizes. For its bike loading capacity, it has become very attractive among families with usually 4 or 5 members including young children.

This rack is able to fit women’s bikes, adult’s bikes easily. Sometimes it may have a little issue for carrying kid’s bikes. In the kid’s bike mounting section, you won’t be able to manage mounting kid’s bikes with regular frame sizes. You may face difficulty to load them. The issue is not with the quality of the rack but with the mounting of bikes.

This rack remains steady while carrying your bikes because the maximum loading capacity for this rack is 225 lbs, where each bike weighs 45 lbs highest. But it is wise not to load 5 adult mountain bikes. First of all, they will hardly fit and second, the total weight might give the amount of pressure more than its capacity. This will cause swaying dangerously of the entire T-part of the rack and eventually to cause destruction.

6. Thule SOA567B020: OEM Roof Rack from Subaru

Thule SOA567B020

  • Type: Rooft-Top Mount (Wheel-On)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 1
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 1
  • Dimensions (inch): 56.8 x 11.9 x 3.9
  • Weight Capacity: 35 lbs.

Features & Considerations:

  • This rack is made by Thule and it is a Subaru’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer).
  • You can always depend on an official product especially when the company is the same for the product and the car.
  • It promotes self-adjusting jaws that will automatically wrap around the bottom bracket of your bike.
  • Holds the bike frame very precisely and at the same time won’t let it contact your car.
  • Ratcheting Straps: this straps will secure both front and rear wheels of your bike.
  • For mounting on the roof-top, this rack allows easier access of the rear hatch.
  • Because of the mounting clamps, this rack will fit over 286 different vehicles.
  • Fits most bikes where the wheel size is between 20” to 29” and the width of the tire is up to 2.6”.
  • Includes a lock that will prevent your bike from getting stolen.
  • The installation process is very easy and smooth.
  • Very lightweight, does not put any pressure on the roof.
  • Minimum 12 months of Subaru’s original manufacturer warranty.
  • Shop with Confidence: Keeps your information safe which strengthens the relationship of trust between Subaru and its customers.

Some Weaknesses:

  • As it is a roof-mounted rack make sure your vehicle is equipped with a crossbar set otherwise you need to buy one first.
  • Able to mount only one bike which is a great disadvantage for going out within a group.
  • The possibility that your bike may collide with tree branches while travelling.
  • Don’t mount it over a sunroof, it will cause wind noise.
  • It is painful to install and remove the rack again and again as it includes 6 nuts and some parts associated with installation.

 

As an OEM product of Subaru, the Thule SOA567B020 rack guarantees absolute safety and security of your bike for transporting. Buying this rack, you can be confident about your decision
That you have made the right choice for two reasons. The first reason is there is no doubt about the quality of the product as it is an official product from Subaru and the second one is you are buying a top-notch rack for a reasonable price.

It may lack having only one mounting option compared to other racks with 4 to 5 bike mounting options on the market, but once you have utilized its quality then you won’t be thinking of buying any other racks. This rack mounts on the top of the roof so that you can open up the rear trunk or hatch easily and allows other supporting areas free if you want to attach another type of rack perhaps a hitch rack can be attached without any problems.

Here is a list of Subaru models that accepts this rack (From Subaru’s official website) –

Subaru Car Models that are compatible with Thule Bike Racks

7. Rhino-Rack RBC035: Fork Mount Rack with Quick Release

Rhino-Rack RBC035

  • Type: Rooft-Top Mount (Fork-Mount)
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 1
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 6
  • Dimensions (inch): 55 x 7 x 3
  • Weight Capacity: 33 lbs.

Features & Considerations:

  • Screw-on Fastener: A fastener that sticks the front wheel fork of your bike to the rack very firmly.
  • Fork-mount rack that will set on top of your vehicle leaving other areas with an option to mount other types of racks.
  • You can adjust this rack on either side of your car’s roof.
  • Anti-Theft: To prevent rack theft, this rack features anti-theft locking system.
  • Also comes with a quick-release wheel strap coated with rubber.
  • The pre-assembled rack which makes easy installation; just set and go.
  • Fits most of the roof racks and directly compatible with all Rhino-Rack bars.
  • The platform is about 45 inch and made of double-wall aluminium.
  • There is an Allen key included in the package.
  • MasterKey Compatible: Rather than carrying multiple keys for most of the Rhino-Racks and their accessories, this feature allows you to carry just one key which has access to all locks.
  • Rhino-Rack offers lifetime warranty for roof-mount racks.

Some Weaknesses:

  • The most disappointing part is that this rack is a fork-mount rack.
  • Therefore you have to open the front wheel of your bike and then mount it to the rack, again for cycling you have to put the wheel back to the bike.
  • While your bike is attached to the rack, you have to keep the wheel somewhere in your vehicle, which will reduce the storage capacity.
  • Although the strap works flawlessly on normal roads, it may get damaged if you are trekking with your car over mountains frequently.
  • The space between the crossbars should be a minimum of 55 cm and maximum 101 cm.
  • Built for carrying only one bike.

The Rhino-Rack RBC035 is a high quality, yet extremely low-profile roof-mount bike rack. It is a great looking rack with a clean appearance and excellent for its aerodynamics which makes this rack a popular choice among users. It is very supportive and has proved its versatility for carrying almost all types of bikes with different weights and sizes.

This Rhino-Rack promotes a Master Key feature where you can lock all types of your Rhino-Rack roof locks and other Rhino accessories with just a single key instead of carrying multiple keys for different locks. This feature reduces the chances of losing keys and lets you enjoy the full freedom of your tour by keeping you tension free.

The only problem is the quantity as this rack can hold only one bike. In that case, you can buy another Rhino roof rack and attach it on your roof or you can attach a hitch rack or other type of rack for carrying an extra number of bikes. This rack supports almost all roof racks, but here is a list of compatible roof racks from the official website –

Compatible roof racks that compatible with Subaru Outback & Crosstrek cars

8. Thule Archway XT: Best Among Trunk Racks

Thule Archway XT

  • Type: Rear Hatch/Trunk-Mount
  • No. of Bike Capacity: 2 / 3
  • Rack Weight (lbs): 14.4 / 15.4
  • Dimensions (inch): 23.5 x 18 x 21 & 27 x 18 x 21 (When Folded)
  • Weight Capacity: 35 + 35 = 70 lbs / 35 + 35 + 35 = 105 lbs

Features & Considerations:

  • Long curved arms that attach to the spoiler or trunk provide balancing adjustment with the vehicle.
  • Adjustment Clearance: for this purpose supports a large number of vehicles.
  • Gives you an option for choosing 2 bikes mount or 3 bikes mount on the arm.
  • Road Dampening Technology (RDT) cradles: These soft cradles are fantastic for absorbing shocks and vibrations securing your bikes.
  • Includes locks so that you can lock your bikes to the rack and the rack itself with the vehicle.
  • Rack arms adjust independently and when you are not using them you can fold them down.
  • No-Sway Cages: Prevent bike-to-bike and bike-to-vehicle contacts.
  • With the extra strap management device, this rack protects your vehicle’s body.
  • The anti-sway cages hold your bikes gently providing secure transportation.
  • TrunkLocker Strap: This strap prevents collision between the rack and vehicle.
  • Patented FitDial: The dial with Quick-Fit lever adjusts the arms angle so that the rack can get a perfect fit on your car.
  • Prevents your vehicle’s finish from getting scratches with oversized molded pads.
  • You will get Thule’s limited lifetime warranty with this rack.

Some Weaknesses:

  • Rear hitch won’t open easily and there will be a lot of hassle when this rack is attached.
  • Adds extra weight on the rear deck of your car.
  • Set-up can a little bit bothersome.
  • May not suit some types of vehicles i.e. Toyota Prius II.
  • The rubber straps will start flopping while crossing asphalt roads.
  • Adjusting the right angle for the arms might be tricky.
  • For mounting 3 bikes at the same time, there may not be much space as your expectation.
  • The manual is terrible and needs better pictures with leveling.

 

We have put the Thule Archway XT bike rack on our list because it is one of the best trunk racks you can find in the market today. This rack goes with most types of vehicles and this rack does not compromise its quality. You will be getting the exact quality for which you are paying for. This rack has two different variants – one can hold 2 bikes and the other can hold 3 bikes at a time, so it leaves an option for you to choose the variant which meets your demands.

‘Thule’ has been maintaining its reputation for better quality products and most of the users have faith in this brand. The company has begun producing various accessories since 1942. If you want to carry non-conventional type bikes like ladies-style bikes, child’s bikes or full-suspension bikes, you may need 982XT which is a Thule frame adapter and you need to buy it separately.

There is a similar variant from Thule which is the Thule Gateway XT. The primary difference between the Archway and the Gateway is – Both racks offer Hold-Fast RTD cradles, but the Gateway does not offer an integrated cable lock like the Archway. So there is less security for your bikes.


The Process of Our Selection

When you are looking for a bike rack that will support your bikes for transporting them from one place to another as completely as your expectations, you may not be able to find a rack like that. But you can find one that can provide you that results which are at least close to your expectations making it the best rack for your vehicle. Subaru Outback and Crosstrek both are outstanding performers for off-road driving. As a result, they are suitable for off-road touring and trekking while carrying your bicycles.

You might be wondering around to look for the best bike rack when you are in the same situation, owning a Subaru Outback or Crosstrek. With so many bike racks of multiple categories, it is easy to get confused about which one is the best bike rack and the process of selection can be very tricky. So we have followed these steps to make the list of best bike racks for Subaru Outback and Crosstrek –

Step-One
First of all, we focused on the build quality of the rack rather than the quantity or the number of bike loading capability. You must always go for the strong rack that is sure to provide you with the stability and security of carrying your bikes.

Step-Two
Then we considered the mounting position in the car. When you are driving an Outback or Crosstrek, there are basically two positions:

(1) On the roof of the car or
(2) Behind the car- to the hitch, trunk or on a tow ball

Lifting a bicycle and loading it on your car’s roof can be challenging if you are of average height and if you have an SUV, the level of difficulty will just increase more. Moreover, you need to be careful while driving under the low height tunnels or height-restricted car park entrances to keep your bike safe from getting destroyed.

Again roof mount bike racks are very good for avoiding contact between the vehicle’s body and bike. They are the safest among all other bike carriers and they provide the security that surpasses all other types of bike racks. ‘Tow-bar’ mounted racks are getting popular for their quick and easy installation. But the problem that arises from both types of bike racks is that – they require additional hardware to fit your car. For roof-mount bike carriers, you must have roof crossbars on the roof of your car and for tow-bar mount bike carriers, your vehicle should have a tow-bar at the back.

Hitch racks and trunk racks are also very trendy racks. Hitch racks usually secure the top position for mounting a maximum number of bikes. Truck racks are the types of racks that can fit almost any type of vehicles like – SUVs, Sedans, Hatchbacks, Coupés and other types of vehicles. But both of the racks are unable to provide the security and quality that a roof mount bike rack can do. Also, these bike racks have a major tendency of breaking bikes and leaving dents on the car.

Considering all these factors, we really think roof-mount bike racks will be the most suitable for your vehicle, especially when you are driving an Outback or Crosstrek.

Step-Three
Then we come to the number of bikes that the racks will be able to carry. Hitch-mount racks, Tow-bar mount racks, Trunk-mount racks or other types of general racks can carry usually 2 to 4 bikes. Some hitch racks are able to carry 5 or 6 bikes, but that is exceptional and there is always some kind of issue for carrying an excessive number of cycles at the same time.

Even though roof mounts are able to carry only one bike at a time, but that is a very minor issue considering other qualities that they provide. This makes roof-mount bike racks most suitable for Outback and Crosstrek.

Step-Four
In this step look for other special types of credentials or facilities of the rack. For instance, how good the rack’s security is? How easy the installation process is? Is it easy and quick to load and unload bikes? Is there any special type of material that was used to build the rack? – We have selected those racks, who had given the most appropriate answers to these questions.

How to Choose the Right Roof-Mounted Bike Rack

For choosing the right bike rack, there should be only one objective – to transport your bike. But depending on the styles and categories, there are a dizzying selection of bike racks on the market. However, as a buyer this particular matter has a positive effect for choosing the right roof racks, but still you can be confused just to find the right roof-mount bike rack. When it is hard for you to pinpoint the right roof rack which satisfies your demands, just go through these questions and answers –

How often will you be using your rack?

– Determine from your previous number of tours, decide how often you are planning to transport your bikes. Maybe you are an avid cyclist and you like to haul around with your bike on the off-road. So buy a rack that is able to hold your bikes steady and safe for frequent transportation. Again choose a particular type of rack that is more delicate when you don’t go out with your bike that much.

How many bikes are planning to carry for each trip?

– Are you the type of person who likes to go out with friends or family members or perhaps with a group of cyclists? Then you probably need a carrier which can load at least 2 bikes cause 1 bike is not acceptable in any way. For trekking with your family, a bike carrier with utmost 4 bikes loading capacity should do fine.

If security is your main concern?

– When you are carrying a very expensive bicycle, the security of your bike should obviously be your main concern. It is not always possible to keep an eye on your bike all the time, especially when you have gone far from your vehicle for some important reasons. For instance, you may need to go to the toilet to take a piss leaving your bikes on the carrier. It will be the stupidest thing to do when you know your rack does not come with any kind of locking mechanism and you left the bikes unlocked. Go for a roof rack that provides extra security features for your expensive bike.

What is your height than your vehicle’s height?

– It will be foolish, when you have bought a roof-rack knowing that you are short and you have an SUV which is very high. It will be a disaster for you to install the roof-rack as well as to mount a bike on the roof rack every time you want to go out with your bikes. For an average height person who can hold the bike steady for enough time, mounting and loading a bike on the roof-rack will be easy. And for a tall person who is also very strong, installing and mounting a bike on a roof rack won’t be a problem at all.

Is your vehicle compatible with a roof-rack?

– Before buying a roof-rack for your vehicle, first check if your vehicle supports roof-racks. Sometimes your vehicle may not have the crossbars which are needed to install a roof-rack. In that case you have to buy one according to your rack’s fitting criteria. Again some roof-racks are built for a limited range of vehicles. So make sure your vehicle has a place in that list.

Also check your vehicle’s roof space because sometimes it might be able to carry only one roof-rack. Usually most of the cars have roof space to install two roof-racks properly. Then again, it is also possible for some vehicles to fit 3 roof-racks.

Does your vehicle have a hitch, tow-bar or trunk space?

– If you have already installed a roof-rack but want to carry more bikes – then you don’t need to worry about loading more bikes on your vehicle when your vehicle supports any kind of hitch, trunk or tow-bar mounting system. This is why roof-mount bike racks are great as they give sufficient options to all other mounting access parts and gives free access to the rear trunk or hatch also.

How much money are you willing to spend for a roof-rack?

– If you are looking for the premium quality roof-mount bike racks with additional features and locking system with tremendous build quality, then you have to spend a big amount of money. But it will be a wise decision when your bike is also very expensive and you don’t have to switch a premium quality rack any time sooner.

Is there any chance for switching your current vehicle?

– Will you move to an SUV from a sedan or a sedan from an SUV? This fact needs to be considered wisely and you need to be predetermined of buying the rack accordingly. Suppose you have bought a roof-rack which is good for your current vehicle, but after some months you have bought another type of vehicle that is somehow very much different than your current vehicle; then there is a possibility that the roof-rack won’t fit your new vehicle or won’t be able to provide that kind of support than the support it had given earlier with your old vehicle.

The Difference Among Roof, Hitch & Trunk Mounted Bike Racks

The three major types of bike racks are – Hitch-mount, Roof-mount and Trunk-mount bike racks. Although there are other types of bike racks such as Tow-bar mount bike rack, Spare-tire mount bike rack and so on; but these three types of bike racks suitable to fit almost any kind of vehicle. So which one is the most suitable? Well, it depends on many topics. Take a look at this comparison table of these three types of bike racks –

Conclusion

The wrong bike rack might be the reason for your bike to get damaged or broken. Furthermore, it can create a safety hazard by making it easier to steal your precious bike along with the rack if anyone possesses an intensity of stealing. Try to define your needs and acknowledge your current vehicle’s accessibility as much as you can before you purchase a bike rack. The reasonable bike rack holds the key for an enjoyable tour carrying your bicycles with unconditional freedom.

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Last update on 2020-07-31 at 16:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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