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Transporting A Bicycle With A Jeep Wrangler

If we are talking about strength, the Jeep Wrangler’s got it. It is one of the better all-terrain cars that you can travel with over great distances.And with its innate power coupled with your passion for cycling? The horizon is the limit.

Transporting A Bicycle In A Jeep Wrangler

Transporting your bike with a Jeep is as easy as it gets, but of course with the help of bicycle racks. While the Jeep does not boast the greatest carriage space volume, it can however be fitted with either of the three major categories of bike racks:

  1. Roof Mounted
  2. Hitch Mounted
  3. Spare Tire Mounted

A couple of these options have their own subcategories and uses depending on their user’s preference.

We will be looking at those in detail in this article, and try to break down each of their uses so that you can me more well informed before getting a new one yourself.

Roof Mounted Bike Rack

Roof mounted bike racks are very popular among many cyclists, especially professional ones. This is because these racks provide multiple benefits for carrying bicycles, like stability, security and capacity. But that is for roof mounts on regular vehicles.

Roof rack

When it comes to a large all-terrain vehicle like the Jeep, the situation changes a bit. While the fundamental benefits of having a roof mounted bike rack are still carried over, new dimensions are added that are worthy of your consideration. First, the requirements.

Requirements

Since these racks go on the roof, you have to be wary of the type of roof your Jeep has. If it has a soft top, you will need a rack designed specifically for it. For a hard top, you will need a base system of cross rails on which the rack will go over.

Most modern Jeeps have specific cross rails that can be easily clipped in. These can be installed and removed whenever necessary. However if yours doesn’t, you may need to drill it in place for a more permanent solution if you are looking to go for a roof top rack.

Pros

+ You do not have to take the wheels off of your bike. Except for fork mounts.
+ Good stability
+ Very secure. These racks have straps for the wheels and a clamping arm for the frame.
+ You can carry extra and other types of cargo.

However, the roof mounted bike rack has one glaring issue. Reach.

The Jeep Wrangler is a monster of a vehicle. Even a person who is around 6 ft tall might find it difficult to load and unload their bikes without support. You may have to climb on the back wheel, or use a step-ladder (be careful not to damage the side of the car).

Roof Issue
Source: YouTube

Another similar issue is its overall post installation height. Even without the front wheels of your bike on, the total height that is produced with a rooftop rack is massive.

If you are driving through the streets and the highways, you always have to be aware of low bridges and signposts. Even off-road, low hanging branches of trees can damage your bikes and your vehicle with a roof mounted bike rack.

Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

Currently rising in popularity, extremely fast if I might add, is the hitch mounted bike rack. These are favored amongst most cyclists, both casuals and professionals alike, albeit being on the more expensive side.

Hitch

Requirements

All you need is a hitch installed. Just be aware of what type of hitch receiver you are getting. It can be either 1.25×1.25 inches or 2×2 inches. Make sure that the bike rack you get matches the receiver.

Also keep in mind to purchase a rack that takes the spare tire space into consideration. You would not want your bike to come into contact with your spare tire.

Pros

+ Easy load and unload
+ Very strong and sturdy, very little wobble
+ Has variety, platform or hanging style.
+ Good carry capacity. Up to 4 bikes at a time.
+ Convenience. Easy installation, can be stored away easily and many offer folding options to allow you to access the back of your Jeep on the go.

hitch clearance

That said, there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of if you are planning to get a hitch mounted bike rack.

Firstly, it can limit the visibility of the rear camera, if your jeep has one. The main supporting bar of the rack directly goes in front of the camera located at the center of the rear spare wheel. This might obscure your vision if you are looking to back on your Jeep and rely on the assistance of the rear camera.

Another thing to be aware of is your rear sensors. These sensors might pick up your bike rack as an obstacle, especially for the platform style rack. You can ignore it completely, or just take the sensors off if it bothers you too much.

These are not real deal breakers, but are definitely something that you need to be aware of when purchasing a hitch mounted bike rack.

All in all, hitch mounted bike racks are a great all-round solution to carry your bike on a Jeep.

Spare Tire Mounted Bike Rack

These are some of the most convenient racks for Jeeps out there. There are two subcategories of these racks available.

Spare Rack

  • Racks that mount on the center of the spare tire. Be aware whether your Jeep has a camera at the center of the spare tire or not. This setup can not only cover up the camera, but also damage it. If your Jeep does indeed have a rear camera, then look at the next category of spare tire racks.
  • Racks that strap on and around the spare tire. These are much like the trunk/hatch bike racks, but instead go on the spare tires themselves. Since the Jeep’s spare tire is highly durable, there is little to no chance of damaging it, no matter how many bikes you put on it. But the straps can scratch the vehicle’s paint job.

Pros

+ Easy to load and unload a bike
+ Does not set off the backup sensors on the newer Jeeps.
+ Complete access to the cargo area. This is probably the biggest selling point of this type of bike rack.

While not really a disadvantage, but a limitation, is that a spare tire bike rack can only carry 2 bikes at a time.

The spare tire mounted bike rack is a more permanent solution to your bike transporting needs. We suggest you go for this type if you are looking to transport a maximum of two bikes, day in and day out.

Spare Full access
Spare tire racks give unfettered access to the cargo space of the Jeep | Source: YouTube

Other Considerations: Specialty Bikes

Whatever we have discussed so far was based on regular bikes of every nature, both road and off-road.

However, you might be a proud owner of a specialty bike. Whether it be a recumbent, trike or an electric bike, make sure you get yourself a rack that can accommodate them. These bikes are fundamentally different in design, if not purpose, compared to regular bikes.

F.A.Qs

Q1) Can you fit a bike in the back of a Jeep Wrangler?

Ans.: Yes. However there are certain conditions.

  • Your Jeep has to be of a four door model.
  • You have to remove the front wheel to make enough space.
  • You have to lay your bike on its side if you do not want to remove the wheels.
  • You have to remove both wheels for a two door model.

Q2) What is a Jeep Death Wobble?

Ans.: The solid design of the front axle of the Jeep Wrangler can sometimes cause the steering wheel to intensely vibrate after hitting a bump on the road. This issue is common to many vehicles with a solid front axle.

If you are facing such issues and it is being problematic for you, contact Jeep themselves to have your stabilizers changed,

Final Words

All things considered, there are multiple great ways in which you can transport your bikes with a Jeep Wrangler.

Similar to the racks of other cars, getting a rack for your Wrangler fundamentally depends on your preference and ability. What you really have to be aware of is the differences in design elements that the Jeep Wrangler has over other vehicles.

While the hitch mounted bike rack is similar for all cars and the spare tire rack is comparable in design and function to the trunk rack, the rooftop rack is the one that stands out for this vehicle, thanks to its monstrous frame. But this does in no way diminish its intended functions and is a great bike rack for your consideration.

We hope that we were able to clear any queries you might have had before going through this article, and we also hope that you will be able to better transport your bikes on your Jeep now.

Happy Riding!


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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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