Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Paul S.
Carrying your bikes doesn’t get easier than with a platform bike rack that connects to your Jeeps hitch.
The platform bike racks offer the best way to carry your bike to your favorite road ride or trail because it limits potential scratching on your bike frame, doesn’t allow it to swing into another bike on the rack, and is easier to get your bike on and off due to the simplicity of the design.
There are some issues with the racks that carry your bikes with the bike arms. Here is a list of some of them:
- Depending on your bike it can be hard to get that bike pushed back to its strap position because the other strap positions get in the way.
- If your bike happens to be a step through, then you need a frame adapter.
- Depending on how tall you are it can be a pain to lift the bike up while also trying to get the bike arms through the frame.
We have put together a list of some quality platform bike racks that will help safely transport your bikes to that amazing ride you have been waiting all weekend for. This list has reviewed multiple websites, reviews, videos, and all the specifications to provide the best of the best to make your bike rack search easy so you can spend more time on two wheels!
One of the key issues besides ease and quality is to make sure it works with your Jeep Wrangler. Every car is different and in terms of an SUV Jeep is one of a few that carry the spare tire on the rear door. We have made sure to provide racks that will work with your Wrangler.
Table of Contents
If you need a quick recommendation and don’t have time to review them all, then we recommend the Kuat Rack Sherpa 2.0.
- This rack is the most expensive on the list but with the price tag comes the knowledge that your bikes will be secured with the best components and designed by American riders.
- It looks great and secures your bike via the tires instead of the frame which saves your bikes paint job.
- It also comes with a lock for your bikes and for the hitch for piece of mind when away from your vehicle.
Otherwise, read on to learn more about platform bikes that will fit your Jeep Wrangler!
Jeep Wrangler Platform Bike Rack Reviews
Kuat Rack Sherpa 2.0-2 Bike Rack
This rack is the premium model of the bunch. While carrying a high price tag let’s see if it lives up to it.
The rack is made of aluminum which allows it to have a beefy design while not breaking your back while trying to install it. It can carry two 40 lb bikes and can be folded up vertically if you do not need to carry any bikes at the time. The rack can also pivot away from the vehicle to give the Jeep a little trunk accessibility, but the door cannot be opened completely with the bikes on the rack. It can also be folded up for easier storage as well.
It comes with a bike lock to secure your bikes if you have to leave for a short time.
You can select the size hitch it comes with either 1.25” or 2″.
If you want to get fancy it comes in three different colors at the time of writing this the colors are Pearl/Silver Anodized, gray metallic/orange anodize, and black metallic/gray anodize.
It has an Amazon 4.8 out of 5.
- This bike rack does not fit the Jeep Wrangler without an extender, but the Kuat sells one that would be the best match for this rack.
Swagman CHINOOK Hitch Mount Bike Rack
The Swagman Chinook alloy steel bike rack is easy to assemble and get your bikes on the road quickly. This rack has unique tire trays that fit and lock your tires down in place at the bottom and then an adjustable ratchet hooks that pin your bike at the top to keep it from swaying and falling off.
This rack can carry two 45 lb bikes which is the largest carrying capacity for this article. The rack also comes with a locking hitch pin and locks on the ratchet hooks to help keep thieves away!
Another great thing about this rack is that many reviewers mentioned the rack clears the spare tire of their Jeep Wrangler, so no hitch extension is required!
- This is the second highest priced rack on the list but just over 1 ½ time cheaper than the Kuat while also having the capacity to hold heavier bikes.
- There are some comments that the hold down hooks rub the paint off the frames but that you could put some cloth or rags over them to help prevent the rubbing.
Swagman XTC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
This Canadian based company has been building bike racks since the early 90s and one of the first companies to create a hitch bike rack.
This rack is made of alloy steel and weighs in at 29 pounds. It carries two bikes (12-inch to 29-inch tires) and has a built-in anti-wobble device to keep your bike from hitting each other or your Jeep.
It will work with a 1 ¼ inch hitch or a 2-inch hitch.
When not in use the rack folds up for easier storage in your garage or can even be folded up while mounted on the hitch and not in use. The center arm also folds down to allow for a little bit of access into your Jeep, but due to the way the door swings, you will not have full access as with all of the platform rack designs.
On Amazon, there are many reviews complimenting the design and how well made it is.
- As with most hitch bike racks for the Jeep Wrangler you will need a hitch extender to be able to use this rack to its full capacity due to the location of the spare tire.
- Cushion or padding is required on the elbows as some reviewers have said it could cause scratching on your bike frame. Some reviewers have installed foam pipe insulation to prevent any scratching.
- Does not come with a lock to prevent theft.
MaxxHaul 50027 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
This is currently our budget model of the platform bike rack list. It has a capacity of two 40 lb bikes and is made out of steel weighing in at 33.1 lbs. The design is very basic but it will get your bikes to where you want to go!
It fits a 2 inch hitch and comes with an anti-wobble device for that connection. The hooks that secure the bike comes with foam to avoid scratching your bike’s finish.
The best feature of this rack is that it can fit a Jeep Wrangler without the need for a hitch extension.
- Will not fit mountain bike tires larger than 26 inches.
- It does not have the folding capability of the other racks.
- Does not lock your bikes or your hitch
Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch Rack
This alloy steel bike rack can fit two bikes on either a 1 ¼ inch or 2 inch receive hitch and can take up to 35 lb per bike. It folds up on the hitch when not in use and can be folded up for storage in the garage.
It comes with a lifetime warranty in terms of workmanship and material that some purchasers loved.
On Amazon, there are many satisfied reviews. The cost is a little higher than the budget model on this list, the MaxHaul, but still a great price.
- Some reviewers complain about the anti-sway straps that connect the bike to the upper part of the frame and avoid swaying. They mention that buying more straps helped them put their worries on the road at ease.
- This rack will require a hitch extension to clear your Jeep Wrangler Spare Tire.
- Does not have a lock to protect your bikes from theft.
Jeep Wrangler Platform Bike Rack Comparison Table
|Hitch Extension Required for Wrangler||Capacity (lb)/ bike – two bikes total||Bike Lock/Hitch Lock||Tilt-Away||Folding for storage||Wheel Size (inch)||Hitch Size (Inch)|
|Kuat Rack Sherpa 2.0||Yes||40||Yes/Yes||Yes||Yes||20 – 29*||1 1/4 or 2 can be selected|
|Swagman Chinook||No||45||Yes/Yes||Yes||Yes||12 – 29||1 1/4 or 2|
|Swagman XTC2||Yes||35||Sold Separately||No||Yes||20 – 29||1 1/4 or 2|
|MaxxHaul||No||40||No/No||No||Yes||20 to 26||2|
|Allen Sports 2-Bike||Yes||35||No/No||Yes||Yes||20 – 29||1 1/4 or 2|
What To Look For When Purchasing a Platform Bike Rack
Hitch Receiver Size and fit issues/receiver quality
There are two hitch sizes that bike racks come in. They are either 1 ¼ inch or 2 inch. The only real difference that matters is the tongue weight, which means the static force a rack exerts on the hitch. The rule is that you can take a 1 ¼ inch bike rack up to a 2 inch hitch with an adapter but you don’t necessarily want to take a 2 inch rack down to a 1 ¼ inch hitch. If you have the choice when installing a 1 ¼ inch hitch or a 2 inch hitch, install the 2 inch hitch for the added tongue weight.
Most of the time you are going to get play or wobble in bike racks. In some cases, there is a lot because of a cheap hitch or a cheap bike rack. In the cheaper models, you don’t get as precise measurements so there is going to be a little bit of tolerance.
One cheap way to fix this is with an anti-sway/rattle that connects to your hitch receiver and the bike rack. It tightens both together to remove the wobbles and gives you great peace of mind on the road. They are relatively cheap and do not add too much extra time to your setup.
Here is a link to an ANTI-SWAY/Rattle connection on Amazon.
Spare Tire Location on a Jeep Wrangler
One of the tricky things with mounting a hitch bike rack to a Jeep Wrangler is the position of the spare tire and the fact that the door swings horizontally instead of vertically like some cross-over SUVs.
If your bike rack doesn’t fit because of the spare tire like some of the ones mentioned on this list, you can simply install a hitch extender to push it out and gain the extra distance away from the spare tire.
An 7-inch extender has been recommended on some of the websites. You don’t want to extend it too much as the more you extend it the more you reduce the capacity of the hitch.
Here is a link to an extender for a 2-inch hitch that will work for your Jeep Wrangler: 7-inch EXTENDER AT AMAZON
Even with an extender, you will still have trouble getting into the back of your Wrangler because the door will not be able to swing all the way open. The workaround to this is to take your bikes off.
Typical weight of bikes
The highest capacity of these racks is 45 lb/bike for two bikes and the lowest is 35 lb/bike.
For your quick understanding here are some typical bike weights:
- Child’s Bike: 15 lbs to 30 lbs
- Beach Cruisers: 35-40 lbs
- Average road bike: 20-25 lbs
- Average Full Suspension Mountain Bike: 30 to 40 lbs
- Typical E-bike can weigh 38 to 70 lbs. This could push the limit over all of these racks if you decide to put two e-bikes on them. They can probably handle one heavy e-bike but two would put it over capacity.
These platform bike racks for your Jeep Wrangler will keep your bike safe and are easy to get your bikes on and off due to the height they have to be lifted and avoiding annoying bike lift arms as the other models have. They are great for a variety of bike sizes and weights and most of them fold up for easy storage when not in use.
Once again, the top pick on our list is going to be the Kuat Rack Sherpa 2.0. Kuat is headquartered in the USA and has been known to engineer great bike racks that stand the length of time. While the price tag is the highest, there is some peace of mind knowing you are getting the best quality rack when you are carrying expensive road bikes. Here is the link to check out the latest price of the Kuat Rack Sherpa 2.0.
If you are not carrying expensive bikes, then the other cheaper racks could suit your needs. They are still quality racks and have great reviews but understand that the components will also be cheaper.
Have fun and be safe with your new bike rack!