Trunk strap bike rack or hitch-mounted bike rack? It’s one of the most common questions we get here at Calgary Hitch Shop. The answer largely depends on the following:

  • Frequency of use
  • Your budget
  • The number of bikes you need to transport

To help you make an informed decision on choosing the right bike rack in Calgary, we’ve created this guide below explaining the differences between a trunk strap-mounted bike rack vs a hitch-mounted bike rack. At Calgary Hitch Shop, we offer bike racks, roof boxes, roof racks, rooftop tents, and accessories for all of your outdoor adventures!

Trunk Strap Mounted Bike Rack

This bike rack system rests on the back of a car trunk secured with straps while arms and cradles support the bike. Here are some of the pros of trunk strap mounted bike racks:

  • Least expensive option
  • Ideal for recreational cyclists
  • Easily adjustable to allow for multiple vehicle use
  • Light and highly portable
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to install

While trunk strap mounted bike racks have many benefits, some disadvantages to consider are:

  • Limited load capacity (typically two-three bikes max)
  • Interferes with trunk access
  • Bikes may shift while driving if not secured properly
  • Difficult to lock bikes to vehicle

Trunk strap mounted bike racks are fairly easy to mount on and off. One of our experts at Calgary Hitch Shop can demonstrate how to properly install a trunk strap bike rack and how to safely mount your bikes.

Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack

As the name suggests, hitch-mounted bike racks attach to the hitch of your vehicle. When purchasing a hitch-mounted bike rack, it’s important to check the load capacity of your vehicle as too much weight could cause a hitch to bend or break. Some of the pros of this bike rack system include:

Some of the pros of this bike rack system include:

  • Its design to haul two to five bikes at a time
  • Incredibly sturdy and secure
  • Ideal for frequent users
  • Simple to install and easy to remove
  • Easy to secure bikes

Hitch-mounted bike racks are known to be very reliable, especially for cyclists who frequently transport their bikes to the mountains or rugged terrain. While there are many benefits of this bike system, the following are some disadvantages to consider:

  • More expensive than trunk-mounted bike racks
  • Some designs limit the entry to a trunk or rear doors
  • Heavy loads can cause swaying and shifting

Frequently asked questions

  • Which is better trunk or hitch bike rack?

The better choice really depends on your preference and you’ll find varying answers on this topic. While some prefer a trunk strap bike rack because it’s more cost-effective while others prefer the sturdiness of a hitch-mounted bike rack and when they need trunk access during long road trips. The latest designs in hitch-mounted bike racks allow for easy mounting, installation, and can fit virtually all styles of bikes.

  • Are trunk-mounted bike racks safe?

Yes, trunk-mounted bike racks are safe as long as they are properly secured. If they are not installed correctly, they can fall off or scratch the surface of your vehicle.

  • Which trunk bike rack is best?

Some of the best industry-leading brands that design and engineer sturdy trunk bike racks include Yakima or Thule. The best trunk bike rack is one that fits your needs and budget – whether you use your bike rack frequently or drive a compact car, there is something for everyone.

At Calgary Hitch Shop, we carry every type of bike rack and offer products from Yakima, Thule, Swagman, Prorack, and many other brands. If you’re in the market for a quality bike rack, give us a call or come into our shop and one of our professional team members can help you choose the right system for your particular use and vehicle. An expert technician will gladly install your new bike rack for free.