Jeeps have been enjoyed by the outdoor industry for decades, but before they were an overlanding favorite, they were used by the U.S. Army during WWII. Jeep has a rich history, making its debut as the Army Jeep in 1940 (Jeep.com).
General George C. Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff during WWII, said Jeep was "America's greatest contribution to modern warfare" (Jeep.com). Jeeps were up for the task then and continue to be up for the task today. In 1945, Jeep welcomed consumers to their first civilian vehicle, the Jeep CJ-2A. The Civilian Jeep was advertised as “The World’s Most Useful Vehicle. Rugged, Versatile, Dependable" (Silodrome, 2018).
Jeeps have been reliable when exploring rugged terrain, so getting a bike rack that can do the same will enhance your love for exploring. VelociRAX vertical hitch bike racks and Jeep Wranglers are constructed with high-strength steel, so adventure is closer than you think.
Can a Bike Rack Fit On a Jeep Wrangler?
A hitch-mounted bike rack is the best bike rack option for Jeep Wranglers. Traveling with bikes is great, but being able to travel with your Jeep Wrangler and bikes is hitting the jackpot.
How Do You Carry Bikes On a Jeep Wrangler?
Hitch-mounted racks are the way to go since they are heavy-duty and don’t put extra weight on the tailgate. Vertical hitch bike racks fit jeep wranglers like a glove. When driving a heavy-duty car, you need a heavy-duty bike rack that is up for the challenge.
Although Jeeps don't come standard with hitch receivers, installing one is a great investment for bike racks, overlanding gear, and towing.
Do Bike Racks Damage Your Jeep?
Jeep Wranglers can handle an impressive load. They are made for the dirt and can bear the brunt of what rugged "roads" entail. It's no wonder one of Jeep's core values is freedom. VelociRAX vertical hitch bike racks aren't complicated, which makes for a great addition to a tricked-out rig. Like Jeep, we keep things simple and stick to what is important to us: tough build, easy use, and reliability.
Using a rack that does not interact with the exterior of your Jeep is key. Spare tire-mounted racks and frame-mounted bike racks have the potential to dent or chip the tailgate. These styles of bicycle racks for Jeep Wranglers are often unpredictable when driving over rough roads, which can also damage your jeep.
Spare Tire-Mounted Vs. Hitch-Mounted
Both bike rack options have the potential to be a great addition to your Jeeping adventures. Unlike roof-mounted bike racks, spare tire and hitch bike racks can be used every season. If your Jeep Wrangler goes through seasonal modifications, such as removing a hard top for warmer weather, look for a bike rack that will at any point.
Spare Tire-Mounted Bike Racks
Spare tire-mounted bike racks have an over-the-tire design with two bike placements. These are unique to Jeep spare tires, so they are not transferable between other vehicles. This won't be an issue if you only plan to use a Jeep Wrangler to travel with bikes, but worth thinking about if there are other vehicles in the equation.
A major plus to a spare tire-mounted bike rack is that it does not impact vehicle clearance. Of course, taking one bike as opposed to five will be less demanding of space, so you may need to prioritize the number of bikes and the terrain grade. In addition to limited bike placements, bike security is often limited to frame-mounted mechanisms, so wheels freely spin while driving. This can lead to issues down the road and bike interference.
These bike carriers for Jeep Wranglers are cheaper than hitch-mounted bike racks, but cheaper does not mean better. Spare tire-mounted bike racks use plastic parts and nylon straps to secure bikes to the rack, which stretch out and break over time. Nylon straps keep bikes safe for a short time but are not a good solution for long-term and strenuous usage.
Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks
Frame-mounted bike racks require lifting the entire bike to its secure position. Roll-in roll-out loading with VelociRAX hitch racks requires little to no lifting, so even kids can load their bikes!
The downside of a high-quality hitch-mounted bike rack is the price for some people. Although the price of vertical hitch bike racks may seem steep, think of it as an investment to keep bikes safe. Cheaper bike racks will get replaced, which quickly adds up. A one-time purchase for a high-quality rack will save you money in the long run and will eliminate the stress of purchasing multiple bike racks.
Vertical hitch racks have more bike placements than spare tire racks, so you can bring as many bikes as there are passengers, plus some! Instead of risking damage to your Jeep Wrangler and bikes, do your research on high-quality bike racks that will allow you to travel at ease.
Jeep Wrangler Clearance With Vertical Hitch Bike Rack
Clearance is a common concern for Jeepers researching the best bike rack for Jeep Wranglers. There is no getting around it: hitch-mounted bike racks decrease your exit angles. When using a VelociRAX, bikes are always secure, even if the rack contacts the ground. Our bike racks can withstand a hit, which is a much better solution than putting your bikes at risk.
Although exit angles decrease when using a hitch-mount bike rack, keeping bikes safe is the highest priority for us. Vertical hitch bike racks are the best for preserving your bikes and vehicle, with tire only contact for the bikes and no additional weight being placed on your spare mount. Additionally, generally speaking when headed to the trailhead to ride your bikes you aren't looking to do serious wheeling simultaneously.
Do I Need a Hitch Adapter?
You will likely need a hitch adapter if you use tires beyond stock. Stock tires should clear the rack without a hitch adapter, but 35-inch tires and up sit too close to the center post. Unfortunately, a large spare tire will interfere with the rack when lowering to the load position.
Our hitch adaptersextend the rack back four inches and drops it 3 inches, giving the spare tire plenty of clearance from the center post and allowing full hinging of the rack down into the loading position. Using camp mode, you can also fully access gear in the back with 100% opening of the swing gate. Like our hitch racks, an integrated anti-rattle mechanism is standard with our hitch adapters. Once the anti-rattle wedge is engaged, there will be no excess space in the hitch, which diminishes rack play and unnecessary movement.
Using adapters from other brands for a VelociRAX hitch rack may result in unwanted rack movement since securing methods vary between brands. Our anti-rattle mechanism is helpful when driving long distances, but becomes very important for Jeep Wranglers driving off-road. Skipping out on a good quality hitch adapter can be detrimental to your bikes.
If you are searching for a bike, vertical hitch-mounted bike racks are the way to go! VelociRAX hitch racks are ideal for preserving your Jeep and bikes, keeping bikes safe throughout the whole adventure, and will stand the test of time. VelociRAX bike racks are up for the challenge and are the perfect fit for Jeep Wranglers.
There is no issue getting your Jeep Wrangler to the trailhead, so there shouldn’t be issues getting bikes there too. Push your vehicle to the limits to do the things you love.