Are hanging bike racks good? Should You Buy One?

Are hanging bike racks good? If you have ever asked this, then you are in the right place. Hanging racks are racks that are attached by resting the frames of the bike on the rack.

These types of racks make it easier for you to install and uninstall them on your vehicle.

In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about the hanging racks and help you decide on what you want. Continue reading to learn more.

Are Hanging Bike Racks Good?

Yes. Hanging bike racks are good for transporting lightweight bicycles without carrying them over your head and onto the roof of the car.

As you know, regularly loading and offloading your back can be difficult and tiresome (especially for bulky bikes), which is why it makes sense to have a hanging rack.

Hanging roof racks are also lightweight. Most of them weigh below 15 pounds which means you can fold and store them easily anywhere in your home.

You will tie the bicycles using either plastic or rubber straps. Both of these offer great support, which prevents the bicycles from falling off.

The straps are also strong enough to carry heavier bikes and more than one bike. So, if you have a large family, each with their bikes, consider hanging racks.

Also see: Are Bikes Allowed in Malls?

Do hanging bike racks have disadvantages?

Yes. The major disadvantage with hanging bike racks is that- not all bikes fit in them. If you are carrying different types of bikes, some will oddly fit in them while others won’t. 

Also, accessing the rear hatch is difficult. If you carry more than one bike, you might be forced to offload all of them first to get the one you want.

When carrying more than two bikes, they will sway and hit each other, hence, damaging them.

When using these racks to carry more than one bike, you should consider attaching extra padding to prevent the bikes from hitting each other.

Installing these extra pads takes lots of effort and time. However, it is totally worth it to keep your bike’s paint job in perfect condition.

Are Hanging or Platform Bike Racks Better?

Whether you want hanging or platform bikes racks will depend on how frequently you load/offload your bike or if you frequently remove the rack from your vehicle.

Consider the following before making a decision:

Platform racks make it easier for you to load and offload your bike whenever you want. You won’t have to lift the bike over your head which can be tiring. On the other hand, hanging racks are quite tiring; you must lift the bikes when loading them on the rack.

You can fit different types of bikes on the platform racks, but you can’t do the same for the hanging racks. For instance, if you have a carbon-framed bike, a platform rack is best since it is secured on wheels and frames.

Choosing a hanging rack for this will bike will damage it, thereby voiding your warranty.

You are assured of bikes’ safety when using platform racks since they secure both the frame and the wheels. But when it comes to hanging racks, you need to install an anti-sway bar to prevent the bikes from knocking on each other.

On the flip side hanging racks are good because they are lightweight, making it easier for you to store them inside your home and attach them to your vehicle. But, platform racks are heavy.

Also see: Can car bike racks be stolen?

It is also easier to install and uninstall hanging racks than platform racks, which will save lots of time.

Hanging racks also do not extend far outside the vehicle, unlike the platform racks.

If you choose a hanging rack, make sure you take some time to practice installing and uninstalling the rack before setting off on your journey.

Are hanging racks better than platform racks?

A hanging rack is better compared to a platform rack. This is because they are lightweight. At only less than 15 pounds, you can lift them and attach them to your vehicle without anyone’s help.

Also, you can store them easily in your home thanks to the dual arms. All you have to do is gently fold them then put them in a safe place.

After your trip, you can easily offload the bikes one by one then the rack.

The fact that it doesn’t extend outside the vehicle means it is much safer for your car.

If you are worried about the bikes knocking on each other, hanging racks as Swagman RV come with rubber straps and anti-sway cradles that rotates.

The anti-sway cradles rotate to make it easier for you to access the rear-end bikes.

Should I Get a Hanging Bike Rack?

No, You shouldn’t.  Even though hanging racks offer great advantages, it will be much easier if you go for platform racks.

Sure, you want to save time loading and offloading the racks on your vehicle. But, have you consider the energy you will use to lift them.

Why you should not get a hanging bike rack

You shouldn’t choose a hanging rack because they don’t allow you to carry different types of bike racks.

If you try to attach them, some won’t fit well unless you have an adapter bar.

Also, when carrying two bikes or more, they can damage each other due to constant knocking unless you fit an anti-sway bar on the rack. But, platform racks allow you to carry different types of bikes without the risk of them knocking on each other.

The platform racks give you the satisfaction that your bikes will be safe through the journey.  Some racks come with knobs that let you tighten the bar on your bike.

Some of the racks also allow the bike wheels to rest securely. Some also come with additional straps for safety.


Going on a cycling holiday is one of the best things you can do, especially during this pandemic. But before you set off on your journey, you must consider how you want to transport your bikes, whether with a hanging rack or a platform rack.

A platform rack allows you to carry more than one different type of bike, and the same cannot be said for the hanging racks.

Both racks work, and they are good at transporting your bike. But, it will depend on what you can put up with at the end of the day.

So, if you are asking, are hanging bike racks good? Then the above article should help you decide on what you want.

Good luck.