In the past, upright, roof-mounted bike racks only worked with “standard” bike frame designs, or required some funky way to attach the bike that tried to expanded it’s application. Now, upright bike racks have evolved into user-friendly designs that can accommodate any frame type and any bike style from roadie to BMX and everything in between. These new bike racks adjust to attach and secure the bike by the front wheel, thus stabilizing the entire bike. Best of all, they just plain work for any bike you can throw at them.

Roof racks aren’t for everyone, and unless you’re in the WWF, nobody enjoys lifting a 30-40 lb. bike above their head to place it on their roof rack. But, if you’ve got a Subaru or any other car with a lower roofline, these racks are easy to use and won’t give you a hernia. If you’ve got a hitch, I’d recommend looking into the Thule Trailblazer, the new Yakima Hook-Up or the new Sportworks Transport T2.

Thule Sportworks Bob Ratchet Bike Rack

Sportworks has its roots in durable bike racks for mass transit. If you’ve ever loaded your bike on the front of a bus, you’ve likely used a Sportworks rack. They are designed for simple operation and flexibility to accommodate any type of bike design. The Bob Ratchet upright bike rack uses a single arm that locks down the bike over the front wheel. It’s easy to use and locks down your bike with a vice-like grip. As the market-leader in the upright bike rack market, Sportworks has a complete line of upright bike racks for any application–even if you drive a bus for a living!

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THULE Super G Bike Rack

The Super G bike rack was introduced in 2004 as an alternative to current THULE upright designs. The Super G, like the rest of the racks here, accommodates any bike frame style because it attaches to the front wheel via an easily adjusted arm. A nice feature of the Super G is the contoured front wheel tray that automatically rolls the wheel forward into a secure position that keeps the bike in place while you’re locking down the front and rear wheels. It’s advanced tray system is the only one of the bunch that steps away from the standard trays we’ve seen for decades.

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Yakima King Cobra Bike Rack

The King Cobra first caught my eye at Outdoor Retailer when it was released a few years back. It was the innovator in the market of upright bike racks with a fresh new approach. The idea was that every bike–no matter the style–has a front wheel, so why not attach to that? Nobody wants to remove the front wheel, so the design was quick to catch on. A unique feature of the King Cobra rack is the integrated cable lock, which wraps around the downtube as an extra security measure.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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